The View from the Audience
From time to time, I'll post emails or comments I've received from people who've seen my shows.
David Schulman from Los Angeles sent me a copy of an email he posted to the Steve Goodman list-serve on June 16, 2014:
About six weeks ago I wrote about a glowing review in the New York Times of Stevie's music performed by a . . . huh?? . . . jazz cabaret singer. I am not into cabaret singing in the least, and when I viewed her perform one of Stevie's songs on YouTube I thought to myself, "I don't think so . . . "
But I was going to be passing through New York the day of her next show and I just couldn't resist. So I changed my flight to come in a day early, grabbed a NYC buddy of mine and . . . we were floored. She was wonderful, song after song after song. She performed them in a whole new way . . . and they worked!
Charles Klein (known as Chuck Klein back in the day when he used to play with Stevie, and who provided a lot of pictures for Clay's book) and his wife sat with us. Their response? The same. The room was full of Stevie lovers, and I think she converted every single one of us: His music works as part of the Great American Songbook (well, maybe not "Turnpike Tom" . . . or "Moby Book" . . . or, you get my drift). But enough does, and it was eye-opening.
So why am I writing? I dimly seem to remember that there might be a list-serve rule against promoting other performers which, in a narrow sense, I guess I am. But I also think one of the list-serve's core purposes is expanding the community of music-lovers who know and love Stevie's work. And as we all know all too well, Stevie is only well-known in limited circles, way too limited.
This performer grabs his songs, interprets them in a new way and Whamo!, her performance argues for Stevie's place in a whole new genre, the Great American Song Book. Who'd a thunk? My point?
She is now fund-raising on the internet with one of those kick-start type sites to pay for recording an entire album of Steve's music. Her fund-raising deadline is the end of this month . . . and the poor woman ain't close to reaching her goal.
Her fund-raising pitch is cute in a classic Stevie-kinda way (donate XX dollars and you can vote on the album's title, etc.). She makes clear just how much Steve means to her. And her do-it-herselfness follows some well-trod footsteps, because what did our Stevie do out of his Seal Beach garage yea these many years ago? Yep, sold his LPs by mail.
So, I hope you have some crazy-rich nut of a cousin who can't stand your nattering on about folk music but who just loves Stephen Sondheim . . . the Gershwins . . . Rogers & Hart . . . Oscar Hammerstein . . . ("a chocolate eclair don't sound too bad" . . . "how 'bout some lasagna?" . . . Uh, sorry . . . got a little carried away, there . . . ). Anyway, I hope you forward the link to him and he sends her a gabillion dollars to reach her goal. Here's the link: