Heritage Hall Theatre presented Back Home Again, a tribute to John Denver with Tom Becker this past weekend. Becker, a former band member of the New Christy Minstrels, has also jammed with Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Greg Allan and Jerry Jeff Walker.
Becker assembled his new band with the intent to inspire both the fans of John Denver, and those who may not have heard his music before. Denver was Becker’s mentor, not only as a singer and songwriter, but also as a humanitarian.
According to Becker, one dollar from the sale of every CD from their group goes to planting and maintaining a tree in its native setting to help support John Denver’s organization, Planet 2020. The band has played across the country, from Florida to Asheville, North Carolina to the west coast.
The band opened the evening with Denver’s Sunshine on my shoulders to the delight of the audience, followed by Take me home, Country Roads and Annie’s song.
The audience clapped and sang during much of the performance, singing along with Becker and his band, along with some head bobbing and foot stomping. They played The Ballad of Spiro Agnew, Fly Away, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Rocky Mountain High, Thank God I’m a Country Boy, Grandma’s Feather Bed and Rhymes and Reasons.
Throughout the performance, Becker entertained the audience not only with the music of John Denver, but the history of the times and the meaning behind the songs. Becker also captured the smiles and laughter of his audience with a Kermit the Frog voice impersonation.
Becker and his band travel up and down the east cost from Pennsylvania to Florida with many stops in between. They will finish out the year in Aspen, Colorado before returning home.