Last Thursday evening (6/9) I took advantage of being in Nashville and stopped in for the Gene Watson and Rhonda Vincent CD release show for Your Money and My Good Looks. The album is a set of “real” country music duets, in the style popularized by George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.
The show was held at the Troubadour Theater, adjacent to Ernest Tubb’s Record Store near the Grand Ole Opry, which was filled to the brim with country music fans in town for the annual CMA Music Festival.
Gene and Rhonda sang brilliantly, of course and entertained the audience with stories from the tracking sessions for this new release on Vincent’s Upper Management Music label. It was mildly disconcerting seeing her (and the Rage) in this unfamiliar format, with her guys using more common country instrumentation. Hunter Berry remained on fiddle, but Mickey Harris was on electric bass, Ben Helson on electric guitar and Aaron McDaris on acoustic.
Rhonda was up front with Gene, using a hand held microphone, as was he, and the band was completed by Bill Douchette on pedal steel, Peter Jeffrey on piano and Eddy Anderson on drums.
The degree of confidence Upper Management had in this show was clear when I noted that every VIP goodie bag included a small, cast iron Matha White frying pan. That could have gotten ugly if the audience had turned on them!
But the music kept everyone in their seats, and it seemed that the entire lot stood in line after the show for a chance at autographed copies of the duet album, which is being offered on both CD and vinyl LP.