Official Reviews

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SOURCE: Edmonton Journal (  

(thanks Andrea)

Everly Brothers still have the magic

Peter North, Special to the Journal


July 11th, 2001
Greg Southam, The Journal / Phil (left) and Don Everly played to a sold-out crowd Wednesday night at the Jubilee Auditorium.

Concert Review

The Everly Brothers

Where: Jubilee Auditorium

When: Wednesday night (July 11th, 2001 * Edmonton, Canada)

I've often said that hearing the Everly Brothers sing five songs is worth at least $50 and the rest of the concert is icing on the cake.

As a reviewer who doesn't pay for tickets, those words rang a bit hollow. So a few weeks ago I forked over $48.60 at the box office and now this longtime fan can stand by those words.

Sure enough, half-way through Bowling Green which was the second tune of the night and a hit for brothers Don and Phil in '67, the shiver factor had kicked in and by the sound of the applause a packed auditorium of largely lifelong fans felt exactly the same way.

This is rock and roll and country/rock history being presented by two pioneers who can still turn every vocal passage with the same accuracy as when they first set about recording what has become one of the most durable and artistically satisfying repertoires in the history of modern American music.

They all but invented harmony singing in rock and roll and there's a purity to their sound that has rarely been rivalled.

It didn't take them long to reinforce that notion, as with the help of a red-hot five piece band they began casting out serene ballads, rockabilly drenched hits from the '50s and early '60s, and pure pop magic in the form of Cryin' In The Rain and Phil Everly's own When Will I Be Loved.

Don, who continues to act as the spokesman, may take more of the leads but in the end it is always that union of the two voices that takes the tunes over the top. It's nothing short of spectacular how Phil's harmonies weave their way across, above and around Don's voice, creating a blend that has always been uniquely their own. At the ages of 62 and 64 respectively they can still nail every note and phrase, rarely if ever dropping an octave, and it's a testament to both their gifts and their continuing commitments to them.

Bye, Bye Love, Love Hurts, All I Do Is Dream, Wake Up Little Susie, and 'Til I Kissed You sounded incredible. They may have been given the odd tweak, a little stop or clipped phrase here and there, but it only added a freshness to material that has stood the test of time for up to four decades.

Gracious as ever the two turned the stage over to their band momentarily and Buddy Emmons, who defined modern day steel guitar playing, guitarist Jamie Hartford, pianist Pete Wingfield and crew drove through some hillbilly jazz like a blazing comet with an extended life. A better band you won't find.

Given inflation, our dollar, the fact that there aren't many legends out there who can still pull it all off, up the figure to at least $75. It just doesn't get any better than The Everly Brothers.

SOURCE: Best Bets (June/July issue). Sent to us by Christina Lansing (thanks alot !)

Best Bets

Best Bets

SOURCE: Boston Herald 

Harmony remains key to performing for Everly Brothers
by Daniel Gewertz
Saturday, August 19, 2000

The Everly Brothers never rehearse. Though the duo has written some of the best-loved songs of rock's golden era, they never compose nowadays. The brothers haven't made an album since the '80s and are not likely to enter a recording studio again.

What Don and Phil Everly manage to do, though, is quite enough: They still sing beautifully. ``We still even sing in the same keys,'' said Phil Everly, 61, from his Tennessee home, his voice sounding young, gentle and twangy. ``We have a prideful attitude. If we weren't doing it well, we'd just stay home.''  When asked about creating new Everly material, Phil said, flatly, ``We have no interest in it.''

But ask him about harmony singing and his voice lifts with boyish enthusiasm. ``I never get tired of singing the songs because if you stay in the second, in the micro-second of them, all the variables that exist make it fresh,'' he said. ``I only sing harmony, so I have to pay attention. It's never the same. It may sound the same to the layman, but it's always minutely different.'' Phil never thinks of perfect love when he sings, only the perfect note. Newly married, his wife recently saw him wipe away a tear during a performance of ``Let It Be Me,'' and believed he was thinking of her. ``But I was just trying to keep the sweat from my eye!'' he said. ``I was just thinking of pitch.''     (note:     Ha ha.....this is too funny!)  

Phil and his brother Don, two years his senior, play South Shore Music Circus today and Cape Cod Melody Tent tomorrow. The Kingston Trio opens.  Touring three months a year, their longtime band includes one bona fide legend, pedal-steel guitarist Buddy Emmons, and one famed ace, guitarist Albert Lee. ``The band is like a Ferrari: It can run as fast as we want, it's as good as you can get, and also the most expensive band you can find,'' Phil said. In 1973, the year the Everlys split up, there were reports of smashed guitars and flying fists onstage. Phil left the stage in the middle of their farewell show. 

During the act's 10-year hiatus, Phil and Don reportedly weren't speaking to each other. One industry source contends that the brothers still say nothing but ``hi'' before a show. But Phil differs. ``We get along fine now. After all the time we spent quarrelling, I've simply learned that it's better to be with your family than away from them,'' he said. Placing 24 songs in the Top 40 from 1957 to 1962, the Everlys' sublime harmonies and rockabilly romanticism is thought of as the essence of a lost, innocent age. ``It's kind of lucky we had the run we did, were around the quality of writers we were, and that we lived in a period when songs told stories, which suited harmony singing in a great way,'' 

Phil said.  Luck, in fact, looms large in Phil's vision of things. ``There's a tremendous amount of talent on this earth that doesn't get noticed,'' he said. ``They just miss it. A door shut before they got to it, or the door was open and they decided not to walk in. Donald and I might've just as easily wound up in a factory. It was hundreds of little, small, twisty, turny things that puts you in a position to deliver whatever goods you have to deliver. Looking back on it, I'm not gonna say `I sure did that swell.' I'm gonna say, `Boy, I was lucky!' ''


SOURCE: Country Magazine Journal (thanks Denise)

Country Magazine Journal

VENUE : Fox Theatre, Stockton, CA (May 28th)
SOURCE: Stockton Record (thanks Richard Sparman for sending us this article)


Originally published Sunday, May 30, 1999

Everlys still sound sweet

By Tony Sauro
Record Staff Writer

Fox Theatre, May 28th 1999

It was a rarity for the Everly Brothers. "It sure is nice to be here at the Fox Thee-ay-ter," Don Everly remarked three songs into the legendary vocal duo's show Friday night. "It's a first for us. And that's unusual."

Indeed. During a performing career that spans 55 years, these heroes of harmony -- and charter members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- have pretty much seen and done it all.

Now, they've even played Stockton's Fox.

All that seasoning -- they began singing professionally with their parents before they were 10 -- was evident during a crisp, polished, 20-song, 75-minute set that transported many in an appreciative Fox Theatre crowd of 1,350 back to more innocent, if occasionally lovesick, times.

Widely influential creators and innovators of American popular music, Don, 62, and Phil, 60, retain their harmonic magic.

Their interlaced tenors -- Don sings lead and did all the talking while Phil colored in the harmony parts -- still soared sweetly and sadly. Only two people on the planet can create that sound.

Don vamped around on many of his familiar lead vocals and the brothers toyed with the harmonic contours of their famous songs, choosing slightly different -- and subtly revealing -- paths, but always meeting back at the same place: One of the most beautiful and ageless vocal sounds in pop music history.

That was most evident during a special spot saved for "Let It Be Me" ("our favorite song," said Don). Their version of a French tune ("Je t'appartiens") they found on a Chet Atkins album, it became one of their 15 top-10 singles (in 1960). An achingly pretty ballad, it accentuated the purity of the brothers' intuitive backwoods harmonies, with veteran ace Buddy Emmons' steel guitar replacing the record's wonderfully sweet string parts.

Consummate pros, these unaffected and unassuming men in black -- except for Phil's white spats, but including nearly identical black acoustic guitars they strummed intensely -- displayed folksy charm by teasing themselves about their age ("now that we're in our 40s," said Don) and their reputation for making famous some of the saddest love songs in pop-rock history.

They strung three of them -- "Devoted to You" (1958), "Love Hurts" (1960) and "I Wonder If I Care As Much" (1957) -- together in what Don called their "deadly medley." That led to a hand-clapping, audience singalong version of "Bye Bye Love," their first top-10 hit (1957), and the luminous "All I Have to Do Is Dream" (No. 1 in 1958).

The set was packed with hits, but the Everlys carefully paid homage to their heritage and roots in the coal-mining region of Kentucky, and the bluegrass, country and blues music on which they were weaned.

They opened with a sweetly soaring trifecta of "Green River," "Kentucky" and "Bowling Green," and were bathed in red light and backed only by Jamie Hartford's mandolin during Tex Ritter's "Long Time Gone" and most of the Delmore Brothers' "Blues Stay Away From Me," songs their blues-loving daddy (Ike) taught them. They closed with a rockabilly romp through Jimmy Rodgers' "T for Texas."

Obviously, and justifiably, proud of their past, they still can sing lyrics like "What're we gonna tell your mama?/What're we gonna tell your pa?/What're we gonna tell our friends?/When they say, 'Oo-la-la?' " (from "Wake Up Little Susie," their first No. 1 single back in 1957) with straight -- or at least semistraight -- faces.

Though they wrote many of their hits -- Don's joyful "('Til) I Kissed You" (1959), self-explanatory "So Sad" (1960) and dramatic "Cathy's Clown" (1960) and Phil's "When Will I Be Loved" (1960) got spirited treatments -- they graciously credited other writers: Carole King (a tender "Crying in the Rain," 1962), Roy Orbison (a rollicking "Claudette," 1958), Boudleaux Bryant ("Dream," "Love Hurts") and Little Richard (a fiery "Lucille").

It's a mark of the brothers' artistic status that a pro's pro like Emmons, a Grand Ole Opry performer as a teenager in the 1950s, chooses to support them on their now-infrequent tours.

Emmons and the band -- guitarist Hartford, son of John ("Gentle on My Mind") Hartford, British bassist Phil Cranham; keyboard player Bob Petan and British-born drummer Tony Newman -- got it right, rocking just enough while laying back so the vocals could dominate.

As satisfying and nostalgic as it was, the Everlys' 80-minute show barely touched on a body of work that's lasted 40 years and will last at least 40 more.

Nearly everyone in the audience -- ranging from pre-teens to at least one punk-rocker, but skewing more toward the AARP -- had at least one song they wanted to hear, but didn't.

They could've played another 80 minutes' worth. Easy. Which would have made two firsts.


* WHO: The Everly Brothers

* WHEN: Friday night

* WHERE: Fox Theatre, Stockton

VENUE : Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN (April 1998)
SOURCE: Pulse Magazine (thanks Larry T.)

Ryman 1998