Cyndi Lauper Sings the Blues
By Noah Michelson
Cyndi Lauper’s latest tour is not exactly comprised of your usually Cyndi Lauper fare -- although it makes sense that a tour for her new blues album, Memphis Blues, would feature heavily in, well, blues.
Wearing a hat that would fit right in at the Royal Ascot, Cyndi dove into her newest single, “Just Your Fool,” and followed up with “Shattered Dreams” and “Romance in the Dark,” more material from the new album. And though the tracks were not quite upbeat, it didn’t stop the younger audience members from waving their arms and dancing in their seats. Ever the consummate performer, she chatted casually about the songs she was about to sing and brought up Janis Joplin who advised a younger Cyndi to sing from the heart. Reaching back into the traditional, she performed “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” a blues song that's been recorded countless times and is often attributed to Hambone Willie Newbern.
Halfway through the show, after the requisite walk off-stage, the whole atmosphere switched gears. Though receptively interested in Cyndi’s newer material, it was the oldies that energized the place. Besides sneaking in new tune "Mother Earth," inspired by the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf, she reached into her back catalog for the rest of the evening. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” -- perhaps her best known and most beloved single -- brought the whole house to its feet, and even the ballad “Who Let in the Rain” brought cheers and whistles. Saving the best for last, Cyndi and her dulcimer closed out the show with “True Colors” (something of an anthem for the gay community), and lead the crowd in a surprisingly in tune sing-along. Now that’s talent.
Memphis Blues is now available in stores and for download. For more info on Cyndi, visit her official website.
-- OLGA BAS
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