Thursday, August 28, 2014


ARTIST: Lorrie Morgan
DATE: August 15, 2014
VENUE: Morehead City Performing Arts Center - Morehead City, NC

I had the pleasure of seeing Lorrie Morgan perform in Morehead City, NC this past Friday, August 15, 2014. I have loved Lorrie's music since first hearing her back in the 90's and have been totally in love with her attitude and voice ever since. Having never seen her perform live, needless to say I was totally excited for this show and expected a great show. What I got was not great, it was OUTSTANDING. They made the announcement of no photography and no video so I don't have my usual photo gallery but I did sneak in a few cell phone photos. I can't do a review with no photos!

The Morehead Center for the Performing Arts is a great, intimate 50's era former movie theatre that seats (I'd guess) about 500 patrons. I absolutely love the feel of this venue. The acoustics are fantastic, the seats are comfortable, the stage is just high enough to be a great view from any location in the theatre, there is never a problem with parking, it's in old downtown Morehead City with restaurants within walking distance and they sell cold beer, popcorn and movie style candy. I wish more higher calibre artists such as Lorrie would take advantage of this great place to perform.

When I took my front row seat (yes, I splurged this time), I looked at the stage and knew this was going to be a memorable show. On stage were 3 stools and acoustic guitars. I was actually getting anxious to see what the night was going to bring. Lorrie took the stage looking like we knew she would, just as she always has, stunningly gorgeous with a very down to earth, yet somewhat diva-esque air about her. In stiletto heels and a form hugging black one-sleeved dress and her signature platinum hair, she drew a standing ovation simply upon taking the stage and entering the room - a surefire sign that you are seeing a well respected and loved artist. There was a quiet still that enveloped the room as she began to sing the Bonnie Tyler classic hit, "It's a Heartache". Wow! I had long forgotten that song and to hear Lorrie sing it did it more justice than the original! Her voice is exactly as strong and flawless as it was many years ago when I first heard her sing "Out Of Your Shoes." This many years later, many voices seem to falter, sound aged. Not Lorrie. Her voice is clear as a bell, right on spot with every note and fills your soul. I know that sounds cliche, but it happens!

She performed a multitude of her best loved hits such as "What Part of No", "Out Of Your Shoes", "Five Minutes", "Go Away", and "Good As I Was To You" which completely took me back to a place I miss everyday, the 90's - a time when true country music was flourishing, hitting it's stride with artists like Clint Black, Alabama, Vince Gill and Patty Loveless, a time when your local country bar offered line dance and two step lessons and speaking of the two step, a tall man in a cowboy hat, Wranglers with a huge belt buckle and Durango boots would politely introduce himself, call you "Ma'am" as he asks you to dance and would whisk you around a sawdust floor. Man I miss those days, the days before "Fireball Whiskey', "tailgates" and "sugar shakers" were over saturating country radio, the days when country music had a relateable story, a soul. Lorrie brought the heartbeat of country and the Grand Ole Opry to that small Morehead City, NC stage with classics like her duet with George Jones, "Picture of Me (Without You)", a Patsy Cline classic "Leavin' on Your Mind", "One of a Kind" by Tammy Wynette and "Green, Green Grass of Home" before which she told stories about Porter Wagner that brought smiles to every face in the crowd. Shhhh, I may or may not have cried a little. She also reminded us that she is born of Opry royalty by performing a hit her father, George Morgan, made famous - "Candy Kisses". It really felt like being in the Ryman and watching a legend perform. I can't describe the feeling any better than that.

Lorrie also performed songs from her current project with Pam Tillis, "Grits and Glamour". She performed their latest single, "I Am Woman" with her daughter in law, Ashlee Hewitt, who played guitar and sang harmony with her the entire night. This song is relateable to every women who hears it, it IS every woman who hears it. It made me quietly reflect on who I am as a woman, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. She also performed a song, "Mirror Mirror" about woman and the aging process, about the face they see in the mirror and how it changes throughout the years. What a fantastic and thought provoking self-reflection. Shhh, I may or may not have cried again.

My favorite part of the night came near the end of the evening when the lights went down, she stood tall and belted out "Something in Red".You could have heard a pin drop, until she finished the last note and all you could see was everyone on their feet and applause so loud it shook the room. What a perfect performance, yes, perfect. Shhh, I may or may not have gotten a little teary again.

Her set list was hand chosen from songs that say something, that mean something to her and that she hopes would mean something to her audience. Judging from the multiple standing ovations and the reactions around the room, I say she hit the perfect sweet spot with most everyone in the sold out crowd.

I am so glad I chose to go to this show, it gave me a whole new appreciation for the artists we no longer hear on the radio but yet are still giving us wonderful music every day. We take them for granted and sadly we even tend to put them on the back burner and forget about them because the new kids have come along, filling the airwaves with their new styles. Our music was once a new style too  and it's a style I respect and have a deep love for. I hope to see that kind of music make a new emergence, to remind us of what country music means, where it comes from and that is has substance and heart. Thank you Lorrie Morgan for reminding me of that and for taking my heart back to it's true first love, real country  music.

Lorrie's set list for the night -

It's a Heartache - (Bonnie Tyler cover)
What Part of No 
Except for Monday 
Out of Your Shoes 
Mirror Mirror 
That's So Cool 
A Picture Of Me (Without You)  - (George Jones cover)
Watch Me 
I Am A Woman ( Duet with Ashlee Hewitt)
Good as I Was to You 
Love Will Keep Us Alive - (Eagles cover)
Standing Tall - (Billie Jo Spears cover)
Go Away 
Green, Green Grass of Home  - (Porter Wagoner cover)
Leavin' on Your Mind - (Patsy Cline cover)
Candy Kisses - (George Morgan cover)
Something in Red 
One Of A Kind  - (Tammy Wynette cover)

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