The great country music band, Alabama has been on the road the last couple years on the 50th Anniversary Tour to celebrate the band’s fifty years in the country music industry. Recently, Alabama came to perform on their tour at the Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas!
This particular show had country music artist, Tracy Lawrence as the opener for the concert as he’s been apart of the tour for some show dates! Tracy Lawrence was thrilled to be performing at the concert! “It’s so good to be here with y’all tonight here in Little Rock!” said Lawrence.
The singer songwriter performed a variety of his songs including Made in America, Find Out Who Your Friends Are, If The World Had A Front Porch, How A Cowgirl Says Goodbye, Texas Tornado, Sticks and Stones, Alibis, Time Marches On and Paint Me A Birmingham. He also performed three newer songs entitled, Nothin’ Burns Like You, Didn’t We and Don’t Drink Whiskey.
Along with that, Lawrence performed a medley tribute to some of the great country artists we have lost in recent years. “We lost a lot of very special friends of mine in the music business,” said Lawrence before performing the tribute. The wonderful medley included four songs, The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ by Charley Pride, John Deere Green by Joe Diffie and The Devil Went Down To Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band. “The only problem with that is trying to figure out what to follow that thing with!” said Lawrence after performing the tribute.
This concert was special for Tracy Lawrence as he is originally from Arkansas himself. In the show, he talked about being from the natural state and about how he recently celebrated a big milestone in his music career. “We celebrated my 30th anniversary in the music business last year. It’s amazing I know, time has really flown by so much. I’ve played in this building a few times. Y’all know I grew up in Arkansas right?” said Lawrence. “All the way down in the south west corner of the state, in a little town called Foreman. Went to church camp in Hot Springs and spent a lot of time traveling all over this beautiful state. My Mom and some family are out here with us this evening. So we thought long and hard about how we were going to commemorate that 30th anniversary so we decided we’re going to do a three disc thing. 10 songs on each album to commemorate 30 years obviously. We dropped three full records last year so that’s pretty awesome.” said the artist.
Alabama made their grand entrance to the stage opening the show with their song, Pass It On Down! The band performed several of their hit songs including If You’re Gonna Play In Texas, The Closer You Get, Sad Lookin’ Moon, Feels So Right, High Cotton, Give Me One More Shot, Dixieland Delight, Angels Among Us, Born Country, Tennessee River, Lady Down on Love, Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler), Old Flame, She and I, Mountain Music, I’m In A Hurry and a cover of Will The Circle Be Unbroken. In the show, they also featured two band members, their fiddle player, Megan Mullins Owen as she performed the Orange Blossom Special and their drummer, Tommy Harden as he performed Alabama’s song, Take Me Down with Gentry singing with him as well.
This concert was originally planned for a day in February but had to be rescheduled, so Randy Owen of Alabama did recognize that during the show. “We thank y’all for being understanding,” said the singer, “We’re very thankful, I love y’all, I appreciate y’all being here tonight, I want you to know that.” There was a special moment during the show as a young boy in the audience was holding up a sign saying this was his first concert and the band invited him up on stage, gave him an autograph and got a picture together!
Unfortunately, one of the beloved members from the band, Alabama was missing from the show, Jeff Cook. The singer and fiddle player is no longer able to tour with the group due to his health but he still remains a very big part of the band. Owen, Gentry, along with the band sent good thoughts to Cook, saying he was doing good as they had recently visited with him and expressed how much they missed him being there with them. The piano player for the band, Chip Davis performed a beautiful song to Cook in tribute.
One of the stories which was told by Randy Owen before performing the song, High Cotton, during the show was about his family, on how they took a trip through Arkansas many years ago and saw something very remarkable in the natural state. “My Papa Owen he would sit around and tell us stories when I was a little fellow like four or five years old,” continues Owen. “He told about the time that he and my grandma and the two oldest boys, they took a trip to see our kinfolks that lived in Texas and they crossed the Mississippi River. My papa told me he said ‘son I’m gonna tell you the tallest cotton I’ve ever seen is in the state of Arkansas.’ He told everybody, ‘No, no, we don’t even have cotton here in Alabama compared to what they do in Arkansas.’” said Owen.
The story behind a song about how it was created is always interesting to hear. Randy Owen told the story to the audience of how one of Alabama’s songs, Lady Down on Love came to be after a conversation he had with a group of ladies. “There’s like ten or twelve ladies sitting out at the table and I said what brings you ladies out tonight,” continues Owen, “They said we’re here celebrating her divorce and pointed to the girl at the end of the table. I said well you don’t seem like you’re very happy about it and she says I’m not, I really rather be at home tonight with my husband being loved. Then she said this is the first time I’ve been out like this since I was 18.” In turn of Owen having this conversation, he went home that evening and wrote the song from there.
Alabama has always been known to help raise awareness for special things throughout the years and one organization which is dear to their hearts is the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The band’s Randy Owen shared the story during the show of how he met the Founder of St. Jude’s, Danny Thomas and how Owen along with the band has gotten to help support the foundation in a big way. “I’m a cancer survivor and I hate cancer,” said Owen when first telling the story.
“When I met Danny Thomas I was in awe of him because he was a movie star, but he asked me about getting involved and helping raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As fate would have it, he was to speak at the Country Radio Seminar (CRS) that year in 1989 and he couldn’t make it because he became sick. So they said well what about getting Randy Owen to talk,” continues Owen, “I didn’t know what to say, but I simply followed my heart that day and asked the people that played country music, if they would all get together in a nationwide effort to help raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since that day in 1989, you, the country music industry has helped raise in excess 850 million dollars for Children’s St. Jude.” Once the singer finished telling the story, the band performed their touching song, Angels Among Us. “This song for me is a song that I perform every time that we do a benefit or anything there at St. Jude.” said Owen. “It’s part of my life, always will be and I’m thankful that there’s a place like St. Jude.”
The band, Alabama closed the show with a standing ovation from the audience and thanked everyone for being there! There’s no question, Alabama puts on a great show performing wonderful country music which fans will always remember! Tracy Lawrence performed a fantastic show as well and complimented the band, Alabama very nicely! If you’re a fan of Alabama or Tracy Lawrence, you definitely don’t want to miss the chance of seeing them in concert!
Be sure to follow Alabama on their social media including on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at their website, www.TheAlabamaBand.com.
Have you seen Alabama in concert before? I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave me a comment below or on social media!