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Mike Ireland treat fans to authentic country at its best

Mojo's, Columbia, MO, June 7, 2002

By Robert Wooldridge

COLUMBIA, MO - Though Mike Ireland and Holler deserve to be playing larger venues it was evident that front man Ireland enjoys the intimacy of playing small clubs.

It was a nice sized crowd that turned out for Ireland, particularly when considering that Columbia is a college town and that a large segment of the population is gone for the summer. Hailing from Kansas City Ireland frequently plays Columbia and has established a considerable following for his Mojo's performances.

When Ireland and Holler hit the stage it was pure country. They started with a few tunes from their latest album "Try Again" before mixing in some covers and songs from 1998's "Learning How to Live."

Ireland was immensely likeable onstage. He comfortably chatted between songs, and at one point jokingly chastised a group on the dance floor that appeared to be forming a line dance during the song "House of Secrets."

Musically the band was guided by the tasteful licks of lead guitarist John Horton, with Ireland on bass, longtime bandmate Dan Mesh on rhythm guitar, and former One Fell Swoop drummer Spencer Marquart.

Ireland seemed to enjoy himself most when he got a chance to cover songs from such heroes as Ray Price ("For The Good Times"), Charlie Rich ("Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs") and Don Gibson ("Legend In My Time"). He closed the show with a sincere and effective rendition of "Harper Valley PTA."

Mike Ireland and Holler once again treated their fans in Columbia to a night of authentic country music at its best.

Slobberbone's opening set began with a fair amount of twang but soon the banjo gave way to electric guitar, and the bulk of the set was rock. The crowd responded well and seemed to particularly enjoy the somewhat sarcastic delivery of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," as well as "Lazy Guy" and "Give Me Back My Dog."

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