I should probably start this off by revealing that I really don’t like contemporary country music. The country music I enjoy comes from people like Johnny Cash and George Jones. Genuine God-fearing Southerners who could drink you under the table, might have done some jail time, and sing about all of those things with an acoustic guitar. They’re sharecroppers’ sons and coal miners’ daughters.
They’re not the dude from Hootie and the Blowfish or an Australian or an American Idol.
So you can probably understand when I tell you that I was less than enthused when my female travel companion asked if we could stick around after dinner for a Chris Higbee show at the Foggy Goggle during a recent stay at 7 Springs.
I didn’t know much about Chris Higbee prior to that night other than he was from around here and that he used to be in the Povertyneck Hillbillies band (of whom I know equally little about). But by the end of the night, I learned that Chris Higbee is incredibly talented, a born entertainer and puts on one hell of a show.
From the moment he took the stage, Higbee turned the energy on full blast and never let up. Backed by a tight band including a talented and versatile guitar player, Higbee performed a set that included a mix of original and cover country songs, and even a few rock-n-roll classics including Twist and Shout which got the few people not already dancing out on the dance floor. At one point in the show, he did a cool back and forth with his guitar player where his guitar player played intros to famous classic rock songs and Higbee responded with country licks on his fiddle. It was fun to watch and the crowd loved it.
Higbee plays a mean fiddle—I never thought I’d ever say those words in my life—in addition to guitar and banjo. But his fiddle playing was the most exciting to watch. And apparently, he likes to surprise audiences by casually disappearing and reappearing by surprise perched in high places playing the fiddle. Since this was a bar, he suddenly appeared standing on top of the bar playing his fiddle, but he’s been known to stand on the roof of outdoor amphitheaters and parking garages doing the same.
Oh, and he can sing, too, and purty dern good.
I had the opportunity to meet Chris Higbee and his wife Melissa during the break between sets, and they were both extremely nice and down to earth. She joined him on stage a few times to sing a few songs. Additionally, she’s an Army drill sergeant who spent two years in Iraq. Pretty incredible, and very “country music.”
If you have the chance to see Chris Higbee perform live, do it. You will not be disappointed. And if you’re not a country music fan, this guy just might change your mind.
Visit Chris Higbee on the web at chrishigbee.com.
Here’s a song Chris wrote that was inspired by his wife being on duty in Iraq.Chris Higbee,