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<<<Album Release Show Review>>>
‘Country Songs From The Heart’ a concert by Don Smythe at ‘A Rolling Stone’ nightclub Christchurch Saturday 7th November 2020.
This concert was an album launch by Don Smythe and he did it in style. The venue is probably the most prestigious in Christchurch and the backing band were a pick of the best. I don’t want to brush off the band as I focus on Don, as they didn’t do what most bands do and just bang out a beat for the singer. This band led by Phil Doublet provided classy backing, one would only get from a pre-recorded track. All live tonight folks!
In addition to the usual line-up we had a steel guitar and dobro plus a top fiddle and mandolin player and very good backing singers. Yes you could have listened to the band on its own, but its job was to support Don and you could not have asked for more. You don’t like to liken local artists to some famous singer but given the laid back beat the excellent piano and fiddle along with Don’s soothing, low at times voice, one could be forgiven to thinking they were at a modern Jim Reeves concert.
Don performed 21 songs in 3 sets. The first set were old catchy songs. The 2nd set slower songs and the final set, more well-known classics.
The song choices contained the expected classics like Merle Haggard, but there were some original songs and some eclectic numbers with a special tribute to a grandson present in the N.Z. Army while serving, deployed in Iraq.
After years singing country songs, you can be forgiven for sitting down playing guitar and singing. It actually suited Don and relaxed the audience more. It must have, cos they were singing along and dancing at times. All songs got a good applause.
Don has been around the country scene for some time and led a local music club, but this concert and the new album, albeit late in life, will now elevate Don to a higher level. The CD is superb with recording and production standards up with the best. A must for all country fans. I could say the same about the concert, but you’ll be lucky to get to a better performance than that, unless he repeats it. Thanks for a great show Don. Your country songs were from the heart.
Gavin Marriott, retired Music Promoter
Gavin Marriott JP, Riccarton 0274483224.
FOOT NOTE ***ALBUM RELEASE SHOW***
It was not a sell out, but it was a full house.
Something so very special and magical happened last night, at the Album launch show.
The venue and friendly staff, atmosphere, very receptive audience, brilliant band and special supporting Guest Artists plus all involved helping in the show all combined to make this show, one to remember.
To me, it was one of those types of shows you dream about happening, but seldom ever achieve, but last night's show just literally soared into a realm of it's own, judging by the many very positive compliments received at the show and the full house STANDING OVATION of applause at the end of the Show's Finale song
It was simply an awesome night of just plain good old Country Music Entertainment.