By: Shanna Jones, Urban Swank

The Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, the first indoor performance venue in the area, hit the floor running with top acts headlining just days after the doors opened. The very next weekend following the venue’s open house, Don Henley was set to grace the stage with opening act JD and The Straight Shot, featuring Jim Dolan.

I think everyone was just as excited as we were to not only get a glimpse of this brand spanking new concert hall but to enjoy long-time favorite, Grammy award-winning, and hall-of-famer, the legendary Don Henley (whose solo career and time with the Eagles could only be described as infinitely amazing and exceptional). Just for the record, my go-to albums are “Heart Of The Matter” and “Boys Of Summer.” They are on constant repeat during my morning commute.

JD and The Straight Shot kicked off the show giving us an hour of non-stop music that ranged from blues to Americana and folk. With songs like “Ballyhoo!“, you really get a feel for how unique their sound really is. Jim Dolan is quite the performer as well – taking on roles as the lead vocalist, playing the guitar, giving us a little shimmy (j/k), and telling a joke or two.

As he pulled out his top hat, immediately following a quick intermission to change into more suitable Ballyhoo attire, JD gave the audience some entertaining insight on the origins of this interesting word. And that’s what stood out – each song had a story, and Jim Dolan (we call him “JD”) was a master at storytelling. It was definitely an added bonus of their show. Violinist and fiddler Erin Slaver, who has played with the likes of Martina McBride and Rod Stewart, was such a treat to watch and brought a little something extra to their acoustic sound.

Stay tuned for their forthcoming album due out in early 2017. In the meantime, you can check out the first single, “I Know, You Know, I Know,” that will give you an idea of what is soon to come! The tour is still going strong and will make its final stops in Clearwater, FL, and Hollywood, FL this week.

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© Smart Financial Centre