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What do you get when you mix a swinging big band with a little bit of country? In this case, it’s a fabulous concert called Music Of Your Life With Les Brown Jr. And His Band of Renown Starring Neal McCoy.
Les Brown Jr.’s father started The Band of Renown in the 1930s, and it has achieved great success ever since. Jr. took over the lead of the band in 2001, and it’s obvious that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. However, he’s also accomplished much in his own right as a singer, musician, record and television producer, actor, radio host and concert promoter.
And Neal McCoy is no stranger to country fans. This musician, songwriter and recording artist has been a fixture on the country scene since the 1980s with 10 studio albums and 34 radio singles to his credit.
These two polar-opposite acts came together for an event at the Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit in 2011, and luckily, the night’s amusing antics were recorded for those of us who weren’t in attendance that evening. McCoy’s band, along with The Band of Renown’s 20-piece orchestra, performed 13 American standards and country hits at the concert. Simply put, this album has you grinning ear-to-ear from start to finish.
McCoy is incredibly likeable with his casual, laidback style, and Les Brown Jr. is just as funny with his one-liners. The genuine camaraderie between the two also adds to your listening enjoyment. The running joke throughout the recording is that McCoy normally works without a set list, so he and the audience are only learning what he’ll perform as he’s being told.
But he’s more than capable of taking the material thrown his way and putting his infectious energetic spin on it. From Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” to Les Brown’s “Sentimental Journey” and his own hits like “The Shake,” “Wink” and “No Doubt About It,” McCoy uses his deep timbre and impeccable phrasing to excite listeners with these stories.
All in all, a feel-good record that will leave you swinging and singing with a country drawl.