Songstress Carole J. Bufford brought it all together Thursday night in the Court Cabaret at Florida Studio Theatre.
“It” is “Come Together: When the 60s Met the 70s.”
Think about those years. Change was everywhere. So was discord. The kinder gentler times of the 50s gave way to race riots, cities on fire, war in Vietnam, the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, Watergate and more.
Music moved from Elvis Pressley, The Beatles, Nancy Sinatra and the Mamas and the Papas to Jimi Hendrix, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Carole King and Credence Clearwater Revival among others — sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.
While that was the music of Bufford’s parents era, in the Court Cabaret last Thursday that music suddenly belonged to all of us in the audience.
Backing her up were pianist/music director Assaf Gleizner, drummer Tony Bruno, Chuck Davis on guitar and Kroy Presley on bass.
Actually the audience backed up the entire ensemble, cheering and clapping for their favorite songs, songs they recognized from the first note. For the few who were not so familiar with all the music on the program, Bufford not only offered up some history but, better yet, she could sing the songs very much as they were originally performed by the likes of Nancy Sinatra (“These Boots Are made For Walkin””), Simon & Garfunkel (“Bridge Over Troubled Waters”), Jeannie C. Riley, (“Harper Valley PTA”) and “Rock Me Baby” as performed by Tina Turner.
That eclectic list only hints at the content of this entertaining show. People were entertained so much so that, after the show, there was quite a lot of folks anxious to buy her CDs. Even though a light rain was falling outside, people seemed to be mingling to talk about what they had witnessed.
There were several highlights, mostly because Bufford has a knack for matching her vocal talents to the styles of the many singers she honored with her performance.
Of course she picked songs that she could do well but there are not many who could so well perform such a wide range of music by such a wide range of singers and song writers. As an example, consider Tina Turner performing “Rock Me Baby,” Roberta Flack singing “Killing Me Softly” and Janis Joplin singing “Me and Bobby McGee,” followed by “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” by Carole King and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Bobby Russell and Vicki Lawrence.
It was more than a rockin’ good night. Bufford shared music that she obviously loved and appreciated.
That this shew could emulate so many styles just made it all the better.
And yes, this is the same Carole J. Bufford who performed music from the 1920s when she was at FST two years ago.
The show kicks off the summer cabaret season. None of the press information gives a closing date for this show which is likely to be extended but that is no reason to procrastinate. Diners take note: there are several new items on the cabaret menu for those who want to arrive early and eat before the show
The 100-seat Court Cabaret is in the Hegner Theatre Wing at the corner of Cocoanut Ave. and First Street in Sarasota.
For reservations to “Come Together: When the 60s Met the 70s,” call the FST box office at 941-366-8000 or visit: floridastudiotheatre.org.