Movin’ Melvin Brown @ Union Hall
3:30pm, Sun 29 Feb 2004
Short Review: Groovin’ Melvin Brown, more like ;)
The house lights drop. In the darkness, a gorgeous, soul-filled voice can be heard from far off-stage. It gradually comes closer, the house lights come up – and there is Movin’ Melvin Brown, 59 years of age, resplendent in his suit and silver tap shoes.
Melvin takes us on a tour of his life, along the way reminding us through song of the music of the times. This allowed him to belt out classics by Chubby Checker, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and James Brown – all mimicked with great aplomb. And when he’s not singing or recounting his life, he’s dancing – tap, the hambone, bounding all over the stage like someone half his age. And the stripshow act that he performs for one lucky lady in the audience… well, he really belies his age. Really!
Sometimes his singing gets buried in the mix, but this man (who once had The Commodores open for him!) oozes class – his storytelling banter and gentle laugh are genuinely affable. And the fact that he covered “The Great Pretender” and “Johnny B. Goode” didn’t do him any harm in my judgement, either. Movin’ Melvin Brown sure knows how to put on a show.