Thursday, June 22, 2006
Corinne Bailey Rae At Bowery Ballroom
A delightful UK singer, Corinne Bailey Rae has delivered what will definitely be one of the best CDs of the year. I interviewed this sweet, charming artist on Monday for the New York Post and went to catch her live act last night with my friend Janie. Janie hadn't heard the album and after the first song, she turned to me and said, "Marvin Gaye." Indeed, you can hear all sorts of classic soul references when listening to Rae, from Gaye and Bill Withers to Nina Simone and (with her gorgeous finale "Seasons Change") Stevie Wonder. Usually, she's namechecked as a "Norah Jones with soul," which is fair enough since her album is intimate, adult, personal and extremely accessible in the best sense of the word. The 27 year old Rae is still working on her stagecraft -- she has all sorts of cool little hand gestures down pat and will only improve with time. And that Led Zeppelin cover proved she's got a far wider palette to draw from than her debut might indicate. Rae comes back in August for an 18 city tour. Buy her CD and you'll surely want to see her in concert. Now if only she'd ended her show like Aretha with a plea for us to "Keep Whitney Houston in your prayers," my pleasure would have been complete.