Mashantucket, Connecticut
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Fox Theatre
April 22, 2005

[Don Principe], [Mark Gould],

Review by Don Principe

This was my first "Post Larry" show with the new lineup and although I
enjoyed the show greatly, there are too many people on stage. Stu seems to
be assuming the Tommy/guitar tech position from last year by lining up
almost in the left rear corner of the stage. His solos were limited but
dam good. Elana: I seemed to be the only one in our group that could care
less she was there. It was cool to see the two fiddles for the opener "To
be Alone with you". I would have preferred she was at another wedding. Stu
did one of his only solos I remembered. Hazel was a nice surprise and sung
nicely by old Bob. Things have Changed had been played to death over the
past few years and it was a better choice than TD & TD. Dogs was also
good, but I missed Charlie’s jazz combo ax work. Tough Mama was a rocking
version and although this band is Western swing rather than the more rock
influenced, they knew how to deliver the goods on this one. Shelter was a
good performance, but I still prefer the harmonies of Larry/Charlie when I
hear it these days. Cold Irons Bound was stellar. Tony kicked ass and the
hall was shaking with the bass/drum work of Tony & George. Best song of
the night (IMO). LLL was ok and 61 lacked the punch of earlier tours, but
again there are so many people on stage it gets difficult to let solos
rip. The Denny and Donnie duo are a nice addition but no really steps out
to deliver the goods with any great regularity. Both did play nice solos
when they had a chance. Maybe it was me, but I missed the Bucky/Larry
combination or Larry/Charlie combo. Freddie Who? I enjoyed Chimes and
hoped for no Summer Days, although the reworked version of SD was
interesting. Encores were good as well. Foxwoods gave the band and Bob an
opportunity to play one of the smallest venues on the tour. Full house,
great sound. Merle was ok; nothing special. I think one of the guys in the
band was in Petticoat Junction or The Andy Griffin show. Teetime gave me
that line. Conway Twitty looked to be playing guitar too (kidding).Amos
was ok as well. Saw him hanging around the Casino after the show. Nice guy
and decent band. Looking forward to the Beacon where we know the band digs
playing. Overall a very good show and although similar to Fridays Boston
show I will take this set list over many I have seen over the past 20
years. Rock on Bob!

Don Principe


Review by Mark Gould

It takes some getting used to the change from a rockin' combo a la Charlie
and Larry, to a Western swing band with two, yes, two,  fiddlers wailing
away at times, but, as always, Bob and his group made it interesting.
The Fox Theatre is a superb place to see a show. I was about two-thirds of
the way up in the 1400-seat theatre, dead center, with two really good
friends, Anthony and Wanda, who made it a great Dylan night. The sound and 
sight lines  were spectacular, after having seen Dylan recently in much 
bigger venues like  the Mohegan Sun Arena and the God awful, less than 
half-full, Hartford Civic Center.
Amos Lee, like Hot Club of Cowtown last summer, was a good choice as an 
opening act, given that his great voice and spare sound set a nice tone
for the night. I was a bit disappointed in Merle Haggard, given that I had 
not seen him before. The set was woefully short, only 45 minutes, and too 
much of it was snippets of songs. His band is very tight, which they should 
be after playing together for so many years. Hearing "White Line Fever", one 
of my all-time favorites, was special, but not getting "Okie", save for an 
instrumental coda as Haggard walked off the stage at the end of the set, was 
a big disappointment.
The intro for Bob was the same as recent years, sans "Hoedown." The set 
list was interesting, containing over half a dozen songs that I had never seen 
him perform, amazing given that I have seen him about 20 times in recent
years.  From our vantage point, it appears that his keyboard has been lowered 
and angled  more toward the audience. Solos were kept to a minimum, and as
noted in another  review, seemed perfunctory at times. Donnie Herron was the 
secret weapon in  BR549, and is now one here. His playing was so good that I
started to forget  about Larry at times, which is saying something. Neither 
guitar player took the  paint off the walls, but in this type of swing band 
that is to be expected. Bob  came center stage for, as I recall, two or three 
harmonica solos, with a  highlight being "Tough Mama." It was nice that "TD&TD"
was retired for this  night, and while I like the new arrangement, "Summer Days" 
could have taken a  seat, as well. But that is a minor complaint, given what was 
performed this  night.
It will be interesting to see how this group comes across in the bigger 
venues of the ballparks this summer, and if Bob will add any more cannons
to the fire, a la "Chimes" and "Augustine." Either way, it promises to be  


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