Witness History III: The Twang Years
April 5, 2000 Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN


Review by Anonymous
The show started with the stage darkened and spotlight on Bonnie Bramlett. She sang "Hey everybody, come along if you can. We're gonna take a ride uptown and listen to the guitar man" in a very gospel-like style. Then the lights came up and Duane broke into the intro to "Dance With The Guitar Man". Duane was using his recent issue orange Gretsch. Bonnie sang the vocal along with three or four other girls. Duane's guitar rang out with a really strong sound. It sounded really good and very much like the record. The band was really tight right from the first note. It consisted of David Pomeroy on bass, Larry Knechtel on piano, Steve Turner on drums, Randy Leago and Dennis Solee on saxes and flutes, Vince Gill on rhythm guitar and Doyle Dykes on rhythm guitar. Vince Gill disappeared after the first 2 or 3 songs. Though he did come back later and play with some of the other acts. Next was "Shazam!" followed by "Some Kinda Earthquake". The twin saxes sounded really good. Duane then called John Fogerty out and he joined Duane on "Three-30 Blues" John took a solo in there at one point. John stayed on for "Ramrod", which Duane took great joy in telling everyone that John originally learned this song in the wrong key because of the tape being sped up for the record. John left the stage and Duane then played "Route #1". There were some people around me that really got "into" this song, probably not realizing that Duane ever played anything in that style. Then it was "Forty Miles Of Bad Road". Next Duane brought Doyle Dykes forward and they did a nice version of "Trambone" followed by "I Saw The Light". Duane switched to the black Danelectro 6-string bass. I'm assuming that it was his new one. A 10 or 12 piece string orchestra led by Peter Hyrka took there places on the right hand side of the stage and they did "Because They're Young". It sounded fantastic.You just had to be there to appreciate the quality.Next, taking advantage of the strings and the Dano, Duane did "Deakin's Theme" from "Broken Arrow". Another superb job. Duane sat on a stool for most of this number. Next he used the ebonyburst Gretsch (which he had tuned up a half-step) and played Peter Gunn. Then he finished up with "Rebel Rouser". The show flowed really well with Duane telling all of his stories about most of the songs. He was given several standing ovations. I spoke to someone that is in the music business and has been to a lot of shows at the Ryman. They made the comment that they had never seen an audience react with so much enthusiasm right from the first note of the concert. Duane was in total command.

John Fogerty came out and gave a speech (similar to the one that he had planned for the R & R HoF induction before the earthquake kept him from going) and presented Duane with a "Chettie" award. Duane gave a short thank you speech and then thanked Chet Atkins who was sitting toward the back of the stage on the right hand side. Chet was then helped to the microphone. Chet said he hadn't heard Duane play in a while and wanted to come down and hear him. Said he had a couple of strokes a few weeks ago. He still had his sense of humor. He said his grandson drove him there because the doctor wouldn't let him drive at night anymore (it was obvious he wouldn't be able to possibly drive). Said he was leaving and going somewhere (some nearby town) and if anyone in the audience knew of any folks about to head in from that area, they better call them and tell them to be careful! Duane and John then helped Chet off of the stage. A very touching scene. Then Duane and Deed were called out and the Mayor of Nashville was there to present an award. Duane said to him, "Hey! I've seen you on TV!" The Mayor pointed out that the Governor of Tennessee was in the audience and then he proceeded to read a proclamation that included many "therefores" and "wherebys" and it ended up proclaiming that Duane was the "Titan of Twang". (obvious reference to the Tennessee Titans NFL football team). Duane again gave a short thank you speech. Duane was very humble in receiving these well-deserved awards. It was very emotional and I was really proud of Duane.

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