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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Oak Ridge Boys

Boys Night Out

Review by Gary Hill

While he doesn’t sing a lot of the leads, for my money Richard Sterban is the most distinctive thing about the sound of the Oak Ridge Boys. His bass singing is unique and impressive. That’s on display on this new live set along with a lot of classic Oak Ridge Boys hits. These guys have had a lot of those along the way. That’s for certain. This is a great start for an Oak Ridge Boys collection and should please long time fans, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
You’re the One

As the introduction to the show plays out, one might think it’s about to be a rock show. That’s said, once they launch into the song proper, it’s all Oak Ridge Boys old school country. There is a lot of gospel in this number.

American Made
More of a rocker, this is still traditional country music. I love the slide guitar and the low end vocals just really sell this.
(I’m Settin’) Fancy Free
This old time country ballad is classy. It’s got a bit of a Latin edge to it as far as I’m concerned. Yet, it also feels a little like something Jimmy Buffett might do.
Love Song
More of a pure rock and roll vibe is the order of business here. The piano adds a lot and this is catchy and energetic. There’s an acapella work out mid-track.
Y’all Come Back Saloon
Down home country music, the violin (I guess I should say “fiddle”) on this is a great touch. It’s another strong number.
Sail Away
A mellower cut, this has a more modern sound, too. The vocals land it more in the country style, but in a lot of ways this doesn’t feel that far removed from some mellow jazz.
Dream On
A piano based balladic number, those deep vocals really drive this one. It’s a good tune that works through some shifts and changes. It’s almost more of an arena rock ballad. Of course, that’s only what it would be with different vocals.
This Crazy Love
Another that’s more like rock music, this is also more modern in sound and tone. It’s a good song, but not one of my favorites here.
Trying To Love Two Women
For me, the slide guitar work on this really sells it. I love this piece. It’s more traditional, old school country music and it’s one of the most effective pieces here.
Come On In
Rock music and country are merged with some serious blues and honky tonk here. This is another highlight of the set. It just oozes class and charm.
Make My Life with You
A powerful and evocative piano based ballad, this is another standout. In fact, it might be my favorite song of the whole disc. They include a sans instrumentation section at the end.
Thank God for Kids
Another ballad, this isn’t as strong as the previous tune. That said, it’s still quite cool. The lyrics are classic and it’s a solid number.
Elvira
This is arguably their best known song. It’s a rocking little country tune that’s a lot of fun. They include some audience sing-along in the midst of this thing.
Bobbie Sue
I’d say that this song is more rock and roll than country. It’s a great piece, though. It’s just plain fun.

 

 
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