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,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rodney Atkins at Celebrate Virginia Live in Fredericksburg, VA September 9, 2011

I must confess I was a little leery of attending a concert at the Celebrate Virginia Live venue in Fredericksburg, VA after an August earthquake rocked the area followed by Hurricane Irene with torrential rains that washed away roads and left many in the area without power for days.  But that Friday we saw the first rays of sunshine in over a week so my daughter-in-law and I decided to venture forth.  True, there were some muddy spots where we had to step gingerly but all in all the outdoor venue was in good shape and it was great to get out of the house.

Rodney Atkins appeared to be thrilled to be in Virginia.  He told us to think of ourselves hanging out in his front yard while he played guitar and sang from his front porch.  In fact it actually felt like that’s exactly what we were doing! 

With his humble charm and no-nonsense style he immediately put the audience at ease as he sang his newest release “Farmer’s Daughter.”  He knelt down several times to converse with fans closest to the stage and hand out guitar picks.   He confessed that he’s not worried about conforming to the “norm” which may be why he doesn’t win a lot of awards but he unashamedly puts God, family and friends first in his life (and that ranks him high in MY book).

Atkins continued to perform a number of his hits: “It’s America,” “About The South,” “Friends with Tractors,” and he even covered a few songs to the delight of the crowd – “Good Ol’ Boys” (Waylon Jennings), “Much Too Young (Too Feel This Damn Old)” (Garth Brooks), and “Back on the Road Again,” (Willie Nelson).  It was obvious Atkins and his band mates were enjoying themselves.

Atkins continued to maintain the momentum by saving some of his best songs (in my opinion) for last: “Take a Back Road,” “Cleaning This Gun,” “These Are My People,” and “Watching You.”  Atkins invited the cutest little 5 year old girl on stage to sing along on the chorus of “Watching You” as the audience cheered and applauded her effort.

With the anniversary of 9/11 only two days away, Atkins closed with a fitting tribute to the military by singing “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows).”

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Roots & Boots with Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw, & Joe Diffie


The Roots and Boots Concert Tour is all about getting back to the “roots” of country music and, as Aaron Tippin says, restoring camaraderie among musicians which he says there’s too little of these days.  Aaron Tippin is joined by Sammy Kershaw and Joe Diffie as they tour around the country sharing stories and singing their songs together on stage.

I had the opportunity to see them at the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, VA on Thursday, September 1st.   I was curious to see the nature of the crowd.  As expected there were several old timers in attendance but there was a surprising number of young people there as well.  In fact a pre-teen sat behind me and sang along to practically every song.  It just goes to show you that traditional country music is timeless.

There was a lot of lighthearted banter on stage.  Sammy Kershaw was the main perpetrator but Aaron Tippin and Joe Diffie had their fair share.   Between all the jokes and chatter they each took turns singing some of their greatest hits.

After Sammy Kershaw sang his number one hit “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful” he laughed about never making it to number one on two other songs because Tracy Lawrence kept edging him out.  I don’t think the crowd cared – they seemed to enjoy singing along to “Cadillac Style,” “Queen of My Double Wide Trailer,” and “Third Rate Romance.” 

As for Joe Diffie, he struck me as a humble and talented musician who thoroughly loves playing music.  With a twinkle in his eye he sang “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox,” Pickup Man,” “Third Rock From the Sun,” “John Deer Green,” and “Home,” to name a few.

Aaron Tipping received a standing ovation for “Where the Stars and Stripes and The Eagles Fly” as he honored the military.  The crowd also enjoyed “You’ve Got To Stand For Something,” “Kiss This,” “There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with the Radio,” “Workin Man’s Ph.D.” and “My Blue Angel.”

I wish them the best as they travel the country as ambassadors of traditional country music, courageously sharing the stage and the limelight with fellow artists.  We, the fans, are the true benefactors.