Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cheryl Wheeler and Kenny White

I went to a Cheryl Wheeler concert last Thursday night. I've seen her a couple of times before, and she had me laughing until my jaws hurt, as usual. How anyone who write such wonderful songs can be so amazingly funny too is a mystery to me.

But the real surprise was her opening act and accompanist, a keyboard player named Kenny White. He really tore up his electric Yamaha (Which had an incredibly resonant sound), and sang songs with a voice that was sweet and soulful. Lyrically, he was in the same league as Tom Waits, while playing with a heavy handed style reminiscent of Brubeck or Ben Folds. He really blew me away.

Here's a taste of the lyrics from "My Recurring Dream":
in my recurring dream we have a daughter with a boyfriend
with a moustache with a taste for younger women, like our daughter
and he has this little habit when he tries to make a point, points his finger
which if it had not been eaten by a table saw when he was 23
would really help to emphasize his point, instead we are distracted by the
sight of the missing joint and no one hears a word he says...
in my recurring dream

in my recurring dream i give a man a 20 dollar bill
'cause he likes smokey robinson and lives on the street, but still
will never confuse the temptations with the miracles
when he walks into the grocery and hears them on the radio
and i'm sad he's on the street, but glad he can feel the thrill
when "tracks of my tears" comes on and then "blueberry hill"
so here's my 20 dollar my recurring dream
He's a real gem, and definitely worth checking out. CDs are on sale at his web site, but if you get a chance to see him perform, grab it!

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