I was expecting great things from this week's show at the Ryman but I have to admit overall it was mixed. We had one superb group, one good group and one group that I expected a better show from.
The one I expected a better show from was IIIrd Tyme Out. I'd never seen them in concert before, but my parents had a few years ago, singing their praises. So, I was really looking forward to hearing them. And yet, I came away a bit...well, dissapointed. I'm not sure whether it was the group or the audience just didn't have any energy. But their set was just OK and really didn't thrill me that much--or the rest of the audience either. The group didn't get a unanimous standing ovation and wasn't asked back for an encore.
I think a large part of that was that freshman group Dailey and Vincent had taken the stage first and had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. In a mere twenty minutes, this group went from unfamiliar newcomer to a new favorite for me. They did gospel, they did acapella and they nearly brought the house down with "More Than a Name on the Wall." Front-lined by Jamie Dailey (who was with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver the past two years) and Darrin Vincent (brother of Rhonda), this group was smooth, professional, polished and fun. The mob around them after the show to buy CDs and have them signed was a huge signal that they'd rocked the house. And the wore orange shirts with orange ties, which immediately gave them two steps up in my book.
Finally, we got Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, who I've seen the past three years. I'd put this show below last year's but above the year before. Last year's show had a dynamic to it that this one didn't quite capture. It was still good, but I did miss Rhonda doing her version of "Jolene" and one of her better songs, "Ghost of a Chance." Both of those are favorites of mine and can never be performed enough live in my estimation. But I guess when you have as long a career and such a reportoire as Vincent, you have the luxury of choosing from a LOT of great songs to make up your set each night. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it...I did. But after being blown away by Dailey and Vincent, the next two acts had a high bar set.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/14/2008 03:16:00 PM