Review: Darryl Worley Brings American Pride to Country Jam 2016
The temperature in Grand Junction, Colo., was somewhere around 100 degrees when Darryl Worley took the stage on Day 3 (June 18) of Country Jam 2016, so the singer had an uphill battle to climb to engage the crowd during his hour-long set. Worley figured out the formula, though: alcohol and American pride.
Not surprisingly, Worley earned the loudest applause when he broke out "Have You Forgotten," his patriotic No. 1 song from 2003, as his second-to-last song. The audience got out of their seats and clapped and cheered along, more than they had up until that point, save for during "I Just Came Back From a War."
"It's got a real simple message ... This song's really just about the men and women out there in our society ... you know who I'm talking about," the singer said from stage, listing off a long list including firefighters, EMTs and military members, among others. "They don't get paid enough, and sometimes we take them for granted, don't even know they're there."
As for the alcohol part, Worley earned cheers when, before playing "Tequila on Ice" — "one of my favorite songs," he confessed, and "certainly one of my favorite beverages" — he asked the crowd who enjoyed the titular liquor from time to time.
"That woke 'em up!" he said in response. "We should have just had a tequila party."
Although it was clear that Country Jam fans were feeling the effects of the intense heat, Worley remained personable throughout his show, doing his best to engage them.
"I know it's hot out there, and I know it ain't dark yet," Worley told them, "but this is the time slot they gave me, and I ain't gonna let y'all just sit there and look at me like you died."
Worley was also sure to credit the day's other acts, calling Annie Bosko a "sweet gal" and remarking of High Valley, "Man, those guys were smokin'!" He told the crowd to let Big & Rich, who were headed to the main stage following Worley, that he'd gotten them properly warmed up, and was sure to rib birthday boy Blake Shelton a little bit: "When Blake gets here, you tell him Darryl Worley was pissed off he didn't come here and listen to his show!"
During his show, Worley revealed the news that he'll have a greatest hits package coming out in a couple of months, but the project will also contain some new material, too, including "Lay It on Me," which he shared Saturday for one of the first times ever in concert.
"I literally just finished writing this thing, like, two days ago," he admitted. "I think the young folks these days are calling this 'slow jam' ... so why don't y'all get up and have a slow jam with us."
Country Jam runs through Sunday (June 19) in Grand Junction, Colo.