Armed with only his acoustic guitar and a soaring vocal range, singer/songwriter Blake Morgan celebrated the July 30th release of his latest CD, Diamonds in the Dark, with an engaging set played to a packed house at Manhattan’s Cutting Room.
While the unplugged set was missing the lusher aspects of Diamonds in the Dark’s expanded instrumentation, Morgan’s delivery and on stage charisma did each song full justice. This CD is really fantastic! Morgan’s adept guitar playing fondly recalls that of the late great George Harrison, while his voice varies between comparison to the adult contemporary mellowness of hit-maker Duncan Sheik and top-shelf Seventies pop greats such as Andrew Gold. And what’s not to like about that?
Morgan draws his subject matter from his past romantic relationships, and while the songs are obviously deeply personal, he keeps the message universal and accessible. Tuesday’s set featured nine cuts from the just-released Diamonds, including a few of my favorites like the opening number, “Haunt Me,”“Best Bad Idea” and “I Can Hear You Say.” I enjoyed Blake’s humorous between-song banter (where he revealed many of the details behind each song) and it was a fun evening for all! Diamonds in the Dark is available now wherever fine music is procured, and you can find out more about Blake by visiting This Link. See the set list below!
Cutting Room Set List
Black Into Blue
Water Water Everywhere
Best Bad Idea
Don’t Want To Let You Go
I Can Hear You Say
We Left Off
So Scared And Happy
The Cutting Room is a somewhat upscale, intimate music venue here in Manhattan that features a foodie-friendly menu, a bar shaped like a guitar neck and interior décor not entirely dissimilar to that of a Hard Rock Café. At some point in the past couple of years, The Cutting Room, which originally had a vibe much closer to a British Pub than a hip Rock Club, moved from West 24th Street (now home to many excellent restaurants) to 44 East 32nd Street and Park Avenue. You can now literally crawl, if necessary, to or from the club and the 33rd Street stop on the number 6 train. So, convenient!
Kostabi Guitar Detail
One of the things I like about the inside of The Cutting Room is all of the bitchen original art they have. Right near the front door hangs a group of Black & White painted portraits of The Beatles that would knock your socks off, and inside the room where the bands play they have a half a dozen or so paintings by Mark Kostabi, who is one of my favorite contemporary artists. What will grab your eye while you are still on the street, however, is the oversize Guitar Sculpture displayed in the front window, which was painted by Kostabi as well. It is totally awesome.
Find out more about The Cutting Room’s Happy Hour, take a Video Tour of the place and see what shows they have coming up at This Link.
Last night I went to a party thrown by Modern Drummer magazine, which was held at The Cutting Roomon 24th street. The party was totally rad and I ran into a few long lost pals like Ira Elliot from Nada Surf. I also met some of my favorite drummers and assorted legends such as Steve Smith (formerly of Journey), Anton Figg (David Letterman) and Liberty Devito (Billy Joel’s long-time drummer). But I was most excited to meet John Lennon‘s ex-girlfriend and former wife of über-producer Tony Visconti, May Pang and…drum roll please… ’70s child star Mason Reese . If you were, say, over age ten in the early to mid ’70s and living in the United States, you will remember Mason as the adorably precocious 7 year old spokesperson for Underwood Deviled Ham in the commercial that swept the nation by storm and had everyone mispronouncing the word ‘Smorgasbord.’ Underwood Deviled Ham is one of my favorite brands of all time because it has a picture of Satan on the label, but that is another story. Continue reading →