Kevin Costner Rides Again

Kimberly Katz, Buzz News

When Kevin Costner asked the audience who among us was there out of “curiosity” to see him perform with his country western band, Modern West, I had to raise my hand. Who wouldn’t be curious to see a film star of his stature performing an entire set of live music?

Well, I am happy to say that it was a very enjoyable set of mostly original music with a super solid backing band, showcasing the many wonderful and diverse talents of John Coinman, Teddy Morgan, Blair Forward, Larry Cobb, Park Chisolm, and violinist Bobby Yang.

Kevin has a nice voice and although he hasn’t been performing this way for very long, he shone most when he realized that singing well has to do with acting well. The songs kicked in best when he got into the character of each song and really let loose. I enjoyed his original songs more than the covers, which is a big compliment because original music is difficult to write and sell to a new audience. I particularly enjoyed the sexy “Long Hot Night” and the poignant ballad, “Every Intention.”

Check out some of the lyrics:

Blind folks, crossroads, untold truth, soft white satin lying in the dirt.
Of all the people in this world, why was it you I hurt?
I had every intention of bringing it to the light,
I had a good reason to wait ‘til the time was right,
Well I never cleared the air.
Like I planned to do.
Oh, but I had I had every intention, every intention, every intention …to.

I could easily hear either of the latter-mentioned songs playing on my country music station alongside other established artists.

My editor Jason asked me why Kevin would bother putting together a band at this stage in his life and career. Kevin said it was because he wanted to have more contact with his fans than the quick autograph or photo-op. It’s obvious that film actors really never hear the applause of their fans on the set, and after you’ve seen it all and done it all, eaten at every restaurant, and been to every party, what could be more fun and satisfying than composing, and playing live with a quality band?

The evening began with a five-minute video segment comprised of movie clips from Kevin’s long and illustrious film career. I was really glad to see this because it reminded me of all the beautiful films he has done or directed and the positive impact they have had on American culture.

I remember when Dances with Wolves came out and the massive Oscar sweep that Costner received for directing, producing and writing. This film was momentous not just because of the way it portrayed American Indian culture in a sympathetic light but because it was one of the first times I can remember that an actor like Costner was so widely recognized for directing and producing such a massive epic success. This film and Costner’s personal victories were a major turning point in favor of future actor/producer/directors to be inspired by.

At the end of this concert I did something I’ve never done before to a performer. As Kevin and his band took their bow, I found myself raising my hand to my forehead, to salute Kevin Costner as one would a General in the army.

There is more than one way to lead the country; to change the face of American politics and ideology. Kevin reminded me that he has been leading the country and shaping lasting ideals in a wholesome, patriotic, yet open-minded way for over twenty years through his films.

The profound and immensely positive impact of his body of work on the minds of Americans and millions of people around the world may never be accurately measured, but I thank him, and salute him for it, just the same.

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