April 22, 2024

New Fury Media

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Skip Ewing gives Ohio fans a once in a lifetime night to remember with unique show

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By Dave Parsons

There was a crop of male country singers, who all came out around the same time in the 1990’s. Among them were Kenny Chesney, Bryan White, Collin Raye, and Skip Ewing.  They all had hits on the radio, but the other tie that binds them was that Skip Ewing wrote hits for the other 3 as well as some for himself. 

When entering the Ohio Star Theater in Sugarcreek Ohio, it was evident Ewing wasn’t doing a Greatest Hits tour.  His minimal stage setup was backed by a mammoth screen declaring “Skip Ewing Horsepower 307”.  When Ewing took the stage exactly at 7 PM, on February 2, he joked with the audience while plugging in his guitar.  

“I bet you are wondering what I’m going to sing…..so am I…..”

He explained that no two shows are ever the same, and he was making the setlist up as he went, Ewing spent the first 30 minutes playing hit after hit that he wrote.  From Chesney’s “You Had Me from Hello”, to Collin Raye’s “Love, Me”, and the 3 number ones in a row that he wrote for Bryan White, Ewing performed them solo acoustic and offered insight to how the songs came about. From the record label telling him that “Love, Me” was a horrible song, and giving it up to Collin Raye, (and watching it become Raye’s first huge hit), to wanting to cut White’s third #1 song himself first, but giving it up for the publishing company to try to get White another hit.  Ewing walked the audience through the songs and stories that made him famous.  

As he declared his show to be in true Ewing fashion, he called his band, Horsepower 307 to the stage, and then remembered he had promised to do his hit song “The Gospel According to Luke” and the band just backed him on it, even though they had not rehearsed it first.

It was here that he explained that in 2018 he was not sure he was going to do another music project.  He left Nashville with everything he and his wife owned and moved to Wyoming.  He had grown tired of writing for the what country radio had become was not working for him anymore and he wanted to write the songs he wanted to write.  He found the inspiration in Wyoming, hence the name of his band with the addition of the Wyoming area code of 307.

Ewing and band launched into several cuts of his CD “Wyoming” that came out in 2020.  He admitted the effort was mostly overlooked on release, but started gaining attention over the next few years.  Ewing explained the basis of these songs too before he played them which made you familiar with them in advance, even if you had never heard them before.

The stripped-down band allowed Ewing to deliver the vocals loud and clear.  Songs like “Railroad”, ”The Juggler”, and “Cowboy Inside” gave you some idea of what Ewing is the best at as a songwriter, and that is painting an image with words and telling a story with his heart.  

Ewing included his newest release, the fun loving “Road Dog” and offered a glimpse of what is to come by closing the performance with “Wreck of My Heart” which was coming out the week after the show.

After giving a 2-hour performance of music, that covered his entire country career, Ewing took one more full circle connection to the past, and went to the lobby to sign autographs and meet with the audience members. Person after person told him stories of how his songs had special meaning in their lives. One young man had been a fan since the beginning of his career, and another said it was a bucket list to finally see him in concert.

It was truly an evening full of give and take with an audience who put the cell phones away, and came to listen to a man who had written part of the soundtrack of their lives, and a singer-songwriter who came to share the best of what he had to offer, with or without the help of country radio these days.  Ewing said 2 or 3 times that he was so touched by how much the audience was into what he was doing.  So much so apparently, that he had to ask permission from the venue to do the last song because he was so into it that he lost track of how long he had been performing. I would venture to say the audience had the same experience. Neither can ask for much more than that on a bitter cold evening.

Skip Ewing Show Setlist:

Acoustic Solo

1 You Had Me From Hello

2 Someone Else’s Star

3 Rebecca Lynn

4 I’m Not Supposed To Love You Anymore

5 Love, Me

6 If I Didn’t Have You

7 I Would If I Could

8 The Gospel According To Luke

With Band:

9 Railroad

10 The Juggler

11 Wyoming

12 Petroglyph

13       Cowboy Inside

14 Road Dog

15 I’m The Windmill

16 Wreck Of My Heart

 

 

Photo Gallery : Skip Ewing – Ohio Star Theater (02.02.2024)

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