My dad was a natural singer, and he loved old-time romantic songs, numbers like “Let the Rest of the World Go By” (with lines like “With someone like you, a pal so good and true”). I was reminded of him on Saturday evening at Music Hall when Garrison Keillor sang the song as part of the live national broadcast from Cincinnati of A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION.
I guess that my dad and I aren’t the only ones who like nostalgic numbers like that, because Music Hall was sold out — you read that right, sold out. Our symphony has a hard time getting 2,000 people to come to Over-the-Rhine on a Saturday evening, but Keillor’s blend of old-timey music, folksy stories and comedy sketches (we heard a “Guy Noir” detective story about working security at Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving and a very funny bit about the “Association of Former English Majors” involving a woman who throws over her rich boyfriend for an erudite waiter who knows that “rubensesque” is the correct way to spell and pronounce the word) was enough to attract more than 3,400 people to sit, without a real intermission, paying rapt attention to the gangly entertainer.
The music was great — Keillor’s house band, The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, is full of virtuoso players, and they were augmented by Sam Bush on the mandolin and Buddy Emmons on the pedal-steel guitar. There was also a virtuoso guitar picker from the hills of Virginia (his name wasn’t listed in the program) who told Keillor he was so honored to be playing with these great musicians. (It would have been nice to have some Cincinnati players onstage, but maybe another time.) (more…)