Posted on December 5, 2013 at 4:24 am
An extraordinary week at 54 Below with the Caucasian Rhythm Kings (featuring a new drummer, the irritatingly youthful Jamie Eblen), guest fiddlist Todd Reynolds, three amazing guest singers – Morgan Karr, Whitney Bashor and Dan’yelle Robinson – and the two thrilling winners of the 2012 JRB Karaoke Contest, ERIN MARTINEZ and LYNN SHORE.
(Here’s a lovely article from Arkansas’s Sync Weekly about Erin and the contest.)
These were my first concerts in over a year and so I wanted to have a good mix of old and new material, and also preview my two new shows (The Bridges of Madison County starts previews on Broadway on January 17, and Honeymoon In Vegas just finished an amazing run at the Paper Mill Playhouse and we’re waiting to figure out how and when we’re coming to Broadway!), all of which means I put a lot of pressure on myself.
According to Steven Suskin at Playbill, we did pretty well!
This was the program for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night:
The New World from Songs for a New World (Whitney, JRB, Dan’yelle, Morgan)
I Love Betsy from Honeymoon In Vegas (JRB with Ensemble)
Anywhere But Here from Honeymoon In Vegas (Whitney)
The Lamest Place In The World from 13 (Dan’yelle)
It Don’t Get Better Than This from Urban Cowboy (Morgan)
It All Fades Away from The Bridges of Madison County (JRB, featuring Todd Reynolds)
Another Life from The Bridges of Madison County (Whitney)
Whitney will actually be singing this song every night on Broadway starting on January 17!
Break Me Blues (JRB)
I Send My Love (Dan’yelle)
Advice to the Playaz (Morgan w Ensemble)
Caravan of Angels (JRB w Ensemble)
A Little More Homework from 13 (JRB w Ensemble)
Twenty-Six Names (JRB)
On Monday night, I also managed to do “Moving Too Fast,” but honestly, I wouldn’t have had a voice to get through the rest of the week if I’d kept that up!
On Friday and Saturday night, Lynn and Erin joined us for the following:
A Summer In Ohio from The Last Five Years (Erin)
What It Means To Be A Friend from 13 (Erin)
Someone To Fall Back On (Lynn)
Big News! cut from Parade (Lynn)
And on the final Saturday night show, there was also the annual ritual of my performance of Yoko Ono’s “What A Bastard The World Is,” a song I arranged for my Off-Broadway debut as a conductor, the 1994 classic New York Rock. (Yes, there really was such a thing.)
Thanks to everyone at 54 Below for taking such great care of us, and special thanks to my amazing band – Gary and Randy will soon be gainfully employed on a nightly basis at Bridges, and Jamie will be tooling away on Honeymoon if we can get it on soon enough, and Todd is off everywhere playing everything, so it was a special occasion to be able to get them all together to make such great music out of the wacky chords and time changes I threw at them:
GARY SIEGER, electric and acoustic guitar
RANDY LANDAU, electric and acoustic bass
JAMIE EBLEN, drums and percussion
TODD REYNOLDS, electric violin
Happy Holidays one and all, and thanks for coming out to the shows! See you on Broadway!