Tribute shows are tremendously popular with die-hard fans and that group breaks into at least three parts – the ones that have actually seen the person perform live; the bunch that grew up listening to them on the radio, TV and recordings, longing to see them but never had a chance and the last group who loves the music from ‘way back then’ but have no emotional ties to it; just simply love the lyrics and the music itself.
That is tough criteria for a performer! Amberley Beatty personifies Patsy Cline in many ways; both being mothers and both living through tremendous car accidents.
Ms. Cline was known to be a superstar in a glittery dress that would engage the audience – leaving the stage and mingling and flirting with her fans, dancing in the aisles in her heels. Amberley walked through the entire theatre at Incanto (in her very high heels) and touched every row of people with a genuine interest.
The comments from the more- than-sold-out crowd ran from foot-stomping glee to surprise that anyone could sound so much like Patsy Cline and imitate her hoe-down, kick up her square-dance heels then sit down and capture a song’s slow-dance intimacy with quietude and soft grace within a heartbeat of breaths.
Tracy Parks, owner of Incanto and self-professed “Patsy Cline Snob” was initially impressed with Amberley’s professionalism – he said her sound check took three minutes flat! (I have to say except for the odd too-much or too-little volume of the tracks, she and Santiago, Incanto’s sound tech, nailed it.) I wish I would have counted how many songs Amberley sang. There was no chatter, just song after song, after song. By intermission the audience was hooked, singing along which Amberley encouraged, folks dancing in their seats, thoroughly enjoying every single minute.
Last night was a first for Amberley in many ways. Her opening night in Vallarta and playing to a capacity audience in her Incanto debut. They will have her back next season and it likely will be for more than a single show. Tracy, being from the Deep South, said to me later, “Nobody, of course, can be Patsy Cline again but Amberley Beatty is 95, 96% her!”
I asked Amberley, “Why Patsy Cline?”
She replied, “Before I go on stage I look up and say, ‘Please help me do this.’ We go out and we just live for the moment as if she was still here. I truly believe that if she had not passed away so young she would’ve been as big as Elvis; at least for me, she is!
I am not Patsy Cline; I could never hold a candle to Patsy Cline but I want to do my best to make sure that she’s never forgotten and that new generations can experience her and buy one of her CDs.”
This solo Incanto performance was Amberley’s first entire Patsy Cline show since before her nearly tragic car accident.
Two solid hours of Patsy Cline. Well done, Amberley. Your standing ovation was well-deserved in so many ways. We will see you again at Incanto.
Ed. Note: Incanto has booked Amberley Beatty for a second ‘Real Patsy’ show on Saturday, March 10 at 9:30 pm. Check here for tickets.