Many people know that I don't watch American Idol. I believe the reason for that is that I'm not really a fan of current pop music. There is something missing there. I tend to look back and think of the first search for musical talent instead... Star Search. As you can see in the picture, there's Ed McMahon. Sure, I don't think he knew much about music at the time (they did branch off into comedy, dancing and comedy with much success) but there sure were some amazing people that used that show as a stepping stone.
The show was a fixture in our household growing up and, for some reason, the winners seemed to be pretty obvious for awhile. It was almost like a Survivor talent show when there were people of equal talent. Sure, everyone knows about Britney Spears appearing on the show. Even Sinbad, Sam Harris, Dennis Miller, Drew Carey, Rosie O'Donnell, Alanis Morissette, Martin Lawrence, Justin Timberlake, Ray Romano, LeAnn Rimes and Christina Aguilera made decent careers for themselves after appearing on the show that ran from 1983 to 1995. But then, there was this 5-piece country band that was embraced by the studio and television audience that won the $100,000 grand prize on the show and got signed to a recording contract right afterwards named... Sawyer Brown.
Friday night was my first time seeing Sawyer Brown since I first watched them on Star Search. The band have been together now for more than 23 years, performed over 3500 shows and have collected many gold and platinum albums. I actually don't have any of their CDs (this will be remedied.) The show was phenomenal. Unexpected witty banter between the band members, great cover songs and a tight sound seem to be a staple of their shows from most of the crowd reaction. The energy of lead vocalist Mark Miller is astounding. Sure, he dances funny but after awhile you get past that. Keyboardist Gregg 'Hobie' Hubbard stands out though. He has an amazing ear for vocal harmony and plays the hell out of that Yamaha he has on stage. His vocal on their cover of Joe Walsh's "Life Is Good" had me floored. This isn't to say that the rest of the band were slouches. I'm just amazed that I might never have seen them if it weren't for the kindness of Dan and Robin offering the tickets. I'm very thankful. Now I need to find a good greatest hits collection for them. I'll work on that later. Gotta get ready for a Halloween party and maybe sneak a nap in.