BWW Reviews: Australian Singer David Campbell Scores Once More This Time with John Bucchino At His Side
In 2010 David Campbell released a CD entitled On Broadway, a compilation of show tunes which he performed with a dynamic showmanship that is an inherent part of his enormous talent. He toured extensively in Australia and also the US in LA, San Francisco and New York, and during his short stay in LA I had the chance to review his show at the Catalina Jazz Club. I found him to be a delightfully droll entertainer with a terrific theatre voice and winning personality. His delivery onstage was well preserved on CD and DVD, making him a joy to listen to and watch.
Now in 2014 his new CD David Campbell Sings John Bucchino is a 360 degree turn from the big bold delivery of a stage singer. This album allows him, in fact, a low-key, more intimate singing style communicating love stories via Bucchino's priceless lyrics. And it works...just beautifully. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have the composer accompanying you at the piano. Bucchino himself plays as Campbell sings, and I am happy to say that together they make music that is sheer heaven. There are some lovely sweet sounds produced in this album that do more than simply entertain, they reverberate with real, meaningful emotions.
Like Jason Robert Brown and Stephen Sondheim before him, preceded by the Gershwins and Cole Porter, John Bucchino is a rare composer that actually writes music and lyrics. His songs are indeed melodic but, more to the point, they concentrate on lyrics that tell a story with deep feelings, happy or sad. It gives Campbell a chance to dig deep such as in "Unexpressed" or "Better than I" where there is true longing and genuine faith/trust, or in "Learn How to Say Goodbye" with lyrics like "things change, things die" and man will either "fly or fall". Among these gorgeous songs are, to be sure, the more familiar ones like "Sweet Dreams", "Something Spontaneous", "It Feels Like Home" and "Grateful", Bucchino's poem, prayer of thanks. "Taking the Wheel" has that over.the.top theatrical pace built in, giving Campbell the perfect song to express himself fully. And of course there's the lighter, uplifting "Puddle of Love" where he can just let his hair down and have more fun. There's great variety here, but the slow-moving ballads let Campbell excel, really bringing out the actor inside.
Bucchino/Campbell performing together for the first time makes for some pretty dazzling performances, 11 total in fact, in David Campbell Sings John Bucchino, recorded on the small label Social Family Records of Australia and available now internationally on iTunes and at Amazon.com Add a copy to your collection; it will bring you hours of enjoyment.