Toad Holler, Des Moines, IA on February 14, 2003

Marty & his Fabulous Superlatives were more than fabulous! I was blown away by the talent of his new band members! (Jerry was really impressed as well - this was his very first 'Marty Party'!)

The opening act (after the three-hour wait before anyone took the stage) made the wait more bearable. The 'Toad Holler All-Stars' featured a few "classic country" tunes, such as Buck Owens' "Sam's Place", Johnny Paycheck's "(Please Don't Play) A-11", and a very touching rendition of Freddy Fender's "Before the Next Teardrop Falls". (Their drummer, Eddie Lopez, sang the Spanish verse - almost as good as if Freddy were there himself!) The band's bass player owns Toad Holler; the rest of the band include a steel guitar player, fiddle player, and the lead singer with his acoustic guitar.

Shortly after 10 pm - Marty, Kenny, Brian & Harry took the stage. They opened with "Back to the Country", followed by "Too Much Month at the End of the Money", "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'", "A Satisfied Mind", the "Rock Island Line", followed by "Homesick", "Tempted", and "This One's Gonna Hurt You (For a Long Time)". Marty introduced Kenny, Brian & Harry, and introduced Kenny's "Country Music Got a Hold on Me".

Then Marty was back with "Touch Me, Turn Me On, Burn Me Down". Harry was next with "Don't Worry 'Bout Me", followed by Brian singing lead in "Crazy Over You". Marty then took a request from the audience for "Long Black Veil", and followed that with a Waylon tune, "That's What Makes the Cowboy Sing the Blues". (Waylon passed away a year ago Thursday.) "Hillbilly Rock" ended the show - or so we thought! (The crowd was very enthusiastic, and the majority of them stood and clapped until Marty came back onstage!)

The encore brought three more songs: "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down", followed by "You Got to Get Down on Your Knees and Pray". (One word sums up my impression of their rendition of that one - WOW!!!!! During the periods of "silence" between the phrases, it was so quiet in there that you could almost hear a pin drop!) Then they closed with "Hey Baby". By then, it was after midnight; the evening was all too short - I wish they could have came back tonight for a second show! However, as Lori stated in her e-mail last night...the weather here is ominous. While we were waiting for the "Meet & Greet" to take place, I heard Kenny say that they weren't even sure where they were headed next - it was either "back to Minnesota or south to Nashville."

The "Meet & Greet" that followed was pretty much open to anyone who wanted to shake hands, hug, get autographs, etc. (No pictures were allowed - but I was able to take several during the concert, and I will send them to Sherry sometime this next week.)

As Ray Stevens might say, "That's all the news that IS news..."

'Til the next Marty Party ~

Review by Jennifer Clark, Des Moines, IA

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