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Blake Shelton show

Mike Sudhalter  |  August 2, 2007

Let's start with the most surprising part of Blake Shelton's Concert in Turlock, Calif. on Wednesday night.

I don't know what the bigger surprise was - seeing BS' girlfriend, Miranda Lambert show up on stage for the final song of the night. She sang background vocals on "Ol' Red". Or the fact that they only performed one song together. It would have been nice to hear the couple duet on "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma".

I was wondering that maybe we'd get to catch a Tim/Faith moment and see BS propose to Lambert on stage. Maybe another night, but not this one. After all, can you imagine them telling their kids the story, 'I proposed to your mom in beautiful Turlock, Calif. at the county fair'.

When I arrived at the fair, it was standing-room only for the free concert, and the pre-show music playing was Daryle Singletary's second album from 1997. It doesn't feel like it came out that long ago. Wow, time flies.

Then, the DJ from the radio station gets on stage and gets the crowd all excited about the BS Show. Everyone thinks he's coming right out, but then she says 'get ready for Blake Shelton...in 15 minutes'.

In the meantime, I chatted with a factory worker from the Modesto area who works the graveyard shift. He said he should be sleeping, but he wanted to see Blake badly. I think all country artists need to realize the hard workin' people who sacrifice sleep to go to concerts.

Shelton did an excellent concert of mixing old and new songs. Some artists just play as many songs from their new album as possible, but he did old stuff, new stuff and tons of covers. Pretty impressive for an artist that has four albums.

BS told the fans just how much he wanted to come back to Turlock, but "his people back in Nashville" said nobody would come in the middle of the week and that he's too country for this part of California. He went on to tell the screaming audience, that the joke is on the folks back in Music City.

The next part was humorous when he told the crowd to wild applause - "you're hard workin'... hell raisin'...beer drinkin'." Then he said "inbreedin'" and there was almost total silence. Realizing his joke had gone awry, he apologized to the audience later in the set. Everyone knew he wasn't serious, but still it wasn't funny. He should have just stayed with the "positive" country stereotypes, because the crowd was digging that.

But I like how he introduced "Cotton Pickin' Time" by saying "If I'm too country for you, there's no way you're going to like something like this" And then led in with a fiddle intro.

After going to several festival concerts, I have to say that these fair shows are excellent because the artists don't feel like they have to squeeze everything into a little set. If you get a chance to see a rising artist who hasn't attained superstar status yet, check them out at one of these shows because you'll definitely see their versatility and talent.

:: Posted at 2:32 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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