REVIEWER / PHOTOGRAPHER: Jason Evans
Lisa Matassa, also known as Lisa Lynn who hit the pop charts with 2 top ten singles back in the 80's, is soon releasing an album of duets in two parts. These duets will feature some of country music's greatest and most legendary singers in its genre. In order to kick start this upcoming release, the legendary Wildhorse Saloon hosted "A Night With the Legends featuring Lisa Matassa, Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, The Oak Ridge Boys, David Frizzel, Eddy Raven, The Bellamy Brothers, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers, Exile, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart, Tim Rushlow of Little Texas, Lee Greenwood, T. Graham Brown and Marty Raybon of Shenandoah. What a historical night for the crowd to witness as the 2015 CMA Music Festival was kicking off in Nashville, The event was to be be filmed for future airing on televison, with proceeds benefitting the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The night opened up with the show's host for the evening, Larry Gatlin, as he introduced and welcomed Lisa Matassa to the Wildhorse stage. Each legend performed a couple songs of their own as a solo and Lisa would join them for a duet. First artist of the evening was the legendary Johnny Lee, who is probably most known for his hit, "Lookin' For Love" from the hit film "Urban Cowboy". Lisa would join voices with Johnny on a classic country hit, "Yellow Rose of Texas". Other artists who joined Matassa on stage to perform duets were David Frizzell with "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma", Tim Rushlow with the Little Texas ballad "What Might Have Been", and Lee Greenwood with the song "To Me" which he originally performed with Barbara Mandrell. T. Graham Brown would join the party with his emotional devotion to staying sober as he performed "Wine Into Water" and would also feature Lisa in a duet of the ever soulful "Tell It Like It Used To Be". Lee Greenwood would then jump into the the hosting role which could only mean that Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers were about to perform. The brothers harmonized together on their hits "Houston", "All The Gold in California", and "Sure Feels like Love" in which Lisa Matassa joined them onstage and sang along with them. Marty Raybon came out and took the crowd back to the days when he fronted the band Shenandoah with songs like "I Wanna be Loved Like That", "Ghost in This House" and then performed his duet with Lisa, the uptempo "Church on Cumberland Road". Each artist performed their classic hits and put on a new twist on some. The music had feet stomping, hands clapping and bodies dancing in their seats and in the aisles as well! The event featured a finale performance of the entire legendary lineup at the halfway point which brought these amazing voices together to sing the country music staple, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken". With so many legends on one stage at one time, this also meant there were a lot of hits combined between them. 131 #1 hits to be exact!! Hearing so many legends performing one of the most recognized songs in country music resulted in a tingle that ran down your spine and made the hairs of your arms stand up. This was a night of history being made from those who had literally already made history even before tonight's performance. What an honor to be a part of it. Although we had already witnessed a long night of legendary performances, there was still a lot of music to come from Eddy Raven, Larry Stewart of the group, Restless Heart, Exile and this legendary night was inching closer to an ending with three more of the most legendary acts yet to go on stage to close out the show. Up first was Mickey Gilley featuring his old Charly McClain duet with "Wake Up in Your Arms Tomorrow", followed by the Bellamy Brothers and Lisa on "Do You Love as Good as You Look" and an energy packed 3 song set by the newest inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Oak Ridge Boys who performed "American Made", a duet with Lisa on "Little Things" and would wrapped up a great night of music and memories with an energetic performance of "Elvira"! What an epic night that I was able to witness so many amazing voices from so many legends on one one stage! This night is a reminder of why I am a country music fan. Thank you to all of the artists for a wonderful night that I won't soon forget.
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