Thursday, October 24, 2013
The Legendary Loretta Lynn, Live
10 23 13
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
The Thursday Morning
"Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway" Entertainment Review: Loretta Lynn
There was one moment during last night's proceedings that time seemed to reverse - I could envision that we were watching the legendary country queen back during her heyday. Loretta Lynn looked fantastic, and sounded like she was still at the height of her decades-long career (she's currently celebrating 50 years in show business).
A class act through and through, as soon as she walked on stage and hit her first few notes, the crowd was quick to indicate the evening was going to be punctuated with loads of warm applause.
Going back as far as she does, you forget how many iconic songs that remain classics today came from her impressive songbook - not just the one she's most famous for - "Coal Miner's Daughter".
As you might expect, coming from a golden age of superstar entertainers, this was a slick production filled with humour, showcases for the backing musicians, and hit after hit.
At 81, she was only able to do about half the show standing up - but even seated her voice was clear and commanding. Never mind that with over 100 albums to her credit, whenever she asked the audience for requests her and her band were able to zip off into performing those without hesitation.
Like seeing Johnny Cash and June Carter with their family affair show years ago, Ms. Lynn allowed some showcasing for her twin daughters, who helped open the show.
The actual opening act though was up-and-coming Alberta star Brett Kissel, who I have written about here before when he appeared in the lineup for the Calgary flood aid concert Halo High Water.
Despite having a freshly-released album burning up the charts (along with a #1 hit), Kissel chose to respect the audience and performed a number of country classic covers from artists like Kenny Rogers and Kris Kristofferson - which had the crowd singing and clapping along like he was the headliner. Smooth move.
He did play a few appropriate numbers for the audience - hard to choose from when there isn't a bad cut on that new album of his. But he sure seemed to make a connection, especially closing off with a little Canadian country royalty in the late Hank Snow. Even better was when he customized the lyrics with Alberta references...