Charlie Louvin looked into my eyes as he addressed me from the stage. I was thrilled, even if I was one of only a couple dozen people in the audience at an under-promoted show at the Grand Emporium.
It was a clear personal highlight in a great year for live music in Kansas City. I'm very fortunate to have gone out to see music over 100 nights in 2007. Counting opening acts and festival bills, I attended over 400 individual performances. These are my favorite 25.
As I review this list, I'm struck by two themes. First, what's up with all the ancient musicians? Louvin (80) is joined by Ray Price (81), Etta James (69), Bob Dylan (66), Ronnie Milsap (64) and John McEuen (61). Well, at least Pinetop Perkins (94), Hubert Sumlin (76), Bill Gaither (71) and Isaac Hayes (65) didn't make the cut.
It's also worth noting that I don't particularly care for the music of every artist listed below. For example, I far prefer the Arctic Monkeys and Camera Obscura to Bowling For Soup and Kellie Pickler. The latter pair, however, gave outstanding performances, while desultory efforts by the two U.K. acts disappointed me.
I've posted links to same-concert fan footage where it's available.
1. Ray Price- Knuckleheads
2. Roy Hargrove- Folly Theater
3. Rufus Wainwright- VooDoo Lounge same show footage
4. Charlie Louvin- Grand Emporium
5. Art Brut- Granada Theater
6. Arturo Sandoval- Jazz In the Woods festival same show footage
7. Drowning Pool- Rockfest same show footage
8. Ronnie Milsap- Kemper Arena same show footage
9. Etta James- VooDoo Lounge
10. Bowling For Soup- Grand Emporium same show footage
11. Christina Aguilera- Kemper Arena same show footage
12. Rodney Crowell- Knuckleheads
13. Sean Lennon- Grand Emporium same show footage
14. John McEuen- Mountain Music Shoppe
15. Dee Dee Bridgewater- Gem Theater
16. Bob Dylan- Starlight Theater
17. OK Jones- house party
18. Albert Hammond, Jr.- Uptown Theater same show footage
19. Ziggy Marley- Crossroads same show footage
20. Kellie Pickler- Verizon Amphitheater same show footage
21. Megan Birdsall with the Gary Sivils Quartet- Jardine's
22. Lori McKenna- in-store at Borders
23. Burden Brothers- Rockfest same show footage
24. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals- VooDoo footage of GP with Gov't Mule later same night
25.Tater & the Gravy Train- Harry's Country Club footage from weekly show
Just for good measure,