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From the Country Standard Time Archives

Kersh: if only the material matched the showmanship

Washington County Fair, Richmond, R.I., Aug. 12, 1998

By Michael Sudhalter

RICHMOND, R.I. - "The Faster I Go" sings an energetic David Kersh as he opens his hour-long show at the Washington County Fair. The truth is that the "slower he goes," the more Kersh breaks away from the dozens of other indistinguishable HNC acts.

The success that Kersh has achieved thus far in his career has been built largely on ballads and the occasional mid-tempo song. His voice combined with his intimacy with the crowd, made "Goodnight Sweetheart," "Another You" and his impressive, countrified version of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" audience favorites.

There is nothing wrong with Kersh's uptempo songs. They work especially well in concert. In order to establish himself as a significant recording artist in Nashville, Kersh must cut more uptempo songs like the classic "Hello Walls" instead of silly, made for HNC radio tunes like "Things Your Daddy Wouldn't Want Us To Do."

The most impressive of the covers performed by Kersh were George Strait's "Overnight Male." A rock medley, a fixture at Kersh concerts, did a good job of picking up the pace. "Sweet Home Alabama" was approriate for a country concert and Kersh did a decent job with the popular southern rock song.

Less impressive tunes within the medley were "Walk This Way" and "Play That Funky Music," having no place in a country music concert. If Kersh wants to succeed he must establish himself as a a country artist first. While the medley may be entertaining, it is somewhat silly and even a little self deprecating to Kersh.

Kersh definitly has the showmanship and charisma required to be a top performer in Nashville. Now if only the material he chooses to record could match his showmanship, Kersh could leave the rest of the HNC pack in the dust.