Legendary group is on the road through the holidays
“We’re going way back now!” explaimed Joe Bonsall as the legendary Oak Ridge Boys began their 1977 hit, “Y’all Come Back Saloon.”
Way back the Country Music Hall of Famers did go during their show at Capital One Hall in Tysons, VA on Thursday night (Aug 3rd). The night was a perfectly-paced retrospective of their music, with music as old as fifty years and as new as their latest record, yet all of it timeless. That latest record is 2001’s Front Porch Singin’, and the band sang a few songs a capella from stools as the stage apron became their porch.
Each Oak featured prominently, taking time to step outside the quartet to display their own voice. Joe Bonsall on “I Guess it Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes,” Duane Allen the emotional lead on “Mama’s Table,” and William Lee Golden displaying his well-preserved high register on “Thank God for Kids.” Of course, Richard Sterban delivered the iconic bass-y “Oomp Papa Mow-Mow” on “Elvira.”
The best thing about an Oak Ridge Boys concert is that you never know what you’re going to get along with the stalwarts. On this night, “Sail Away” offered an unexpected power ballad flavor to the set. “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” — which the Oaks recorded first, before Garth Brooks — is another live rarity they have broken out for their 2023 road dates.
In the audience at the DC area show was soon-to-be Gospel Hall of Famer Sue Dodge. When the Oaks launched into “Have a Little Talk with Jesus,” Ms. Dodge could be seen clapping and singing along.
The legends, who have one music’s biggest awards and been enshrined in three separate Halls of Fame, still harmonize perfectly. While they have been together over half a century, their touring and recording activities often exceed that of newer artists. It’s clear the Oak Ridge Boys remain committed to the music that shaped generations of listeners and artists. And country music remains better for it.