Clint Black - Alabama

By James Bickers

As I grow older, I find the list of this I have sworn never to do growing shorter, as one by one I wind up doing things I swore I never would. Chief among these has been attending a country music concert. Believe it or not, I was pleasantly surprised.

Clint Black and Alabama were were one of the big shows this year at the Kentucky State Fair and it was my first exposure to live country music. I'm used to heavy-metal crowds, to whom the band on stage might as well be a record playing behind well-trained marionetters. Country fans actually stay in their seats and listen to the music! It was one of the most respectful crowds I've ever seen.

Clint Black was the opening act and he was fabulous. Not only is a great songwriting but his stage show went off flawlessly. The sound mix was perfect; you could actually hear the his acoustic guitar. I was also impressed with the bassist, who played a five-string fretless and threw in some amazing be-bop and funk bass lines.

However, Alabama left a a lot to be desired. Something seemed to be missing from the start; perhaps it was the fact that almost the entire show was one big medley. I can remember only a few songs they played from start to finish. It left me feeling like was listening to a "greatist hits" sample from some of their finest moments, not a real concert. Furthermore, it ended in a very bizarre medley, going from "You Really Got Me" to "Black Magic Woman." Needless to say, Carlos Santana was not there.

Despite the bad taste Alabama left in my mouth, the whole experience was a very postive one, and it left me wanting to hear;more of Clint Black.