When I dropped by Red Sandcastle Theatre for the In Loo Of fundraiser a few weeks ago, owner/manager/AD Rosemary Doyle introduced me to Robert Graham, who was there to accompany singers on piano for the four-day open mic event. While chatting with Graham, I learned that he’s also a singer/songwriter – and I headed home that evening with a copy of his Storm in a Teacup CD.
Co-produced by Graham and Chris Brown, Storm in a Teacup is a trippy, eclectic collection of pop, rock and blues – with hints of jazz and soul – accompanied by some stand-out musicians and vocalists, including Graham, Brown, Anton Fier, Andy Love, Teddy Kumpel, Rob Jost, Tony Scherr, Alec Barken, Dan Charbonneau, Eli Abrams, John Abrams, Ford Pier, Eric Schenkman, Kerryn Graham and Leann Cunningham.
Storm in a Teacup starts out with the gentle, unassuming instrumental track “Blue Lullaby (Intro.),” slips into pop ballad “Reaching You” and finishes with a soul vibe on “Set it Free (Afro-Astro Mix),” a remix of earlier mellow pop track “Set it Free.” From the epic rock-operatic “Living in a Coma” to the comic tale of unrequited love in “In Love with a Girl” to the haunting jazz/blues-infused piano instrumental “Second Prelude,” there’s a big range of emotional and musical expression on this record. And “Jonathan Baker” combines the whimsical poignancy of Beatles storytelling with the dark social commentary of The Police’s “Synchronicity II” – a quiet life of desperation about to explode in the face of a cruel world. The lyric “It’s easy to be nasty. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to be nice” is particularly potent. Storm in a Teacup is a trippy journey through genres and musical moments, each song a brand new vibe. Check it out.
You can catch Robert Graham, playing with his new band The Fairest and the Best at The Central on Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. And on Friday, May 24, he’ll be hosting Robert Graham and Friends – A Fundraising Concert for the “We Are Jose” Campaign – 7:30 p.m. at Lower Ossington Theatre. For details on these two shows, please visit the Gigs page on Graham’s website.