You gotta hand it to Brad Shepard–he’s got a lot of nerve getting up there on stage and singing the songs we all try to croon in the shower live in front an audience. But he pulls it off–he loves the songs, knows the music, and has a fine voice. I caught his show tonight at the intimate Majestic Theater in West Springfield.
The house was full of people who I automatically assumed were all my parent’s age. Yet when I looked closer and saw it wasn’t just the blue hairs, no, they were more my age, or Brad’s age. We’re all a little older, I guess.
The songs he sings are so familiar to any of us, that’s why we were there. I spoke briefly with Rich Mitnick, the piano player, who told me that Broadway is the real root of all of their music. Mitnick, who plays keyboards full time teaching music at Falcetti Music, said he’s been playing gigs with Brad for about ten years. He said rehearsals take longer because so much of the time he’s laughing at Brad’s jokes.
Just like on his WHYN-AM radio show, Brad’s got that quick wit and an easy fun demeanor, he can riff on just about anything. One especially funny schtick started with a note about why mayor Don Sarno couldn’t make it: his six-hour hair appointment. Then he launched into a ‘Mumbles Menino’ imitation that captured his honor’s manner of speaking perfectly.
The show included some numbers by his pretty daughter Meryl, who sings sadder songs with a strong soprano voice. Brad keeps having fun though, smiling through renditions of “Good Morning Judge” by Wynonie Harris, “Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin and Herman’s Hermit’s classic “There’s a Kind of Hush.” But the songs kept veering back to Broadway, which is his fascination and first love.
It was music you don’t hear that much any more, songs about love and romance, and an gentility that’s too rare. It was a pleasing night of music with a little funny thrown in.