| What people are saying about the Callaway Sisters' new CD "BOOM!"
If you can remember the 1960s, they say, then obviously you weren't there.
I sort of was (hint: Liz Callaway and I were born in the same year*), and I remember very little, save one joke: Q: How many hippies does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: One to turn the bulb and several dozen more to "share the experience." The joke is worth remembering, because this musical retrospective by the Callaway Sisters is all about sharing the experience of the 1960s and early '70s. Throughout, the contrast is repeatedly drawn between what Ann Hampton and Liz Callaway remember directly from their childhood, and how they process the pop music and culture of that eventful era as adult artists. This isn't a musical-sociological survey, it's about how they personally lived and breathed a watershed era of pop culture: how Ann, as a youngster, wanted to be the fifth Beatle (or Beatle-ette - as distinct from most little girls of the era, who wanted to be Mrs. McCartney), and how Liz was drawn to the songs of Jimmy Webb and wanted to be the 6th Dimension. It was probably the last great era of diversity, when it was possible to love the British Invasion as much as Motown, and the so-called anti-establishment "protest" songs of Bob Dylan as much as more hedonistic, "materialistic" songs like "I Know a Place" and "Downtown." (I can tell you from memory that, ten years later, the followers of disco and punk rock literally wanted to kill each other.) This was the only period when, somehow, saving the world and dancing the boogaloo till dawn were not mutually exclusive of each other. The era wasn't only "about" the protestors converging on Chicago and Haight-Ashbury, it was also about a couple of little girls singing along with the Archies on AM radio in the back seat of a 196 black Thunderbird (praying for a Mercedes Benz) - or humming the themes to Batman and Star Trek along with the TV. Dylan, Webb, Lennon and McCartney were all key players in the transition from the traditional style of what Mr. Webb calls "pure songwriters," composers who as a rule were not performers themselves, to the singer-songwriter era. Almost overnight, lyric writing became an autobiographical experience. An unexpected consequence was that now there were unprecedented numbers of women writing music and words; Carly Simon, Cynthia Weill, Carole King, and especially Joni Mitchell, would play a key role in this more personalized era of songwriting (what Dory Previn described as "subjective" writing). The Callaways bring out that personal point of view in pieces like "A Case of You" and "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," expressing ideas that could have come only from a woman's point of view (even though the text to the second is credited to a male librettist). Can this really be the same era that produced John Lennon's "Come Together"? (And while we're on the subject, exactly what did they put in those brownies, anyway?) The Callaways may debate the inner meaning of the words, but perhaps the very point of the song was for every listener to come up with his or her own interpretation. The one point that's crystal clear in Lennon's song is that he wants to bring us all together. Lennon didn't live long enough to achieve all of his goals, but Ann Hampton and Liz Callaway show that he surely succeeded in that.
- Will Friedwald, May 2011
PS Classics on "Boom!"
PS Classics: Sisters and Tony Award-nominated actresses Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway have delighted and enthralled crowds with BOOM!, their hit concert celebrating the soundtrack of their childhood with unforgettable songs from the 1960s and '70s. Now, this hit show - in which, The New York Times raved, the sisters "lift these songs to expressive heights rarely attained by any singer" - has been recorded during the Callaways' engagement at New York's famed Birdland in May 2011. BOOM! is a joyous, exultant evening - sometimes zany, often moving, always surprising - that features tunes made famous by Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Jimmy Webb, Stevie Wonder and others, such as "A Case of You," "Yesterday," "You've Got a Friend," "Always Something There to Remind Me" and "Blowin' in the Wind." The sisters, who alternate expressive solos with radiant duets, also share heartwarming, humorous stories of their years growing up in Chicago and New York. They are backed by musical director, arranger and pianist Alex Rybeck, bassist Jared Egan, and drummer Ron Tierno, with Rybeck and Egan doubling on background vocals. Their second live CD (following the popular Sibling Revelry), BOOM! brims with a warmth, joy and love that will transport listeners back to a time when the songs on the radio were the soundtrack of life.
Reviews for "Boom!"
New Orleans show review from www.examiner.com
Liz Callaway - Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Ann Hampton Callaway - Primary Artist, Piano, Background Vocals
Alex Rybeck - Piano, Background Vocals
Ron Tierno - Drums
Jered Egan - Bass, Background Vocals
Hoyt Axton - Composer
Bob Dylan - Composer
Janis Joplin - Composer
Carole King - Composer
John Lennon - Composer
Paul McCartney - Composer
Melanie - Composer
Joni Mitchell - Composer
Carly Simon - Composer
Bob Neuwirth - Composer
Burt Bacharach - Composer
Lee Hazlewood - Composer
Barry Mann - Composer
Jimmy Webb - Composer
Andy Kim - Composer
Ann Hampton Callaway - Arranger, Composer, Lyricist
Phil Spector - Composer
Marvin Hamlisch - Composer
Jeff Barry - Composer
Alan Bergman - Composer
Marilyn Bergman - Composer
Garry Bonner - Composer
Henry Cosby - Composer
Hal David - Composer
Adrian Drover - Composer
Dan Foster - Director
Will Friedwald - Liner Notes
Rick Hall - Composer
Tony Hatch - Composer
Tommy Krasker - Producer, Executive Producer
Michael McClure - Composer
Billy Sherrill - Composer
Cynthia Weil - Composer
Stevie Wonder - Composer
Liz Callaway - Arranger
Ron Miller - Composer
Alex Rybeck - Arranger, Orchestration, Music Direction
Sylvia Moy - Composer
David Loud - Arranger, Inspiration
Jacob Brackman - Composer
Orlando Murden - Composer
Bart Migal - Producer, Engineer
Derek Bishop - Art Direction
Mark Bakalor - Web Design
Robert Edridge-Waks - Editorial Coordinator
Sly Stone - Composer
Allan Stein - Producer
Allan Lee Gordon - Composer
SOLO and DUET CD'S|
"At Last", Telarc
"Blues In the Night", Telarc
"Who Can See The Blue The Same Again?", Dismakers Single CD
"Slow", Shanachie Records
"After Ours", Denon Records
"Ann Hampton Callaway", DRG Records
"Bring Back Romance", DRG Records
"Easy Living", Shanachie Records
"Sibling Revelry" with Liz Callaway, DRG Records
"Signature", Shanachie Records
"This Christmas", After 9 Records/Angel Records
"To Ella With Love", Shanachie Records
GUEST APPEARANCE CD'S|
"Last Holiday", Music from the motion picture, Sall Entertainment Group
"In Good Company", LML Music
"Ladies Sing For Lovers", MCG Jazz
"Fine and Dandy", PS Classics
"2 Hands 10 Voices", Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS
"Toy", Big Black Booty Records
"Good Morning Heartache", Shout Factory
"A Cabaret Christmas", DRG Records
"Anywhere I Wander- Liz Callaway Sings Frank Leosser", Varese Saraband
"Broadway's Greatest Gifts 1999- Carols For A Cure" Rock-It Science Records
"Cincinnati Men's Chorus", Sound Foundry Productions
"Far From the Madding Crowd/The Awakening", Original Cast Records
"Grateful- The Songs of John Bucchino", RCA Victor
"Great Cabaret Performances", DRG Records
"Holiday Pops- Peter Nero & the Philly Pops", Encore Series
"Home For the Holidays", Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids
"Jay Leonhart With His Friends", DRG Records
"Let Us Be United", SYDA Foundation
"Love Come Down, A Musical by Douglas Day", Day Records
"Sing Out!", Digital On Location
"Songbirds Special", Blue Flame Jazz
"Songbirds", Blue Flame Jazz
"Swing!- Original Cast Album", Sony Music
"Television's Greatest Hits, Volume 7", TVT Records
"The Best of In Celebration of Life 1-5", Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids
"The Seattle Men's Chorus", Emerald City Arts
"The Story Goes On- Liz Callaway On & Off Broadway", Varese Saraband
"Too Dead To Swing", Books On Tape
GUEST APPEARANCES ON BEN BAGLEY CD'S PAINTED SMILES RECORDS|
"Alan Jay Lerner Revisited"
"Cole Porter Revisited Vol. IV"
"Cole Porter Revisited Vol. V"
"Cole Porter Revisited"
"DeSylva, Brown & Henderson Revisited Vol. II"
"DeSylva, Brown & Henderson Revisited"
"Hold On To Your Hats"
"Tallulah- Original Cast Album"
"Irving Berlin Revisited"
"Jerome Kern Revisited Vol. III"
"Noel Coward Revisited"
"Rodgers and Hart Revisited Vol. II"
"Rodgers and Hart Revisited Vol. V"
"Rodgers and Hart Revisited"
"Vernon Duke Revisited Vol. III"
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