Review: ‘The Statler Bros. Show’

With singers, comedians, jugglers and cast regulars, there is little left unhatched during the hourlong show, which uses the formula that has made it one of TNN's most popular offerings with both audiences and the recording artists who appear.

With singers, comedians, jugglers and cast regulars, there is little left unhatched during the hourlong show, which uses the formula that has made it one of TNN’s most popular offerings with both audiences and the recording artists who appear.

This seg is among series’ best, backed by a solid contingent of perfs by its regulars, down-home banter from its principals and noteworthy contributions from its guests.

Fans will welcome the addition of country warblers Crystal Gayle and Ronna Reeves as show regulars, replacing Janie Fricke and Rex Allen Jr.

Also helping matters is the first-rate perf by country crooner Alan Jackson, currently the genre’s top man on the totem pole. He showcases his newest radio-friendly tune, “Gone Country.”

The lanky singer also delivers a well-executed reading of “A Good Year for the Roses,” a moving tune Jackson recorded with George Jones for the latter’s just-released “The Bradley Barn Sessions” disc.

Set designer Jim Stanley uses old-time auditorium decor to cement the down-home vibe, while director Steve Womack keeps the action perky and entertaining.

The Statler Bros. Show

(Sat. (7), 9-10 p.m., TNN)

Production

Taped in Nashville by Jim Owens Entertainment and Statler-Grant Prods. for the Nashville Network. Producer, Jim Owens. Co-producers, Marshall Grant, Frances Anne Varallo. Director, Steve A. Womack; writers, Harold Reid, Don Reid.

Crew

Set designer, Jim Stanley; lighting designer, Mark Carver; editor, Jennifer Bergen; sound, Marc Repp, David Parrish, Chuck Davis; musical director, Bill Walker.

Cast

With: The Statler Bros., Harold Reid, Don Reid, Phil Balsley, Jimmy Fortune; Crystal Gayle, Alan Jackson, Ronna Reeves, Billy Walker, Todd Charles, Dalton & Luisse. About all that's missing is Topo Gigio as country music's elder statesmen, the Statler Bros., kick off the fourth-season opener of their popular variety series.
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