20 Photos + VIDEO Medley
10 July 2015
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Pleasant and polished: Sheryl Crow gently rocks the crowd at Fort Calgary
By Eric Volmers
The Oxford Stomp is seven years older than its boisterous younger brother, the Stampede Roundup and, for the most part, acts its age.
This may be because the week’s second corporate party and Rotary Club of Calgary fundraiser lands near the dying days of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, which means revellers could potentially be revelled out.
On Friday night, a sold-out crowd at Fort Calgary certainly seemed to be drinking and dancing and generally enjoying the evening’s entertainment, which included the Sam Roberts Band, George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Sheryl Crow.
But it was a quieter evening, and not just because the headliner has reached a point in her career where polish trumps performance.
Not unlike veteran songsmiths Steve Earle or Lucinda Williams, Crow seems content these days to let the songs do the talking. This is not to say she has the same number of quality songs as those artists, but she plays them all with a nice professional polish rather than the angsty urgency of her early years.
Kicking things off with the drawling country-blues of Steve McQueen and A Change Would Do You Good, Crow initially seemed to be straining to hit the notes.
Her voice eventually rose to the occasion — a good thing since she was running through Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll as of press time — and her large band of pros quickly settled into a pleasant groove.
Can’t Cry Anymore and the sultry, Hammond organ-sweetened My Favourite Mistake were early highlights, as was her cover of Cat Stevens’ The First Cut is the Deepest.
The band came closest to letting loose on the rollicking Best of Times, ending with a fiery extended jam featuring Crow on hellraising harmonica. An accordion-laced run through hit Strong Enough was also a sweet diversion.
But in the end, the performance was dependent on the strength of the songs, which meant things lagged when she broke into more generic numbers such as the bluesy Real Gone.
SOURCE: Calgary Herald