Picnic with a Pops rocks with Elton John tribute
August 14, 2014 - Picnic Time
Most any pop-savvy pianist will happily acknowledge their bend for a strain Elton John has combined over a past 45 years. Count Michael Cavanaugh among them.
“I’m a outrageous fan of Elton,” says a pianist and vocalist who will be a guest artist during this weekend’s Picnic with a Pops performances. “I’m also a outrageous fan of Bernie Taupin, his lyricist. The things they wrote was only so unique. Most of their songs, generally a ones from (John’s 1973 multi-platinum album) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, they wrote and available in one day. That only blows my mind. They were all vital in this palace of a residence that was incited into a vast recording studio. So they’d get adult in a morning, write a song, record it and that was it. That’s how songs like Bennie and a Jets and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, happened. That’s only crazy.”
Many of a songs John wrote with Taupin during a initial half of a 1970s also competition penetrating orchestral arrangements by Paul Buckmaster and, on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Del Newman. That creates such strain a excellent fit for orchestral concerts such as a Picnic with a Pops performances with a Lexington Philharmonic. But Cavanaugh isn’t tying his furloughed tribute, The Songs of Elton John and More, that forms a module for Picnic for a Pops, only to a vanguard British rocker’s orchestral-inclined works.
“We open a uncover with (the 1975 single) Philadelphia Freedom since it’s got this good orchestral purpose already,” Cavanaugh says. “So apparently songs like that, songs like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, songs like (John’s career-breaking 1970 hit) Your Song have these pleasing orchestral and fibre arrangements that we adore playing. But afterwards we also adore doing songs like Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting, that has never seen an rope before yet sounds unequivocally cold with one. And there’s Candle in a Wind. So many people got used to conference only a piano/vocal chronicle of that song. we do it with piano, voice and strings and it unequivocally sounds beautiful.”
Curiously, John wasn’t Cavanaugh’s initial or many infirm piano-pop inspiration. That respect goes to Billy Joel. After throwing a Las Vegas opening by Cavanaugh in 2001, Joel chose his advocate to be a lead for Movin’ Out, his Broadway partnership with famed choreographer Twyla Tharp. Cavanaugh remained with a prolongation for 3 years, earning Grammy and Tony Award nominations.
Actual orchestral concerts, though, didn’t start for Cavanaugh until after Movin’ Out closed. That was when he designed vast scale furloughed tributes to Joel, John and a newer singer-songwriter module (the “… and More” qualifier in a pretension to this weekend’s John reverence calls for additional ’70s-era songs by Wings, Styx and a Eagles).
“When we was on Broadway, we worked with a 10-piece stone band,” Cavanaugh says. “It was a stone ‘n’ hurl rope with a horn section, basically. The initial time we ever played with an tangible rope onstage was during Carnegie Hall with a New York Pops. we theory we got spoiled.
“Growing adult as an ’80s kid, we was surrounded by synthesizers that were perplexing to impersonate these orchestras yet couldn’t do it. So unexpected to be surrounded by a genuine rope was incredible. It was like holding string out of my ears.
“What’s pleasing about these concerts now is we’ve got these guys entrance from a stone ‘n’ hurl universe and sonorous musicians entrance from a exemplary world. We’ve schooled over a final 8 years of doing this how to play with an rope and work effectively with a conductor. The some-more we do that, a some-more we feel these dual opposite worlds entrance together. There’s zero like it.”
Rich Copley: (859) 231-3217. Twitter: @LexGoKY. Blog: copiousnotes.bloginky.com.