Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Artist: The Oak Ridge Boys
Event: "Christmas Time's a Comin" Tour
Date: 12/9/12
Venue: Duplin County Events Center - Kenansville, NC 

After 31 years of being an Oak Ridge Boys fan, I finally had the long awaited pleasure of attending their much talked about Christmas show this past weekend in Kenansville, NC. Anyone that knows me, knows how much these guys mean to me so anytime with the Oaks is quality time for me. I arrived before the Boys even got there so mom and I waited outside the gates for the bus to pull in. I caught a glance of the bus coming across the lot in my rear view mirror, watching it pull up beside the row we were parked in and watching it stop, the doors open and Joe come running out telling me to follow the bus. We got an escort in by the guys! Now there's something that doesn't happen everyday. I spent the next hour just laughing and talking with Joe, Duane, Chris Golden and Rex. They warm my heart more than they realize. Quality personal time with them is something I don't take for granted and certainly won't ever forget. They hold a special place in my heart. Didn't get to spend any time with Richard or William Lee but there's always next time :-)

What an experience! The stage itself looked amazing with mounds of "snow", beautiful Christmas trees, even two deer looking on. The Christmas show is divided into two portions, the hits you've come to love and then following a short intermission, the Christmas music. I loved the way this was done, very detailed, very audience interactive and definitely the definition of what the feeling of Christmas was intended to be - the feeling of love, friendship, family and gratitude. It doesn't get any better than a Christmas with the Oak Ridge Boys in my book.

The audience was on their feet when the music started and Joe, Duane, Richard and William Lee took the stage. The show kicked off in the true spirit of Christmas with the Oaks rendition of the Bill Monroe classic, "Christmas Time's a Comin." The crowd was ready for a good show and we were definitely gonna get one. They immediately launched into the hits that we all remember including favorites such as "American Made", "Y'all Come Back Saloon", "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" and others including the one that started my love of country music, "Elvira".

Now I've seen the Oak Ridge Boys several times but this particular show meant the most to me. I'm sure it's because I associate Christmas with the Oaks ... after all, it was under that magical glistening tree in 1981 that I unwrapped "Fancy Free", the cd that would forever connect my heart to the Oaks and to country music. That's a memory that has always stuck with me and will remain in my heart forever.

After an intermission, the stage lit up and "snow" began to fall as the guys came back out for the second half of this amazing show. Now it was time to really bring back the memories and magic of Christmas gone by, memories of family, the lingering smell of Christmas cookies in the oven, waking up early and the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning with those you love and memories of those who are no longer with us. Yes, I openly and freely admit to shedding some tears. Anyone who sees this show and the emotions that these four men put into making it one of your new memories will tear up a little too. In between the classics, which we were all singing along to, there were moments that made this show a stand out from other shows ... Santa Claus coming out driving a "Peterbilt Sleigh" and handing Christmas presents to the little kids in the crowd and the roaring fireplace with the Cracker Barrel rocking chairs when each one of the guys told a personal story of what Christmas means to them. Yep, more tears streamed down this face. Hearing Duane talk about the birth of his daughter, Joe talk about his "Charlie Brown style" unique Christmas tree and the memories of William Lee and Richard Sterban really brought it home for me. I hated to see it end, but so glad that I was able to make new Christmas memories. I also made a new friend with the very nice woman sitting in front of me, Connie Stephenson. What a wonderful person!

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