Broadway World Review
By David Clarke. to see the article on the bww website click here
The funk soul of Motown is being modernized and reshaped by big name acts like Bruno Mars and Fitz and The Tantrums; however, no one is doing it quite like Amy Lynn & The Gunshow. Strip away the frills of a large record label, throw in a ton of sass, mix with wit and charisma, and garnish with an explosive horn section. That is the recipe for Amy Lynn & The Gunshow's style, and it leaves a whole lotta shakin' goin' on!
To open the set, The Gunshow, made upof Brian Whitted on piano, AlexHamlin on baritone saxophone, Jeff Hermanson on trumpet, Ed RosenBerg on tenorsaxophone, Kevin Johnson on drums, and Ben Gallina on bass, warmed the venue withtheir infectiously fun funk vibe, playing a brief instrumental prelude to the rambunctiousevening. Lynn took the stage with a vibrant and soulful tune entitled "Comin' Up Green,"(Alexandra Forbes, Amy Lynn, Alex Hamlin) which featured Joey Khoury as a back-up. Thiswas chased with a brilliant rendition of "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" (George "Shadow"Morton), which showcased the mighty power of Lynn's impressive belt. With a delicious dose ofcynicism and a tinge of vulnerability, Lynn let loose on "West Village Blues" (Joe Kinosian).Likewise, the indefatigable, brassy, and bold raw energy of The Gunshow made this numberentertaining and unforgettable.
With some assistance from Susie Mosher, Lynn and the band brought the house down withtheir hysterical song "Jimmy," in which the songstress accidently friends someone on Facebook.With "When I Meet You Someday" (Joe Kinosian, Amy Lynn, Alex Hamlin), Lynn made methink she must have been raised on the chanteuses of 70s soul, disco, funk, and pop, putting herown spin on the vocal stylings of divas like Bette Midler and Gloria Gaynor. For a pair of specialVIPs in the audience, Lynn delivered personalized versions of "Happy Birthday" (Patty Hill,Mildred J. Hill) before delving into a sweetly subdued and straightforward surprise rendition of"Your Song" (Elton John, Bernie Taupin), which was dedicated to her husband (Alex Hamlin)and ended with the announcement that she is pregnant.
The next tune, "Can't Put My Finger On It" (Alexandra Forbes, Amy Lynn, Alex Hamlin),opened with an impressive and funky bari sax solo featuring slap tongue thatearned thunderousapplause and cheers. This was followed with a rousing spin on "(There's) Always SomethingThere to Remind Me" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David). Cleverly biting lyrics, an incredible trumpetsolo from Hermanson, and support from The Black-Ups-James Jackson and LaDonna Burns-ensured Lynn and the band torethe roof off of 54 Below with their catchyjam "Clearly It's Me" (Joe Kinosian, AnnaMarquardt, Amy Lynn). The Black-Upsstayed with the band for "Queen of theNight" (Whitney Houston, Antonio "L.A."Reid, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds,Daryl Simmons), delivering a feisty andfabulous version of the R&B hit.
Beginning to bring the show to a close,Lynn on vocals and Hamlin on bari saxset off fireworks with their take on "FoolFor You" (Thomas Calloway, Melanie Fiona, Jack Splash), a soulful ballad made famous by CeeLo Green and Melanie Fiona. This was followed with their sultry and catchy single "Don't TripOn the Glitter" (Amy Lynn & Alex Hamlin) and an exciting performance of "Night Time is theRight Time."
Throughout the performance, Amy Lynn'smesmerizing instrument is just as brassyas the horn section behind her, and shechannels its power into an ardent beltthat is masterfully controlled. She wails,riffs, and screlts with precision andartistic clarity, using these musicalflourishes to empower her performanceand heighten the depth of the emotions inthe music and lyrics. In a world wherepop divas are all autotuned and soundalike, she fills the void that the industrialcorporate machine has left behind.
Just the right amount of attitude, endlessenergy, and musical talents that are too good to be true would make one think that Amy Lynn &The Gunshow are the kind of act that should be playing sold out stadiums all around the world,but you'll never hear anyone complain about sharing an intimate room like 54 Below with thisraucous group. Throughout the evening multiple parties stood and danced to these songs. Thejoy for and celebration of incredible live music was apparent both on stage and off, making thisone hell of a great show at 54 Below.