Loretta Lynn at Morris PAC 2.13.2011

“Coal Miner’s Daughter pays a visit to South Bend


By Christian Scalise


One of country music’s most beloved entertainers, singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn made her long-awaited return to the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend, Indiana on Sunday February 13th, 2011 for a sold-out Valentine’s Day weekend performance!


It has been almost four years since Lynn last graced the stage of the Morris PAC and it would be fitting to say the least that by the likes of the anxious audience, they were absolutely enthralled to witness her one night only appearance in the charming town. 


The enchantingly historic ninety year old venue boasts rich décor and embellished beauty within the seating area complete with superb acoustics. Thanks to the structural layout of the venue, there is not a bad seat in the house.


The show began promptly at 7:30pm with Loretta’s son Ernest Ray and twin daughters “The Lynns” (Patsy and Peggy) serving as the opening acts prior to their mothers arrival to the stage.


Ernest Ray is Loretta’s rowdy but hilarious son who keeps the audience on their toes with his snide, but sometimes raunchy sense of humor and backwoods wit. Her girls, Patsy and Peggy are two of the most talented yet underrated duos in the business.


Although it has been some time since The Lynns have released an album of new material, they possess the same if not greater professionalism, engaging stage presence and strong vocal prowess that today’s mainstream artists do.


I’d recommend that those reading this review pick up copies of their two albums and give them a listen. Tracks like the haunting ballad “Sarah,” the feisty “That’s All I’ve Got To Say” or the willfully strong female anthem “Woman To Woman” will give you an idea of who they are both musically and personally.


Around 8pm, it was time for the lady of the evening herself to take the stage. The applause strengthened, the cheers became louder, and in the midst of complete fanfare, the ever elegant and charming Loretta Lynn appeared on the stage in a flawless gold and white gown encrusted in sequins and sparkles. Her hair coiffed high and porcelain like skin ignited the audience to rise to their feet. Those present were truly among country music royalty at its finest.


It’s hard to put into words what a Loretta Lynn concert is really like. After four years of being blessed and extremely privileged to review/interview Loretta, the wonder and the magic of her live shows have never lost their luster in my opinion.


There is something about an authentic traditionalist who isn’t fearful of the songs that she writes or the way that she sings them. She has stood the test of time and through the years she has gathered generations of fans together in the name of music.


Loretta’s focus has always been “fans first” and critics after. Loretta has a loyal and protective following and she clearly knows how to return the favor by giving them her all every time she hits the stage.


With a sensational band and vocally trained background singers, “The Coalettes” it’s hard to turn down an invitation to witness such an extravagant show live and in person.


Never one to disappoint those who attend her concerts, Loretta whipped out a hefty slew of her mega-hits from her countless catalogue of 50 plus years such as “They Don’t Make Em’ Like My Daddy Anymore,” “Love Is The Foundation,” “The Pill,” “One’s On The Way,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “Dear Uncle Sam,” “Your Squaw Is On The Warpath,” and of course a trio of uplifting Gospel medleys paying homage to her Faith.


For the encore her signature tune “Coal Miners Daughter” echoed throughout the venue sending chills down my spine. Watching the music legend perform the infamous song that began her journey into the world of music brought the concert full circle. The show-stopping performance earned Loretta a long standing ovation well after its finish.


The entire evening was filled with one of a kind entertainment and memorable stories and interaction from Loretta. She kept on her feet the whole show and didn’t miss a beat. It’s hard to believe that one can still exhibit the same spunk and energy at her age, but Loretta’s passion to perform and desire to make her fans proud stood strong. God Bless Loretta Lynn!


For more on Loretta Lynn: http://www.LorettaLynn.com