by Linda Burlingame
Raiding the Country Vault has a delightful dash of Christmas fun in November and December. Most Branson live shows feature some holiday songs during our two-month long Ozark Mountain Christmas. Raiding the Country Vault has chosen some of the best country Christmas. Melody’s Rockin Around the Christmas Tree is fun — I love that Brenda Lee song! Michelle sings Tennessee Christmas, Billy Yates does the George Strait version of What a Merry Christmas This Could Be, and Heather sings the Glen Campbell rendition of Old Toy Trains. It’s an enjoyable mix of Country ‘n’ Christmas!
Raiding the Country Vault is a history of country music, filled with country standards presented by a cast of talented entertainers. The audience smiles and applauds classics from artists like Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Buck Owens, and more. Along this musical journey, it’s more than just the songs. Video screens are filled with interesting, often little known facts about the artists and the songs. I think the backstories are captivating. “Vault” clips include the 50’s, comedy, movies, and my favorite — cowboy music!
The vocalists, musicians, and songwriters who make up the cast have outstanding credentials of their own. Billy Yates co-wrote I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair, and they’ve all been on stage with and recorded with country music artists like Roy Clark, Alan Jackson, Ronnie Millsap, George Jones, Restless Heart, Shania Twain, Hank Jr., Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood … well, you get the idea. It’s a stellar company!
Country music tells stories … about love and loss, about fun and family. They’re stories that make us smile or laugh, sometimes cry. What makes a hit song? The story is just part of it. It’s the telling of the story, the portrayal of the story, the singer’s interpretation. Our favorite songs have irresistible melodies, rhythms that stay with us forever. Refrains we recognize after just a few notes. The musicians who pull all this together in Raiding the Country Vault are Billy Yates, Colt Prather, Heath Wright, Eric Heatherly, Michelle Poe, Scott Kwapiszeski, Steve Ramsey, Melody Hart, David Smith, Pete Generous, and Keith Home.
I always get a kick out of Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy! Eric sings that one. The whole cast charms the audience with the feel-good song Christmas Times a Comin’, maybe the greatest bluegrass Christmas song ever. The Starlite Theatre has state-of-the-art sound and lighting, comfortable seating … and you’ll love the gift shop!
Check out other shows at Starlite Theatre, including The Prophecy, a Trans-Siberian Orchestra style show that makes its Branson debut at the Starlite Theatre for just a few dates in November. Happy Holidays! (Never too early to say that around here!)