BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Don’t call it a farewell show. But Buck Owens’s Buckaroos, minus Buck Owens, are back this week at the Crystal Palace for what could be their final shows.
These two upcoming shows, Thursday and Friday night at the 26-year-old landmark dinner theater, might just get the juices flowing again.
It’s been a long time coming for the core members of the last of several incarnations of Buck Owens’ backup band. How long coming?
“When we play Thursday night it’ll be three years and three days,” Jim Shaw, who’s been the Buckaroos’ keyboardist for 53 years, said.
These aren’t the same guys who recorded at New York’s Carnegie Hall and played on most of those hits records, but they are for the most part, the same players who performed on the long-running Hee Haw television show and played countless live performances, including the first 10 years of the Crystal Palace.
After Buck died in 2006, a succession of lead singers took the mic including Buddy Owens, Johnny Owens, Monty Byrom and Drew Harness. It will be Harness handling lead-vocal duties Thursday and Friday night.
“It’s a reunion,” Shaw said. “We’re not coming back on a regular basis, but we’re just gonna give it a shot, have some fun and see what we want to do.”
The mainstays – Doyle Curtsinger, who joined the band in 1969, Shaw, who joined in 1970, Terry Christoffersen, who joined in 1975, and Kim McAbee, who joined in 1996, will all be up there, along with 20-year drummer Dave Wulfekuehler and guitarist Chuck Seaton, a longtime friend and off-and-on member of the band.
Keyboardist Shaw is whipping the troops together with a couple of mid-week rehearsals. He says they’ve got some kinks to work out, but it’ll all kick in when the show starts.
“It’ll be fun,” Shaw said.
So, if you need a little more twang in your life, at least for two days this week, the Crystal Palace is the place to be.