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Monday, July 6, 2009

The veterans got overshadowed by the Trailer Choir


CONCERT REVIEW: Blake Shelton, Bucky Covington & Trailer Choir

Greeley Stampede

Greeley, Colorado

July 4, 2009

How the hell did I end up at a hardcore country concert at a rodeo in Greeley, Colorado on July 4? Well, sometimes the road trip takes us to unexpected places. And so it was that we sat among hundreds of country hat-wearing rednecks to take in a show by Blake Shelton and Bucky Covington.

I don’t know any of Shelton’s songs, but he put on a decent show. The highlight was when he brought out Miranda Lambert, of “Gunpowder & Lead” fame, for a duet. It’s hard to believe that someone like Lambert would make the trip all the way to Greeley just to appear on one song. And it wasn’t even a true duet – she only sang harmony!

Unfortunately for Shelton, Lambert’s appearance overshadowed his show, because many of us in attendance would’ve preferred to watch Lambert perform instead.

Opener Bucky Covington brought plenty of energy to the stage but relied too heavily on material that was not his own. Dude, you’re supposed to get the crowd to sing along to your songs, not the covers! But he was once a contestant on American Idol – I guess performing covers is in his blood.

The best act I witnessed was one that performed outside the rodeo on the free stage - a six-person ensemble known as Trailer Choir, featuring a rocker frontman, a hottie chick on harmony vocals and a 380-pound overall-wearing harmony vocalist who dances around like a madman. At first they appeared to be a novelty act, singing songs like “Beer Gut,” about dating a woman and not caring that “she’s rocking the beer gut.”

But they quickly showed plenty of substance. The huge guy can really sing, and so can the girl, nicknamed Fergie McClampet, who shined on a country-fied remake of “I Will Survive.” The band performed several tracks they wrote themselves, such as “What Would You Say,” about the mining accident in Sago, West Virginia in 2006.

This group reminded me an awful lot of a Pittsburgh band called the PovertyNeck Hillbillies. That group had all the potential in the world but signed with a tiny record company, then their album fizzled and they broke up. Trailer Choir are signed to Toby Keith’s label, so that should give them enough cred to break through and become stars. Based on what I saw, they’re worthy of that accomplishment.

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