Posted on July 7, 2015 at 10:14 pm
Musical fireworks last night at SubCulture, with an amazing group of musicians, all bringing exceptional new colors to my work and all of us pushing each other to new and sometimes really weird places.
When Gary, Randy and I started playing trio shows together in 2002, those shows were heavily reliant on a lot of soloing and stretching out; we don’t usually do that kind of work anymore, but I thought last night would be a good time to go “back to basics”, so we revived our original arrangement of “She Cries” (you can hear us playing it in one of our first gigs here), and then added percussion at the very end during my solo.
Vosky premiered a new song from my current musical-in-progress, I sang a song I wrote for a couple in Alabama celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and I finally had charts ready for the band to play along with me on “Wait Til You See What’s Next.” (Vosky also reprised the song she sang in her Broadway debut in The Bridges of Madison County last year.)
But our biggest reinventions both involved songs from Parade. First, multi-instrumentalist Charlie Rosen (who was, with Eblen, part of the original teenage orchestra of 13 at the Mark Taper Forum – here’s the proof) led the band in a jazz arrangement of “It’s Hard to Speak My Heart” on his melodica; and then Jesse Warren-Nager brought his own very special perspective to “The Old Red Hills of Home” – a song to the glories of the Confederate South as sung by a black, gay, Jewish man has its own insane ironic resonances, and we supported him with a Peter Gabriel-y groove that let him soar (not that Jesse needs much help to soar anyway, as he reminded us when he sang his perennially mind-blowing version of “What It Means To Be A Friend”).
Another great night at SubCulture, and I’m putting together a swell concert for August 15 so pick up your tickets now before it sells out!
(You probably weren’t paying attention, but I didn’t post a set list for the June 8 SubCulture concert – since that concert featured the original cast and orchestra of Honeymoon In Vegas singing and dancing their way through the whole show, I figured there wasn’t much information to post. But boy, what a fantastic night it was!)
JRB: She Cries (Songs for a New World)
Jesse: And I Will Follow (Songs of Jason Robert Brown)
Jessica: There With You (JRB In Concert)
Jessica: I Gotta Go (world premiere)
JRB: Caravan of Angels (JRB In Concert)
Charlie: It’s Hard To Speak My Heart (Parade)
Jesse: The Old Red Hills of Home (Parade)
JRB: Fifty Years Long (NYC premiere)
Jessica: Another Life (The Bridges of Madison County)
Jessica: Clarissa’s Last Stand
Jesse: What It Means To Be A Friend (13)
JRB: Wait ‘Til You See What’s Next (Prince of Broadway)
JRB: Someone To Fall Back On (Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes)
Jason Robert Brown: piano, vocals
Jessica Vosk: vocals
Jesse Warren-Nager: vocals
Gary Sieger: electric and acoustic guitars
Randy Landau: electric and acoustic basses
Jamie Eblen: drums and percussion
Charlie Rosen: melodica, percussion, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin and acoustic bass