Monday, October 27, 2014

Charlie Daniels - Live At Keswick Theatre - A Review

 The Charlie Daniels Band pulled into Glenside and were loaded for bear. I have not seen Charlie since 1981 at the Mann Music Center. There was a local band that opened up for them, The crowd were not really  getting into them, I had never heard of them, but the crowd were there to see the CDB.

  People that had a meet and greet with Charlie did that during the first act's
set. Charlie did his meet and greets in his bus which was neat. Mr. Daniels has always been an outspoken man about his beliefs in Christianity, and his political ideas.  In my short time with him, I was really impressed with him, He is a very kind and sincere man.

   By the time everyone got back inside, The opening act was finished and they were setting up for the CDB which did not take long, and they had brought more than the average rock group to the Keswick, which has it's own PA system. They added a stack of speakers which went almost to the ceiling of the Theatre. They started out loud, I really did not expect him to still be playing full volume at his age, but the band was on full tilt rock, it took a couple of songs to get the sound dialed in. After the sound was right, the band really sounded good. They did the "Wooley Swamp", it sounded just like the record, Charlie's voice sounds just as strong and clear as it did thirty five years ago. His guitar playing sounded better, if anything than before.

  I was unfamiliar with a lot of his new material, as I was really into him in the seventies. He did sing "Long Haired Country Boy", which got the place jumping. He brought the house down with a magnificent version of "How Great Thou Art", starting out with just himself and an acoustic guitar, bringing in the whole band by the end. It was just so beautiful and done so full of meaning, and reverently. The CDB sounds just as good or better than ever.


Monday, October 20, 2014

"Pull Your Savior In" - The Larry Stephenson Band - a review

Well, first off, this band is celebrating their 25th anniversary with this bluegrass/gospel CD. This recording majors on their vocals. Larry Stephenson sings lead, harmony and plays mandolin. Colby Laney sings lead and harmony vocals and plays guitar. Kenny Ingram sings  harmony vocals, plays banjo and some lead guitar on one song. Danny Stewart sings bass vocal on a song and plays acoustic bass.

   Jimmy Fortune, guest artist sings tenor vocal on a song. Aubrey Haynie plays fiddle. David Parmley and Dale Perry sing harmony vocals. Kristen Scott Benson played her first stint on banjo with this group at age 19. She played another stint with them a few years later. This album was produced by Ben Surrat and Larry Stephenson. 

   This is a very well produced CD. The first song is an accapello version of "Amazing Grace."  This is a song that everyone likes, but for some reason, it just does not move me. However, the next two songs "Pull Your Saviour In" and "Come To Jesus Moment" are two sensational gospel songs. I mean, the lyrics, the singing are all great. They kind of just stick with you. There is a good version of the "Great Speckled Bird". Other traditional songs done well are "How Great Thou Are" and "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning". Overall, it is a refreshing gospel album, that does a great balance of gospel and bluegrass. They sound like they are a really good bluegrass group.  This album comes out this week on Oct. 21. You can get a copy at their website or at Amazon.

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