Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 3, 2013 "The Folk Rock Movement -- A Celebration of the '60s & '70s!"

Hello, all!  It is I, Guest Bloggette Candice Oden, stepping in for the amazing Erin Cronican this week. Apparently, she thinks that starring in a show and directing another one (simultaneously) is an excuse to miss a Salon. ;)  We missed you, Erin!

Well, for anyone who missed the Salon this last Sunday, we had an awesome one.  We had a small but powerful group, and this week's Salon-ers brought their best work with them, taking us on a trip down Memory Lane with each song.

Since Mark was off gigging out of town (see also "being a genius"), the wonderfully talented Jon Weber stepped in to be our Guest Host.  And who was our Co-Host for the evening?  The incomparable Lauren Fox!  Lauren opened the evening with Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better," immediately showing off her effortless musicality (starting a cappella), and bringing us in with her warmth, setting the tone for a relaxed (and talent-filled) night.

Ruth Carlin was up next, being our first Salon-er.  She wanted to honor James Taylor -- who once performed right in front of her!!! -- singing "Fire And Rain." Her performance was so lovely, telling us the story, and really taking us on a journey.  Check out her new album Moon Song.  She'll be having her official CD launching show at The Laurie Beechman Theater on April 6th and 18th.

Natasha Castillo followed with Bobby Darin's classic "Simple Song of Freedom."  She shared about Bobby Darin's and Tim Harden's fun song-swapping friendship (how one wrote a song and the other would make it famous) AND that just finished her very first cabaret show, Anything But Ordinary, at The Duplex!  Congratulations, Natasha!

Zach Wobensmith graced us next with his talent, showing off not only his known musical cleverness (composing, arranging, etc.), but his incredible classical training that he has somehow hidden from all of us!  Zach blew us away with a mash-up of a piece from Tchaikovsky's opera Queen Of Spades (yes, he sang in Russian) and the American pop song "Bridge Over Troubled Water."  It was a seamless blend of the two pieces, and Zach's glorious pipes did not fail to impress.  Great work, Zach. To get more of Wobensmith, catch him in the Joria Studios' upcoming Cranky Cabaret March 23rd-24th.

Up next was the beautiful and wonderfully-voiced Marissa Mulder with Tom Waits' "Ol' 55."  Marissa has been busier than ever working on projects, giving radio interviews, and, oh yeah -- being nominated for a 2013 MAC Award for Female Vocalist!  Her next show will be Tom ... In His Words (the songs of Tom Waits) at The Metropolitan Room March 27-30th.  And who is her musical director?  As she has called him, Jon Genius Weber.

Nicholas Levin came up next and, while he did not grace us with one of his fantastic original works, he still made us very happy coming to the piano with "Slice" by John Ondrasik (A.K.A. Five For Fighting) and Greg Wattenberg.  In case you haven't had the pleasure of seeing/hearing Nick's work and you want an idea of how talented he is, this guy has been nominated for SIX (you heard me) MAC Awards.  Keep up the great work, Nick!

NY cabaret veteran Stephanie Zagoren was now up to the plate with Paul Simon's "Feelin' Groovy," followed by upcoming Salon Co-Host Carly Ozard.  Carly was crazy-awesome this week, wowing us with her powerful voice without sacrificing softness and sentiment in her arrangement of "Always On My Mind."  We are all so excited to be having Ms. Ozard co-host our next Salon!  Before making her way to NYC, Carly was awarded Best New Cabaret Performer in San Francisco -- so I highly recommend that you come see what all the fuss is about. :)

Next came our talented and adored Richard Eisenberg with his original "Now That I Know."  Always effortlessly combining sentiment and clever comedy, Richie is such a joy to have every Sunday.  He earned himself a well-deserved 2013 MAC Award Nomination for Best Revue with his show Smile On My Face: The Songs of Richard Eisenberg.  Congratulations, Rich!

It was now time for the always lovely Marya Zimmet.  The talented jazz singer gave us Joni Mitchell's "All I Want" AND news that she is working on a new show!  It is still in the conceptual stage, but she gave us a hint: "archetypes" and "goddesses" are swimming around in her creative brain.  We can't wait, Marya!

Coming close to the end of the first set, David Ballard (our gorgeously talented singing server) came up with "Happy Together" with Tanya Moberly singing back-ups!  David is now in his second year at BMI, and Eric Michael Gillett just accepted him into the Singers Forum AEA EMC Scholarship!  Woohoo!  Keep it up, David!

And wrapping up the open mic portion for the first half was the endlessly talented Adam Shapiro.  As always, Adam put 180% of himself into his work, and moved us all with "Candle On The Water" by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn (from Pete's Dragon).  Adam never ceases to amaze us with his beautiful talent, which is probably why he was nominated for a 2013 Mac Award for Best Musical Comedy Performer for his show Guide to the Perfect Breakup: Adam Shapiro Twists the Classics!!!!!  Congrats, Adam!!!  Adam also shared that he has started a new business to help his fellow artists by producing promo videos for their shows!

And now ... drum roll, please ... it's time for ... Jon's Corner!

Well, well, well ...  I have to admit I was new to this Jon Weber fellow.  And holy cow, was I (and everyone else in the room -- familiar with him or not) blown away by this man who is dripping with talent.  The amazing Jon Weber started his segment with The Beatles' "Carry That Weight, and gave us a real show.  Did he let the fact that he "only" had a piano to accompany his vocals limit his performance?  No, sir.  He performed the song as a full band adding claps, slaps, and vocal guitar solos.  And did he do this only for his first song?  Of course not. ;)  He then gave us an amazing rendition of Louie Jordan's "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," one of my personal favorite songs, and filled us in that he'd had a bit of experience playing the song before ... for about 80,000 people ... no big deal. ;)  His third and final song was another Beatles' gem, "I've Just Seen A Face," with some impromptu back-up vocals by Marya and Tanya.  A wonderful set, Jon!  I personally can't wait to see more of you.

Second Set!

Our beautiful Co-Host started our second half singing Neil Young's "Birds" SO beautifully, followed by Carole King's "Way Over Yonder," showing us that her voice was simply made for this stuff.  To hear what I mean, you have two different opportunities to get how wonderful Lauren Fox is.  The first is March 26th, which is the Live CD Release for Love, Lust, Fear & Freedom: The Songs of Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen.  The second is April 17th, her show with Jon Weber, Canyon Folkies: Over the Hills & Under the Covers.  Both of these will be held at The Metropolitan Room.  Lauren ended her set with the closer from Canyon Folkies, Jackson Brown's "Before the Deluge," with some absolutely gorgeous back-up vocals by Jon and Marissa Mulder.  Lauren Fox is something to behold, and I cannot wait to watch her success blow up.

It was now time for our amazing Tanya Moberly, producer/singer/anything else she darn well puts her mind to. ;)  This Salon, she showed off some of her more earthy notes with "Our Love Is Real" by Carole King.  I'm amazed that she has had time to breathe, let alone produce the Salon, lately, as she has been strutting her talent all over the place having done the Bistro Awards the day after the Salon, performing in the Cabaret Hotline Gala this Wed, March 6th at The Laurie Beechman, AND she will be performing in The Amanda McBroom Project this Sat, March 9th, and the next, March 16th.  Oh -- did I mention that her most recent show at Don't Tell Mama, Tanya Lorraine Moberly Sings Barbra Joan Streisand, got her nominated for the 2013 MAC Award for Best Female Vocalist???   Yep -- that's our girl!  This woman is truly unstoppable.  (A little Tanya Moberly on-theme trivia: She and James Taylor share the same birthday!)

Elaine St. George was up next with another Carole King song, and gave us a really nice, original arrangement of "Natural Woman," with minimal accompaniment, telling the story in her own voice (and more effectively, in my opinion, than the usual wailing renditions that are done so often).  So lovely, Elaine.  Elaine has two pieces of good news -- her Joni Mitchell show, Take Me As I Am, is getting another performance on April 27th, and said show has earned her the 2013 MAC Hanson Award! Congratulations, Elaine --  well deserved.

Parker Scott followed with a great arrangement of "My Funny Valentine" thanks to the combined talents of him and our Guest Host.  Parker has earned himself a Bistro Award, and he just sang backup at the Awards on Monday night.  Parker's show with Wells Hanley and Rubin Kodheli, No Expectations, is being reprised in April.  We can't wait to hear more, Parker!

Bill Zefiro brought Marissa Mulder back up with him to perform a song that Marissa actually commissioned: a song about the "joys" of dating in Manhattan.  The song is called "My Kind Of Guy," and is as hilarious as Bill's work gets.  Bill has been busier than busy, playing and earning things like 2013 MAC Award Nominations.  Hey -- it's just what he does!

Jonathan Prager sang the great "When We Only Have Love" by Jaques Brel before Lauren Fox came back to wrap up the night, charming us with Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock."

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Lauren Fox and Jon Weber for such a great evening!

Next week's Guest Host will be the multiple MAC and Bistro Award-winner Steven Ray Watkins!  Steven is nominated for yet another MAC Award for Musical Director this year.  His 2012 shows include Lennie Watts, Amy Wolk, Jim Speake, Carly Ozard, our very own Tanya Moberly, and many others.  And as mentioned earlier, our Co-Host will be Carly Ozard!  Carly is appearing in Stu Hamstra's Cabaret Hotline March Is Cabaret Month Gala on Wed, March 6th.  We have a Salon Spotlight this coming Sunday, as well, featuring the very talented, Broadway World Award-winner, songwriter Scott Evan Davis!  His musical revue, Picture Perfect, will be at The Duplex on March 9th, 17th, and 24th.

Our optional theme for Sunday, March 10th, is "Songs That Rock You!"  We hope to see you there!

- Candice Oden
Blogette for The Salon
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