Review of D.C. Anderson HOUSE CONCERT by Stephen Mosher, April, 2022
D.C. Anderson has a lovely, gentle, sweet-natured quality about him... With each song, Anderson skillfully invests himself into the telling of stories… HOUSE CONCERT is a good album. It begins with a lovely, emotionally invested, articulate performance of "Some Enchanted Evening" that is tender, theatrical, and visceral without ever becoming coy. Mr. Anderson is not afraid to use all the parts of his training … when he performs this song, with his mouth justthisclose to the microphone, almost whispering those famous Rodgers & Hammerstein words and notes, for the most perfect effect possible, the listener will know that D.C. Anderson has come to tell stories.
And storytellers are so important.
On his thirty-two-minute album, Anderson’s use of songs from a variety of songwriters shows his storytelling versatility, performing everything from musical theater to folk songs to ballads, for which he seems to have a particular predilection. He tends to avoid up-tempos, though a jaunty "Sooner or Later" is quite fun …There is excellent dramatic tension in "Crazy Still to Do" (one of Anderson's own) and extreme heart in Todd Almond's beautifully haunting "God is Good"… Anderson is successful at placing admirable focus on changing the textures of his bright and open vocals to match the emotional hues of each composition. His years of training as an actor join hands with the natural clarity of his voice to provide each of the eleven songs with their own presentation - as though each song is a painting unto itself and Anderson is using his voice as a master craftsman to best display the painter's creation. Particular highlights for this writer were a number from the Matte O’Brien and Matt Vinson penned ANNE OF GREEN GABLES musical ("I Wanna Know You"), Brourman & Rollins lilting and touching "While There Is Still Time," and Anderson's own "Song for Artists," composed with his sister, Claudia Anderson. The song, the performance, and the message are all absolutely beautiful and the Andersons should seek out artists from all genres to take their shot at interpreting the composition, one that this writer wishes everyone would know…HOUSE CONCERT is just Anderson and pianist David Robison - the vibe is very much the same as Nancy LaMott’s Beautiful Baby - a cabaret album by a cabaret performer telling stories with emotion, good music, and fine focus on the art form of storytelling.
CABARET SCENES MAGAZINE
Review by John Hoglund
"An emotional depth that is profound and sincere."
"D.C. Anderson has a lot to offer in his 13th solo album, House Concert. A versatile, award-winning singer/songwriter, he has a full-time career as a working actor with an impressive résumé (including 18 years with THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA). He has also received a Bistro Award for singer/songwriter (2001), a MAC Award nomination for male vocalist in 2002, and nominations for song of the year in 1999 and 2002 and in 2007 for his original, “I Am Still.” He has recently been co-starring in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES for Goodspeed Musicals at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut.
Anderson’s expressive tenor and his original songs have been lauded by critics and fans for years. On this new album, he presents facets of life and love with sensitivity…his greatest strength. He is a highly skilled interpretive singer whose intimate shadings … seem as if he were singing it right to the listener in the most intimate way. Isn’t that what great singing is all about? All this makes him an undeniable truth teller who understands the nature and depth of his art...
The well-chosen selections showcase his gently toned tenor… reflective and tender. This is especially so in a slowed down reading of …a perfectly phrased “Some Enchanted Evening” (Rodgers & Hammerstein from SOUTH PACIFIC). Minus the overkill some singers bring to this deceivingly simple romantic ballad, it is compelling here, and David Robison’s excellent support at the piano makes it one of the album’s finest cuts. Such richness recalls crooners from a bygone era such as Matt Monroe or Andy Williams who seamlessly transformed songs into something aesthetically memorable. On 'I Wanna Know You' from Anne of Green Gables, with lyrics by Matte O’Brien and music by Matt Vinson, his delivery is riveting as he spins the pointed lyrics with ease: 'I want to know everything that you are, everything that you’ve been, everything you’ll be.' His expressive phrasing becomes the foundation on which every track is built.
His tone is as flawless as sensuous cashmere on his original “There Ain’t No Devil” (music by Bryce Kulak). In this haunting beauty, he intelligently caresses words without frills: “there ain’t no devil; only what’s been forgot/myths don’t die, the heart won’t lie/the deepest wish of the broken dish is the pieces find each other – when the one who broke it is gone, long gone.” It’s powerful … Part of Anderson’s appeal is his ability to instill every song with genuine warmth along with a technical sonority that seduces the listener…
Other highlights include an understated ‘God Is Good’ by Todd Almond that is not evangelical; rather it’s a simplistic observation about falling down: “It is not without affection that every time you laugh, you see me frown, for you are a god to me… and God is good,” Some songs reflect the cautions we’ve all had during the pandemic. On ‘While There Is Still Time’, by lyricist Hillary Rollins and composer Michele Brourman, he exudes the simple truth of kindness while we’re all still here... For lighter fare, he offers an offbeat treatment of Allan Chapman’s parody of ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man’ (Hammerstein/Jerome Kern) which becomes ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ That Lamb.’ His original (co-written with his sister Claudia Anderson) ‘Song for Artists’ is a tribute to performers everywhere: 'This is my song to artists of all nations/borne of your love and dreams for all mankind.'
He wraps it all up with the serene beauty of ‘Bright Angel’ by Susan Osborn; it is so pensive and wistful it is almost prayer-like and might sting if it weren’t so tranquil: “take my remains where the wild river runs and scatter them there in the dry desert air where the bright angel falls.” ….While he shows a penchant for songs outside the ordinary, House Concert repeatedly underscores his abilities as an adept interpreter of the human heart and makes it worthy of wider exposure…this is an exceptional album for anyone who loves a fluid voice singing beautiful songs. David Robison (on piano), Dave Cook (at the recording and engineering console at Area 52 Studios), released by Lee Lessack of LML Music."
Hurray for musical treasures uncovered by a little digging on the Internet!
I stumbled upon a singer by the name of D.C. Anderson on Spotify a few years back and, frankly, I am a bit obsessed.
Full disclosure: I contacted D.C. and gushed. He asked me if I would write something he could post on his website.
As a recording artist, he can be best described as acoustic/cabaret/art song/folk/vocal jazz/singer-songwriter… That’s a lot of hats to wear successfully. Spoiler alert: he pulls it off! How is it I have only recently discovered an artist that has been recording for upwards of THIRTY years? My guess - his music is not easily pigeonholed, and scheduling live promotional music performances must compete with acting assignments On/Off Broadway and on film.
He’s been recording (primarily for the LML MUSIC label) since the early 1990’s with 10 album length recordings as a solo artist and two compilations as a producer/contributing artist in his catalogue. If his newest - D.C. Anderson HOUSE CONCERT - is any indication, he’ll be recording for some time to come.
His career collaborating artists are all true finds, from the composers that set D.C.’s lyrics including Steven Landau, Elizabeth Doyle, Ritt Henn, Bryce Kulak, Roy Zimmerman, Geoff Packard, Rick Snyder, Jeff Rizzo, and Claudia Anderson - to pianists Lem Jay Ignacio, Steven Landau, David Robison, Jim Prosser and Deanna Witkowski - acoustic guitarists Roy Zimmerman, Geoff Packard, Gantt Kushner and Michael Grieve and bassists Ritt Henn and Kroy Presley. Their inventive musical companionship bring an illuminating intimacy to his recordings. Listen to Lem Jay Ignacio on their ‘I Leave in Doubt’ and the American Songbook standard, ‘Second Time Around’…Ritt Henn on ‘I’ll Follow My Secret Heart’, ‘Cow Imagination’ and ‘I’m Stepping Out With a Memory’…Roy Zimmerman on their guitar/cello/vocal arrangement of MADAME BUTTERFLY’s ‘Humming Chorus’ and the comic ‘Human Fondue’, Steven Landau and Gantt Kushner on the haunting, ‘I Am Still’, pianists Deanna Witkowski on the humorous, ‘I’m Right’ and the confessional ‘What’s Happened Since’ and David Robison on ‘I Don’t Know My Way Around a Dream’ and ‘Tin Can Telephone’. Geoff Packard, as a composer and guitarist, brings a slight ‘contemporary folk/pop’ sensibility to their ‘Going, Going, Gone’ and Geoff’s ‘Joe’s OK’. D.C.’s lyrics can be playful - listen to ‘Chocolate is Fine’ and ‘Frown’…sorrowful - ‘Nothing of Us’ and ‘The Visit’…poetic - ‘I Don’t Know My Way Around a Dream’ and ‘Miracle’…laugh out loud - ‘Jack the Riffer’, ‘Maury’ and ‘Carl Dean’ (a parody of ‘Jolene’ performed by Madalyn McHugh on SARASOTA).
The new album - D.C. Anderson HOUSE CONCERT - is similar in tone to his past work. On this one D.C. is accompanied solely by pianist David Robison, mirroring the set they performed together on a magical afternoon in D.C.‘s living room - which you can watch here:
For a laugh, there’s Alan Chapman’s ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ That Lamb of Mine’, from the musical theatre there’s ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and, from the new ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, there’s ‘I Wanna Know You’. The startling ‘Crazy Still to Do’ tells the story of a tense encounter on a subway platform. For sheer beauty there are the thought provoking, ‘While There is Still Time’, ‘Bright Angel’ and ‘Song for Artists’. D.C.’s collaborations here with the acclaimed Canadian singer/songwriter Bryce Kulak are ‘Martin and Janice’ and ‘There Ain’t No Devil’ - joining their ‘What’s Happened Since’ as welcome second and third pairings. D.C. Anderson HOUSE CONCERT on the LML MUSIC label - release date: February 4, 2022.D.C.Anderson HOUSE CONCERT
1.) Some Enchanted Evening
2.) I Wanna Know You
3.) There Ain’t No Devil
4.) While There is Still Time
5.) Can’t Help Loving That Lamb
6.) God is Good
7.) Martin and Janice
8.) Sooner or Later
9.) Crazy Still to Do
10.) Song for Artists
11.) Bright Angel
D.C. Anderson HOUSE CONCERT album release on the LML MUSIC label February 4, 2022
Album dedicated to Wendy Coates who summed up the life of a cabaret singer: “If I don’t sing these songs soon, I WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY ACTIONS!!!”