“Who needs to hear Eric Wrobbel sing this American Songbook classic when masterful versions by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett already exist?”
See description below . . .
It's all about the song.
It is a widely-held belief among music professionals that the single most important element in the success of a recording or a performance is the song itself. It's either there or it isn't.
Well, it's here. This song, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, is a song that the public, music critics, and professional musicians alike have called one of the finest songs of the 20th century.
So we know the song is special, but. . . who needs to hear Eric Wrobbel sing it when masterful versions by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett already exist?
For this reason: Eric brings a songwriter's sensibility to it. And why should that matter? Please read on. . .
Eric came of age in the late 1960s when the "singer-songwriter" was in first bloom in popular music. This was the first time it was widely accepted for songwriters to sing their own songs as performing artists rather than yield such songs over to others for "interpretation." It was seen as a fair trade-off that some professional polish or slickness be sacrificed in order that songs be heard not as interpretations, but as straightforward expressions of the author. Like a poet reading their own work. It might not be as dramatic a performance as a Shakespearean actor would give, but it offered something the actor couldn't. It had an honest simplicity and genuineness to it. You felt it.
Noted singer-songwriters of this era were Paul Simon, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Dan Fogelberg, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Leonard Cohen, Phil Ochs, John Denver, Donovan, Randy Newman, Gram Parsons, and Don McLean.
Eric, as a singer-songwriter of many years, knows well that the best showcase a good song can ever have is for it to be allowed to speak for itself. What makes this performance so special is that Eric does exactly that. He does not so much "perform" it, or "interpret" it, but rather he simply presents this fine song as it is. It's as if the songwriters themselves are presenting the song. No big orchestra. No slick vocal gymnastics, no artifice.
So I invite you to hear, at long last, the American Songbook classic, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, as it was originally and so beautifully written.
About Eric Wrobbel: This songwriter, artist, musician and humorist has written and produced hundreds of tracks for himself and others, usually singing and playing most if not all parts on these recordings. Rarely performing live, he has almost exclusively focused his musical efforts as a studio artist, working in a wide range of styles that have variously been described as rock, folk, country, psych, humor, and pop.
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