George Strait - vocals, guitar; Richard Casanova - fiddle; Mike Davies - steel guitar; Benny McArthur - guitar; Roger Montgomery - drums; Rick McCrea - lead guitar; Terry Hale - bass; Ronnie Huckabee - piano
The fact that country superstar George Strait manages to perform 27 complete songs in under one hour and 17 minutes tells you one thing: he's all about the music and he makes it his business to make sure the fans get their money's worth when they attend one of his shows. Recorded at New York City's Lonestar Cafe for the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio concert series in 1984, this show sounds just as good today as it did nearly a quarter century ago when it was first aired.
Although not one of the most exciting stage performers to emerge from the thriving 1980s Nashville music scene (by way of his home base of Texas), Strait is simply an exceptional country singer who consistently writes and records radio friendly country-pop songs. Still a major concert draw today, Strait has had a remarkable career. He's released 26 albums since the late 1970s, nearly all of which have gone gold or platinum. He has had 31 singles hit #1 on the Billboard Country charts (as well as a half dozen in the Top 10); and his sole movie project, entitled Pure Country, was a box office champ in its genre. His four-CD box set, released in 1995, remains one of the best selling CD compilations of all time.
Even though he had released one LP as the Ace In The Hole band in 1976, Strait had only been a national MCA recording artist since 1980 when he did this concert broadcast on the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio concert series. Two years prior, he had released Strait From The Heart, a breakthrough album that began his run of #1 hits.
This show is still early in his career, but there are enough familiar songs to make it a notable listening experience, including "Why Baby Why," "I Can't See Texas From Here," "Fool Hearted Memory" (his first #1 in 1982); "If You're Thinking You Want A Stranger;" and "Unwound." Also in this show, Strait gives memorable performances of the traditional country blues classic, "Corina, Corina," (which has been covered by hundreds of artists from Bob Dylan to Taj Mahal to Steppenwolf), and "Milk Cow Blues," originally written by Kokomo Arnold, and a concert staple in early Kinks shows.