Concert Review: Songbird – The Eva Cassidy Story

Concert Review – Songbird – The Eva Cassidy Story
Lichfield Guildhall – December 7th 2012

Reveiwed by: Ben Macnair

James Jones events hosted an evening about the life, career and music of the singer Eva Cassidy when they appeared at Lichfield’s Guildhall. With a live singer, a three piece band, and a narrator the show explained the life of the talented interpretive singer and musician, and the success that she deserved, but did not see until after her untimely death from Cancer at the age of 33.

Narrated by Chloe Jones, the singer and violinst Rebecca Kelly, James Patrick on guitar, bassist Adam Gilchrist and drummer Miles Levin gave life to the many songs that Eva Cassidy sang during her career. Never a songwriter, Eva Cassidy’s talent lay in her voice, and talent as an arranger of other people’s songs, which included Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Songbird’ Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’ or Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time after Time’. As well as these pop tunes, the group also touched on jazz, with ‘Autumn Leaves’,‘Honeysuckle Rose’and Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’, whilst Gospel featured with Curtis Mayfield’s ‘People Get Ready’ and rhythm and blues with Ray Charles ‘Hallejulah I just love him so’.

The three piece band were on fine form, whilst the singer and playing of Rebecca Kelly was sure-footed throughout. The danger of shows like this is that they sometimes fall between two stools, so depending on your point of view, the music interrupts the narration, or the narration interrupts the flow of the music. This was neither a concert, or a lecture, it fell somewhere in-between, but it proved an interesting, and unique reminder of a fine, sadly lost talent.

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