Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, husband and wife, Wednesday gave a pleasant if uninspired performance at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Kristofferson, a singer who happens to be a movie star rather than the other way around, opened the evening fronting a band made up of some of the best session men extant. However, despite the competence of Jerry McGee, Billy Swan and Stephen Bruton, the three guitars tended to clutter rather than clarify most of the tunes.
To his credit, Kristofferson spurned requests to do songs from "A Star is Born," explaining that he was sorry but he didn't do "that commercial c . . ."
Rita Coolidge, whose "Higher and Higher" is commercial enough to have made her a star, has never been a rock 'n' roller. Occasionally, she gives it a lame try with something like "Southern Lady," but her heart clearly isn't in it. What her heart is in is sensitive melodies such as Boz Scaggs' "We're All Alone" and the BeeGees' "Words."
Coolidge is from the Linda Ronstadt school of delivery - stand there and sing and let the music carry you. The music carried best when jazz pianist Barbara Carroll joined the troupe to lend a hand on some torch songs including "Fever" and "Stormy Monday."
Together Kristofferson and Coolidge put the crowd in a collective swoon with "Help Me Make It Through The Night," and there was a vitality to "Me and Bobby McGee" lacking during the solo spots.
Kristofferson can't sing very well and Coolidge doesn't move very well but, overall, it beats Sonny and Cher.