Kershaw, fair audience hit it off Friday

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The people who came to see Sammy Kershaw at the SEMO District Fair on Friday were there to have a good time. And they did, thanks to Kershaw's high-energy, crowd-friendly performance.

Kershaw performed a mix of his hits and songs off his latest album, "I Want My Money Back," to a crowd of about 2,000 in the grandstand.

With Kershaw's casual attire of short-sleeved shirt, jeans and sneakers, the country twang in his voice as he bantered with the audience and the rebel flag displayed onstage and on his guitar, Kershaw gave off a good-old-boy vibe that struck a chord with the audience.

He even asked (on more than one occasion) how many people in the audience considered themselves a redneck, to which he received enthusiastic applause.

Kershaw then told the audience he was just a redneck boy from southern Louisiana and proceeded to play what he described as the "redneck section of the show."

That included "Cadillac Style," an early Kershaw song from 1991, and a new song called "Beer, Bait and Ammo."

Throughout the night, Kershaw chatted casually with the audience, more like a new best friend than a multiplatinum-selling musician. When he said he was glad to be there, you believed him.

The audience responded in kind with frequent applause and whistles and the occasional screams of "we love you, Sammy" or the names of songs they wanted him to play next.

Kershaw's best performances came when he played fun, light-hearted songs like "Louisiana Hot Sauce," "Working Woman's Holiday" and "I Want My Money Back." that had humorous lyrics and up-tempo beats.

The best of Kershaw's upbeat songs blended traditional country sounds with Cajun influences and even a little Southern rock.

But he also did a decent job with ballads like "Love of My Life" and "If You Ever Come This Way Again."

kalfisi@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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