Singer to perform vintage melodies in Port Townsend on Friday
Sylvia Herold will sparkle at the Key City Playhouse in Port Townsend this Friday night.
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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The jewels, mind you, are Herold's songs. She collects vintage pieces, then shows them off in her velvety style.
For this concert at the Key City Playhouse, 419 Washington St., she's bringing a jewel box of music from the 1920s up through the '60s.
Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $15 at www.KeyCityPublicTheatre.org and 360-385-KCPT (5278).
From pop to swing
Herold predicts her set will travel from swing to pop classics and back, from “Jeepers Creepers” to “The Look of Love” and, for comic relief, “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” a 1939 ditty sung by Groucho Marx.
Herold, who hails from Oakland, Calif., will come to Port Townsend with her upright-bassist husband, Chuck Ervin, and add local clarinetist John Morton to make it a trio Friday night.
She sings, plays and relishes jazz as “one thing that America has produced that is specifically ours and that wouldn't have happened without African-Americans and the blues.”
Herold describes herself as a collector of songs, one who loves to examine them line by line.
This study “is my life's endeavor,” she said.
“I don't know much about songs from 1980 forward,” though. It's not that Herold doesn't believe any good music came out after that year. She does feel that it takes a few decades for the really good ones to “percolate up.”
Songs are “little three-minute packages,” Herold said, and at given moments in history, singers shape them into standards.
In addition to a long stint with the swing trio Cats & Jammers and time with the Gypsy jazz outfit Hot Club of San Francisco, Herold has put out five of her own records.
These include 2012's “The Spider and the Fly,” recorded with the Rhythm Bugs; “A Mockingbird Sings in California” from 2001; and 1997's “A Bowl of Crystal Tears.”
These days, she plays the archtop guitar, a vintage instrument originally made for the orchestra. It's “more punchy,” she said, than a regular acoustic guitar, and it fits her just right.
Herold's concert caps 2013's Key City Playhouse series presented by the nonprofit Key City Public Theatre and the Toolshed Soundlab studio in Port Townsend.
This singer, Toolshed owner George Rezendes said, “is one of the most adventurous and eclectic musicians on the scene today.”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: September 24. 2013 5:48PM