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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Karrin Allyson

      I had an opportunity to attend the Karrin Allyson show this past Thursday night at The Fox Theater. Those in attendance got a special treat as the Hutchinson Community College Jazz Ensemble performed first to open the show. What a treat!

     The jazz group, Badinage from HCC, sang four songs which included an opening jazz classic by  Duke Ellington and ended with an Eddie Jefferson tune, Jeannine, a spirited tune with a 70's feel to it. I went online to listen to the original version of the song, and Badinage's version of the song, plus seeing it performed live with all that high energy, it just wasn't the same. Badinage did it better than the original performance. So much energy and soul on that stage. Just seeing this group in action was worth the price of admission. Badinage was polished and professional as they come.

     After a brief change out, Karrin Allyson, a native of Great Bend, Kansas who now resides in New York, took to the stage. She brought along her band who hails from such far off points as Topeka and Kansas City, Missouri. After introducing her band the group began to play and Allyson began singing some of the most polished vocals ever heard. Her rendition of the Billy Joel song: And So It Goes, nearly brought me to tears. It was beautifully done.

     Her voice has a rich timbre to it which has been honed by years of singing these powerful jazz standards, as well as a variety of other music. She sang a couple of songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" that I found unique and lovely in a way that I never had before. I'll never think of them any other way after hearing Allyson's performance.

     Truly a feast for the ears, hearing Badinage followed by Karrin Allyson. Check out Allyson's website: There's music to listen too on the site. If you missed this show, you missed a couple of amazing performances. The Historic Fox Theatre serves up terrific musical fare and if you haven't attended a show there, you need to check it out. Check out The Fox Theatre's website for upcoming shows:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Marshall Matthews and The Memphis Kings

     The Historic Fox Theatre in Hutchinson played host to a rockin' evening of Elvis music this past Saturday night. This show was, also, a fund raiser for First Call For Help.

     Brian Lee Dunning, Oklahoma native and national recording artist, opened the show with a block of eight songs, four Elvis hits and a couple of Johnny Cash tunes. I love to watch this guy on stage. He has so much fun up there. Dunning literally seems to have no bones. The guy can bend and contort in ways I've never seen before. He was super polished and professional. Not only does he deliver an appealing visual experience but he can really sing.

     Then the Memphis Kings took to the stage. They played their signature theme song which shines a light on everyone in the band. Truly amazing talent and great to listen too. Also very polished and professional. These guys do a great job of backing up Marshall Matthews as Elvis.

     Marshall Matthews took to the stage as the Memphis Kings wound down their signature song and started off his set with the likes of Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, and All Shook Up. It was one fast paced song after another. The energy on the stage was electrifying. Matthews performance has improved one hundred percent from the last time I saw him in concert. He blew me away! Obviously he's had a lot of bookings and plenty of practice. I overheard someone in the crowd say that he sounded as though he'd just come from Vegas, he was that good. He can hold his own up against any Elvis impersonator.

     During his first set Matthews introduced the audience to the sponsors for the evening; The Double Mint Twins, originally from Caldwell, Kansas who now reside in Hutchinson. These two lovely ladies appeared as The Doublemint Twins in Wrigley's Gum commercials.

    At intermission, Kathy Davis from First Call For Help took to the stage to explain about her organization and how they help within the Hutchinson Community. Recently First Call was able to help a veteran in his 70's who was homeless. With the help of a local landlord who was willing to work with this fella he was able to secure a place to live but his furniture consisted of a lawn chair. First Call was able to pull together resources to furnish the home and provide all the necessities of life, including dishes, a bed, etc.

     Also at intermission, two other performers took to the stage. John Mendoza made his vocal debut singing three hits that included Chantilly Lace. Then Curtis Kuhn was center stage singing a variety of Vince Gill songs.

     After the break, Matthews returned with the Memphis Kings and the crowd began rocking and rolling and what not. The show had everything from a laser light show, to incredible sound, a wonderful MC, polished and professional vocalists, an amazing band, special guests, and it benefited a local helping agency. A good time was had by all!

     Check out Matthews website: to learn more about the group. And if you'd like to know more about First Call For Help or would like to donate your time, talent, supplies or money, check out First Call's website: