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Combs closes out Stagecoach day 3 on day of worthwhile music

Indio, Cal., May 1, 2022

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Luke Combs headlined the concluding day of Stagecoach 2022 with a well-received set. However, Combs has seemingly given in to a troubling trend. It was as though he felt compelled to prove his masculinity with multiple F-bombs and more rocking musical elements. His songs are so darn good, and all of his chest-pounding was unnecessary.

Nevertheless, he told a heartwarming story about finding his wife and his upcoming role as a father before singing "Houston, We Got a Problem." The set was hit filled, but then again, Combs already has a ton of hits. He really should have let his songs speak for themselves

The Black Crowes preceded Combs with a set of rock and roll. Singer Chris Robinson announced, in no uncertain terms, how the band had come to rock. Nevertheless, it was hard not to enjoy hits like "Jealous Again" and "She Talks to Angels."

Once again, the very best stuff was found at the Palomino side stage. The day opened with Hayes Carll's funny ,but true songs. Later, the lovely Hailey Whitters, dressed in a pink party dress and sporting a ponytail, sang "Glad To Be Here" and sang it like she really meant it. Accompanied by a second acoustic guitarist, Whitters brought a ton of enthusiasm, talent and just pure joy to her set. Who knows, if there's any justice in this world, she'll headline this festival one day.

Lainey Wilson, who looked a little like a gypsy pirate in her outfit, continues to impress. It's good to have women like her having mainstream country hits.

Although Rhiannon Giddens' set didn't differ much from previous local appearances (all older, pre-radio material), she's just too good to ignore. She's certainly one of the coolest banjo players.

It's tough to find words to describe Yola's set. She's closer to Adele than she is to anything truly country. No matter, though, she's just so darn good! She even covered "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," the old Elton John hit. What a pleasure it was to hear her sing in person!

Oh, and The Mavericks brought the party with colorful, wide variety of musical styles – as always. It felt like backyard pool party, the moment the band hit the stage.

One had to make a hard choice among The Mavericks, Nikki Lane and Cody Johnson, as all were performing about the same time. Choosing Johnson turned out to be a mistake. He did basically the same set he always does, with only the additions of "Human" and "'Til You Can't." For the most part it felt like a rerun. His last few albums have contained a wealth of great material. Please somebody tell him to changeup his setlist.

For the most part, this day involved making choices between the better and the best. Almost no duds. That meant of a lot of walking, but it was walking always worth the trip.

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