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John Anderson plays unplugged set in Gulfport — yes, he played “Swingin’”

John Anderson plays an acoustic set Friday night at the Island View Casino in Gulfport.
John Anderson plays an acoustic set Friday night at the Island View Casino in Gulfport. jclark@sunherald.com

There are a lot of opportunities to see some great shows on the Coast — especially on the weekends. On Friday night there was Leann Rimes at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Ray Stevens at the IP Casino Resort, country singer John Anderson at the Island View Casino in Gulfport and Mac McAnally in Bay St. Louis. That’s a lot from which to choose.

I opted for the John Anderson show because it was an acoustic performance. I don’t get to see a lot of one-on-one shows on the Coast, so I wanted to take advantage of it.

He was a really nice guy and we chatted about the Dallas Cowboys for a few minutes before he hit the stage.

And, yes, before we go any further, he played his huge mega-hit “Swingin.’” But, I’ll get to that in a bit.

Anderson took the stage with an acoustic guitar and a sideman who played guitar and dobro. He was affable, telling stories about his songs and about his life. His voice sounded like a polished hardwood floor as he went through classics “Money in The Bank” and “Straight Tequila Night.”

He also shared some anecdotes about Mark Knopfler, who wrote “When It Comes to You” for Anderson and his friend Waylon Jennings, before launching into a cover of “Waymore’s Blues.” He also played Billy Joe Shaver’s “I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)” and the classic “Long Black Veil,” which he recorded with Merle Haggard.

“Swinging” came toward the end of the set and it received a huge response from the crowd as a couple two-stepped in front of the stage.

For me, there’s no greater Anderson song than “Seminole Wind.” I could listen to him sing it over and over. My only regret was that “Seminole Wind” was his last song. He definitely left me and the audience wanting more.

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