Thursday, February 23, 2012


True Blue with Shannon Monk & The Great American Songbook

Click on any image above to view it in larger format and/or click on the arrow below to view a video of a portion of this concert.

The Great American Songbook sung by Shannon Monk with accompaniment by True Blue

Another sold-out audience greeted Winnsboro torch singer Shannon Monk, whose effortless but earnest delivery of jazz-tinged songs about love and lovers has made her a household name hereabouts and helped her hold this full house in the palm of her hand at Brubakers Restaurant and Pub on Main Street.

Shannon was backed by the same talented band that has provided accompaniment since her first concert in the town she calls home. The band, True Blue, is still led by Georgia Gagliardi, who is the group's arranger and also plays keyboard and guitar. Guitarist Kurt Bittner is the newest addition to True Blue. As usual, the band is rounded out by Ben Scarborough on bass and Rick Murray on drums.

The first set included Fly Me To The Moon, Let's Fall In Love, Come Rain Or Come Shine, I Wish You Love, It Might As Well Be Spring, Autumn Leaves, Justification Rag (a semi-serious take on theology by Gagliardi), Smile, Five Foot Two (with Shannon on her vintage/restored Maybell banjo-ukulele), It Had To Be You and Let's Do It.

An intermission followed the first set and attendees could buy copies of Gagliardi's newest CD, which includes the aforementioned Justification Rag, which is actually a serious, non-offensive look at theology with a few side-splitting bits of humor tossed in for good measure. In fact, this reporter has not heard such a mix of humor and theology since the late Rev. Dan McBride's touring concert days. Gagliardi's CD is surely worth the money for that song alone.

Shannon's second set included From This Moment On, Our Love Is Here To Stay, Misty, Popular (sung by guest vocalist Johanna Ramsey, who recently performed it in the musical "Wicked"), Slow Boat To China, I'm Old Fashioned, Too Marvelous For Words, This Is My Time (a kind of musical memoir written & sung by Gagliardi), Every Now And Then, Accentuate The Positive, Ghost Of A Chance and Second Star To The Right (which might be regarded as a bit of a tribute to Peter Pan).

To satisfy the enthusiastic audience, Shannon's ecnore number was Route 66.

The video elsewhere on this post includes Shannon Monk on Misty, Slow Boat To China and I'm Old Fashioned. It also includes guest vocalist Johanna Ramsey singing Popular.

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