As already stated, I like Rich Hall and I particularly enjoy his musical alter-ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw, whose blackly comic songs are blackly hilarious. The Hoedown though, is more about the music – the songs just happen to be comedic. Hall has picked a good band – guitarist Rob Childs, bassist James Morgan and drummer Mark Hewitt are pretty good in their own right and often reduced to giggles by the comedy. A number of the songs had been done at the solo show but the addition of a band rather than just Hall and the keyboard gave them freshness and depth.
Sisters Ellie and Immie Mason appeared as guest act, and they are fab. Like Agnetha and Annifrid, their voices are good on their own, but altogether special in harmony and shown off well in It’s Time to Get a Gun. Going by last night, Ellie looks much more comfortable on stage than Immie, but they both performed very well. Some quick googling says they’re part of a group called threeforagirl – watch out for them.
The one fly in the otherwise enjoyable ointment was the appearance of Canadian comedian Tony Law, who turned up, attempted to sing The Who’s You Better You Bet although he only knew half of two verses, pretended there were fights breaking out and then disappeared whence he came. It added nothing to the show other than the chance to hear Ellie & Immie’s harmonies again.
If you’ve seen the solo show and you’d like to see more of the music with less of the stand-up, get yourself along to the Hoedown. Just be aware that you’ll have heard a couple of the songs before. But it’s worth it just to hear the Mason sisters sing.
Best bit? The best bit was this.