Country music shows are everywhere in Branson, and especially classic country. That suits me just fine.
Here are the shows we have seen so far:
Shoji Tabuchi is an incredible success story. When he was a freshman in college in Japan, he saw Roy Acuff perform. Shoji developed a deep appreciation for classic country and bluegrass music. The fiddle hall of fame member plays all kinds of music, but the country element is especially strong. He covered Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, and Bob Wills. Shoji’s stepdaughter Christina produces the show and also performs. She is a talented country singer. Shoji’s own theater burned in 2017, so this year’s show is in the Little Opry Theater. This is a small, cozy venue that holds 200+, rather than 1000+ like the larger Branson theaters, so you’re very close to the action.
The Nashville music industry barks loudly about “diversity,” which to modern Nashville means paving over country music entirely and replacing it with any random urban blacks they can find, whether they like or respect country music or not, which is a slap in the face to anyone of any color who is into country music. If you want a much more positive example of real, organic diversity in country music, Shoji Tabuchi is from all the way on the other side of the world and fell in love with country music and has honored his country music influences throughout his career. He is a great fiddle player and everyone should see him if they get the chance.
The Sons of Britches play an afternoon show at the Little Opry Theater. The three man group is known for classic country and comedy. One unusual feature among Branson shows is that the Sons of Britches encourage video recording. Their show is largely built around audience requests. They’ll attempt anything they know, but they’re most likely to know your request if it is classic country. For instance, my request was the Little Jimmy Dickens hit, “May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” Since video was allowed and encouraged, I took a phone video of this one and uploaded it to my YouTube channel. The guys talked to everyone before and after their show.
I won tickets to see Nashville Roadhouse Live at the Star Theater. The main man here is Stevie Lee Woods, who had some country success in the 90s. He recently received a Telly Award for a music video collaboration with Elton John. The show is billed as “where country meets rock and roll.” This is a good description. There are bright lights and dancing girls. Stevie talked to fans before and after the show and during intermission. The last weekend of every month features the Grand Ladies of Country. It was great to see Leona Williams, Mary Lou Turner, and Barbara Fairchild. Leona had to leave for another show afterwards, but we got to talk to Barbara and Mary Lou after the show. That’s a lot of country music history on the stage!