Friday, August 27, 2010

Last night: Bonnie Montgomery at AETN

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Bonnie Montgomery

Arkansas is lucky Bonnie Montgomery decided to come home. Few artists have the range of talent coupled with such dedication to their home state as she does — and this unique combo was on full display at her performance last night for AETN’s "On the Front Row" series. As Montgomery said herself, it was a night of firsts. It was the first time she’s given an operatic performance, decked out in a floor-length gown and accompanied on piano; then, switching gears and changing into gingham and cowboy boots, delivered a full set of her satisfyingly raucous folk-rock.

Charming the small crowd of 60 or so guests through the whole set, she cracked jokes, sang "Happy Birthday" to her Uncle Leon who was in attendance, and reveled in the fact that so many came "all the way to Conway" to see her play. With the support of her full band, Montgomery Trucking, she belted out songs driven by the Luther Perkins-style of her guitar player, chugging along in that 4/4 tempo, an almost indigenous sound to an Eastern Arkansan. Then she moved to the piano and captivated the room with her own unique style of tongue-in-cheek parlor ballads — songs that lament the slow pace of a new lover and the jet-lag induced “Beijing Blues.”

But the highlight of the evening was the aria Montgomery sang to open the show. It was the first time a piece from her opera, "Billy Blythe" — you’ve probably heard about it by now — has been performed in front of an audience. Singing as Virginia Blythe Clinton, the pres’ mom, Montgomery’s voice embodied the grief of a woman who’s lost her husband and the determination of a woman with a young son to raise. It was striking. And if it’s any indication of what’s to come when the opera makes its debut, a whole lot more folks outside of Arkansas are going to take notice of Montgomery. Until then, go see her play and go often and be proud she’s one of our own.

The broadcast of "AETN Presents: On the Front Row with Bonnie Montgomery and Montgomery Trucking" is scheduled for November.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leigh Wood

Readers also liked…

  • Staff Picks: Netflix and Chill, Benji's pasta fresca, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more

    The podcast Design Matters, published by Design Observer, is celebrating its 10th year and they are revisiting some of their best episodes from the last decade. I just finished this week's replay of the interview with the Scottish born illustrator Marion Deuchars. At the end of the wonderful interview, her two young sons are invited into the studio near where they pitch in some of their own thoughts on art and, in particular, drawing in the art books their mother created for children and adults.
    • Aug 28, 2015
  • Guest Mix: Rural War Room

    World wide weird duo Rural War Room (Donavan Suitt & Byron Werner) is celebrating 10 years of broadcasting and production here in Little Rock and abroad. RWR Radio on KABF 88.3 FM (10 p.m. Tuesdays or anytime on their website), features the duo alternating records in an effort to surprise one another.
    • Sep 14, 2015
  • Your new flags of Little Rock

    BRASHER: Hello Arkansans, this is the first piece from us, Brasher and Rowe and we are some dudes who work in downtown Little Rock and we eat lunch and just talk about all the exciting things around here.
    • Sep 18, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation