Rosalie Sorrels opened for Nanci Griffith and the Blue Moon Orchestra on June 18 at the Egyptian Theatre. The artists are hard to classify but could perhaps be called contemporary folk with a Western sound. Rosalie is a singer/storyteller/writer from Boise. Her white hair and red shawl were illuminated by the stage lights as she sat and strummed her guitar while telling lyrical stories. Her voice was quiet, gentle and powerful. She spoke soft stories of the past with sighs and dramatic pauses and carefree laughter. She played meandering melodies on her guitar while unfolding a story and then belting out the related song. She was wonderful.
Nanci Griffith and the Blue Moon Orchestra followed. Clive Gregson plays the guitar and also sings back up. Le Ann Etheridge is a singer and songwriter who plays bass and also sings vocals. Pat McInerney plays the drums. James Hooker is the keyboardist and sings as well.
Nanci's big eyes and sweet, full cheeks, in addition to her young, high-pitched speaking voice give her a distinctive air of youthfulness, despite her graying hair. The band played 19 songs, many of the best from the past and some from their new album, Hearts in Mine, that was released earlier this year. Nanci's voice has never sounded better.
They started out with "Simple Life"from their new album. Altogether, they played four or five songs from this album including "I Love This Town," in which Jimmy Buffet joins her on vocals on the album. They also played old favorites like "Love at the Five and Dime," "Gulf Coast Highway," and "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness." Nina Gerber joined as a special guest about halfway through the concert, and rocked the stage with her guitar playing. The show ended with "If I Had a Hammer" as Rosalie joined the band on stage. Their encore was a Rolling Stones cover song. The show was absolutely captivating. The enthusiastic audience gave several standing ovations.