Written on: 19/11/2009 by star7309 (9 reviews written)
Randi Driscoll Live In Concert ~ To Catch A Rising Star
by: Terry Christopher
In today's flood of indie music, it is challenging at best to stand out in the crowd. It seems even more so now as indie artists are securing their own pathways to artistically fulfilled freedom and success minus the constraints of music label decision makers. Today's indie artist must find a niche, a sound, and a style that is all their own while running the marathon endurance race that has become the U.S. indie music scene. Randi Driscoll is a great example of such an indie singer-songwriter who has so much going for her in terms of talent and ability, that after a few moments in her presence behind a baby grand, you can't help but get swept up in the excitement of watching someone that is destined to be a household name. Remember, it folks Randi Driscoll.
With all that New York City has to offer in terms of nightlife and entertainment, one of the talent offerings on Friday, November 6, 2009 was the CD release concert held at the The Triad Theatre by the very talented and beautiful piano playing singer-songwriter, Randi Driscoll. Randi's concert was a celebration of the new songs CD, 365 Days as well as a few songs from projects past. Randi shared the stage with Noah Heldman on percussion and guitar, Leenya Rideout on fiddle, mandolin and backing vocals, and David Gurland on backing vocals. The concert was filled with much excitement from the crowded room of loyal fans, friends and family members many of whom had travelled from several other states to see this rising star.
From Randi's entrance from behind the black velvet split curtain upstage, you instantly felt the high wattage of her stage presence. Randi sat behind the piano and started in with her first song of the night, "I Used to Be That Stupid Girl" from 365 Days which sings of an awakening and awareness in the pursuit of finding ones self in a better place. "Stupid Girl" was then followed by the song "Lucky" which is the title track from her CD, Lucky released in 2006. The song "Lucky" tells the story of the string of life oddities, mishaps, and uh-oh's in the singers personal and touring life that seems rather endless. Randi's perspective is that of taking lemons and making lemonade or as was the case here, a really great song that's delivered in a tongue-in-cheek manner while poking fun at herself and her luck. "Lucky" also showed the audience a lighter and more playful side to the wide emotional range this artist is capable of covering. Randi's third song of the night and the second performed from 365 Days was the emotionally raw and revealing song "Witness" which exhibited Randi's ability to take the audience from the frolicking fun and pluckiness of "Lucky" to the emotionally pleaful and painful introspective song like Witness in the space of a few vocal notes which were nestled in a soft and rolling piano melody. The fourth song on the playlist was "Beautiful Disaster" from Randi's 2002 CD, The Play. "Beautiful Disaster" was another powerful and emotionally filled gem that dove into a love that has ended ruinously.
By the time "Beautiful Disaster" was finished, you recognized Randi as an artist who is both raw and brave in her daring self revelations, but also as a true inspiring master of the piano based singer-songwriter genre. Randi's piano skill and melodic ability in her musical arrangements provide another insight that she is an artist who has the complete package as a performing singer-songwriter. To add to this powerhouse package of talent and skill, is Driscoll's keen and expert ability of connecting to everyone in the room as a group while making each individual feel like as though she is singing to just you while sharing these intimate stories.
Randi's between song patter is definitely an enjoyable aspect to her live shows. Some artists lack the ability to segue way from song to song smoothly and seamlessly, yet Randi does it not only with the flawlessness of a seasoned pro, but also with a sense of ease, comfort, and an exact timing that takes the room collectively into the journey that is the next song.
The next musical offering made that immediate 180 emotional turn that Driscoll does so well by going from the loss and sadness found in "Witness" and "Beautiful Disaster" to lighthearted, hopeful and cheerful, in the song "So What" from 365 Days. Equally hopeful, lighthearted and up beat in lyric content, music arrangement and emotional meaning were 365 Days' "You Make Me Believe", "Always Time for Life", the very ingeniously written "Facebook Song", and the title track "365 Days."
One of the final songs of the night has an amazing story attached to it. The song is called "What Matters" and has come to be known by many of Randi's friends and loyal fans around the U.S. as one of her best and most moving songs. " What Matters" is the song that Randi wrote and recorded in response to the horrific hate crime attack that took the life of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wisconsin back on October 7, 1998. This song touches and moves the listener to a place that raises awareness, inspires action like Randi's own to stand with the LGBT community and saying that brutality, hate speech, and viciousness are not the answer and can not be a part of the human condition. Randi has worked for years in tandem with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and Judy Shepard to bring awareness to the fight for LGBT equality and the end of LGBT hate crimes. It is because of artists like Randi Driscoll whose music makes a difference, reaches the masses, and helps change hearts and minds, that progress is made. "What Matters" is the musical tribute to Matthew Shepard and the Shepard family, who after 10 years of Judy Shepard's patience, endurance and resolve, were successful in spearheading the recently passed Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act bill which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009.
Randi Driscoll is definitely a talent whose star seems to shine brighter and brighter with each musical endeavor. Sounding like a hybrid vocalist of Martina McBride, Norah Jones and Sarah McLaughlin, Driscoll's live performance encompasses a down home, girl next door sensibility with a vocal power and delivery that is part silk, part satin, part angora and part steel as she dares to bare and share an emotional range few people care to allow themselves to feel privately let alone on a stage in front of audience. Randi Driscoll is definitely an indie artist that delivers the goods in a complete package who doesn't ask that you fall in love with her but she instead earns your love, one powerful and beautiful song after the other.
For more information about Randi Driscoll, please visit www.RandiDriscoll.com