On Wednesday night, Kenny Rogers takes it to the stage of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre for a program of custom-roasted Yuletide chestnuts, platinum-plated signature songs, stories, and a multimedia element that “will include a reflective look back through Rogers’ storied 50-plus-year career.”
Scheduled for 8 p.m., the Red Bank date is one of many on the busy tour itinerary that features a special guest star performer, the Grammy winning veteran vocalist Linda Davis.
That particular award was earned for “Does He Love You,” a duet with Reba McEntire, and her career includes major nominations for collaborations with Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride, a credit that makes her well-positioned to join Rogers as his female duet partner on such team-up hits as “Islands in the Stream” and “We’ve Got Tonight.”
As for “The Gambler” himself, he’ll be presenting a retrospective of milestones that begin with the early anthem with his old band the First Edition, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In,” and run through a scary-big catalog of story-songs (“Coward of the County,” “Ruby,” “Lucille”), easy-listening perennials (“Lady,” “She Believes In Me”), and a promised set of songs he hasn’t performed in years.
It’s all chased with a generous helping of evergreens and originals from his six holiday-themed recordings (including Once Again It’s Christmas, released just last year), plus vintage photos and video clips that should give the Basie’s big screen a winter workout.
Then go here for still more holiday hurrah at the Basie, including Bobby Bandiera’s all-star Hope Concert IX on December 23 and the return of Southside Johnny’s New Year’s Eve celebration.