The Jordanaires and I have been performing the "Original Tribute to
Patsy Cline" for more than nine years nowlong before I even exactly knew there
were other tribute" shows around. Although I perform the tribute portion of
"Patsy Cline" the Jordanaires are performing a tribute of
in that they are sharing their history, and singing those
same beautiful background vocals as they sang on the original recordings of Patsy. The
same wonderful vocal arrangements that Neal Matthews, second tenor of the Jordanaires,
wrote for Patsys songs as he did for Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Don McLean, Loretta Lynn,
Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, and hundreds more.
The Jordanaires, performing with more than 2500 artists throughout their upcoming 49-year
history has seen many performers and tribute acts come and go.
In my nine years traveling and performing
with the Jordanaires, I came across various tribute-type shows American Superstars
& Legends in Concertbeing presented in casino showrooms all across the country.
These performers were all interesting in appearance and vocals of the artist they were
emulating. However, one of them, stood out above the others in his particular performance,
his name is Barrie Cunningham.
Barrie performs with such immaculate looks,
gestures, and vocal intonations and inflections so much like the real "NEIL
DIAMOND"that to this day I have yet to see a tribute show that is better.
It is downright phenomenal when
even the real, hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool DIAMOND fans attend the show and say,
"MAN, you are just as good as Neil, and even better!"
a real trick
to be "better" than the "real thing"
comment echoes nightly following Barries presentation of "HOT AUGUST
NIGHTS" Tribute to Neil Diamond at the Gold Coast Showroom.
Barrie has paid his dues. His career has taken the
path of a folk rock singer in Greenwich Village, New York, then on to Florida; various
clubs in Los Angeles; with a blues and country rock band called "Black Slacks"
in San Diego, and several years of appearing with both Legends in Concert and American
Superstar productions worldwide. Barrie has now brought his well-celebrated tribute to the
Gold Coast here in Las Vegas to headline his full-production show with some of the best
musicians anywhere, "The Diamond Band."
It is a very exciting 75-minute show,
well-paced and full of energy and excellent vocals. The hardest part to believe, but trust
me, I would not steer you wrong
is the fact that Barrie can be a "blink"
from being "Neil Diamond himself" and then perform a second tribute show. His
second tribute show, Friday nights at the Gold Coast, is becoming as popular as the
is the "Salute to Jimmy Buffett."
From the first night he took the stage and
presented his Jimmy Buffett Salute
they sold me! I just shook my head in disbelief,
said "hes got itthats Buffett! It is a very special music that lets
you feel like its "Friday night on the beach" it was almost as
"freeing" as a drive to the coast. Thats what makes this tribute so
special is the "getaway" effect it has for everyone. Barrie does an excellent
job and so does the "Lost Shaker of Salt" band.
It is like Mardi Gras, New Orleans, on
the beach, a Margaritaville galaall on one! Now I can understand where all the
"Parrot Heads" are comin from! Quite a pleasant surprise too, when
"Corona," Jimmy Buffetts official sponsor, came on board and is now the
official sponsor of Barries "Salute to Buffett" shows. They have brought a
lot to the event with many prizes and giveaways for the upcoming weeks. It is one big
youve just gotta check it out. If you are like me
and you dont even have to pack a bag!