I know it’s not my way to write a review and in keeping with that, this is not a review. It is a strong recommendation to seek Ron Pope out if he’s coming to your town. The bad news is that if you live in the US and you don’t live in Austin, he’s probably not coming to your town right now, but keep your eyes on him. He’s fun!
I saw him at Americanafest in 2018, but he only performed one Creedence Clearwater Revival song as part of a tribute set. But then I saw him the next night; we were both hanging out at the Beast and we started talking and he was so damned nice and interesting and I made a mental note that I would check him out when he toured SF again. Flash forward to January 2020.
This was his first tour in 2 years as he is a new dad. He has many stories about his daughter and becoming a dad and how his life has changed. He even has a PSA that drugs are bad. He tells you this as he sings his old songs about drugs (so give me one shot of whiskey, two lines of cocaine…) and reminisces about the old days. He will tell you that he feels like Nancy Reagan with a more fun haircut. He is entertaining, so are his stories. His band of friends are more than entertaining. Some have been with him forever; some are just joining for this tour. One includes the drummer previously seen in Jackie Greene’s band. Her name is Megan and she is FANTASTIC! There was Charles who played both the trumpet and the accordion. We all know that I am a sucker for an accordion; one of my biggest regrets was not getting my Pop-Pop or my Uncle Joe to play for me more and maybe even teach me this amazing instrument. The fiddle player whose name escapes me, but who was also pretty amazing. Yes, the band has talent, but more importantly… they seem to be having fun up on stage. They seem to really like each other and enjoy what they are doing.
When I say that I knew not one Ron Pope song before this show, I mean that literally. Not one. I did know one of the opening act, Caroline Spence’s songs which I like. She didn’t play it. None of these facts change that I think this was the best show I’ve seen so far this year. That said, isn’t the last show always the best show? I’ve only been to 5 shows so far this year and I could have said that all of them have been the best for one reason or another.
Do yourself a favor; go see Ron Pope! It will be good for him too.