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ROLLING BACK THE YEARS
Anniversaries and Birthdays...
On the second Thursday of last month in Sydney, the CANTERBURY COUNTRY show celebrated its seventh birthday with a packed house at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club and with another fantastic line-up of guest artists, dancing, a rousing finale and of course, cake! Why do I mention a live show in the technology column? Well, apart from the obvious reason (disclaimer: I produce the show), on the World Wide Web you can scroll and stroll, month by month, through a seven year archive of photos from every single concert.
Some of the events featured even include some tantalising short video clips for you to watch (like the one below). Pictured above are some of the birthday guests along with yours truly and the Hillbilly Heaven band. L to R: Terry Phillpot, Roger Corbett, Drew McAlister, Stuie French, Allan Tomkins, Tomi Graso, Camille Te Nahu, Jayne Denham, Bob Howe, Doug Boyd, and Nicki Gillis.
Until next time, happy surfing!
|George Jones has been around a great deal longer, as evidenced by the new DVD 2-Disc set - GEORGE JONES & FRIENDS - 50TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE CONCERT. This was originally a television special in 2004, recorded for the PBS Soundstage program, which marked his 50th year as a recording artist and was hosted by Reba McEntire. In TV fashion, Reba's introductions are strangely detached from the live concert that makes up the show and sadly she doesn't perform. If ever there was a female equivalent to the vocal style of George Jones it must surely be Reba; a great opportunity missed there. However, the concert is brilliant, with a line-up that includes standout performances by Emmylou Harris, Tanya Tucker, Trick Pony and Alan Jackson, to name but a few. George sings two solo songs and also duets with Randy Travis, Shelby Lynne, Wynona and the wonderful Connie Smith. George is 75 years old now and understandably no longer has the golden voice of his youth, but he has refined the art of making the best of his vocal abilities, much the same as he does with his hairstyle! All twenty guest stars on this DVD proclaim him as the greatest living country singer and he closes the concert with perhaps the greatest country song, He Stopped Loving Her Today. In 2003, when he sang that song at the Grand Ole Opry, I sat in the audience and cried…you will too. Long live the king!
New West NW8040 (via Shock in Australia)
113 Mins plus extras
The backing band on the George Jones tribute consists of many of the A-Team players from the Nashville studio scene and they handle the classic songs with incredible finesse and taste. Many of the same players appear alongside A-Team members of the sixties and seventies on the recent double CD release Last Of The Breed by WILLIE NELSON, MERLE HAGGARD and RAY PRICE. It is encouraging to hear the uncluttered music and arrangements enhancing the songs and lyrics, and to know that modern studio technology can be used for good instead of evil.
Merle and Willie also make an appearance on LAST MAN STANDING: LIVE by JERRY LEE LEWIS. This is a hybrid CD/DVD release that includes a DVD of 23 live duets that follows on, but rarely duplicates his last studio album of the same name. The CD holds eight audio tracks which are not duets. Filming for the DVD includes concert performances, live studio sessions and, perhaps the best and most revealing, two intimate lounge room style numbers with Merle Haggard. For the bulk of the show, the 71 year old Jerry Lee Lewis sits at the piano like an elder statesman, playing in his own inimitable style and singing up a storm while guests roll in and out, paying homage and looking truly honoured to be sharing the spotlight with the 'killer'. The concert band suffers slightly from a little too much spontaneity and an overabundance of guitar players, but the overall show is fun to watch. John Fogerty and Tom Jones show great presence while Nora Jones is somewhat overshadowed. Although he saves his customary overturning of his piano seat to the very end, Jerry Lee may well be the Last Man Standing!
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Barbara Morison on 2SER (107.3 FM in Sydney and on the Web)
and listen for Big Bob from Bondi every Saturday night with
John Nutting on Saturday Night Country (your Local ABC Radio and the Web).
© 2007 Bob Howe - ShowNet