Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre Pa: excellent review

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Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre Pa: excellent review

Postby Tom » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Here'a a review from a show at The Kirby Center that was sent to me, it's from an online paper.

"... easily the best performance of the night. Firefall had set the bar pretty high for openers. PPL, jumped right over it, and left it at a setting no one else could reach, not on this night. It didn't take long to realize this band , with numerous highly acclaimed releases in the 70's, is still at the top of their game. Where to start ? How about four lead singers who could all easily be the lead singer for any other band. Or maybe it's the rich harmonies, the sizzling and tasty lead guitar of Donnie Lee Clark, or the mesmerizing pedal steel of founding member John David Call who is still mind boggling. Perhaps it's the thriving bass, banter and voice of Mike Reilly, who has led these guys since 1972. Possibly it's drummer Rick Schell, who rates up there with the best singing drummers I've ever heard. Then again it could be the presence of the Craig Fuller, who started it all in 1969. Take your pick, there is no wrong choice. This band has a dynamic that reaches back to the 70's and brings it forward full throttle into the present. The Call and Clark tandem is a show stopper: the two trade licks, blend their steel and guitar together as one, giving PPL something the top country acts in Nashville today can’t match. The set was sprinkled with songs from their debut LP to their most recent release, the 2005 All In Good Time. As for musical chops, nothing all night beat out Misery Train, a fiery tune from the Vince Gill era which simply exploded , Call and Clark ripping out some dazzling licks in an extended version of the tune. Two Lane Highway, Flat Tire Merle were more of the same, outstanding ,and of course Amie, which still sets the standard for the country rock era. Throughout their set, the band was greeted numerous times with the crowd's approval, especially after a Call or Clark rip. PPL made efficient use of their time as they segued songs several times , a very effective approach. Their allotted time was just short of an hour, not nearly enough. I’d love to see PPL again in a setting where they can expand on their set. I felt shortchanged when they were done."

Kevin Driscoll
"I have seen the future of country music and it's name is Pure Prairie League."
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