CENTER STAGE: Legends shine at casino

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of seeing two outstanding country music legends - Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis - in concert Saturday, Sept. 8, at Mill Bay Casino’s Deep Water Amphitheater in Manson.

The duo, on their “Grits and Glamour” tour, are proof that traditional country music is alive and well.

Throughout the 90-minute show, the duo alternated through a repertoire of their hits including “Maybe it Was Memphis,” “Something in Red,” “Don’t Tell Me What to Do,” “What Part of No,” “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial,” “Good as I Was To You,” “Shake the Sugar Tree,” “A Picture of Me,” “Mi Vida Loca,” “Watch Me,” “Spilled Perfume,” and more before a nearly fully audience.

Both being daughters of a country music legend (Tillis is the daughter of the late Mel Tillis, and Morgan is the daughter of the late George Morgan), it was only fitting for the duo to perform a medley of their father’s hits including “Burning Memories” and “Candy Kisses.”

While they each talked extensively about their father’s success and practically growing up at the Grand Ole Opry, they announced they would sign autographs after the show because that’s what their father’s used to do.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening was when Morgan performed a cover of her late husband Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”

Nearly as soon as she began singing the first line the audience broke into full applause.

Nearing the end of their performance they stepped it up with a unique version of Ricky Skaggs’ “Country Boy” and John Denver’s “Thank God I’m A Country Boy.”

Throughout their concert they fed off of each other’s energy, cracking small jokes and sharing stories about some of the crazy things they’ve encountered while signing autographs.

It was also nice to see the two of them taking turns to sing their hits, while the other would sing back up harmonies.

Before their encore number, many fans had already flocked to the merchandise table in the back of hall, eagerly awaiting a photo op and autograph with the duo.

It seems so many concert nowadays will have one artist open, then another perform. This type of situation often involves long waits in between acts as stage and sound crews strike the set.

Their band was comprised of well seasoned musicians playing acoustic guitars, fiddles and keyboards.

Percussion, however, was notably missing especially on up tempo songs.

But the acoustic feel was a nice change from a traditional concert.

If given a chance to hear the duo together - or individually - in the future, I would definitely recommend it.

On a final note, 2013 Brewster High School graduate Allie Burgett is among 30 singers across the U.S. vying for a chance at singing the national anthem at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in early December.

Brock Hires is managing editor for The Chronicle. He can be reached at 509-826-11110.

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