A Word from Cheryl:

Thank you for visiting my Concert Review Blog. I have enjoyed attending, photographing and writing about a variety of concerts over the past several years. I hope that my reviews and photos have made you feel like you were right there with me.

At this time in my life I've taken a step back, looked at what’s truly important and have begun to prioritize my time, energy and resources.

I retired from nursing in 2012 and was then able to be with my aging father, who later passed away in June, 2013.

My family is growing dramatically! We now have eight grandchildren and I take every opportunity to be available to help when needed. I also make sure I carve out plenty of time for my husband so that he knows how important he is to me.

Because of this I don't attend many concerts anymore. I try to be selective in choosing a show and do my best to relax and enjoy the experience. I no longer stress about getting the perfect photo or remembering some occurrence so I can write about it.

If you want to view a collection of some of my favorite photos from the past several years you may find them here:
Cheryl's Pearls Photos - Concerts

Thanks again for visiting my site.

May God Bless,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dierks Bentley & The Travelin' McCoury's - Richmond, VA


Dierks Bentley has a new album coming out June 8 entitled “Up On The Ridge” which is reported to have a more “bluegrass” feel to it.  Dierks co-wrote five of the 12 songs and enlisted artists Tim O'Brien , Alison Krauss, Chris Thile, The Punch Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert, Jamey Johnson, and Del McCoury to assist him.

“I’m a songwriter and a musician; my roots are in acoustic country and bluegrass music,” said Dierks. Bluegrass is very wide ranging, according to Dierks, and it goes from “hard core traditional” to “way out there” – it’s just as diverse as country music.

Dierks is touring smaller venues giving a preview of his new album and I had an opportunity to see him with The Travelin’ McCoury’s at The National in Richmond May 18.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but from the creative opening notes of Rob McCoury’s banjo and Jason Carter’s fiddle leading into Dierks’ “Free and Easy,” followed by a brilliant rendition of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” I knew this was going to be a magical night.  The 2 other Travelin’ McCoury’s: Ron McCoury (mandolin), Alan Bartram (bass) plus Dierks’ band mates Steve Misamore (drums) and Tim Sergent (steel guitar) made up the band for the evening.

Dierks introduced 4 songs from his soon to be released album:  the title cut “Up on the Ridge,” a version of Bob Dylan’s “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)“ “Fiddlin’ Around,” and “Draw Me A Map.”  I found the songs enjoyable, toe tappin’, and meaningful.  I’m counting the days until I can purchase a copy.

Not only did Dierks mix it up by playing several of his hits (see set list) but he and the Travelin’ McCoury’s did some great cover songs. “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam is such a lovely song and they performed it beautifully!  “Midnight Rider” (Allman Brothers Band) started slow but changed pace with a bluegrass tempo adding quite a twist.   Hayes Carll (opening act) was invited back onstage to join them singing “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” by George Strait.  This ended up being a fun sing-along song and had the artists on stage grinning at the enthusiastic audience participation.

Finally Dierks and the Travelin’ McCoury’s closed the show with “Eastbound and Down” (from Smoky & the Bandit – a Jerry Reed cover).  A rousing and fitting finish to an evening packed with extraordinary musicianship.   I couldn’t help but notice how much they appeared to enjoy playing music together; giving a nod at a good performance, yielding the floor for a solo, challenging each other to go faster, laughing and patting one another on the back.  But even more amazing was the speed of their skillful playing and the endurance required to sustain it.

Dierks Bentley has said many times that if he hadn’t discovered bluegrass, he’d never have become a country singer or landed a record deal.   His love for country was kindled by the energy and artistry of bluegrass, and he’s never lost his passion for it.  Personally, I think he’s kindling a brand new interest in bluegrass, Bentley-style.

Set List (The National - Richmond, VA)
* -  selections from the new album "Up on the Ridge"
1.    Free & Easy (with instrumental intro)
2.    Foggy Mountain Breakdown
3.    Fiddlin’ Around *
4.    Feel That Fire
5.    Rovin’ Gambler (traditional bluegrass)
6.    Draw Me A Map *
7.    Lot of Leavin’ Left To Do
8.    Good Man Like Me
9.    Up On The Ridge *
10.    Settle For A Slow Down
11.    Midnight Rider (Allman Brothers Band cover)
12.    Sideways
13.    Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) *
14.    Evangelina
15.    Come A Little Closer
16.    How Am I Doin’
17.    All My Ex’s Live In Texas (George Strait Cover)
18.    Just Breathe (Pearl Jam cover)
19.    What Was I Thinkin’
20.    Eastbound & Down (from Smoky & the Bandit – Jerry Reed cover)

Dierks Bentley Concert photos by CWalker (click to view)

Published : The Star Exponent    Re-Posted: Urban Country Blog

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