Review of The Hampton Hayride
–Photo and article by Sam McDonald / The Daily Press
HAMPTON HAYRIDE GOES OFF WITHOUT A HITCH
Creating an old-style, country-tinged variety show on the order of the Grand Ole Opry, the Old Dominion Barn Dance or the Louisiana Hayride is a daunting idea.
But Taphouse owner Peter Pittman is, apparently, a man not easily intimidated. He’s found a way to lasso a herd of local talent and corral it into a cohesive and entertaining evening of music.
The fact that the debut edition of the Hampton Hayride — which took place Sunday evening upstairs at the Hampton Taphouse — was so musically sharp and fast-paced is a testament to Pittman’s enthusiasm and strong connections to the local music scene.
Presented as a pretend live broadcast on the fictional radio station WTAP, the Hampton Hayride featured a mixed bag of talent old and new. Members of The Muckrakes performed in different configurations, showing off impressive versatility. Blue yodeler Nate Pace sang solo and cracked up the crowd with his show-stopping “Amazing Grass.” The boys from Come in Tokyo explored the honky-tonk side of their musical personality with a couple of rollicking, twang-infused numbers including Gram Parsons’ “Blue Eyes.”
Pittman himself teamed with singer Gina Dalmas on the Robbie Fulks tune “You Shouldn’t Have” and Come in Tokyo’s Tom Stanley on another Fulks gem, “The Buck Starts Here.”
The whole cast ended the Hayride portion of the night by piling onto the stage for a wild romp through The Muckrakes song, “I Remember Elvis.”
Good stuff and a promising debut.