The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert
Live at the Royal Albert Hall

The Every Brothers

Don and Phil Everly reunited in 1983 after a 10-year hiatus, the result of an infamous on-stage split. After a decade of bad blood and rumors, the brothers began what you could call the second phase of their career. It essentially starts here, with this concert, available for the first time ever on DVD as The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert: Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD.

Performing a set of 22 tunes, The Everlys hit the ground running, singing their tighter-than-tight harmonies on the rockabilly-flavored "Claudette" before veering into two slower numbers, "Walk Right Back" and "Crying In The Rain." A note-for-note "Cathy's Clown" follows, as well as a rockin' "Love Is Strange," where the smoking backing band — drummer Graham Jarvis, bassist Mark Griffiths, guitarist Martin Jenner, keyboardist Pete Wingfield and guitarist Albert Lee — takes a few moments to whip through some well-played instrumental breaks. Then it's the first of two medleys, this one featuring "Take A Message To Mary" and "Maybe Tomorrow."

The brothers sit down sans band on four softer tunes featured on their 1958 album, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. "Barbara Allen," "Put My Little Shoes Away" and "Long Time Gone" are especially sweet and poignant as Phil later tells the crowd the last time they played Albert Hall (and the reason he and Don decided to reform there) was that their father had been with them that night so many years ago.

The only upbeat song in this otherwise quiet set is the lyrical "Step it Up." "Bye Bye Love" follows in all its chunky glory, then "Wake Up Little Susie" and a second medley of "Devoted To You," "Ebony Eyes" and "Love Hurts." "('Til) I Kissed You" bops, while "All I Have To Dream" is lilting, sweet, pristine and might be worth the price of the DVD alone. "Temptation" moves with quick riffs and a good backbeat as does "Lucille," the second time the five-piece behind Phil and Don get to jam.

The entire show ends with "Let It Be Me." Even with a cheesy 1983 synth backing, the boys sound as good at the end of the show as they do at the beginning. One needs to note the always amazing Albert Lee, who pulls off little riffs and amazing up-picking strums that are so matter-of-fact and seemingly effortless, one tends to forget what a master the guy is.

A documentary about the Everly Brothers called Rock N' Roll Odyssey is also on the DVD, but it's the unmistakable harmonies of the Don and Phil gliding over all those great tunes that make The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert: Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD so fantastic.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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