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Fun lovin' country boys set the mood

Sawyer Brown
The Fox Theatre
Tucson, AZ
November 17, 2016
Sawyer Brown Sawyer Brown Sawyer Brown

Review and photos by Frances Sealy

Old and new fans were able to discover Sawyer Brown at their explosive best in Tucson last week. Mark Miller did an informal poll early in the show to reveal that the majority of the audience had not previously seen Sawyer Brown live. It is safe to say that with the overwhelming reception that the band got, that many in the crowd will return to see this fun lovin' country band.

The band was originally members of Don King's backup band. When King stopped touring, they decided to stay together. The band started playing the state fair circuit before having hit records, gaining huge crowds of fans. After 36 years of sellout shows, they still play fairs when they tour. Ed McMahan's "Star Search" first rejected the band in 1983. "Star Search" was like the original "American Idol." They returned to the television show the following year and subsequently won the competition and a recording contract with Capitol records.

All of the members of Sawyer Brown have remained intact for 36 years except the guitar player. Shayne Hill who joined the band in 2004. Mark Miller is the lead vocalist. Gregg "Hobie" Hubbard sings and plays keyboards. Jim Scholten plays bass and Joe Smyth plays drums. Their cohesiveness is remarkable since they don't use a set list for their shows and the set can change at a drop of a hat during the performance.

Mark Miller got the show's momentum going immediately with his dance moves, shuffling across the stage on a floor primed with baby powder. Mark's singing was completely in synch with his fancy footwork. The rest of the band was in the groove and the crowd was soon out of their seats sharing the mood, even in the balcony. The impetus did not change for the rest of the show.

The set list was a perfect blend of early hits, cover songs, and newer music from their 23rd album release, Travelin' Band. Cover songs performed were "Six Days On the Road," "The Race Is On," and "Life's Been Good" and they rocked like the songs were their own. This veteran band still has the pep in their step and smiles that never waiver!
Set List:
1. The Boys and Me
2. This Time
3. Drive Me Wild
4. Six Days on the Road (Dave Dudley cover) The Walk
5. (This Thing Called) Wantin' and Havin' It All
6. Hard to Say
7. This Night Won't Last Forever (Michael Johnson cover)
8. All These Years
9. Mission Temple Fireworks Stand (Paul Thorn cover)
10. Step That Step
11. Betty's Bein' Bad (Willie Dixon cover)
12. Used to Blue
13. Smokin' Hot Wife
14. Dixieland Delight (Alabama cover)
15. The Dirt Road
16. Life's Been Good (Joe Walsh cover)
17. Rock'n Me (Steve Miller Band cover)
18. Thank God for You

19. Travelin' Band
20. The Race Is On (George Jones cover)
21. Some Girls Do

Related articles:

Sawyer Brown (Country Thunder 2011) - Festival review - Twin Lakes, WI - July 2011

Sawyer Brown Sawyer Brown
Sawyer Brown Sawyer Brown Sawyer Brown

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