When it comes to American Classics, you could line up the Oak Ridge Boys next to the Corvette, Levi jeans, and momma’s apple pie. The Oak Ridge Boys have stayed true to their musical roots over the years. Last night, they performed for an enthusiastic sold out crowd at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in Kentucky. It has become a tradition playing there, as well as the Kentucky State Fair in August. You could consider them a true American traditional standard when it comes to both country and gospel music.
At each and every show, the Oak Ridge Boys manager, Derrick, recognizes those in the audience that have served in the military, as well as those that are first responders. You don’t see many acts doing that, but the Oak Ridge Boys make sure to recognize those that help others in their line of duty.
Throughout the energetic show, each of the Oak Ridge Boys were given multiple chances to showcase their vocal talents. Highlights include “Beautiful Blue Bird” and “Thank God for Kids” with lead vocals by William Lee Golden. The big bass vocals of Richard Sterban reached down deep for “Dream On.” Duane Allen aced his way through hit songs “Mama’s Table” and “No Matter How High.” Joe Bonsall exercised his tenor vocal chords with “Little Things” and “Gonna Take a Lot of River”, as well as showed off his humorous side along with Rex Wiseman.
Then the Oak Ridge Boys took the audience to church with several select gospel songs. They exceeded expectations with their harmonies. From “I Love to Tell the Story” to “Time Has Made a Change,” the crowd was moved with the spiritual hymnals that have stood in time to be standards.
Just when you thought the party was getting started with the energy in the room, the Oak Ridge Boys concluded the show with “Elvira.” Folks jumped up out of their seats to sing along in unison, with many heading closer to the stage to join in the chorus. It would be followed up with “Bobby Sue,” complete with Joe Bonsall running around the stage and doing jumping jacks. We all wish we had an ounce of energy that Joe Bonsall had on display!
In the Country Music Hall of Fame, there stands a plaque where in bronze it includes the image and biography of the Oak Ridge Boys. Just as it is cast in bronze, the Oak Ridge Boys have cast their music in the hearts and soul of music fans. If you have never seen them perform, you are missing out a total experience of laughter, love, and the Lord.
Oak Ridge Boys Set List at Renfro Valley, KY on 6/24/2017
Come On In
Gonna Take a Lot of River
No Matter How High I Get
I Guess It Never Hurts Sometime
Thank God For Kids
Y’all Come Back Saloon
Ozark Mountain Jubilee
Leaving Louisiana in Broad Daylight
Roll Tennessee River
There’s Nothing Between Us (But Love Anymore)
Come On In (You Did The Best You Could Do)
Time Has a Made a Change
I Love to Tell the Story
I Would Crawl All the Way to the River
Jessica Bray is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.