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Sammy Kershaw, Pam Tillis and David Lee Murphy at Mile One

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Sammy Kershaw, Pam Tillis and David Lee Murphy at Mile One

 

Cred: Shawn Peckford

Cred: Shawn Peckford

Where: St John’s Newfoundland
Where: Mile One Stadium
When: May 8, 2014

Style: Country Western

Score: 8/10

Cred: Shawn Peckford

Cred: Shawn Peckford

For lovers of Country & Western this show had something for everybody. Country music singer, Pam Tillis started the concert at 7:30 with an all-female three-piece band consisting of guitar, fiddle and keyboards.  Pam Tillis is the daughter of Mel Tillis, and made her country debut at the Grand Old Opry at the age of eight.  In her career she has produced twelve albums, and a number-one hit on the country charts, Mi Vida Loca in 1995. Her performance Thursday night was powerful and engaging. Her folksy and down home personality came through with her interaction with the audience.  Tillis was backed up by strong harmonies from fiddle player and singer, Aria Stiles.  Tillis played a few of her more popular tunes such as Cleopatra; Queen of Denial and Shake the Sugar Tree to an appreciative audience.

David Lee Murphy followed with a five-piece band that delivered a house-rocking country performance.  Murphy has four albums to his credit,

Cred: Shawn Peckford

Cred: Shawn Peckford

along with his number-one hit, Dust on the Bottle. In recent years Murphy has spent his days writing songs for Brooks and Dunn, Hank Williams Jr. and Trick Pony. His performance had a country rock sound that really got the audience going.  His second song was accompanied by three drummers that really rocked the house; high energy performances over all, making this Yankee girl feel right at home.  He finished with his number one hit, Dust on the Bottle.

Sammy Kershaw, who hails from Kaplan in southern Louisiana, finished up the show. Kershaw has been compared to the country great George Jones, and performs a style of country known as Honky Tonk . He has ten studio albums, three which have gone platinum.  He performed his number one hit from 1993: She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful to an enthusiastic audience. I enjoyed his music; it harkened back to the days of early country.  I have to say though, after David Lee Murphy’s performance it seemed almost sedate. However, there is something to be said for this type of county which speaks to the common man. His rendition of George Jones’s famous hit:  He Stopped Loving Her Today was a hit with the fans. Kershaw’s performance seemed to pick up energy as the night went on, and he performed a few Johnny Paycheck songs that added a bit of liveliness to what I felt was a slow start from Kershaw.

The crowd was at 80% percent capacity for the stadium, consisting of mostly older folks; some decked out in their C&W gear. There were enough cowboy boots there to shoe a rodeo. The bands themselves had forgone the county duds for regular street clothes, no rhinestones here. All three acts made a great effort to interact with the crowd which was reflected in the warm reception that was given to the country stars by the St. John’s crowd.

Overall, it was a good concert; offering something for everyone. Pam Tillis and David Lee Murphy set the stage for Sammy Kershaw’s offerings of pure county. The St. Johns folks left the show that much richer for seeing these icons of country music who did not fail in representing a rich and varied repertoire  of a music genre that will always have its devout followers.

Review By: C. Egan
Photos: Shawn Peckford

THE SCENe


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