For a performer whose torchy, bluesy vocalizings are normally a study in confidence and timing, Eryn Shewell lost complete control of the situation during a crucial moment of a December, 2016 gig at Asbury Park’s storied Wonder Bar. That’s when her guitarist, Matt O’Ree, halted her cover of the Christmas pop classic “Santa Baby” (on the line “forgot to mention one little thing… a ring”) and proposed to her before a cheering crowd, right there on the stage of the circuit landmark where the two had met some 10 years prior.
Eryn Shewell, above, leads the Whiskey Devils to the water at Riverside Gardens Thursday night. Charenee Wade, below, channels the late great “Lady Day” Billie Holiday Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater’s Summer Jazz Cafe.
Beginning Thursday night, a three-night interlude of cool jazz sounds wafts into Riverside Gardens Park and the Two River Theater, programmed by borough-based Jazz Arts Project and its co-founding father/artistic director Joe “Mooche” Muccioli.
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.