by Don Grigware
July 19, 2010
Franny McCartney's CD As Is is indeed blissful, but seeing her perform live is even more heavenly. The lady is so genuine and funny and warm and caring that whether she's singing or talking, you just do not want to see the performance end. On Saturday July 17, McCartney returned by popular demand to the Gardenia with the remarkable pianist/accompanist Howlett (Smitty) Smith for a wonderful 80 minute concert. Nine songs from the CD As Is were rendered along with "By Myself", the 'comic dirge' "To Keep My Love Alive" from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which provided her with some hilariously droll moments, Cole Porter's 'list song' "Let's Do It", amazing lyrics and just fun, fun, fun for McCartney and her finale "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" in honor of the recent passing of Ilene Woods, who sang Cinderella in the original 50s animated film Cinderella. There was also a powerful "My House" written by Smith, whose compositions are truly awesome. It was a sweet and memorable evening with many McCartney friends in attendance, including Stephanie Zimbalist and Jean Smart. Brava!
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The following is my review of Franny McCartney's As Is, first published on BroadwayWorld.com on January 5th, 2010.
FRANNY McCARTNEY'S "AS IS" ON CD IS PURE LISTENING BLISS!
If you like a smooth singer, one to listen to when you cuddle up with that extra special person by the fireside, then there is no one better than former Harlette (Bette Midler's best) Franny McCartney. Her low-key, velvety tones can be both serious or playful as she runs the gamut of emotions from A-Z in her new jazz/pop/blues CD entitled As Is.
What a variety of songs! There's a sensually passionate "Besame Mucho", a very sultry & evocative "Something Cool", and then lighter, more tongue-in-cheek humor in "White Girls Get the Blues Too" and the toe-tapping, upbeat "Grass Is Always Greener". Accompanying and sometimes singing with McCartney is Howlett "Smitty" Smith, who can bring out the magic in just about any blues song. Also on tap are my personal favorites "Put a Little Love In Your Heart" and the always make me feel good "It's a Good Day". Then, there's plenty of seasonal lunacy with "Strawberry Spring", "Wintertime", "For One Whole Spring" or "Midnight Sun".
This is an album treasury that will brighten any mood, that will definitely raise your spirits...and one that you will want to play over and over again. Whenever you need that lift, McCartney has the gift! As Is keeps giving pleasure.
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