Tecumseh Flyers, Highway Kind

Melody Inn

Sunday, Jan. 9

Ever seen The Country Bears? Not the cartoon movie Disney cranked out, but the actual attraction at Disney World? If not, a little background: The attraction features a number of robotic bears who “speak” and “sing” to the audience of enthusiastic toddlers and relieved parents. It happens to be one of the best attractions in the park.

That said, there was a moment watching the Highway Kind and Tecumseh Flyers when I realized, in a weird way, it reminded me of watching The Country Bears. The six member group played a rather short set, as far as the number of songs played, yet, it stretched a good 45 minutes. Many of the songs were covers, and they were executed remarkably well. The band was tight and solid, and the vocalists compliment one another, in a scratchy, earthy, Grateful Dead/The Band sort of way.

My only complaint was that the songs seemed to go incredibly long. Many songs beg for the chorus to be repeated over and over. However, more than a few times, an enjoyable song was being performed and then … it just didn’t stop. The set on the whole was extremely enjoyable, but would have been better if the songs were just a tad shorter. Maybe then, more songs could fill the set.

Tecumseh Flyers took the stage immediately after, performing both originals and covers. Again, the harmony in vocals was excellent (except on the last note of Porter Wagoner’s “Satisfied Mind.” Something went a tad squirrelly). The banter with the audience was humorous and friendly, and the playing wonderful, as well.

The group had even brought fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches in honor of The King’s birthday. After pointing out the sandwiches were free to anyone, they played a nice cover of Elvis’ “That’s All Right, Mama.” Steve was apparently working out the kinks in playing a brand new mandolin, but any difficulty he might have been having was inaudible.

The combination of Tecumseh Flyers and Highway Kind was a perfectly matched duo. It was a fun, laid-back way to spend a Sunday night; a nice way to wind down the weekend.

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