January 14, 2012: James Lee Stanley & Cliff Eberhardt
For our second inaugural concert, this one open to friends and a few fans who heard about the performance from the musicians' website (or even from the Falls Church News-Press story that ran this week), we welcomed veteran singer-songwriters James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt. They're touring with a new album (each have dozens of solo albums under their belt), one that features acoustic reinterpretations of 12 classic songs from The Doors. The story of how that happened is here, but curiously this album is semi-officially endorsed by two surviving Doors members, John Densmore (drummer) and Robby Krieger (guitarist), who also have guest appearances on the album.
The Doors songs were a real treat, but like others I found myself craving to hear more of their own verses. From Cliff's raspy, bluesy songs of "unrequited love" to James Lee's silky-smooth ballads, like his poignant homage to his mother, they filled the room both with heart-felt singing, and crazy, crazy humor. Indeed, I think it will be a long time before we will get such a riotous pair as these two at our house again!
Through their banter and their music, we really got to know these guys last night, and it was a great pleasure to rub up against two men who are such talented and dedicated artists -- and nice people.
We'll look forward to running into them again down the road. Most immediately, we'll be on the look-out for Cliff, who has written music for -- and will be performing on stage at -- the Folger Theater's May-June production of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," with a new setting in an Old West saloon!