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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Highwaymen review

The Highwaymen rode into the Village last night and carried the audience away. Michael Moore, Bob Gill, Philip Bauer and their band of merry men appeared on the Woodlands Auditorium stage as their alter egos – Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, and amazed their viewers with their high level of musicianship and emotion. These three musicians match the styles, voices and mannerisms of the stars they pay tribute to. All of them have long-standing experience individually, but their talents have come together in a perfect blend to create this stellar performance.

From the touching ballad “Always On My Mind” to the spirited and witty “A Boy Named Sue”, the group and their back-up band played a huge body of songs, delighting the audience and receiving heavy applause for each song. As their final number ended, the listeners rose to their feet and were treated to a terrific encore for their enthusiasm.

The most striking aspect of their performance was the emotion they brought out by each number. If you closed your eyes you could feel the lyrics carry you off. Especially touching was Waylon’s recognition of our veterans when he sang his rendition of “America”, which he has performed at the Grammy awards.

The back-up players must be mentioned for their obvious talent and great sound. Big John Condiff added just enough bass guitar and Marcus Hurst kept the drums at just the right level. Lead guitarist Doc Peters, a real virtuoso, was featured by the Highwaymen several times in solo parts, as was keyboard man Scott Keys, who was described as “crazy” - he was a crazy good piano and midi player.

The house had over 400 people attending on Tuesday night, and when word gets out, I expect there will be packed houses for the next three performances. I highly recommend attending this show. It is exciting, emotional, reminiscent, and a good value – they played for 2 and a half hours!

This concert is a part of the Hot Springs Village Concert Association’s 2013/2014 concert series. There will be three more performances on the evenings of November 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available on line, and at the door for cash or checks. Y’all come – this is one really great concert.

This review is courtesy of Melissa H. Sonnen, a member of the Hot Springs Village Writers' Club and the HSV Players.

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