Tom Wopat Photo by Dave Goodside
It was my first time to experience The Beach Cafe and Tom Wopat. Both were a delight. The Beach Cafe is a restaurant in which a stage was installed for the sole purpose of bringing live music to the neighborhood, thanks to owner Dave Goodside. Once inside the venue there is warmth and personality with one of the best hamburgers I have ever had.
I was there to see Tom Wopat and if I had not already done my top 10 performers for 2019, Mr. Wopat definitely would have made my list. His set list is eclectic and well put together. Half holiday and half songs that tell stories, Wopat’s set started off with Let it Snow, into “Wait For It” from Hamilton, John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me”, “The Christmas Song”, “The Water is Wide”, Bob Dylan’s “Someday Baby” and “Ode To Billy Joe”. All songs you wanted to hear, even if you didn’t know it.
Wopat’s band is extraordinary starting with the marvelous Tedd Firth on piano, Ed Howard on bass and Peter Grant on drums. Joni Mitchell’s “Twisted” was a delight in jazz and also one of my favorite songs.
Wopat is also a songwriter and we were treated to an original tune “Falling”. The intimacy of the song and the club felt like we were in Wopat’s living room with a friend. The song had us taking flight, to spaces we rarely touch.
James Taylor”s “Copperline”, Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, Joni Mitchell’s “Two Grey Rooms”, Jimmy Webb’s “If These Old Walls Could Speak” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” Also were in the set and each song embedded itself into the audiences’s skin. These are true musicians, who blended, stood apart and weaved their magic throughout the room. Wopat, knows how to communicate a lyric like a craftsman of old.
I walked into the Beach Cafe sad and overwhelmed due to my cat being extremely ill and I walked out healed, renewed with hope, peace and satisfaction. They say music heals the soul, and I can attest for me it definitely does.
Wopat’s taste, fits mine to a tee as well as the audience who was just as entranced. His voice is smoothing as he filled the space with a calming effect, that brings out a communion of souls. He takes us on a journey that you never want to end and yet when it does, you are fulfilled.
The show is also a marvel due to Ted Firth. During “The Christmas Song” he underscored it with Sondheim’s “Anyone Can Whistle”. It was a perfect blend. His underscoring reaches into the deepest parts of your inner being to pull out emotions that are freed and let loose to soar. Who needs therapy when music does so much more.
I want to thank The Beach Cafe, owner Dave Goodside for inviting me. This was one magical night and I will be back.