Favorite

Dan Penn and Bobby Emmons 

Sept. 16, Cabe Theater, Hendrix College, Conway.

That Dan Penn has written more than a handful of the greatest songs ever is almost canonical. But there's a sense that a Dan Penn song, for all its innate power, doesn't truly transcend until James Carr or Percy Sledge or even Alex Chilton get hold of it.

Penn proved otherwise on Tuesday at Hendrix's Cabe Theater, reclaiming all his old hits with a country soul baritone that, though subdued, managed to wrench out new emotion from songs most of the audience had likely heard hundreds of times.

In overalls and with an acoustic guitar and storied session man Bobby Emmons sitting in on keys, he started with “I'm Your Puppet” and by the time he'd reached the end of his first set, he'd done “Sweet Inspiration,” “Cry Like a Baby,” “Do Right Man,” “It Tears Me Up,” “Dark End of the Street” and “You Left the Water Running.”

There's a sadness in all those old hits that, stripped down and with Penn's rich voice, registered more as resignation last Tuesday, nowhere more poignantly than in perhaps the greatest song of all time, “The Dark End of the Street.” Penn, alternating between almost mournful quiet and church vigor, made us feel “I know time is gonna take its toll/We have to pay for the love we stole/It's a sin and we know it's wrong/Oh, but our love keeps coming on strong.”

We got stories, too, though none that would stand up to transcription. Hearing Penn, in his thick Alabama drawl, imitate Jerry Wexler's thick Jewish accent and Aretha Franklin's young sass, is something that can only be heard from the man himself.

The second set leaned more heavily on Penn's new album, “Junkyard Junky.” Even if songs like “Tiny Hinys and Hogs,” don't stand up to the classics, there's an easy whimsy and humor in the new material that seems to fit Penn's semi-retired disposition.

It's hard to imagine another concert topping this one this year.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Music Reviews

  • Cher in North Little Rock

    March 28, Verizon Arena
    • Apr 3, 2014
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 30

    The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago.
    • Oct 3, 2012
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: On "Beyond Scared Straight"

    • I need to find a scared straight program for my 14 yr old daughter here…

    • on July 20, 2017
 

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