With a crackerjack band featuring Country Music Hall of Famer Harold Bradley and a group of legendary session players, Mandy Barnett–now a Nashville veteran herself–hit the stage running. Kicking things off to a packed house with Elvis’ “Too Much,” the whole evening was never too much, but just right, with classic country, rockabilly, bluesy jazz and tunes from the great American songbook. And of course, whenever Barnett appears, there will always be Patsy Cline numbers in the mix.
Barnett is currently showcasing I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson. Gibson was her close friend until his passing in 2003. He actually first met Barnett at 3rd & Lindsley, when he came to hear the woman who was singing those sweet, sad songs he wrote 20 years before she born, the way they were meant to be sung.
Interwoven with Gibson’s songs were tunes from Hank Cochran, Jimmy Webb and more. Besides simply having golden pipes, Barnett has the artistic sensibility to really use them to deliver the goods—she truly feels what the composer wrote. About midway through the set, she stopped the show with Webb’s “I Keep It Hid.” When the applause died down, she said, “and that, folks, is why I don’t have to write songs.”
– Ken Spooner