Josh Newcom, Lani Nash, and Joshua Stedman
Chrystal Hartigan Presents…Songwriters Showcase – 08/13/12
The Broward Center For The Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale, FL
It was another triumphant evening of grand music last night when Chrystal Hartigan (www.ChrystalHartiganPresents.com and www.facebook.com/ChrystalHartigan) presented the monthly Songwriters Showcase, held the 2nd Monday of every month, at the Broward Center For The Performing Arts in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The featured songwriters included Josh Newcom (www.WarPaintEntertainment.com), Lani Nash (www.reverbnation.com/LaniNash), and Joshua Stedman (www.JoshuaStedman.com), and with an overflow cast of open mic performers, music was flying and thriving in downtown Fort Lauderdale until the wee hours of the evening.
Now open mics are a treasure trove for the ears, and Chrystal’s Palace never ceases to provide a harvestful bounty of the best and brightest local performers. What, with the likes of Robert Bidney asking Tell Me Why, newcomer Aymber playing her love torn Love Song, Rachel Faro proclaiming Smooth Sailing, Chris Kay explaining it all In The End, Jimmy Durkin going Down The Line, Alexa Bertrand just Falling Too Fast, The Two Abes shedding No Tears, Bill Hartman Growing Up, Dr. Bob saying What My Momma Said, Maggie Baugh giving it to You, Steve Minotti singing it to Suzanne, and Shira whistling out her Crazy Love, last night truly showed why Chrystal’s Palace is the premiere monthly open mic for original acoustic music in all of southeast Florida. And then came the featured performers in classic in-the-round style.
Josh Newcom (www.WarPaintEntertainment.com), a singer/songwriter and music video producer who is about to hit the road with none other than Merle Haggard, showed us why he’s one of Nashville’s hottest commodities today. Leading off the evening of featured artists, he opened with If I Could Go Back, a heartfelt country ballad about daddy’s smiles, grandma’s hugs and all the things that make childhood the best times of our lives. On the second round, Josh unleashed the heart throbbing sexuality of That’s What Happens when the floor’s gonna look a lot better covered with your clothes. Next, he defended the singer/songwriter in all of us with Radio, a retort to all those producers who think they got writers who can help us write, when all we really wanna do is sing our own music. Finally, on the closing round, Josh blessed us with the soulful Heaven On Earth, where your baby girl looks up at you from the cradle and it’s almost too much to handle.
Lani Nash (www.reverbnation.com/LaniNash), a recent transplant from Nashville (their loss, our gain), took center stage in this impressive trio and rocked the house by kicking it off with I’ll Be Your Reason To Be, because what you think has been missing has been in you all the time. As if anyone would say otherwise, she then proclaimed So Far So Good, a one-night-stand, morning-after song where you’re kinda cute so I must be doing something right. In round three, Lani told us of The Old Me, a gentle ballad about learning to love by learning to let go. Then she closed her portion of the show with I’m What You’ve Been Missing, a crowd pleasing show-stopper about learning to love without getting burned.
Joshua Stedman (www.JoshuaStedman.com), with a voice that would make anyone from Frank Sinatra to Ricky Martin prick up their ears, channeled everyone from the Everly Brothers, to Ozzy Osbourne, to Richard Page (lead vocalist for Mr. Mister) last night. With an astounding vocal range fit for everything from ballads to arias, he started off wowing us with the taunt sensuality of his Simple Love, where you could image if every dream we dreamt of came true before we fell asleep. Joshua continued down the romance trail with Tangled, where we broke up, yet now we’re hooking up, so please don’t get tangled up over me. Before playing his third song, he first asked the audience to suggest titles for what he called Lost Generation (I suggested Immortal Mortals), as he pleaded in lyrical prose for his lost generation to fight against the contagious financial disease that has infected our country. Then for the finale of the night, Joshua gave us The Craving, an autobiographical piece about the first time he performed at New York City’s legendary CBGB Club with a broken string and his heart on his sleeve.
In addition to amazing and fantastic music at Chrystal’s Palace last night, Alistair Hay, the creator of Emerald graphite guitars (www.emeraldguitars.com) came to the show with an incredible display of traveling, full-body, and double-necked graphite acoustic masterpieces. Also, Stephen Sorace and David Yakobovitch of Curveline Films (www.CurveLineFilms.com) were there shooting footage for their upcoming feature-length film about the South Florida music scene. And of course, the guitar man himself, Jeffrey D of A1A Guitars & Art (www.A1AGuitarsAndArt.com) was giving away free goodies at half-time between the change over from open mic to the featured performers. So why do I keep calling this Chrystal’s Palace? Because it’s more than just an evening of music. It’s an evening of grandeur and fun.
Be sure not to miss next month’s show when Chrystal Hartigan Presents features Michelle Riu (www.facebook.com/MichelleRiu) and The Gritty Girls (ages 12-16; www.GrittyGirl.com) on September 10th in the Songwriter’s Showcase at the Broward Center For The Performing Arts. See you there!