Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Czech Republic -- Pavek Bobek

by Ruth Ellen Gruber

Last night in Prague I attended the launch concert for the new CD by the Czech singing legend Pavel Bobek. The CD is Czech language covers of Johnny Cash songs and much of it was recorded in Nashville. This sparked the main Czech TV news to feature it on its broadcast on Sunday.

I found the concert poignant: the passage of time and all that. Bobek, who is in his 70s, had a bout of bad health in recent years. He got his start in the late 50s/early 60s as "Mister Rock and Roll." I watched videos of his youthful performances before going to see him live....

Backed by the Malinaband (mainly members of Druha Trava), Bobek performed some of his big hits -- covers of Kris Kristofferson and Bruce Springsteen songs, and also the perennial fave "Country Roads".

He encored with the duet "Jeste neni tma" from DT's Dylanovky CD, with Robert Krestan -- a Czech cover of Bob Dyland's "It's not dark yet"

The hall, at a local culture center, was packed with fans of all ages, and they cheered and whooped -- giving him a standing ovation.

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