There is a moment in the film that documents Peter Gabriel’s 1994 Secret World concert tour when the tour de force of positive reinforcement songs, “Don’t Give Up,” starts and there is a silhouette of a women in intense focus. Gabriel swoons the opening stanza as the woman’s identity begins to become clearer. As the duet progresses to the female part, the camera reveals the serene Paula Cole as her uplifting yet perfectly stated voice matches Gabriel’s emotional crooning. The song lyrically is as heart breaking as it is redemptive. It would seem nearly impossible to add depth to the original performed by Gabriel and Kate Bush, but Cole somehow makes it her own. And that’s the power of Cole who is just one of many superior voices coming to The Vilar Center this January.
Cole, who has not reached the popular music charts since “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” over a decade ago when she won a Grammy for Best New Artist, begins a cavalcade of fine voices with an appearance on January 15th. Her songs will be partially familiar to concert goers as her music is a staple on numerous TV series. She is a talented musician who has taken significant time off of her career to raise a family and recently returned to the studio after a successful Kickstarter campaign allowed her to self-produce the album released this past spring called Raven. Her Vilar appearance on will no doubt be emotionally deep. She writes with a poet’s flair and delivers heart-felt performances during the rare times she takes to the stage. Her voice is gorgeous, poignant and full of resonance. In the Vilar setting, prepare for a remarkable show.
Cole will be followed on January 20th by one of the more recognizable voices of the last 40 years. Kenny Loggins brings his country meets pop vocals along with his new collaboration the Blue Sky Riders to the Beaver Creek stage. The Riders are really an equally gifted three piece with Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr complimenting Loggins. Burr, a world class songwriter in his own right who sang lead for Pure Prairie League, has been compared to Jim Messina- Loggins long time duet partner that he had a number of hits with in the 1970s. The Riders three part harmonies will conjure up a simpler time when country folk was the de rigueur of the music charts. Like most of Loggins recent work, the show should be uplifting with impeccable harmonies from three class musicians.
Finally, the jazz powerhouse vocalist Jaimee Paul comes to the Centers For Performing Arts two days later on January 22. Her debut At Last was a top seller on iTunes and her jazz meets gospel with a tinge of blues interpretations of the greats is a modern wonder. She has since released five more albums including a splendid reinterpretation of songs from the James Bond movies. She’ll hold notes for what appears to be minutes while weaving fresh interpretations of classics. The Illinois raised singer blends country sentiments as well into her performances that were honed on the road as a supporting vocalist for Wynonna for years. She’s an incredible talent on the verge of being recognized as one of the strongest jazz voices to come out of America in sometime.