After the horrific events of Sunday night in Las Vegas, it felt good to get out and attend a show here in town. There's no question that the Route 91 Harvest Festival was an act of terror that raises many questions with regard to many issues within our nation. A need for mfore immediate action rather than thinly veiled pontificating has reared it's ugly head, yet again. Regardless of where one stands on the issues raised, we can all agree instances such as Route 91 Harvest Festival should not happen in a developed and affluent country such as our own.
It's unfortunate that something as pure and connective as a live show, concert, festival, gig, etc. has become an all but solidified "safety risk." It's a damn shame, is what it really is. But even still, I'll continue going to shows, due largely to the ultimate sense of community such a setting can foster unlike any other gathering or event. So while hearts were heavy following the events of Route 91 Harvest Festival, it was nice to experience some of the aforementioned connectivity and community during Ryan Koenig's Nashville stop at American Legion Post 82 over on the East Side of town.
In any instance, you'd be hard pressed to find a better show to lift your spirits than Ryan's spot at American Legion. For those less familiar, The American Legion is a US wartime veterans organization formed in Paris, France in 1919. The organization played a key role in the "GI Bill" in 1944, and has assisted in numerous veteran-related events since. Outside of the legislative developments made possible by the organization, part of what makes the American Legion unique are its "Posts."
Each Post represents a general area - typically a township or county - and serves as a convergence point for community service projects, community events, and in the case of Post 82, East Nashville's Honky Tonk Tuesday Nights. And so, there was the reason which brought Now/It's to the gentleman from St. Louis' (Ryan Koenig) Tuesday evening honky tonk set.
While those unfamiliar with Ryan Koenig's body-of-work might benefit from the fact that his most immediate associate (outside of his stellar backing band, which includes his wife on bass) is none other than one Pokey LaFarge. Seeing as Mr. LaFarge's touring schedule has hit a natural lull, Mr. Koenig and crew placed their distinct and delightful brand of honky tonk waltzes and warbles following an excellent opening set from one of Nashville's favorite Saskatchewan-originated transplants, Blake Berglund.
Koenig wasted no time "playing some new tunes" for the Legion faithful, and made sure to inform everyone in attendance that his fine musical stylings were "off a record I happen to have for sale over there." Direct and to the point with his banter, it was obvious the Koenig's proclivities leaned more toward the performative, and what a pleasure it was to hear the aforementioned new tunes off his upcoming October 13th release, Two Different Worlds. In little to no time, folks were waltzing about the Legion's dancehall floor, swaying and sashaying in a beguiling and settling fashion - a much needed distraction from realities more frightening foibles. Koenig's brand of country music is one of consideration and comfort, and in today's unsettling times, there's nary a better brand of country to be.