Did you ever regret not to have attended a Jim Reeves concert when you had the opportunity? Or you were too young or was not even born then? Now is the opportunity to attend a show which throws you back in time, or almost....
Last week, I travelled for 950 kilometers by car to Aalborg and Viborg in Denmark, to attend 2 concerts by Arne Benoni , called ARNE BENONI'S TRIBUTE TO JIM REEVES with special guest LEO JACKSON from JIM REEVES' BLUE BOYS and also featuring the Swedish band TOMBOOLA.
Arne had performed Jim Reeves songs at the fan club meeting in Hilversum in The Netherlands two years ago, and his CD albums feature Jim Reeves tributes and songs, usually with Leo on lead guitar, I knew I would be enjoying the show.
On Thursday September 23rd, the show played in the picturesque and charming former vaudeville theatre ‘GRAND’ in Aalborg, the building dates from the late 1800’s I presume.
The first part of the show opened with Norwegian singer ARLY, followed by Danish singer Bo Young and American/Danish female singer Tamra Rosanes, who closed the first part and opened the second part of the show. Those artists were unknown to me, but they were as good as many American acts which tour Europe!
When Arne and the band began with his part of the show, I was literally taken back by the sound created by the TOMBOLA band and Leo, it was just if the ‘Blue Boys’ band from pre 1966 were playing! And when Arne sang Jim Reeves songs , on occasions Leo enhanced the time warp by singing harmony with him!
Leo looks much younger than his real age, he has slimmed down considerably and didn’t wear a hat as he usually does, and has a nice hair style. He. looks much more like we remember him from the times he played for Jim.
Quite a number of Jim Reeves hits were performed in the show which ran for almost 50 minutes. Songs such as ‘Mexican Joe’, ‘Billy Bayou’, ‘Four Walls’, ‘He’ll Have To Go’, ‘I’m Gonna Change Everything’, ‘Adios Amigo’, ‘I Love You Because’ and many more. Leo played a few instrumentals on Arne Benoni’s Fender Jazz master guitar, including ‘Wildwood Flower’, one of Jim’s favourites.
Time flew fast and I and the 150 other country music fans applauded long and loudly when the show finished.
On Saturday September 25th, I attended the show in the TINGHALLEN, Viborg, some 75 kilometres from Aalborg.
Arne’s show was as good as the other one, and the curved roof of the newly build Tinghallen reminded me about the Njårdhallen in Oslo where on April 15, 1964 Jim had done two shows. One big difference though, during both of Arne's concerts, fans were line dancing in front of the stage!
700 Fans attended this show and after the concert, there was the usual meeting of artists signing CD album covers and Leo did sign several albums too.
If you wish to attend the show, there will be two more dates later this week:
Friday Oct 1st KLIPPINGE (South of KØGE-Sjælland)
Saturday Oct 2nd GREVE (A suburb of Copenhagen)
You won’t be disappointed, I may quote Leo who informed me that The Blue Boys where the best band travelling in the 60’s, and Tomboola is the best band for 4 pieces now, and that Arne Benoni sings Jim Reeves songs better than anyone he has heard. People are sending Leo tapes and telling him how close they sound like Jim Reeves, but none are as close as Arne Benoni.
Arne informed me that he and Leo will do at least one, probably more dates in Scotland, in March 2005! If you wish to see them perform in your area, where ever you live in Europe, inform your country music club or local promoters about it. Information about the shows can be obtained from Arne or his manager.