Reviewing charity concerts can be awkward. No one wants to be a curmudgeon and pan such a show, but neither is it nice to give praise more for good intentions than good music.
Last night's Hard Travelers and Friends benefit for Cystic Fibrosis at the Merriweather Post Pavilion made worries unnecessary. With a bill topped by Barbara Mandrell and featuring a reunion appearance by the Starland Vocal Band, it would have been a laudable concert even if there hadn't been a worthy cause.
Take Mandrell's set as an example. Although she earned her reputation as a country singer -- indeed, as one of her hits puts it, she was "country when country wasn't cool" -- her concert act knows no such limits.