The Nashville Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Wednesday 14th June 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Last night a packed Royal Concert Hall saw four artists from the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville travel nearly 4000 miles to Nottingham to deliver a little bit of country, a little bit of rock and a smidgen of the blues.

From the cast of the hit TV series Nashville, Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), Chris Carmack (Will Lexington), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor) and touring with them for the first time, Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), delivered some old songs, some new songs and some covers, which showcased their genuine talent. Disappointingly, there was no sign of English born Palladia (Gunner Scott) at last night’s show, but stepping up was Bowen’s fiancé, Brendon Young.

With a set list that allowed for solo spots and collaborations; it was Esten who got things going with new song, Buckle Up and we were immediately transported to the Grand Ole Opry. He left the stage for Carmack who serenaded the audience with a delightful What If I Was Willing, before Spinning Revolver allowed him to show off his seriously impressive guitar playing.

It was the very popular newbie Jackson, who undoubtedly stole the show with his rocking version of Keep Asking Why before he brought the audience to their feet with an astonishingly brilliant cover of U2 and Bob Dylan’s Love Rescue Me. A hard act to follow, Esten managed it behind the piano with his beautiful Halfway Home.

The first of the night’s collaborations saw Bowen skipping lightly onto the stage and looking every bit as vulnerable as her TV character. Along with Jackson and Young it was a lively Borrow My Heart which saw a walk around in the crowd, before she started her solo set with new song Little By Little which she dedicated to the “brave people of the UK”.

The second half saw much of the same with Carmack’s blues version of Larry Davis’ Texas Flood a highlight before Jackson’s stunning version of Unchained Melody silenced the audience. Bowen blew everyone away with her vocally challenging Black Roses, before the show was brought to an end with all five on stage for the song that has connected the show and fans alike, A Life That’s Good.