Friday, January 22, 2010

Musical Freight Train

Category: Concert Review

In over a dozen years of attending bluegrass shows at the Shepherdsville Country Music Place, the January 22 Dailey and Vincent show is the first time I have ever walked into a venue already three-fourths full -- some 75 minutes before the show. The early arrivals, in addition to getting a coveted seat for the concert, were treated to two songs in the sound check: "The Class of '57," the classic Statler Brothers song, and an a cappella rendition of "Get Down on Your Knees and Pray."

When the sound check raises goose bumps there is quite an expectation. Forgive the cliche, but Dailey and Vincent did not disappoint. They took the stage five minutes early like a musical freight train heading full-throttle toward the audience, and they did not slow down until after "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," which was their seventh song into the show.

Former Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver lead/tenor singer Jamie Dailey and former Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder mandolinist Darrin Vincent (younger brother of Rhonda Vincent) teamed up in 2007, and since then they have been bowling over the bluegrass world the way they mesmerized the capacity crowd in Shepherdsville. Eight IBMA Awards (including back-to-back Entertainer of the Year trophies) later, they are the hottest act in bluegrass -- and for very good reason. In the finest tradition of old-time performers, Dailey and Vincent combine fine harmonies, good music, superb song selection, and a healthy dose of comedy to provide a very entertaining show. And entertain is exactly what they did, to the point where they took a ten-minute intermission almost under duress.

Dailey and Vincent (center) singing
with band members Jeff Parker (l)
and Christian Davis

As with both of their former bosses, a number of gospel songs were performed throughout the show, highlighting the new totally a cappella release Singing From the Heart. Additionally, they performed several Statler Brothers tunes to promote the forthcoming release Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers, which will be available beginning February 1 at Cracker Barrel stores.

The duo received a number of standing ovations during the show, including for their spine-tingling rendition of the Statlers' "More Than a Name on a Wall." After finishing with "Don't You Want to Go to Heaven When You Die," they were called back for an encore. Before closing the show, Dailey quipped, "Phew. It's pretty tiring when you sing for yourself."

The band has already been well-received in bluegrass circles, but there is no telling where they will go from here. Based on their superlative performance Friday night, each and every accolade they receive will be more than deserved.

No comments: