"Stoned Soul Picnic," "Eli's Coming," "Wedding Bell Blues," "And When I Die,"...these fantastic hits and many lesser-known gems were written by Laura Nyro in the '60s and '70s, and the "excellent cabaret/jazz singer"* Shepley Metcalf delivers them with passion in The Songs of Laura Nyro.
In this show, Janice Friedman on piano, Jim Whitney on bass, and Willard Dyson on drums join Shepley to explore Nyro's poignant ballads "I Never Meant to Hurt You" and "Billy's Blues," cult classic "Emmie," and the powerful cry-for-help "Stoney End." The Songs of Laura Nyro has played to enthusiastic audiences in Boston clubs and here at the Metropolitan Room last November. Shepley's album of these songs will be hot-off-the-press at these April shows.
Boston-based Shepley Metcalf sang folk tunes in the '70s, cabaret in the '90s, and is now named "one of Boston's finest interpreters of the Great American Songbook."* She shares the marvelous melodies and lyrics of jazz standards in venues throughout New England and New York. In 2010 she became the first U.S. musician to perform and record a new songbook by lyricist Fran Landesman ("Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most"); the CD earned a four-star/excellent review from Jazzwise Magazine and can be heard on Pandora. Shepley's show of these songs was performed at the Metropolitan Room, earning a New York Times review, and at top clubs in San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. She is currently recording a new album of fabulous yet little-known songs written between 1920 and 1950. Other bookings for The Songs of Laura Nyro include Davenport's in Chicago and the Wellfleet Preservation Hall and the Cotuit Center for the Arts, both on Cape Cod.
Bronx-born Nyro (1947-1997) fused elements of soul, folk, jazz and Broadway tradition to create a unique sound featuring unpredictable tempo shifts and poetic lyrics. Her albums Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, New York Tendaberry and Christmas and the Beads of Sweat earned her a devoted following and critical acclaim, and some of her songs were top hits for The Fifth Dimension, Barbra Streisand, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Three Dog Night. Nyro's musical talents and influence on other artists were honored in April 2011 when she was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. *The Boston Globe