Karen and I went out last night to watch a concert by Doug James and Keith Mack, two local musicians who do, I think, great work. Particularly when they play together.
The show, at Epworth United Methodist Church, in Rehoboth, was part of the Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival; but was also much more. It was a release party for a new EP by the duo. They have released three songs they are working on for a larger album and, based on what we heard last night, it promises to be pretty good.
Doug James has had a long career as a songwriter. He's penned hits for a number of people, including Michael Bolton, for whom he wrote "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You." But he's also a fine performer with strong piano chops and a great voice. We've heard him many times around our area, playing restaurant and bar gigs and sitting in for jazzy church services.
Keith Mack is a Rehoboth native who went away to NYC and recorded and toured as a rock musician. He's returned and plays around the area as well.
Together, I think these two have a great sound.
I will be honest: as much as I admire Doug James' craft as a songwriter, he writes the sort of music I don't really care for. I never could listen to Michael Bolton, though I know strong songwriting when I hear it. But the work he's doing now with Keith Mack takes traditional song forms and stretches it, adding a depth and adventurous spirit, without losing a core commercial appeal, that sounds interesting.
The crowd at last night's show was interesting as well. IT was a who's who of the Lewes/Rehoboth arts and music scene. Many people know these two musicians and many, clearly, count them as friends.
It was, in a word, cool.