Every time I head home from a concert, I usually end up thinking, “this kid is going to grow into a great performer.” That’s usually because, in years past, the show I just saw was a very young Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, or Keith Urban – and more recently a very young Josh Thompson, Jerrod Neimann, Frankie Ballard or Lee Brice. After one of these shows, you usually read a review, where I say things like “he really looked comfortable on stage,” or “this kid knows the meaning of the word entertain.”
On Friday evening, I went to a concert at Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville, Tenn. and the artist I saw most definitely looked comfortable on stage, and there is no doubt she knows the meaning of the word ‘entertain.’ This was not one of our up-and-coming country artists. This is someone I have been listening to since her 1970 debut single, “I’ve Cried (The Blue Right Out of My Eyes)”, peaked at No. 23 on Billboard’s country chart. And, like most country music fans, I’ve been listening to her ever since. The artist was the very talented, very beautiful Crystal Gayle.
Crystal is still touring, and will be off to England next week, where she has shows scheduled at Butlins, Ltd, Centre Stage, Roman Bank in Skegness, United Kingdom, on March 17 and 18. Skegness is a little seaside town in the East Lindsey district of Londonshire, England. I have a lot of readers from England, and know there will be a lot of very anxious country music fans waiting for this concert.
Crystal looked and sounded wonderful, as she took the audience back on a little trip through time, singing not only the songs that made her famous, but country songs from back when country music really was country. We all know that Crystal is Loretta Lynn’s little sister, and most of us who watched Coal Miner’s Daughter know there there were a lot of children growing up in that household. One of those other children, Peggy Sue, added her talent to the show as back-up singer for Crystal, as well as soloist, and comedian. Peggy Sue is definitely a fun person, who added a lot of laughs to the evening. She sang a little of ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter,’ and gave us more than a few bars of “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”, which she wrote for her sister Loretta.
Her very talented band members each had an opportunity to showcase their talent. The pianist was fantastic. The drummer let us all know how good he was with an impressive drum solo. Crystal took the time to introduce the band by name, which I appreciated – but unfortunately, I was not fast enough putting pen to paper to write them all down. They work hard, and the audience was quick to give them the applause they deserved.
Jay Patten (pictured with some of his fans), was awesome on horns and guitar. His vocals were good, too. I found remaining two band members (guitar and bass) to be equally as talented, and as fun to watch. Jay has a CD available, and you can find out more about that by clicking here. If Crystal gets back to this area, I will be in the audience again. This was the first time in her long career that I have ever had the opportunity to see her in concert, and I look forward to having that chance again.Everyone who has been reading Country’s Chatter since it started more than four years ago, knows how I feel about artists who take the time to meet with their fans after the show. You usually find the new artists willing to do that. They are looking for a fan base. And sometimes you will see an artist who has been around for a while signing autographs for several fans through a fence, or at a meet and greet. But Crystal came out to the lobby after the show, and stayed with her fans for as long as it took to make sure everyone got the autograph and picture they wanted. She was more than willing to accommodate even the fans who had 10 or more items they wanted signed.
She’s talented, beautiful, and obviously cares about the people who care about her. She gave the entire audience what they went for…. a well thought-out, well-performed concert, that didn’t have to stop to think about what was coming next. Of course I didn’t talk to everyone who was at the show, but the comments I did hear as people were leaving were all very positive. (Pictured above is Greeneville, Tenn., resident Amanda, who was very happy she got to meet Crystal after the show).
That will do it for now. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Sunday. And, if you get Crystal Gayle coming to a venue near you – do yourself a favor, go to the show!