Review: ‘Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb’

Troubadour Glen Campbell has once again joined forces with composer Jimmy Webb for a folksy evening that comfortably turns down-home sentiment into a torchy mosaic of infectious storytelling, braced by gentle melodic structure.

Troubadour Glen Campbell has once again joined forces with composer Jimmy Webb for a folksy evening that comfortably turns down-home sentiment into a torchy mosaic of infectious storytelling, braced by gentle melodic structure. Campbell, the aging troubadour who has retained his familiar boyish charm, accompanies himself with modestly flavored guitar chords, joining Webb at the piano for a dozen of the latter’s compositions. “I don’t know much about your readin’,” Campbell quips to his colleague, “but you sure got the writin’ down!”

The audience was genuinely enthusiastic over the old journeyman songs (“By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman”), warmly greeting a singer more in the news for a drunken episode than musicmaking.

Despite the dark nature of the repertoire, Webb and Campbell frame it all with a deeply passionate knowingness that is ultimately well pointed and enormously satisfying. If one doesn’t find tears in the beer, they most certainly will seek them bubbling in the champagne.

Webb continues to bring a sense of elusive philosophy to the soggy old cake that is still standing in the rain, “MacArthur Park,” which featured pensive crooning by Webb and Campbell’s most ambitious guitar solo.

“Postcard From Paris (Wish You Were Here)” tells the story of a melancholy torchbearer who unsuccessfully seeks solace in Paris, a rainy London and a Rome that has lost its glory. The song, once recorded by John Denver, will appear in a forthcoming CD pairing Webb and Campbell.

Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb

Feinstein's at the Regency, New York; 150 capacity; $60

Production

Presented inhouse. Opened, reviewed June 14, 2005. Runs through June 18.

Cast

Musicians: David Finck, Mark McClean.
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