So it seems a bunch of you are enjoying this post, so I figure I’d go ahead and do it on a regular basis. Let’s the skip the long intro this time and get right to it since you already know what this is…. Read the rest of this entry »
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Last night I got to attend a new Gospel open mic showcase in New York City; Brooklyn to be exact. I know you’re probably wondering why in the world I’d recap that here as it’s a local event? Read the title again, it was hosted by Kim Burrell!!!!! Wherever she is, I want to be and something tells me the same goes for most of you. If not, I’m gonna pray for you straigh-away!
Now although the New York metropolitan area is full of excellent singers, I was a little nervous about the talent that would show for the event. Let me explain. Kim Burrell is a singer’s singer; meaning that her biggest fans and admirers are fellow singers. Although it’s a major opportunity to get to sing for an artist like Kim Burrell, I’m also sure it”s probably quite intimidating, regardless of your skill. This is Kim Burrell we’re talking about here. (I’m going to stop being a groupie now, but you get my point.) With that said, an event like this could go threeways. The really talented singers could show up and sing, or they could punk out and attend just to hear Kim sing and not perform themselves, OR, folks with more confident than anything else get on stage and do “their thing.”
So anyway, as I walked into the auditorium I saw that a lot of “big deal” local singers were in the building and so I was feeling good about what the night had to offer. To kind of get things started and to break the ice, Nancey Jackson-Johnson opened up the show with a soulful/jazz tinged rendition of “I Will Sing Of Your Love Forever.” Many of you who go to mega churches with those really “happy” praise teams or who have insomnia and catch the late night Worship CD compilation infomercials will recognize the song. Nancey, who has been a favorite of mine for YEARS absolutely destroyed that song in the best way! She hasn’t been on the national scene for a while so I hadn’t got to hear her for a while, but after all these years, she still blew me away! We miss you Nancey Jackson!
From there the night got rather interesting, because as I mentioned, the potential for the the show to go a few different ways was high. I won’t go into specifics of each performer because I know we don’t have that time and you won’t know much, if anything, about who I mention. But trust me, the singers for the first act sat right in their seats and let the more “confident’ folks take centerstage. Ha!
But all was not lost! Kim Burrell herself was EXTREMELY funny and quick witted as she hosted and critiqued the performers. For example, she delivered a classic line when she recapped a performance by a singer who had some trouble with his key choices. “Interesting that your name is ‘A-Natural’ but you started in F and then switched to E-Flat!” She then told him not to “ blame it on the ah ah ah ah ah ah alcohol!” (Deep saints in need of a floatie, that’s a hit song by Jamie Foxx and T-Pain.) She really needs a show of her own!
Next, Timiney Figueroa-Caton (of Hezekiah Walker and Kurt Carr Singer fame) came as a featured guest. Timiney’s performance re-energized me and I really appreciated it. I’ve been a fan for a while now, and being from New York, she’s a hometown favorite, but her voice is really getting better and better as the years go by. As we like to say in New York, she “SANG DOWN!” Her sister Anaysha Figueroa (who sings with Alicia Keys and Kirk Franklin) was also in the audience. I was hoping she would sing too, but I guess she was there to support her sister. She’s a crazy vocalist in her own right.
After that, there were a few more performances by way better acts than the first half. One duo whose name I can’t recall sang a Ted & Sheri throwback “Thank Him.” They were EXCELLENT! Not to take anything away from them, but then it got me thinking and missing Ted & Sheri, I miss them.
Finally Kim closed the show but not after bowing to the pressure of the audience who truthfully, open mic or not, came to see and HEAR her. She sang a piece of the closing song from the Carol Burnette show (“I’m so glad we had this time together…”) and once she realized that we would not accept that, she stuck her foot in a rendition of the Hawkin’s classic “Be Grateful.”
After I picked myself up from under my seat, I went home!
Til next time. Ha!
P.S. Oh yeah, our prayers have been answered, Kim’s new album “No Ways Tired” drops April 7th! I’m trying to get her to let me play it here for you the same way I did with Tonex, so stay tuned!