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Collin Raye concert

Mike Sudhalter  |  June 21, 2007

You know what I should have said when Rascal Flatts hit the airwaves a few years ago? "Ladies and Gentleman, we're now making our descent into mediocrity. Please turn off your radioes and insert some George Jones, George Strait and Ernest Tubb albums".

I got that idea during the first day of my Nashville trip. I had a long flight from California, and I spent most of it thinking about honky-tonkin' and Opry bloggin'.

Well, guess what? Not all contemporary country music is bad, and Collin Raye is living proof of that. I saw Raye Wednesday night for 1 hour, 20 minutes at our local county fair here in California.

The guy's got some great ballads, and the highlight of the show was hearing the fans sing back the words to "Love Me" back to Raye. He also did a rockin' cover of Rod Stewart's "Hot Legs". I think Raye is a 50's rock singer with a tender ballad side, who just happened to fit into the country category at the right time.

Interesting conversation I had with a fan at the show. This guy mentioned that Raye is just below the level of the superstar artists. I answered back by saying he probably missed his chance for the big time. Not so, said the fan. He told me that Willie Nelson struggled before three songs sent him into the big time. Fair enough.

The only part of the concert that bothered me was the fact that security guards prevented folks from dancing in the aisle. There were a lot of people there, but there was also a lot of space. It wasn't jam-packed.

It's amazing that I'd gone this long without seeing Raye, but I'm glad I got the opportunity to hear his music live. "Little Red Rodeo", written by Phil Vassar is an excellent song as is "One Boy, One Girl".

Hopefully that fan is right, and we'll see Raye back on top of the charts. If he does, it will defy logic, but that's happened before.

:: Posted at 12:51 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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