Rhinestone Cowboy at Keith Albee
Tonight’s blog is a diversion from the weather, but I am dedicating it to Glen Campbell and his traveling family troubadours who packed them in at the historic Keith Albee on Thursday night. It is a Farewell Tour for the afable entertainer who is battling Alzheimers disease. With gorgeous daughter Ashley at his side and sons Shannon on acoustic guitar and Cal on drums, a memorable night unfolded thanks to the Marshall Artist Series.
On a quiet weather night, I snuck out when the boss wasn’t watching and played hokey for two hours of musical razzmatazz.
Local fav Tony Ramey, straight from a gig in Nashville, came back to his roots to open for the Rhinestone Cowboy.
Despite a case of the croup, Campbell wowed a near sellout crowd with all his old time classics. His opening number of Gentle on My Mind brought back memories of the Goodtime Hour which thrust Campbell into the national spotlight in the early 70s.
While Campbell can still hit the high note, his ability to pick licks on his acoustical guitar remains uncanny at age 75. At times Glenn and Ashley then Shannon went bar for bar with dad as they strummed for an enthusiastic, make that fanatical crowd.
Campbell admitted his favorite oldie is Galveston, a ballad about a Vietnam soldier fighting for his life away from his sweetheart and native town. It was a gripping song when it came out in the 1970s and still resonates 35 years later. As he played and sang it, the strain on his face told of a man who had a personal story to tell about the war. One can only wonder how the Vietnam War affected Campbell.
The “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” brought on huge cheers before a few new gospel songs were played.
Of course the standing O waited for the Rhinestone Cowboy finale as Campbell walked and played the dirty sidewalks of Broadway on stage.