It's probably why I enjoy shows like Canadian Idol & American Idol. I love feeling like one of the first people to enjoy this fresh, untapped talent, and promote it in my circle of friends. This Blog has become a great vehicle for me to discuss new music that I love - and that I want you to love, too.
So here we go again!
On Saturday night, I had the pleasure of taking in the Randy Travis concert at the Civic Centre. My taste in music is wide & diversified, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that I have a bit of a soft-spot for Mr. Travis. Hearing his voice takes me back to Sunday drives when I was a kid, with my mom & dad up front, and all three of us kids in the backseat. We had exactly four tapes to listen to - Gail Gavan, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, and Randy Travis. The only ones my dad would tolerate as we toured the back roads of the Pontiac, looking for deer and singing at the top of our lungs.
When I hear songs from any of those four albums, I still know the words off by heart.
So yes, I was looking forward to seeing Randy Travis in concert for the first time, and hearing all those old favourites from my childhood.
What I wasn't expecting was to be absolutely blown away by his opening band, The Higgins. From the moment they took the stage with a beautiful acapella version of "Factory Girl", I was captivated by Kathleen, Eileen, and John Higgins, siblings from Delta, B.C.
Their music was country, infused with a Celtic flavour, and the blend of their three voices together was pure magic. Their set lasted for about an hour, as they played songs from their new album The Real Thing. I haven't been listening to much country radio lately, but apparently they're getting air time on Y101, so you may already be familiar with them.
If you're not, check them out at http://www.higginsmusic.com/ - you won't regret it! I forked out $20 for their CD, and I've become a big fan in just a matter of days. I just love them.
Now, after enjoying the opening act so much, I was afraid Randy Travis wouldn't be able to compare, but I needn't have worried. He kicked things off with the ever-popular "Diggin' Up Bones", and never stopped the whole night through. Highlights for me were "I Told You So", "Three Wooden Crosses", and a fun sing-along to "King of the Road". We were also treated to some of his new songs from his current album, Around the Bend, and I particularly enjoyed "Dig Two Graves" and "Everything I Own Has Got a Dent". Of course, what would a Randy Travis show be without "Forever and Ever Amen"? He closed the show with his signature hit, and the crowd loved every second of it.
Speaking of the crowd... I have never been to a show where so many people had to be helped to their seats. There were walkers and canes and wheelchairs galore. The most popular hair colour was white. Hardly anybody stood up, and hand clapping was about as lively as it got in the seats. Kristen, Luke & I were clearly amongst the youngest fans in attendance. Yet it didn't put a damper on the concert at all. Just glancing around, I could see the enjoyment on everyone's faces, young and old, and Randy Travis is quite an entertainer. His jokes between songs were funny, even to us, and his on-stage banter with the crowd was fresh and amusing.
Interesting how on the same stage, I found both a new act and an old favourite, equally enjoyable in completely different ways. Thanks to The Higgins and Randy Travis, it was well worth the admission price!