Category: Category 1
Sue’s View Reviews and NewsDecember 6, 2012
First impressions: Fierce, total conviction, joy, cheek bones for days, I’m buying her message and lovely, rich low tones …who knew?!After a beautiful rendition of Carole King’s “Beautiful” with a really interesting take on the lyrics, Tanya offered us a smart, clean explanation of her love of Barbra Joan Streisand and how she came to influence Tanya’s work. Tanya told us that it was not just her voice but it was because of the music that Barbara recorded on her self-named 1971 hit album. She told us how Barbra introduced her to the great music of such folks as: Bacharach, The Bergmans, Carole King, Michel Legrand, Laura Nyro and more.

While Tanya did cover this album, she did not bring to mind Barbra’s wonderful renditions because she made each and every song her own with her own wonderful takes on them. This takes some doing when covering an artist like Ms. Streisand so props to Tanya! This was all the “patter” we were offered. Thereafter Tanya let the songs speak and speak they did.

Taking an iconic album like this and doing it in the order that it was recorded and still being able to cluster the songs to make new little stories rather than 11 individual songs was again, impressive.

I have only seen Tanya take the stage like a bat out of hell and belt a tune to the rafters at The Salon, so seeing her in a show like this, SO connected to her material, and in a lower, richer place in her voice on many of the tunes, showed me a whole other side of Tanya I didn’t realize was there. Particularly deep and moving were her ballad moments. I LOVED her rendition of “I Never Meant to Hurt You”. For a song I grew up with and have heard sung many, many times, I can honestly say that I have never heard the song sung like she did it tonight. It was stunning! Like on the CD, she transitioned into “One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not a Home” in a duet with the always amazing Steven Ray Watkins creating a mini-drama what made complete sense but, for me, “I Never Meant to Hurt You” was a stand alone marvel. This can become a signature tune for Tanya … it was that well acted and sung. Quiet but so powerful. More people should look at how Tanya can just be still in a ballad and deliver a song.

Since the original Streisand CD was only 11 songs long, they closed with a 10 song “medley” of some of Barbra’s other great hits. I loved it! It was smart and again clustered tunes that made sense coming one after another AND they didn’t overstay their welcome on any one tune nor did they sing all the tunes in their entirety.

Tanya’s voice is hard to describe. She basically has any note that she wants to sing and she can nail riffs and higher notes like no body’s business. It is also definitely a soulful voice but, for me, she sometimes goes to what I call the “screechy Broadway belt voice” which I don’t like as much. However, I will note that she got applause in the middle of a few of her songs at exactly these moments so I am only one opinion here. There is a tone that is powerful and always on pitch and at times huge but again, for me, I was melted by her lower tones. I remain very impressed with the vocal aerobics that she is capable of though. The real reason to see Tanya, and this show in particular, is her heart in her storytelling. I was so happy to see her in this new light. She is a real woman of substance!