LIVE: Gregory Douglass @ Caffe Lena, 10/28/09
When the descriptive moniker “singer-songwriter” is attached to a folk musician’s name, you generally assume it’s a guitarist who composes and sings with a guitar. In the pantheon of folk music, there are many singer-songwriters who do play some piano and sing along with it in their performances – for example, John Gorka and Susan Werner come to mind.
But last Wednesday night Caffe Lena hosted two Vermont-based singer-songwriters who primarily play the electric piano and sing. Myra Flynn, a Philadelphia transplant, opened the show with her impassioned 45-minute set primarily drawn from her self-released debut CD, “Crooked Measures.” Young and stunningly beautiful, Flynn’s masterful use of dynamics brought to mind Tori Amos’ use of the keyboard to dramatically heighten and intensify the intricate fabric of the song.
Headliner Gregory Douglass approached his songs in much the same way as Flynn with the exception of a greater dynamic range of musical contrasts. With five albums under his belt – including his latest, “Battler” on Emote Records – Douglass’ performance was more polished and seasoned, but no less impassioned in his musical approach to the song structures. He could croon sweetly one moment and explode into a vocal frenzy the next.
All in all, that night Caffe Lena’s audience heard two of the next generation’s best up and coming singer-songwriters as part of the Saratoga coffeehouse’s weekly Wednesday night Emerging Artists concert series.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk