By Matthew Bado, TSB Staff
The country duo Steel Magnolia rocked the McKinney Performing Arts Center on Thursday night as the audience tapped, clapped and hollered throughout the set list despite several awkward moments of stops and starts.
Steel Magnolia rose to fame after taking home the top prize on CMT’s reality show, Can You Duet? in 2009. The duo, comprised of Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey, proved they can in fact duet. Their harmonies blended together like melting butter on toast, producing a stellar southern soul-rock sound that the audience ate up.
They opened, flanked by their outstanding band, with Jones on the guitar and Linsey on tambourine. Favorites were Ooh La La and Edge of Goodbye. While Jones’ sound is filled with plenty of soul, it was Linsey who outshined her fiancé with her immensely powerful vocals, especially on her solo,Bulletproof, where she owned the stage. Her sound is a combination of Loretta Lynne and Tina Turner, Tina Turner with a twang that is. Linsey wowed the audience with an impromptu a capella version of the classic, Delta Dawn.
It was unfortunate the performance was laden with fits of stops and restarts, making it very uncomfortable for the audience. Taking cues from Jones, Steel Magnolia was unprepared. It appeared they had a set list based on Jones’ long stares at the stage floor, but he never seem satisfied with the next song on the list. The chemistry between the two was authentic during the first five segues of jokes and banter but soon became annoying and irrelevant, especially for those of us who came for the music. Jones was visibly flustered and testy as a result of some sound challenges, which in turn, rubbed the audience the wrong way.
Some may say the two were at their finest when they performed sans the band, where they sang the classic, After the Fire is Gone, among others.
It was a great music night in McKinney. Keep Steel Magnolia on your radar. They won’t be going away anytime soon.