Tangine New York, NY
The Players: Kenny Fame vocals; Jack Mullin, guitar; Jay Regan, guest percussion.
Material: Performing a combination of original songs and covers, poet-turned-songwriter Kenny Fame bravely jumps into a new arena sharing indelible impressions and experiences. Artistically, Fame is a gentle soul who cherishes humanitarian issues and mutual respect between people which serve to fuel some of his underlying themes. His poetry is a good departure point for songwriting as he already possesses a knack for imagery, metaphor and description. Fame is testing the waters with this group of originals which swing toward an R&B feel and are a nod to artists of the ‘90s, although he does not lock himself exclusively into one style. “Another Man’s Women,” is one of Fame’s more commercially viable songs—less like poetry set to music with more structure and the cohesion that songwriting requires.
Musicianship: Fame’s voice is somewhere between a tenor and a baritone, but sometimes his chosen keys are a bit lower than he can control, especially when they hamper his ability to project. Raising the key in some of the songs would enable him to get more out of his voice while still retaining that lovely reserved vibe he has.
Fame is accompanied by Jack Mullin on guitar who has put together some musically appealing arrangements.
Performance: Fame has an endearing demeanor, soft spoken and understated. In addition to some boosts in the key choices there were other technical issues.The sound system at this venue was marginal and it’s important for an artist to master less than optimal conditions. More experience tackling different rooms and putting himself in front of more audiences will serve him well in overcoming these technical challenges.
Halfway through the set the duo was joined by songwriter Jack Regan (slated to play the following set) who weighed in with some percussion. This lent a nice note of spontaneity to the performance which suited the casual environment of this venue.
Summary: Somewhat new to the singer/songwriter world, Kenny Fame exhibits an enthusiasm and determination, that is necessary for this journey. His sensibilities as a poet are an asset in launching a songwriting career; however, he needs to keep honing his skills as a performer. Once he develops better mic technique and gauges the best key for each song, his voice and persona can shine and build the confidence needed to get his message across completely. Look out for his new single “Beautiful Face” on iTunes available on Oct. 14.
– Ellen Woloshin
Photo by Mark Shiwolich