Thursday, 24 May 2012

Suzy Bogguss at the Gala Theatre

Suzy Bogguss 
Gala Theatre, Durham 
Suzy Bogguss was in fine form at the Gala Theatre last night. Relaxed and clearly enjoying herself, she played 90 minutes of Americana, country and folk songs. There was no support act; Suzy appeared on the stage promptly at 8 p.m. with a winning smile and launched into the first two songs. Introducing the third song, she revealed there had been a wager against her speaking to the audience before the first three songs were through and that she’d just lost.

The opening number was Outbound Plane (a song we have also heard played by the writer, Nanci Griffith) and it partly set the tone for the remainder of the fine evening. We were treated to a mixture of popular songs (mostly covers) from various stages of Suzy’s career and a selection of material from her latest CD, American Folk Songbook.

I Still Miss Someone, If You Leave Me Now and Shenandoah were undoubtedly among the highlights of the first half of the show.

Suzy’s band consisted of Charlie Chadwick (bass) and Pat Bergeson (guitar and harmonica). There was plenty of on stage banter between the three of them, reaching a peak around Suzy’s (ultimately abortive) attempts to master the Jew’s harp.

Following a short break after the first 45 minutes, it was back down to business with an equally strong second half, starting with a powerful rendition of Wayfaring Stranger. A little bit of audience participation soon followed (‘Eat At Joe's’) and the show eventually drew to a close in cowboy territory, with talk of sharing TV dinners with Roy Rogers. The story led into the closing number, I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart, complete with authentic yodeling.

An encore swiftly followed in the form of Red River Valley.

It was her first time in Durham (‘a beautiful city’) but she promised to return. Hopefully, we’ll be there to see it happen.

For more information, please visit the Suzy Bogguss website.

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