By Twyla Twang
Photos by Jay Douglass
Dec. 11, 2017
The “Tall Tales and the Truth” tour had four stops: Denver, Washington DC, New York City and right here in Lincoln on Friday at the Rococo Theatre.
According to Kip Moore, he and Randy Rogers had been “cooking up this idea for a while”, pitched it to Wade Bowen they made it happen. The show began with the last-minute addition Kenton Bryant who warmed up the full house with a heartfelt and strong set. Bryant is so new to the scene he has yet to have any music released, but odds are you’ll be hearing plenty more of this talented young man in the future.
Three stools, three guitars and two wooden barrels between them sat on the stage for this stripped-down, acoustic showcase. The light-hearted banter shared between Moore, Rogers and Bowen started with a game of rock/paper/scissors to determine who would perform first. Rogers “lost” and began the set with his “Meet Me Tonight” off The Randy Rogers Band’s Nothing Shines Like Neon.
Moore was up next with “Sunburn”, sounding like the great song it is when done acoustically. Bowen followed up with “God Bless This Town” and high harmonies from Moore and Rogers sweetened the sentimental ode to hometowns. The three of them traded off songs with more jokes and teasing between numbers for the rest of the evening. The highlight for this lady was their “Hag Team”; Bowen and Rogers covering Merle Haggard’s “It’s Been a Great Afternoon”; trading verses and joining voices for the choruses.
These three young troubadours seemed to have the most fun during their “Best Wedding Song Contest”. Rogers performed the Stephony Smith-penned “It’s Your Love” made famous by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Moore’s entry to the contest was “Hey Pretty Girl” and Bowen’s contribution was “Who I Am”. Randy Rogers led the applause meter for each song and the clear winner was Bowen.
Y’all remember the joint “Uncle Ron’s”? Yes, Ron Tegtmeier himself came down to the stage with three shots for his friends, allowing everyone to toast to Uncle Ron. More songs, more bantering, more fun followed. Moore brought out an oversized big red Husker hand for a good-natured rub to the Cornhuskers: “it’s been awhile since y’all’s glory days”, holding while he sang his crowd-pleasing hit “Backseat”.
All three artists acknowledged their gratitude to the audience for coming out, spending time and money and supporting their music. The house music send us on our way to “Happy Trails”, an appropriate and accurate send off.
Twyla Twang is the host of HonkyTonk Heroes, which airs every Friday from 9 to 10 p.m. on KZUM. Listen to archived episodes.