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Bar-X Rancheros Picket Piece Hampshire
After a break of 4 months over the summer we were a little concerned that numbers would be a bit down but, tho’ there were a few late-comers, we really needn’t have worried.
Tonight we saw the return of the popular 3-piece band from Bristol, BEAR FACED COUNTRY. “Pancho” Pete, Pete “The Bear”, & Tim "The Fish" make up this trio. What a great combination of vocals, harmonies & talented musicians! The boys have been to our club several times before, so they knew they would get a very warm welcome. In return they gave us a great night of real country music. Right from the start the light-hearted banter, from the group & audience alike, made for a very relaxed atmosphere. Even those not on the dance floor were tapping their toes & joining in. It’s obvious how much the boys enjoy performing their Country music, standards made famous by the likes of Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings & Hank Williams all getting the special “BFC” treatment. One of my personal favourites this set… Josh Turner’s “Your Man”.
Back on stage for their 2nd set & again BFC showed how versatile they are. Starting off with Johnny Cash’s “Big River”, ending with “A Real Country Song” (great steel guitar) & treating us to such a variety in between. Slower numbers included “Crazy Arms” & “Neon Moon”. Knowing just how much the Bar-X Rancheros love a Reel, the boys performed “Jambalaya” twice!!
BEAR FACED COUNTRY launched into their final set with Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars and Cadillacs”. The dancers were straight up & stayed on the floor to enjoy a 3rd set of the boys’ great music. Lots more classics from the likes of Merle Haggard, Don Gibson, Willie Nelson. “Amarillo by Morning”, “Today I started loving you again”, “One night at a Time”. A whole day in song before getting “On the Road Again”! The Bar-X Rancheros boys (& some girls) showed their appreciation to “Ghostriders in the Sky”, a spectacle not to be missed!
See you all again soon. Until then, be well & Happy & “Keep it Western”. “Big Rose”
Debenham Sunday dances Suffolk
On our visit to the Debenham Sunday Dances this week we were given a warm welcome, and to entertain us on stage was the band from Bristol "BEAR FACED COUNTRY" This band is made up of three men, Pete (the Bear) who plays bass guitar and harmony vocals, another Pete who is the lead vocalist and plays rhythm guitar, and these two are backed up by Tim on lead guitar, pedal steel and harmony vocals. Lead singer Pete has also written songs and has a great country voice. I must say that the three of them have terrific harmonising. This band gave us a great night of mixed country music and can't do enough to please their audience with a great mix of country music and humour. Despite the extremely low numbers that were at the dance, all did thier best to make it a good night. This club really needs some more support, it's a comparitively new club only been running since February. It was set up by request and with a super venue that most people would die for. It has a large sprung dance floor with seating for two hundred. With a large car park and real nice people who run the dances, it will be a shame if it is lost. We trust that by having great bands like "BEAR FACED COUNTRY" the club will grow to be well attended. Please note that the Debenham dances will always be in Cross Country. Come along and enjoy this lovely venue.
Ed Cuffe Suffolk
Sat here in the club tonight I could not help but get into reflective mood. I sat there thinking of that far away place, Vosburgh's Retreat in beautiful Genesee County, situated in up state New York. A place blessed by mother nature herself. The exquisite manicured lawns, the blend of northern pines and hard wood trees that populate the rolling hills. The tranquil lake under cloudless skies, Canada geese, the song birds of various species all signifying what is pure country. In turn this allied itself to the pure country sounds of BEAR FACED COUNTRY. One could never tire of this trio, they are up there with the best of British country bands. PANCHO PETE, or should that be PONCHO PETE in good voice as always. The same can and will be said of PETE "The Bear" pickin' bass guitar and another true exponent of pure country. Newby to the band TIM the FISH chicken pickin' string bending twangster on lead and steel guitar, laid bare his credentials to be a member of this popular country combo. Holiday season, Vacation time, call it what you will but the club lacked attendance again this month. So sad when such good entertainment is on hand to be enjoyed. make no mistake those of us there did enjoy the evening. The boys(said with tongue in cheek) treated the folks to many a track from their new CD, well worth the listen. In particular the song penned by PETE ALLEN himself "Waltz Down The Dirt Road" A great lament on a broken love affair. BJ
Album review by Rob Davis of Cross Country Magazine
Waltz Down The Dirt Road
Here is an album that could have been recorded just for me. It starts with a nice gentle ballad written by Bill Trader and a hit for Hank Snow, A Fool Such As I, before going into what I would consider a slow barn dance tempo, Hank Williams' Cold, Cold Heart. We can then drift into a complative mood, imagining we are in an old bar listening to Honkytonk Moon.
The title track, written by Bear Faced Country vocalist, Peter Allen, fits in well with the former song and indeed with the album as a whole.
We then jump into a lively Don Gibson song, Oh Lonesome Me. Excellent it is too. Junior Brown is up next and what better than with Venom Wearing Denim.
Slowing it down again, we hear Please Help Me I'm Falling and then the first Merle Haggard cover with Mama's Hungry Eyes and later we have another, Momma Tried, but before that we hear Amarillo By Morning and Big River which is a Johnny Cash cover.
The final track is one of the most played and enjoyed songs on the British country club circuit, Ghost Riders In The Sky. This is a thoroughly enjoyable cd for easy listening in the car, or as background music on a club night. I enjoyed it and it doesn't grate on you at all. Well done to them for producing a cd that is different and will be played over and over by all who buy it.
Pony Express CMC, Herts.
Always a treat to see these three fine muso's from Bristol. They are getting to be very popular all over, bands are in great demand (A protected species now). So, rhythm guitar and main lead vocals, Pete, then Bear on bass guitar and harmony vocals and replacing Nigel, a new member, Tim on lead guitar and pedal steel. Tonight we did get a few from Dale Watson's song book and plenty of Alan Jackson, Cash, KK and Hag. Tim fitted in well on pedal steel and lead guitar. Pete having a real Bristol country voice and Bear - a good bit of banter. Three guys, good to speak to, very amicable, lots of guests in again - good! Mama's Hungry Eyes, Mama Tried, Losing Side Of Me, Radney Foster, Mavs, Hag, they all did that one. Amarillo By Morning, Red Lips And Honky Tonks and Brokenheartsville. All good country by three of the best. Thanks Bear, Pete and Tim, very good night. Back in October... Chief Sasku
The Blazing Saddles CWMC, Torquay.
BEAR FACED COUNTRY are three guys who will provide pure country all night and they enjoy doing it as well. They have good vocals, are very fine musicians and they like a good laugh too. I had never seen this combination of guys before but they really go together well with Pete on rhythm guitar and vocals, the Bear on bass guitar and vocals and a stool (very important). I hope the knee is improving mate, I told the surgeon to fit grease nipples on my two but he forgot. Also, not forgetting the new guy in the band, Tim on lead guitar and steel and vocals. Tim might be new to the band but I realised when I saw him that I have seen him many times before and he fitted in very well indeed. We are looking forward to seeing these guys again next year in June. It's no good me saying to you, keep it country, because I know that is just what you will do. Roger Bennett
Wooten Hall CMC, Glos.
We had BEAR FACED COUNTRY who are Pete the Bear on Bass guitar an harmonies, Pete on rhythm guitar and vocals and Tim on lead, steel and harmonies who performed three sets of mainly traditional country music. There was a decent crowd with the usual members and some visitors who came to see them. Many of our members have never seen them before and the comments I recieved were how good they were. At the end of the evening they played two encores and I think with the audience calling for more would have played on but the time had beaten us... Jack Hudgell
Despite the fact that attendance was well down compared to a regular club evening of Country Music, Those that did attend had a most enjoyable evening.The pleasure was aptly provided by the Bristol band BEAR FACED COUNTRY, but more on the band later.
Lack of attendance was due to the fact that there was a Country Music weekend over in Dorset, where club promoter Dave Cawse was appearing with his band MEDICINE BOW. Many of the patrons of the club follow loyally to these infrequent weekends as a short break. Or no doubt to take the opportunity to enjoy a variety of differing bands, and also catch up with friends and acquaintances from other parts of the country.
To me this saturday was a welcomed breath of fresh air musically. A few weeks earlier having spent three hours of the most boring so called Country music event of the year. The CMA awards Nashville. BEAR FACED COUNTRY left that non starter in the dark. The patronage this month no matter how small were
treated to real country music and they showed their appreciation not only on the dance floor, but by the applause after each and every song performed.
The band appeared as a three piece but are known to go on the road fronting as a four piece as and when required.
The cold evening was soon warmed up by PETE on vocals and acoustic guitar, NIGEL on Lead, steel and Dobro, PETE the BEAR on bass and harmonies. The band got into a flying start, straight out of the blocks with Dwight Yoakam's "GUITARS And CADILLAC'S" distinctively from then on I knew we were in for a good evening of solid Country. PETE has a very unique way of putting over a song. The ambience in his voice did at times resemble the original artist without consciously trying to imitate the performer that may have sang the original hit. At one point PETE asked if anyone heard of a singer called Jerry Webb as he and the trio were about to play one of that singers self penned songs. At the end of the first set I was able to tell him I know Jerry and have all his recorded material, a little to his surprise. PETE the BEAR did exceptionally well with his bass picking and harmonies as the man was suffering from a form of laryngitis, what a trouper, but then again the man was out of the old school. You know I really do like the British sense of humour, as specially when it comes to anything a little risque. While about to continue at one point with a Willy Nelson song, PETE asked the audience if they liked Willy, with the answer coming back at him being a resounding Yes !! In a droll manner PETE replied Ladies please control yourselves. Must add here at another point in the set Dale Watson's recording of 38-21-34 was announced to be the next song of the set the same risque rhetoric was applied, all light hearted and non offensive. Not forgotten, NIGEL, on lead guitar laid down some real cornpone style country licks at times, and did a good job on Dobro where it was called for. If I have one critique to make of NIGEL, I feel he needs to be more aggressive on picking his up-tempo rides. that's not a put down but more an observation.
As stated the three members of the band did a really first class job of entertaining the thirty or so couples there Saturday night and I for one would gladly endorse their return at some future date. BJ
Ocean View CMC, Westward Ho!
We Played host to BEAR FACED COUNTRY this week. Quite a newly formed band form Bristol area, Pete (TheBear) on bass, Pete on vocals and guitar and Nigel on Guitar and Pedal Steel. Three first class sets from three first class musicians. The dance floor was kept busy all evening with songs from Merle Haggard , Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Gerry Webb and so on. Nice smart appearance and good volume level throughout ,we are having them back in 2011.
Blue Bird Silver Dollar MkII, Bournemouth
The lads gave a jolly good nights entertainment with varied an interseting repertoire at comfortable volume. Songs included Crazy Arms, Living on Love, The Losing Side of Me, A Real Country Song and 38-21-34. All great tunes, the band thanked host Jane for a warm welcome an enjoyable evening. Enjoy this band and keep supporting the clubs.......Sheila 'n' Peter
Lost Leader CMC, Fareham, Hampshire
First visit to the club but it wont be the last, they started with Guitars Cadilacs. The dancers were up straight away, next it was Amarillo by Morning and the dance floor was full. Pete with a good strong voice and rhythm guitar, Nige on lead and pedal steel guitar and also some dobro, Pete the "bear" on a solid bass with no headstock very unusual bass. During the first break there was queue for there CDs! They continued the next two sets with many older country favourites like Silver Wings, Working Man Blues and a few we had not heard before like Southern Streamline form John Foggerty. Thankyou for a great night... Maureen.