Tuesday, October 12, 2010
an unexpected gift
My special lady and I recently enjoyed a weekend at the FOXWOODS RESORT in Mashantucket, CT. Gambling is the main attraction at this venue. But, once a year or so, we go mainly to see a comedy act or a concert.
Hearing Sheryl Crow sing live at the MGM Grand Theater at the resort was our primary objective. Although I’m not in love with the acoustics offered by this hall, I do like the size (not too big or small) and the seating is very comfortable (I hate being crammed and jammed while watching an engagement). I knew Sheryl would perform magnificently-and she certainly did.
We had no idea though who would open up for her. And when the opening artist and band were introduced-the name Brandi Carlile only slightly rang a bell. I am also not a viewer of the ABC drama, Grey’s Anatomy, so I was unaware that a few of Ms. Carlile’s songs had been featured here. However, just a few harmonics later and we did know that we were the recipients of a bank error in our favor. This was no opening act and a show. It was a double header.
I enjoy many different kinds of music. To my delight, Brandi Carlile has a unique way of blending rock, country and folk qualities into her renditions while she mixes in and reveals a wide range of singing ability. She appears young, yet self-assured and powerfully energetic. And her vocal cords possess the smooth acceleration of a finely tuned V8 engine.
Differing styles aside, but similarly having previously known nothing about someone, I couldn’t help feeling some familiarity to having heard Bonnie Raitt for the first time back in the 1970’s and instantly becoming a follower. Déjà-vu, I suppose, in the form of another big voice, with obvious talent, artistry and an upward aura.
It was a no-brainer then that I would want to head for the lobby and purchase a CD during intermission. About a thousand other people had thought along those lines too. Even with the announced knowledge that an autographed copy might be possible, I gave the notion little consideration. Instead, I hyper focused (zoned out-as I sometimes do) as I weaved my way to the glass enclosed displays of merchandise available. I drowned out all the crowd noise around me and requested ‘that one’ while pointing in redundancy to the clerk in attendance. Then, at the exact moment I was handed the disk, my peripheral focus returned and I heard a woman next to me say, ‘I’ll take that’.
Standing beside me and to the right was Brandi Carlile. As she autographed my purchase I wanted to comment all about my déjà-vu, her energy, her range, her wit of lyrics and her guitar playing. But, suffering under the weight of an unexpected gift being tossed in my lap, I mundanely declared ‘great voice Brandi, great voice’ as I moved on to make room for the next new fan.
Considering that for the past two weeks her songs are pretty much all I have listened to while navigating my way around town, I thought that if you too are looking for a gift that doubles as a gem you may want to check out the music of Brandi Carlile.
© 2010 Christopher’s Views