Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jazz Fest 2016, Day 4: Frank reviews Gwyneth Herbert, The Revelers, and Bill Kirchen

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge Gwyneth Herbert performed in Christ Church on Monday. - PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • Gwyneth Herbert performed in Christ Church on Monday.

For me, the sound in Christ Church has sucked, and it's sucked for years: relegated to a kick drum-induced boom-a-thon and vocals that were so reverb-drenched that they sounded backwards. It's never been the soundman's fault; it's just the big room.

Well I'm here to tell ya, that's all changed with Gwyneth Herbert's positively riveting performance. She was playfully curious with a ukulele and kazoo while not coming on too child-like -- it was exploratory but not lost in space. And the woman has the range of a Theremin, her ultra-high notes pinging off the ceiling and dislodging pieces of the Word of God that have been stuck up there since Easter. Of the let's say top 10 singers I've ever seen, Herbert is two of them.

Gwyneth Herbert will perform again Tuesday, June 28, at Max of Eastman Place. 6:15 p.m. and 10 p.m. $30 or a Club Pass will get you in.

Next I took a detour, on my way to get ice cream, through the Big Tent where The Revelers were revelatin' loud and proud Louisiana-style, with a nice Creole, see-saw version of "Clementine" -- "Oh my darling, oh my darling ..."

Bill Kirchen, the Telemaster, the former Lost Planet Airman, was bangin' and twangin' outside at Abilene Bar and Lounge, so I slid off the grid to take a gander. Kirchen is a no-frills player -- waxing cooler than the Harro East Ballroom's air-conditioning -- even though he frequently spanks the plank like a maniac. He looks and sounds as he always has: rail-thin and rockin'. Even though, as he intoned in his last tune, "The times, they are a-changin'.

Bria Skonberg is performing Tuesday night, baby!

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