What a wonderful day! It started out really warm with showers of rain here and there. Around 2p.m. it came a real downpour for just a few minutes. With the rain came much cooler air and by show time it was the perfect sit outside evening! The Band showed up pretty early and we got in a sound check before all going over to the Mexican Restaurant for a nice sit down dinner.
The Salty Dogs are Brad Williams on electric and acoustic guitars and lead vocals, Nick Devlin on lead guitar, vocals and harmony, Brent Lebeau on the upright and vocals and Bart Angel on the drums and vocals. For the last twelve years they’ve been perfecting those licks and harmonies to get to our stage, and they put on a show!!
Their first set was a great mix of covers and an original or two slipped in there. They opened with a rousing “Nine Pound Hammer”, and the crowd immediately knew they were in the right place. Their country came out with a great twangy version of “Sweet Heart of Mine” with a great slide lead by Nick (from Scotland, for real) Devlin. Brad followed with a sad country song, “This Honky Tonk Living is Gonna Drive Me to Drinking”. The crowd really showed some appreciation with hooting and hollering!
They settled things down some when The Salty Dogs did the Johnny Cash hit, “I Still Miss Someone”. They did a great cover of the Stanley Brothers tune, “How Mountain Girls Can Love”, and the crowd loved it. They did a exceptional job on a real sad song, “Long Black Veil”, performed a capella to begin and eased into some great guitar work, then back to a capella; the crowd really responded with applause and shouts. They picked up the pace with a fine version of “Do You Love Me Like You Used To”, which had a great lead guitar solo by Nick.
Brad brought out an original called “My Blood Runs Cold” about the prison and justice systems, and our folks gave it a warm response. After a band introduction, they broke into a swing tune that I’m calling “Must Be Jelly”, where they took it down for some great solos from Bart, Nick, and Brent. They moved back into known territory for our crowd with the beautiful “Silver Wings”, and right on schedule, the sun set to the west. Another Merle tune – “Working Man Blues” – got the crowd to tapping their feet. They closed their set with some gospel, a medley of “God So Loved the World”, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, “Uncloudly Day” and “I Saw the Light”.
During the intermission, Brad did a little merchandising, and the rest of the boys visited with friends old and new. You never know who you might run into when you visit the Front Porch.
The band got the second set started with a country rock tune called “Look Me Up” that had the crowd rocking. Nick Devlin took the lead vocals in a country blues shuffle “They Call Me Dr. Brown” and ripped some great blues licks, which got a great response for his solos. They stayed in the pure country vein that included the song “Starting Now”, a great original that Brad took to Nashville. The crowd gave an early approval for the rocker “Little Sister”, and as the end of the show neared, they got a great response for another original, “It Takes One”, a really fine love song. They wrapped up their evening with a tune about preachers bashing rock and roll with “Shout It Out”, A cover of the ‘Stones “We All Need Someone We Can Lean On” which got the crowd rocking, and they finished with a real country rocker “You’re Never Gonna Slow Me Down”.
The Salty Dogs, performing live on a beautiful summer evening on the courthouse lawn in Mt Ida, Arkansas, on a Saturday night – what a treat!
Thanks Everybody for coming out for this great band!