I am the first to admit that I can’t seem to get into the holiday season until Thanksgiving is over. However, after attending the 11th annual Dave, Ryan and Damon Holiday Show at the Pearson Lakes Art Center Saturday evening, my Christmas spirit is alive and well.
Affectionately known as the “Jingle Boys," Dave Rowley, Ryan Sather and Damon Dotson have annually filled our hearts and minds with holiday spirit through music. Each is a very accomplished musician and singer. The generational difference enhances rather than blemishes the results of their show.
Sather hails from Spencer, Rowley resides in Spirit Lake and Dotson comes up from Des Moines each year to do this show. He is an area native, having graduated from Okoboji High School.
All three have active music careers, and their professionalism helps them to relate to each other and their audience in a very special way.
The stage was gaily decorated for the holiday season, and the large screen behind the performers was a spectacle of holiday glimpses throughout the show.
Sather left his usual black shirt in the closet and wore red to compliment Rowley’s green shirt and enhance the stage. However, (I think it was on a bet of some sort) Rowley appeared in the second half of the show with the gaudiest holiday tie and obnoxious socks I have ever seen. We laughed much at his attire.
The Lauridsen Performing Arts Theatre was sold out for the eagerly anticipated antics of the three entertainers, and they did not disappoint. Their banter between numbers was hilarious. We laughed, clapped and sang along with several of the selections.
Sather sang Elvis’s “Blue Christmas” with his usual upbeat flair that had us boogieing in our seats.
Dotson treated us to an original song he finished composing on the trip up from Des Moines. I am not sure of the exact title, but it was so very poignant. I really liked it.
Rowley’s ukulele skills were just the right touch for his rendition of a Hawaiian Christmas tune.
We all joined along in singing “Country Roads” so well that we actually impressed the performers. Dotson’s Satchmo rendition of a song brought loud hurrahs from the audience as did the gorgeous rendition of “High On That Mountain.”
They sent us into the intermission with a very lively version of “Jingle Bells,” and we could hardly wait for the second half.
Each of the 11 years, Dave has sung his version of “Celebrate Me Home,” and it just gets better every year! The harmonizing of the three added so much to this classic and to the entire show.
Sather used so much energy on those keyboards for “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” that I was tired. He moves all over the place while he is playing and singing. It is so much fun watching him entertain.
I had goose bumps as we sang along with Dotson on his annual rendition of “Halleluia.” It was even better than ever, and I didn’t think that was possible.
We all joined in again on the final song, “Go Tell It On The Mountain” but we didn’t want the show to end. A standing, cheering ovation brought them back for a two-song encore. The trio encouraged us to live together in harmony as they sang “All You Need Is Love” and performed it from their hearts. “Christmas All Over Again” sent us home with hopes that they will be back next year to make it an even dozen holiday shows. Thanks for the memories and much needed boost into the Yuletide season.