I think it’s interesting to see the trend of late of people seeming to finally take for granted that the “Great American Songbook” didn’t end with Porter’s death, or even the Beatles. Of late, there seems to be a plethora of performers doing “Baby Boomer Classics” such as Jim Van Slyke’s Sedaka show, Susan Werner doing classic rock in a piano trio setting, and Maureen McGovern’s Long and Winding Road show.
Now Henry Dee has You on My Mind,a CD that covers a range of hits associated with artists of the ’60s and ’70s such as the Four Tops, the New Christy Minstrels, Cat Stevens, and the Mamas and the Papas.
Dee presents the material in lucid, straightforward folk / pop arrangements. His work is intelligent, warm, and nuanced. The CD also features terrific instrumental solos and background vocals.
I think that enjoying this CD depends on one’s relationship to the original hits. Dee interprets the songs enough that purists who want a real “cover” may be dissatissfied. Conversely, people unfamiliar with the source material may enjoy the tracks, but not completely “get it.”* But I hope there’s a vast middle ground who will truly dig this CD.
Oh, and if you’re in New York, Henry is doing a CD release concert Friday, May 29th at the Triad. More info.
*OK, I fess up to being in this category. When most of these songs were hits, I was avidly listening to the Andrews Sisters and Hello, Dolly!