Once or twice each month, you’ll find her at the Walt Street Pub and other fave watering holes of the Jersey Shore barscape — giving ten thousand percent to intimately scaled houses, in front of bands like Sherman Mack (the classic rock project she co-founded with ace blues harmonicat Sandy Mack). But place Lisa Sherman on the stage of a grand old auditorium like the Count Basie Theatre, and the delightfully unexpected happens — the saloon singer trades her jeans for a gown, and spreads her wings as a “Songbird” of rare versatility and dynamic presence.
The Rumson-based Sherman, whose previous Songbird showcase concert events at the Basie proved to be fast favorites with area audiences, returns for another encore this Saturday night, November 8. She’ll be dressing for the occasion, naturally, and will be marshaling the requisite precision team of awesomely accredited musicians. This time, she’ll be bringing along some reinforcements as well — the collective spiritual guidance and channeled energies of nearly two dozen of the most iconic women in popular music history.
It’s a lineup of signature standards from the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Celine Dion, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, Adele “and so many more” — and it represents a sonic smorgasbord of styles for the entertainer whose strengths run from ballads to belters; dinner-club cabaret to dance-club grooves.
Pacing her every step of the way will be musical director Gerald Carboy and a showband of first-call session players whose been-theres/done-thats range from Springsteen, Southside and Bon Jovi, to Lou Reed, Mariah Carey and even the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Included in the deal are a pair of backing vocalists with headliner cred of their own — Layonne Holmes and Eryn Shewell.
Tickets for Saturday’s 8 pm Decades of Divas show ($19 – $59) can be reserved right here.