Show Reviews

Show Review: Nashville's Most Wanted ft. Dustin Spears

 

NASHVILLE'S MOST WANTED

Ft. Dustin Spears

Tuesday November 23, 2021

@ Scoreboard Bar & Grill in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

 

With each new Tuesday night, country music lovers get the incredible opportunity to head out to the famous Music Valley area of town, grab a seat on the tremendous back patio (enclosed for winter now) at the popular Scoreboard Bar & Grill, and take in Cody Purvis’ free ‘Nashville’s Most Wanted’ live weekly music series.

As each week’s show continues to grow and become the hot spot to be on a Tuesday night, you’ll find that Purvis invites a healthy balance of established acts, emerging artists, and the best singer/songwriters that Nashville has to offer to be a part of the lineup.

This week’s show had to make a last-minute adjustment, but further proved that Purvis’ ‘Nashville’s Most Wanted’ is top-notch, even when the original plans shift.

Jesse Keith Whitley was scheduled for an appearance on this week’s show. However, due to being in the studio the prior two days and having a bit of a strained voice, he unfortunately had to cancel, but not before calling on his good friend Dustin Spears to fill in for him.

Though I personally was scheduled to cover Jesse’s performance, I stayed glued to my seat the moment that Dustin took the stage and instantly began to show off his gritty vocals and songwriting style that bent into the country storytelling vibe when he opened his set with “I Still Think About You,” a song from his 2019 EP that he mentioned being blessed to play on Today in Nashville.

He then ran through an hour long set that showcased some of his back catalog, gave a glimpse into where he is headed with his next release (due out this spring), and he injected a few well-placed covers that allowed some of his influences to shine.

Amongst the new material he offered were songs such as, “Tennessee and You,” “Drinking You Goodbye,” and “Whiskey Ain’t Working,” the latter which allowed Spears to really show off his vocal chops as he hit several different registers with his incredible range throughout this true country gem.

With several songs that leaned on a drinking theme, Spears easily connected with the Tuesday night barflies in the crowd, playing songs throughout his set with titles such as, “Spilling Beer Sober,” and “Margarita Down Tonight,” which he sent out to all the girls who had a broken heart.

With any artist, though, especially one who wasn’t originally scheduled to play, the balance between playing outstanding originals and fusing in the cover songs that will pull the audience into their set is so very important. Spears clearly had an intuition about the crowd demographic as he played Jellyroll’s “Save Me” and Morgan Wallen’s “Cover Me Up” (by request) midway through his set, before closing with the Conway Twitty classic, “Goodbye Time.”However, the defining moment of any Dustin Spears performance is his incredibly raw and real, stone country turn on “Slow Walk with Jesus,” where he sings a very transparent, autobiographical lyric that results in the powerful hook, “I’m a slow walk with Jesus, and a dance with a devil.”

They say that change is inevitable in life, and this night presented a major change to the lineup and to our coverage. Truthfully, had I known ahead of time that Jesse had to cancel, I most likely would have not gone to the show. But I’m so glad that I didn’t know that, and I got to see this great performance from Dustin Spears instead; proving that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing while also highlighting the extremely talented pool that Cody Purvis can tap into and bring to ‘Nashville’s Most Wanted’ every week.

FULL SET LIST

1) I Still Think About You

2) Tennessee and You

3) Alright

4) Whiskey Ain’t Working

5) Spilling Beer Sober

6) Save Me (Jellyroll cover)

7) Cover Me Up (Morgan Wallen cover)

8) Margarita Down Tonight

9) Slow Walk with Jesus

10) Share My World with You

11) Drinking You Goodbye

12) Goodbye Time (Conway Twitty cover)