As fans arrived Saturday afternoon to the New Barn at Renfro Valleys historic venue, they were shocked to find out the storm that came through Mt. Vernon (the town) had knocked out the power and left them in the dark. As the long wait for power continued, the crowd was overjoyed when the lights came on above them. Cheers of joy were heard throughout in anticipation to see the living legend Tracy Lawrence.
Renfro Valley is a country music venue celebrating their 79th year in production in 2018. Having hosted every legendary country artist from Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Randy Travis, Merle Haggard, all the way to Waylon Jennings. The tradition of bringing the most iconic artist to grace country music’s charts has been Renfro Valley’s mission.
Tracy Lawrence doesn’t require a introduction because his stats alone speak for themselves. 18 number one hits, over 14 MILLION albums sold, along with many ACM and CMA awards, he has shaped country music in a way no other artist can contest. In 2014, Tracy received the Music Row Breakout Independent Artist of the Year.
Tracy takes to the stage right at 8pm sharp and comes out in his traditional cowboy hat, solid black pearl snap shirt, jeans, and boots. From the first note Tracy belts out in his thick southern drawl the fan packed barn was in the palm of his hand. Tracy takes the time to talk, giving insight to his love for music “I love hardcore country music. I’m talking about the music I grew up with”. Performing all his greatest hits and some that didn’t go as far as he wished; “This is a song I really wished had went further than it did, but it’s always been close to me and I hope you like it” as he strummed the intro of “Used To the Pain.”
Tracy Lawrence has a way with performing to an audience that is moving and gets you involved. Looking around from my seat Witnessing couples dancing, young kids waving their hands in the air and older folks clapping on beat with a smile that one can only wonder what kind of memory is associated with the song for them.
Lawrence asking “Are there any George Strait fans out there?” The band starts into George Strait’s “Troubadour” as Lawrence smiles out to the crowd. Tracy Lawrence made a (new) but classic George Strait song his own by putting his own twist on the chorus and his vocal range. One in which George would tip his hat in appreciation from an old friend.
From I See It Now, Alibis”, “How A Cowgirl Says Goodbye”, to wrapping up his set packed with classic number one hits and others dear to his heart Lawrence finishes the night off with “Paint me a Birmingham”. Tracy Lawrence has hits stringing from 1991 to 2014 and he has always to produce a raw true country sound in his music. A sound that this legend of country music should be most proud of. Hearing his music from then and now the only thing that’s changed is time; and Time Marchs On as Lawrence would say. We look forward to the day Tracy Lawrence will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. A deserving award for a country music superstar who has given so much to the world. Overall, I would give his performance a 11/10 because the anticipation of his performance is exciting no doubt but his delivery and stage presence is electrifying. This was my second show and hopefully no where near my last! Check out Tracy Lawrence’s website for more info and tour dates which can be found here!
All photos credit of Ryan Pike of Ryan Keith Photography & Music Matters Magazine