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Reviewed: A Country Night in Nashville at De Montfort Hall

The sound of country music filled the iconic concert hall.

Dominic Halpin and the Hurricanes performed at De Montfort Hall.
Dominic Halpin and the Hurricanes performed at De Montfort Hall.

Country music is quintessentially American. It's spiritual home is the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee and that city is full of small venues where a host of extremely talented musicians ply their trade every night.

Anyone who watched the television series Nashville will be very familiar with the Bluebird Cafe, which has become one of the most iconic venues in town.

On September 21, 2022, at the De Montfort Hall, A Country Night In Nashville recreated a buzzing honky tonk, perfectly capturing the energy and atmosphere of a night in Nashville.

Dominic Halpin and the Hurricanes are an English band who have been touring this show to sell out audiences across the UK since 2017. It is easy to see why.

The set list is designed to showcase the history of the genre from Patsy Cline and Merle Haggard, through to the modern era of Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves.

Halpin himself shares lead vocals with the impressive Shelly Quarmby and Donna Marie, allowing the band to cover a wide range of material in immaculate fashion. The Hurricanes consist of the classic rock ensemble of guitars, drums and keyboard with top class musicianship throughout, only occasionally introducing pedal steel or banjo for a touch of authenticity.

The set list covered many classics but often avoided the obvious choices in order to showcase some surprises. Donna Marie really belted out Gretchen Wilson's Redneck Woman while the two girls provided the highlight of the night with a duet of The Dixie Chicks' Travellin' Soldier, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar.

As the two-hour performance approached its climax, a mash up of hits had the audience on its feet, dancing the night away – appropriately enough as the closing number was exactly that Mavericks' favourite.

For avid country fans this was a real treat, while for those who arrived with a degree of uncertainty, a great evening's entertainment could still be guaranteed. Let us hope we see them back in Leicester again soon.


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