LORETTA LYNN IS REAL DEAL

By Michelle Kinsey – The Star Press

I want to hang out with Loretta Lynn.

And I’m sure I’m not alone.

You can’t help but feel that way after seeing the country songstress in concert Friday night at Emens Auditorium. She’s funny, fiery, classy and country.

And she wears ballgowns at every show (this time it was a hot pink number).

Lynn was originally scheduled to perform here back in November but had to postpone the show because of an illness. She was in good spirits on this night, but did take breaks for some of the songs in a chair.

She and her 10-piece band winged it most of show, taking requests from the audience. Some she couldn’t do, she joked, because she’s forgotten them.

“Lord, you’ve asked for songs I can’t sing,” she said.

But she did just fine with her hits, including “You’re Lookin’ at Country,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man,” “Somebody Somewhere,” “Blue Kentucky Girl,” The Pill,” “One’s On the Way,” “Your Squaw is on the Warpath,” and “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’.”

She’s still just as feisty in “Fist City” and her voice is still just as beautiful on “She’s Got You.”

And she happily performed “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” noting it was her first single.

She also made sure to mention that she’s very much alive, thank you.

That was one of the rumors the country legend addressed during the concert.

“Seems like they always have me on my death bed,” she said with a laugh.

The audience was treated to Lynn’s wit after nearly every song, and we heard perhaps one of the best lines ever uttered during a concert.

“Get back on your ‘X’,” Loretta Lynn told her son Ernie when he told a “dirty joke.” She was referring to the mark on the floor used to position folks on the stage.

She went back and forth with her band quite a bit. There were more jokes told. There were special guests introduced (a friend who used to play with the Reds and her ate husband’s sister-in-law). It was about as down-home as you can get in a big venue.

Lynn also shared the spotlight. She performed “Lead Me On” with band member Bart Hansen. And her backup singers offered up a few tunes – “Let Me Love You Tonight” and “Amy” – as Lynn remained in her chait at centerstage and watched.

“That ain’t country enough for me,” she said afterward, then joined the guys on “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.”

These segued nicely into a few gospel tunes, including “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven.”

She closed the show, of course, with “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” after which fan Kim Rose presented Lynn with a huge bouquet of flowers.

Her kids opened the show – twin daughters Peggy and Patsy and her very talkative son Ernie.

But fans couldn’t wait for Lynn to take the stage. They knew every word. And they were only too happy to sing along. Like Monica Liebert, 32, who came from Zionsville for the show with her sister, Melissa, 25.

Both said they were lifelong fans of the country legend. “We have always liked REAL country,” Monica said.

And that’s perhaps what made this show so special. You knew you were watching a legend. The real deal.