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Celebrating ALABAMA in Tennessee Day!

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Saturday, July 03, 2021 was a celebration on many accounts. The band ALABAMA was presented with a surprise proclamation from Governor Bill Lee who declared it was ALABAMA in Tennessee Day in appreciation of all that they have done for country music. The group was also celebrating 50 years as an entity. Plus, it was July 4th eve with folks celebrating freedom which included a full house at Bridgestone Arena - a first since the shutdowns of 2020.

ALABAMA is the celebrated band that changed everything. They reeled off 21 straight #1 singles by giving their songs an edge that broadened country's appeal which led to the sale of millions of records and recognition by the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ALABAMA was in Nashville, TN for a two night engagement kicking off a trek that is scheduled to conclude on Feb. 12, 2022 in Wichita, Kansas.

On Saturday, ALABAMA was engaging from the first note. Folks were on their feet for most of the night often clapping, singing and waving along to tunes that have stood the test of time. It was a testimony to live music reminding us why people want to gather to share something in common rather than be divided. ALABAMA throughout the concert effectively used videos to support their songs and show band clips at various incarnations.

Alabama's Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry get back at it in Nashville.

ALABAMA's career spanning set was packed with fan favorites such as the opening trio of "Pass It on Down", "Can't Keep a Good Man Down" and "If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)" that gave their talented violinist an opportunity to shine. There was some chat between tracks and we were told that they had not played "Sad Lookin' Moon" in 25 years but tonight it was on the list!

"Dixieland Delight / Will the Circle Be Unbroken / Dixieland Delight" was one of a number of high points followed by a moving "Angels Among Us" that featured a chorus. "America The Beautiful" flowed smoothly into the feel good "Born Country". You can't go wrong with "Tennessee River" in Nashville and "Jeff's Song (I Will Remember You)" was a warm tribute to one of their own. "Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)" paired with "Old Flame" were requests and fans were thrilled when Tim McGraw strolled out to sing "Lady Down on Love" with the group.

Randy Owen then and Teddy Gentry now at the Bridgestone Arena.

The celebration continued with "As Long as There's Love" and the merry "Mountain Music" closing the set on a grand note. ALABAMA returned quickly for the encore of "My Home's in Alabama". The video for the tune featured some of the state's most scenic spots thus it was a great pitch for AL and a tip of the hat to the band's rich legacy.

"We are very thankful that we can play our music for our loyal fans of the past 50 years and introduce our songs to a new 3rd and 4th generation of new fans," says ALABAMA lead singer Randy Owen. "We have rehearsed an all-new show that we are having fun performing, but you never know, we might even take requests from time to time. There's nothing like the roar of the crowd, and we can't wait to get back on the road."

Scenes from the Alabama 50th Anniversary Tour.

ALABAMA's long-awaited "50th Anniversary Tour" consists of nearly 30 arena and amphitheater live concerts and will take place throughout 2021 and early 2022. Special guests Martina McBride, The Marshall Tucker Band, Travis Tritt, Sara Evans, America, Grits & Glamour (Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis), Tracy Lawrence, The Beach Boys, The Frontmen of Country (Richie McDonald formerly of Lonestar, Tim Rushlow formerly of Little Texas & Larry Stewart of Restless Heart) and Jake Hoot will join ALABAMA on select dates. So if you can, come celebrate the return of live music with the legendary ALABAMA.

Opening for ALABAMA in Nashville was singer, songwriter and producer Martina McBride who was signed to RCA Records in 1991. She made her debut the following year as a neo-traditionalist country singer with the single, "The Time Has Come". Her sound blended country and pop which took her to the top of the charts. McBride has won the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" award four times and the Academy of Country Music's "Top Female Vocalist" award three times plus she has been nominated for the Grammy Award over a dozen times.

Country superstar Tim McGraw made a surprise guest appearance.

Martina McBride backed by a full band took the stage a few minutes after 7pm. During her show McBride said that she was thrilled and honored to be opening for ALABAMA recalling that they were one of the first concerts that she had seen as a child. Martina presented an up-beat set of her hits which included "This One's for the Girls", "Anyway", "Independence Day" and more.

ALABAMA SETLIST: Pass It on Down | Can't Keep a Good Man Down | If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band) | The Closer You Get | Sad Lookin' Moon | High Cotton | Give Me One More Shot | Dixieland Delight / Will the Circle Be Unbroken / Dixieland Delight | Angels Among Us | Born Country | Tennessee River | Jeff's Song (I Will Remember You) | Love in the First Degree | Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler) | Old Flame | Feels So Right | Lady Down on Love (with Tim McGraw) | Turn It Off | She and I | I'm in a Hurry (and Don't Know Why) | Dancin', Shaggin' on the Boulevard | As Long as There's Love | Mountain Music | Encore: | My Home's in Alabama

Martina McBride opens the show in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on ALABAMA and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Alabama | Martina McBride | Bridgestone Arena


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