Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Few Delaware Musicians to Watch

Setting up for a rehoboth jazz fest concertKaren 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.

1 comment:

Debi Dow Fenimore said...

Mike,
I am one of those who count them as my friends. I liked your review for the most part and want to add the word "passionate" to describe their music and song writing. It's from their heart and their soul...no mistaking. Debi

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