"You might say I've dabbled in all kinds of music," Ronnie Milsap told a small but hardy crowd at Merriweather Post Pavilion. You might also say that Milsap dabbles a bit too much for his own good.
Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," an Eagles medley, his own string of hits--pop, country, gospel, funk--Milsap's repertoire is dabble deep and a mile wide. It was exasperating to hear him move so casually from a well-written country song to a less worthwhile pop rhapsody, especially on a night when his voice seemed even more powerful than usual. But then Milsap isn't a musician these days so much as he is an entertainer, and a good one, too.
It's doubtful that any of his fans found his impressive medley of No. 1 country hits less than satisfying, or his nod to Beethoven (complete with toy candelabra), anything but charming. Though blind since birth, he is a remarkably assured and animated performer on stage, one who easily holds your interest even when the songs don't.
Stella Parton's opening set was as cutesy and as sugar-coated as country music gets. It was a real midsummer night's snooze.