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Pope, Robinson bring great stories, stellar songs

The Troubadour, West Hollywood, Cal., February 26, 2022

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Ron Pope and Emily Scott Robinson each performed solo acoustic sets, accompanying themselves on guitar and piano. These two also had the habit of long song introductions in common. Many times, these lengthy tales were funny and touching. Those that came hoping to hear many songs from each artist, may have been disappointed. But although the songs were fewer than those performed at most concerts, they were nevertheless just as insightful as the rambling introductions that preceded them.

Many of Pope's songs are inspired by his home and family. One titled "My Wildest Dreams," for example, is about awestruck wonder at the birth of his daughter. "Love Is A Thing You Do," about the love he has for his wife, included the recollection about a conversation he had with his grandfather about how to make a marriage last. Along the way, Pope told many other funny stories, including a memorable one where he ran into Joan Rivers while in Los Angeles, which he categorized as a 'Los Angeles story.'

Robinson preceded Pope, dressed in a sparkly dress and white cowboy boots. She kicked off her performance with "Cheap Seats," which recalls those days when Robinson was still just a music fan. However, Robinson has developed into quite the songwriter, now signed to John Prine's Oh Boy label. "Things You Learn The Hard Way," puts many of life's difficult lessons into a humorous light, while "The Time For Flowers," about a belief that there is always reason to be hopeful, was dedicated to the people in war torn Ukraine.

With her self-deprecating sense of humor and natural charm, Robinson's brief set was enjoyable from start to finish. Her style incorporates both folk and country elements. "White Hot Country Mess" even describes the life of a traveling country singer.

Both Robinson and Pope proved how you don't need a large band and extensive lighting to put on a fantastic show. All you need are great stories and stellar songs, and this night included plenty of each.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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