Kerry Kilgore, Americana International Festival

Review Date: July 8, 2012

Review By: Emily Saxton

Location: Americana International Festival

What a surprise it was to see Oregon’s Jerry Kilgore take to the main stage at this year’s Americana International Festival in July. After taking time out to record his third studio album TELEPHONE, TX-the second record released on his independent label Nic-Nic Neer Records-and almost eight years since he made his debut on Virgin Records, he stormed the stage with a toe-tapping, honky-tonking ten-song set, attracting a small, spontaneous group of line dancers.

Obviously Jerry was feeling rather thirsty during his set, choosing to sings songs such as memorable foot stompers What’s It Take To Get A Drink In Here and the honky-tonking If You Want To Keep Your Beer Cold, taken from his latest release about a cold-hearted woman-both providing notable highs in the performance; the audience swaying along with the infectious country-fused rhythms. Not to mention, in fact asking the audience as to whether there was any alcohol to buy on the camp: “Do they sell alcohol here?” he asked once the applause of the previous song (I Just Want My Baby Back) had died down. “I can tell you guys haven’t had enough.”

Likewise, the waltzing Places To Go, with its beautiful piano-led arrangement, coupled with Jerry’s rich vocal deliverance and the up-tempo Ain’t Got One Honky Tonk both provided a further two set-list gems. With his smooth voice, cowboy image and country-fused tunes, there’s no reason why Jerry can’t test the charted waters again. Maybe ten years ago (when several of Jerry’s singles failed to chart) the charts weren’t right for him, but let’s hope this appearance was one of many more still to come, and certainly not the last we hear of his incredibly likeable music.

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