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December 07, 2016
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I’m a little bit country...

“Lovely” was a number one hit for the Mystics in 1959, and is still a hit today with the Doo Wop crowd at Bethel Woods.

On Sunday, back at Bethel Woods, that same lawn transformed into a Country Western extravaganza as The Band Perry sang its heart out just before the sensational Luke Bryan opened for consummate star headliner, Tim McGraw (and the Dance Hall Doctors). I wasn’t prepared (although dressed in my best country finery) for how good this guy truly is. Until this weekend, I had kept my love for country music (and the boots) in the closet, but let it all hang out as I sat back and soaked in the electrifying atmosphere. McGraw was using a cane and acknowledged that he “wasn’t going to let a bum leg keep him from his fans” as he strutted the stage, causing the females to swoon and the males to whoop it up throughout his full set.

No point in mincing (pun intended) words: McGraw is (IMHO) sexy, sexy, sexy. I joined the other 20,000 fans, flinging my cowboy hat into the air as this wildly talented entertainer delivered hit after hit, building excitement in the crowd to a thundering crescendo that had everyone on their feet hootin’ and hollerin’. The stage was gussied up with two full drum sets and a backdrop of LCD screen filling the house with gorgeous images of rain, lightening, trains, trucks and swaying lanterns, adding to the overall effect of a superstar doin’ his thang.

The staff at Bethel Woods was omnipresent, but not intrusive at all, allowing the fans to whoop it up (in a safe and sane manner), endlessly screaming, stomping and celebrating this country crossover sensation, who was making his first appearance in Sullivan County. “The whole reason we’ve been doing this for 25 years is you, the audience,” Mcgraw shouted to the crowd, “and we’re gonna have a good time, I guarantee.”

Honestly, a “good time” doesn’t even begin to describe what went down under the stars over the weekend. The cars, the tight harmonies of the Doo Wop and the down-home country charm all combined to create a joyous melange of music, music, music that had me cryin’ for more and delighting in living close enough to Bethel Woods (just down the road a piece) to visit over and over again.

I’ll be puttin’ on the tie-dye and love beads next week for “Furthur,” but plan to reinstate my country look immediately following the rock tribute, since I’m (now admitting) that I’m both a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Bethel Woods? Be there or be square y’all.