D

on Henley Fans who bought out seats in the newly-renovated Robinson Theater to hear him sing his popular solo and Eagles hits received a bonus on Friday night, January 20th. Henley’s opening act, JD and the Straight Shot, were a hit with the audience.

 

The band—Jim Dolan, guitarist/vocalist; Marc Copely, guitarist/vocalist; Byron House, bassist; and violinist/fiddler Erin Slaver performed an entertaining set of songs ranging from soft and haunting, to toe-tappers and hand-clappers.

Toward the end of their set, bandleader Dolan, devoted a few minutes off-stage making a quick apparel change, or as he called it, “a slight shift in persona.” He left the stage casually dressed in open-neck shirt, jacket and slacks and returned with the addition of a pair of Victorian sunglasses and mad hatter top hat. This was done to promote the group’s new album entitled “Ballyhoo,” which Dolan explained as a mid-19th Century term meaning a sensational or carnival-like event. The band then transitioned into the title cut from the album, a Western-flavored ballad with references to old-time medicine and side shows. While Dolan gave a fine vocal performance on the tune, and Copely and House did the same on guitar and bass, Slaver’s fiddling was the huge crowd favorite.

Throughout his time on the stage, Dolan regaled the audience with humor and slightly self-deprecating stories about the band’s “fame.” Woven into the tales were allusions to the band’s “cred” in the music industry. To wit, Dolan mentioned that two of their songs have been featured in the films, “Lawless” and “August: Osage County.”

Other high points of the set included a tribute to Arkansas’s own Johnny Cash, the rock-a-bluesy “Better Find a Church” and the band’s latest release, the memorably melodic, “I Know, You Know, I Know.”


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