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Review: August 29, 2009

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L. V. Bryant

 

 TWO HOURS OF HEAVEN WITH NARVEL FELTS ON STAGE

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI

EAGLE'S CLUB - AUGUST 29TH, 2009
 

Narvel returns to the mic for and encore after picking up the gifts that had been brought to the stage.

(Click photo for larger view)

 

 On our way to Oklahoma to celebrate our Mother's 84th birthday with her, my sister Patsy and I detoured to Cape Girardeau for Narvel's third annual show at the Eagle's Club with Double Edge backing him.

The date had been rescheduled from March due to his double hernia surgery in late February. He's recovered now, has headlined a show in France since then, and has had numerous show dates in the States this spring and summer.

Double Edge opened the show at 8:00 P.M. with Narvel coming on stage around 9:20 P.M. Little did we know that he would be on that stage for two solid

hours!! He opened with "Funny How Time Slips Away", "Drift Away", the beautiful "Blue Darlin'" and then took us back 30 years to 1979 for "Everlasting Love" which peaked in the U.S. and Canadian charts at No. 8 and 7 respectively.


Back 40 years to 1969 for "Who'll Buy The Wine" a song I'd never heard him do before, back fifty years to 1959 when he was 20 years old and had been in the music business three years, had recorded for both Sun and Mercury Records, for a song he cowrote and recorded in Ontario, Canada, which became his first charted hit, "3,000 Miles".

Narvel told us that "Begging To You" which he sang next, and which is one of my favorites, charted in Europe this year and has been played by DJ "Cousin  Carl" on Country 106.1 coming straight from Cape Girardeau.

He then transported us back to January 1957 to his first recording session at Sun Records, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, with Roy Orbison, Jack  Clement, Harold Jenkins (soon to be Conway Twitty), Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis present as he tore into "Great Balls of Fire".

We got to hear "Kiss-A-Me Baby" and were taken back to June 1957 when it was No. 12 on the charts in Flint, Michigan, and No. 7 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, when he played the Jewel Theatre there, and while Narvel performed at both places the girls tore his clothes off, a thrill for an 18 year old who had been picking cotton the year before.

"Reconsider Me" the 1975 Billboard and CashBox Single of the Year was followed by "My Babe". Cousin Carl joined Narvel for a duet of "Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms".

Steve Schaffner who traveled with Narvel as a young man in 1979 for a few years rehearsing each band for Narvel's shows and who Narvel introduced as a great  guitarist, violinist and symphony orchestra member and who co-wrote "Pink and Black Days" with Narvel inspired by a comment Roy Orbison made to Narvel, "Hey, Narvel, I haven't seen you since the pink and black days," was called on stage by Narvel along with Fred Horrell and Michael Anthony Smith, an "early Elvis" impersonator known as "The Hillbilly Cat". They did a rousing "Shake, Rattle and Roll".

Narvel mentioned several times that he was into overtime, clearly over the 45 minutes or one hour show that he usually does. But it was obvious he was having fun, feeling good, and delivering one of the best shows ever.

An emotional and powerful "Even Now" was next in memory of his only son Bub who he, his wife Loretta and daughter Stacia lost in a car accident September 14, 1995.

Then it was back to 1963 for "Mountain of Love", a Top 5 international hit "Lonely Teardrops", "Headin' Home" which he wrote as a homesick new artist in the first week of March 1957 during a week-long gig in St. Louis, "Somebody Hold Me" and closed with two extra verses of "Funny How Time Slips Away" and all too soon he had been on stage two solid hours!!

Double Edge took a short break and then did a final set highlighted by band member Judy Webb's "Sweet Dreams". The "Hillbilly Cat" was called back on stage and did Elvis's "Hound Dog" and "That's All Right, Mama" with the band.

We left well after midnight with Huey P. still selling CDs, and Narvel still  autographing CDs, talking with friends and fans and posing for pictures with them.

What a night!! What a show, Narvel!! Way to go!!


Faye Huffman
Baton Rouge, LA


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