Teri Lamar

Teri Lamar

10/19/06 09:30pm-10:30pm
Hartsdale, N.Y.

Concert review by Roger-Z (10/20/06)
Appeared in More Sugar, November 2006, P. 12A

Listening to Teri Lamar's sweet, warm voice leaves me feeling wrapped in a mother's love. I get an immediate rush of comfort. But that should come as no surprise. After all, she put off her singing career to raise her son, and only turned professional three years ago. She's accomplished an amazing amount in that short period of time. Just check her website calendar at www.TerriLamar.com. She works anywhere from one to three times a week.

When I showed up for the first set at Harry's of Hartsdale, I expected her regular "TLC" trio consisting of Teri, Kiko Gonzalez (bass), and Richard Giorgiani (guitarist, drum machine). Instead, she surprised me with her "Thursday night" group consisting of noted jazz drummer Tony Traina and keyboardist Frank Brenna. As usual, the band started with an instrumental. Ms. Lamar stepped up looking good in black slacks, high heels, and a black and gray diagonally striped sweater. The packed bar area responded immediately to her version of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." She followed with Carole King's "It's Too Late," "Do For Love," and "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely." These mid-tempo soul outings proved perfect fare for her honey voice. Joe, the guy standing next to me proclaimed, "Hey, she's a real professional."

Traina and Brenna provided a very supportive setup for Lamar. They both sang backup with Brenna taking the lead vocal on a few verses. Tony-T propelled the tunes with some impressive jazz flourishes. Mr. Brenna played left hand keyboard bass while soloing with his right.

As people finished their meals, the trio picked up the tempo. A hard hitting version of The Doobie Brother's "Taking It To The Streets" morphed into Gladys Knight's "Heard It Through The Grapevine." But Lamar really brought the house down with a stunning rendition of Alicia Keys "If I Ain't Got You." Next up, "Spooky," by The Classics Four which featured funky, slap keyboard bass. The previously mentioned Joe blew my mind by indicating that the Seinfeld television theme featured a keyboard bass and not the real thing. Finally, the set wound down with George Benson's "This Masquerade."

Lamar impresses with her stage presence, vocal timing, pitch, and general warmth. In a recent interview with TheWorkingMusician.com, she described growing up in a very musical family. Her mother would make her and her two sisters sing three part harmony while doing the dishes. Her two brothers also perform. Although shyness initially kept her from getting up on stage, she's long since overcome that issue. Looking for a great romantic night out eating, dancing, or just listening to music? Make sure you check out Teri Lamar and Company.

2006 Roger-Z