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Tribute To John Denver 020

A big crowd enjoyed an evening of great music and picnicking on the green

Jim Curry Band serves up a Big Canoe ‘mountain high’

By Margo Vallone

John Denver’s inspirational music filled the valley and filled up our senses at Playfield Park when the four-piece Jim Curry Band entertained an estimated 500-plus audience of picnicking Denver fans.

The POA was very fortunate to get this group to Big Canoe because Curry and his wife Anne are based in Los Angeles and the other two artists come from Colorado and Marietta. However, it just so happened they were booked to play with the Bowling Green Symphony the night before, and they were willing to make the six-hour drive from Kentucky Sunday morning.

Tribute To John Denver 047

The Jim Curry Band: Diane Ireland, left on flute, Jim Curry, his wife, Anne, on mandolin
and Tom Williams on electric bass.

The melodic two-hour program included many of Denver’s most beloved hits including “Rocky Mountain High,” “Annie’s Song,” “Calypso,” and “Take Me Home Country Roads” that had everyone swaying and singing along. A less-familiar version of “Eagles and Horses” opened with a haunting introduction played on the double Indian flute by Diane Ireland, and the exhilirating number was a crowd favorite. Diane’s beautiful lilting flute, Anne’s adeptness on the mandolin and guitar, Tom Williams’ electric bass accompaniment and the three vocalists blended perfectly to enhance each selection on the play list.

Tribute To John Denver 051
Jim Curry

A delightful surprise of the evening was Curry’s announcement that John Denver’s family for the first time in the 20 years since his death, has given the Curry Band exclusive rights to record “Yellowstone,” the last song Denver wrote and performed. Having that song performed here was a special treat, since no one had heard it before. Another treat was when Curry sang his original composition, “Childhood Sweetheart,” written for his own sweetheart, Anne, who he married 38 years ago. Again, the similarity in style between Denver’s lyrical style and Curry’s is uncanny, as it is in the sounds of their voices, and even in Curry’s facial resemblance to Denver. One can’t help but love them both!

The Curry group said they would like to return to perform in Big Canoe again, and the enthusiastic reaction of the audience left no doubt that Big Canoe can hardly wait for their return engagement.

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