Last night at our local Fair, we had a doubleheader. Most nights of the fair, you get one great show, last night – we got two. I have so much to say about these acts, and so many pictures to put in, this really is going to take two posts. I’m going to do them in order, and start with our opening act, Jaron and the Long Road to Love. So here begins my Tuesday night at the Appalachian Fair — Part 1.
Jaron has one of those names that, well, all you need is the Jaron part. You don’t need Lowenstein (that’s his last name), and you don’t need “and the Long Road to Love,” because as Jaron pointed out at the show last night, there is now “and the Long Road to Love.” It’s just Jaron. And just Jaron was all we needed. If you missed the last article I had up about Jaron, I hope you will read it. Just click here.
There have been a lot of times over the years that I put up an article about an entertainer who came to perform, and all he had was a guitar and a microphone. Jaron had a little more than that, he also had a keyboard. When an artist does this kind of show, he can’t hide behind back-up singers or other musicians. You are going to hear the vocals and musical talent of that one artist. Sometimes, that means there is a lot of room for criticism. But not this time.
Jaron can definitely sing. He sounded like he does on the recordings. You could close your eyes while he did “Pray For You” and you might think you were actually listening to the radio. When a singer can come out on stage and sing live, and do it that well, he knows what he’s doing.
His singing was good, his guitar and keyboard accompaniment was excellent, and he’s a bit of a comic, too. I loved his humor. And I loved how he made all of us part of the show. I don’t mean we all got up and sang with him – on second thought, we did that, too. But I mean the way he talked to us, told us all about him, about the inspirations for his songs – most of which came from life’s experiences. And of course he reminded us about Evan and Jaron, that would be the band he and his brother had about 12 years ago. They also had a top 15 song on the Billboard chart, “Crazy for the Girl.” I didn’t know the song, it wasn’t country. But a lot of the people in the audience not only remembered the song, but knew it well enough to sing along with Jaron.
He did a short set, before Kevin Fowler’s show. And I have to admit that I was a little annoyed about something. But it all came out okay. There’s a reason I’m sharing this with all of you. When Jaron was done his really good show, he announced that he would be signing autographs in a few minutes, and everyone should come over to say hello and get an autograph. My first thought was “oh no, not again.” I have seen opening acts head straight to the merchandise tent after their set was done. They know there is another entertainer coming up, and they also know that once they invite fans to the autograph table, the next entertainer to take the stage might be performing to half an audience.
I went over and talked to someone who was with Jaron. I would guess it was his road manager, I don’t know for sure. I mentioned that I was very disappointed that Jaron did that, and I wondered why Jaron didn’t say “I’ll be signing autographs as soon as Kevin Fowler is done with his show.” I’m glad I asked. Because they told me that Jaron had a plane to catch, AND, that they had asked Kevin if it would be ok to do that. Kevin agreed.
So, while this came out okay, I have been to shows in the past where it didn’t turn out okay. I have seen upset artists and upset fans, and I guess the whole reason for telling that story is to let any artists who might be reading this to please remember, a little professional courtesy goes a very long way. If you are opening for someone, try your best to schedule the autograph time for after the next artist is done with his show.
To Jaron, thank you for wanting to hang around and sign for your fans, even when you had a plane to catch. To Kevin Fowler, thanks for letting him do that.
As you all might guess, this shutterbug was very busy during the show …. so we’ll let the pictures take over from here.
I will be back a little later to get Part 2 up for all of you. I can’t wait to tell you about Kevin Fowler’s show! So please, come back this afternoon for that one.
I’ve been neglecting my e-mail, but as soon as fair week is over I will get an answer out to all of you who wrote.