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LeVox offers a real treat

The Troubadour, West Hollywood, Cal., May 22, 2023

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Gary LeVox (whether with or without Rascal Flatts) is one of country music's most distinctive voices. Whenever his voice comes over the radio, you know right away it's him.

LeVox headlined a Monday night at The Troubadour, and it was surprising to see the venue only three quarters full. This just shows you the value of branding and a band name because Rascal Flatts is a large theater act. It was a shame, too, because diehard fans got a chance to hear some of that trio's best-known songs in a small venue and from the very voice that made them famous. If LeVox was disappointed by the relatively small turnout, however, you couldn't tell from his demeanor. He was in great spirits, often joking with patrons up against the stage and rewarded these fans with a strong show.

When Rascal Flatts first came on the scene, some saw these good-looking young men as a sort of country answer to the boy band trend at the time. Over the years, though, this act grew and matured into something far more substantial than mere pretty faces. Power ballads like "Bless the Broken Road" certainly connected with listeners, both young and old. You might quibble with LeVox's country music credentials, as his (and his band's) music often leans too closely to pop music. However, it's hard to resist a song like "Backwards," which expands upon the old joke about what happens when you play a country song backwards. You get your house back and all that. The backwoods vibe of "Banjo," which incorporates plenty of actual banjo instrumentation, is also a fun workout. Furthermore, many can relate to the nostalgia presented in "Mayberry." Many miss the kinds of lives presented to us in that old black and white sitcom.

With a voice like LeVox's, we gladly give him a lot of grace style-wise, though. He's just such an enjoyable vocalist. He sang superbly throughout, whether he was performing the hits or jumping along with a cover of Van Halen's "Jump." It's questionable if country fans can even name the other two Rascal Flatts guys, so one expected a much better turnout for this gig. LeVox closed the night with "Life Is A Highway," which turned into a joyful singalong, which included opener Ben Gallaher joining in on the festivities with some singing and a lead guitar solo.

Gallaher opened the show accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He appeared to be a rocker at heart, but when he sang "Till It's Yours," which was inspired by driving through a small town that wouldn't mean much to outsiders, but is everything to those that live there, he proved he could write a fine country song. You've just got to give it to anyone that can hold a crowd's attention with just an acoustic guitar and a singing voice.

Those that came out to The Troubadour to see LeVox got a real treat. If he comes through your town, just be smart and go.

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