By Carey Reed Zamarriego
To The Waters Edge Cover (RAD Graphic)
What’s happened in the music world? Since when are tone deaf, reality TV housewives, suped up by auto-tune and backed by mega-marketing machines our era’s music popstars? I’m not completely against auto-tune, it does have its place: in karaoke bars or to help the musically challenged win a round of SingStar. But, what happened to honest, pure music and the uniqueness of that, with all the cheesy, cliched things that come along with witnessing it: chills, hairs standing on end?
The other night, thanks to PBS, I was reminded of the specialness of seeing a true musical talent perform with the broadcasting of Billy Joel’s Last Play at Shea. Taped in 2008, it was the last great music concert given before Shea Stadium was demolished. Joel’s voice was just as rich in tone as always and he made playing the piano, guitar and piano and harmonica simultaneously look effortless. I was literally frozen in awe of his talent, and at the same time disappointed at how far away the music industry has gotten from celebrating these kinds of musical rarities. Hell, Billy Joel’s music is not only complex and genre-spanning, but recounts important moments in history and he had 110,000 people in the audience, of all ages, singing the lyrics to those songs, HIS songs, written and arranged by HIM. The concert was followed by a showing of Troubadours, a documentary on the singer/songwriters of the 1970s, like Carole King, James Taylor and Jackson Brown, who played between California’s Troubadour and NYC’s Greenwich Village.
I’m happy to report that the singer/songwriter legacy is alive and well, you just have to look a bit harder to find it. Singer and guitarist, Dan Lavoie
, from my hometown of Pawling, New York has been nurturing his ‘craft,’ studying with classical guitarist Jeff Armstrong
and at Berklee College of Music
. He recently released his first studio album: To The Waters Edge
(cover images and design by another Pawlingite, Renee Grant of RAD Graphic
). “The biggest challenge for me post album release has been the promoting, I am a self promoter all around the board I have had to learn so much about the business, create my websites, find all my own shows with no manager or booking agent, it becomes stressful doing all this on top of having a full time job,” shares Dan.Without any backing, this musician, like the troubadours of the past, is out promoting and performing his own music and will share his Ben Harper-y, warm-weather feeling tunes in the same area where singing/songwriting greats like David Crosby and Joni Mitchell performed decades ago. Check out his show at NYC’s Village Lantern on March 14th.
Dan Lavoie (NYC)
March 14, 2011 at 7pm-9pm
167 Bleecker (Sullivan/Thompson)
Folk rock singer/songwriter playing songs off his first studio album: To the Waters Edge.