Amy Carol Webb and Kat Eggleston
The Labyrinth Café – 05/12/12
Fort Luaderdale, Florida
Tender. Woman or man. Tender. Old or young. Tender. Healthy or frail. As Susan Moss stated in her opening remarks last night, regardless of everything else, if you tend to something – anything or anyone – with patience, persistence, and passion, then you are a mother and tender. And what more fitting words on the eve of Mother’s Day to begin the season finale at the Labyrinth Café (www.labyrinthcafe.com) with Amy Carol Webb (www.amycarolwebb.com) and Kat Eggleston (www.kateggleston.com) performing to a packed house of some 200 people.
Now for me, this show was both closure and commencement as it represented the end of the 2011-2012 house concert series and the beginning of my love affair with Kat’s and Amy’s music. They are both incredibly gifted performers filled with passion and tenderness for those they sing about and for those to whom they sing. In essence, Amy and Kat are amazing mothers of music, from its conception, to its birth, and to its blossoming. Their concert last evening was one of great beauty and a great gift to honor the mother within us all.
The show, consisting of 21 titles divided into two sets with one incredible encore, began with each performer singing five compositions solo in the first half. Kat started off with One More Step, an inspirational song about light in the darkness which she attributed to a little voice within her that is really not so little. This was followed by Home where you once were chin level with the table, and then Sh*t (yup, Sh*t) which details how much you-know-what can be stuffed into a handbag, including a cat that’s been lost for three days. She then completed her opening set with Rain where a young child tries to explain the beauty and joy of falling droplets to depression-era dust-bowl children who’ve never seen that miraculous site before, and Sanctuary for when you’re pillow turns to stone and your bed is made of sand, you are safe with me.
Amy Carol Webb completed the first part of the evening with an eye-opening, hand-clapping, music-playing walk down Labyrinth’s center aisle to take both the stage and our hearts. Starting with You Can’t Kiss Me, a raucous, sexually charged three-chord R&B house pleaser, she then rocketed into a song of sacred syllables titled Howling At The Moon, followed by an ode to the oldest folk festival in North American – the 60th Florida Folk Festival, May 25-27, 2012 (www.floridafolkfestival.com) – called Waking Up In White Springs. Amy ended the first half of the show with her heart felt Welcome Home which tells of where the music all began, and I Come From Women, a tribute to those who passed the torch on to each of us.
The second half of the night, done song-swap style between the duo, was as splendid as the first. But I’d like to single out just two of its songs. Kat Eggleston’s 49 Rooms was so incredibly tender and intense that it brought the house to a momentary standstill. It tells of that person we’ve all seen, passed, and dismissed a thousands times in our lives: the hotel maid. It’s about those who make the beds, vacuum the floors, and take out the garbage we leave behind in our travels through life. Too often we fail to reflect or recognize that this seemingly anonymous person who tends to our passing needs also shares the same feelings, longings and passions that travel within us all. Passionately, Kat’s 49 Rooms brought that recognition full force into the Labyrinth last night.
Amy Carol Webb followed Kat’s house stopper with her heart rendering Long Goodbye, which she originally played to her own mother as she was passing away. A hopeful reminiscence of the wonder and joy shared between a parent and child, there was nary a dry eye to be found after Amy sang “So I say my name, and you say yours, and then you ask my name, again.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone better capture that crystalline moment when it is clear that you are letting go, forever. It was a truly tender and loving song sung by a loving and tender artist to, and for the one who gave her such inner wealth and beauty.
Finally, the concert season could not have been better capped than when Kat and Amy joined in encore together to sing Leonard Cohen’s wellspring of tenderness, Hallelujah (1984, Columbia). The entire house joined them in what felt like two hundred souls engaged in a single voice to express thanks for a wonderful evening, two wonderful performers, and the wonderful mother within all of us, and for whom all of us should sing praise.
So, thanks to Susan and everyone who works to make Labyrinth happen, and thanks to Amy and Kat for great music. And happy Mother’s Day to everyone regardless of gender, race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sexual-orientation, ability, disability, political affiliation and/or socio-economic status. Here’s to being a tender tender.
PS – also, happy belated birthday to Kathy Bailey (a.k.a. Bathy Kailey) who shared this wonderfully tender evening of music with me.