|Country Kibitzer at the Ty Herdon show, Wake Forest, NC|
I am not embarrassed to admit that I had no idea who Ty Herndon is. I missed almost everything that happened in country music in the 1990s and early 2000s and have a good excuse. I lived in Israel for most of that time and then moved to NYC where I listened to NPR's coverage of events in Israel. It took me a few years to re-assimilate into American life.
To prepare for the show I bought his 2002 greatest hits album. I recognized one song on the album, Living in a Moment, and was swept away by the rest. He has a some beautiful love songs. In the two days before his concert, I became a fan of his past country hits.
His show was poorly attended but that was definitely due to the venue's lack of advertising. Crossroads Entertainment of Wake Forest closed a few days later. Hopefully they will reopen later under new and better management.
Despite a very small crowd in a very large room, Herndon sang his heart out and gave us an energetic performance. His keyboard player also appeared to be enjoying himself, but the guitarist and drummer looked a bit unhappy for most of the show. It was a treat to be so close to the stage, yet as an audience member it's also uncomfortable to watch a band perform for such a small group. Perhaps it just goes with the territory for an artist making a comeback after 8 years, but I imagine a small audience, if the performer doesn't expect it, can be demoralizing. Hopefully it wasn't and they felt their effort was worthwhile. I enjoyed the show and am very glad I went.
I'm going to share some Ty Herndon music with you, just in case you are as in the dark as I was a few days ago or have simply forgotten.
My new favorite old song (1998) is "It Must Be Love". This fan-made video with lyrics is a little distracting but it's the best I found. He apologetically sang both his and the backup singers' parts during the show but the song was still lovely. The conversation that goes on in this song is so sweet.
The other song I adore is "What Mattered Most" (1995) which, according to Wikipedia, was his first song to make the country charts.
His new gospel album "Journey On" was nominated for a Grammy this year. Obviously I'm not in the target market for contemporary Christian music. I have only heard the the title track, which he performed at the show. If you listen to Christian music, check it out. It's probably very good.
I hope that Ty Herdon does a new secular album, now that he's recording music again, but if not, I'll be happy to enjoy his old country love songs.