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From the Country Standard Time Archives

John Anderson belongs with the best of the best

The Crazy Horse Steakhouse, Irvine, Cal., Nov. 10, 2002

By Dan MacIntosh

IRVINE, CA - John Anderson may have opened his early Sunday evening set with "I'm Just An Old Chuck Of Coal," but this hit-filled hour show was almost all diamonds - from start to finish.

His six-piece band is the same group that backs him on the just released "Anthology" album, a collection containing two CDs of his biggest hits. And boy, these solid players certainly looked casual - with Gortex jackets and baseball caps aplenty - and Anderson's voice sounded just as at ease and relaxed throughout the show.

Even an early show problem with his guitar amp didn't get him flustered, as his group played an instrumental version of "Last Date" while his crew fixed it. Such an instrumental break made a lot more sense than did the playing of that old warhorse, "Orange Blossom Special," much later in the show: Especially when Anderson was forced to cram five of his hits - including a shamefully abbreviated "Wild and Blue" - into a five-song medley. Such an instrumental inclusion makes sense in the context of a longer set, but within tonight's shortened format, it stuck out as an extremely poor song choice.

Anderson's best songs made it all worthwhile, however, as he played "Money In The Bank," "Swingin'" "Wish I Could Have Been There" and "Seminole Wind" all in their entirety. That catch in Anderson's voice locked in perfectly with his band's excellent mixture of rock 'n twang, which all added up to a winning musical combination.

With a singer of Anderson's quality, more would have certainly been better. But if the best things in life truly come in small packages, than even John Anderson's short set belongs right up there with the best of the best.