By Matt Harris
Performances that delicately balance sincerity and entertainment are rare and generally the most entertaining. The Whitey O’Kane Band does just that, creating an engaging experience for the audience. Led by Whitey O’Kane, this country music band stays true to its genre, while bringing a fresh energy to the stage. They play many country classics as well as originals and build an authentic atmosphere usually found only in the heart of Nashville. Whitey himself steals the show, and a love for performance is apparent from his singing, dancing, and audience interaction. Yet with all of the showmanship, there is an unwavering sense of honesty and passion in his performance which makes it all the more enjoyable and entertaining. “Once I get out there,” Whitey says, “I really get into it.”
The Whitey O’Kane Band makes an engrossing atmosphere not only with their music but with a group of dancers led by their instructor, Sara Lopez. It is an important part of the show, as the country music ties into the local country dancing scene. The dancers perform a variety of dances, including two step, waltz, and line dancing. One of the band’s hits, “Whitey Waltz,” even has a special choreographed dance put together by Lopez. Between songs like “Bones in the Ground,” and the authentic grace of the dancers, watching the Whitey O’Kane Band can feel like you are sitting in the Wild Horse Saloon in downtown Nashville.
Several exciting developments are on the horizon for O’Kane. An upcoming CD, named after its title track, “Shimmy Shake,” is in the works and being produced by HB Barnum. A music video for the same song is also coming up. The band has more upcoming shows and events and O’Kane is excited to continue doing what he loves.