Arts & Music
Despite 10-year layoff, Alabama hasn't lost a step
Celebrating a career that spans 40 years, the Southern rock/country band Alabama heated up Ruth Eckerd Hall Saturday night. The group's Back to the Bowery tour is packed with a solid selection of their greatest hits from "Dixieland Delight" to "Song of the South." The guys showed they could still rock the joint. With a full house of fans giving then a standing ovation and welcoming them with whoops and hollers, they opened with "If You Want To Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)" followed by "Tennessee River.""Don't you dare sit down," Randy Own told the crowd. Their first tour in 10 years recalls The Bowery bar in Myrtle Beach, S.C. where the group started in the '70s. Older and grayer, lead vocalist Randy Owen, multi-instrumentalist Jeff Cook and bassist Teddy Gentry have plenty of material to pick from -- more than 40 hit singles over 40 years. Opener Aaron Parker, wearing a big black cowboy hat, got the crowd primed for the country supergroup with a set filled with the right amount of country twang. The singer-songwriter thoroughly charmed during his short acoustic set.