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King puts heart in trad country

The Troubadour, West Hollywood, Cal., September 14, 2022

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Randall King gave a very physical performance, charging all around the small Troubadour stage. He may be playing clubs right now, but he gave the undeniable impression he's ready for stadiums -- now. Accompanied by a band that included a steel guitarist, King fulfilled his early promise of turning this historic rock music venue into a honky tonk for the night.

King had his small, but loyal audience singing along with "Mirror, Mirror," and raved it up for "She Gone." He had to laugh when a fan up front threw a few dollar bills at him during "Hard Way to Make it Rain." King's backing band was just as mobile as he was and proved that traditional country needn't be dull. Many neo-traditional artists prefer to just stand and sing, but King and group put their bodies, as well as their voices and instruments, into it.

King is primed to follow in Cody Johnson's footsteps as the next Texas phenom to breakthrough to the mainstream. In fact, he called one titled "Can't You Feel How That Sounds" as his best attempt at creating a hit country hit song. King prefaced it by stating how he and his players must leave loved ones behind whenever they tour, which is always hard on the heart.

Jon Stork, who opened the show, sang the touching "Windmill In The Dark," an encouragement to those that may feel underappreciated. Much like King, Stork plays and sings with plenty of enthusiasm. This made for the perfectly appropriate double bill.

One of King's encores was "Hey Moon," which he dedicated to his late sister. He sang it reverently and got a little choked up when he introduced it. It added sincere heart to this oftentimes rambunctious evening of fine country music.

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