Betty Buckley to Release STORY SONGS Live Album This Spring; Track List Revealed!
Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley will introduce her powerful new live double album Story Songs from Palmetto Records on Friday, April 7. To pre-order the album, visit www.BettyBuckley.com.
The recording is being released on the heels of her most recent success in M. Night Shyamalan's newest film Split (The #1 Movie in America and an International Box Office hit), in which she co-stars opposite James McAvoy.
The celebrated interpreter presents an adventurous collection with music from all genres, from theater to folk to Top 40. Story Songs features a quartet of musicians including the renowned multi-Grammy-nominated Jazz Pianist Christian Jacob, Buckley's long-term Pianist, Arranger and Music Director, and Jazz Guitarist Oz Noy.
Story Songs, at turns passionate and poignant, reflects Buckley's stunningly eclectic range with vintage pop (George Gershwin, Kurt Weill), theater standards (Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Schwartz) and contemporary songs from outfits like Radiohead ("High & Dry," suggested to her by Martha Plimpton) and Sting ("Practical Arrangement"). Other inspired selections include a haunting and resonant version of Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" - an evocative reminder of our current immigration crisis - and Leonard Cohen's timeless "Bird on a Wire" (which Buckley calls "a heart-breaking and searingly honest song, a soul confession.")
Echoing her diverse breadth of styles, the native Texan embraces country and folk as well, with an ethereal take on "Prayer in Open D" by Emmylou Harris and the wistful ballad "Too Many Memories" by her late friend and fellow Texan Stephen Bruton. Ever the raconteur, Buckley shares several personal anecdotes about friends and colleagues who influenced her work over the years. An emotionally infused interpretation of the Joni Mitchell classic "Both Sides Now," for instance, was inspired by a remembrance of Howard DaSilva, her late co-star in 1776 on Broadway.
In addition to "Another Life" from his Tony Award-winning score to The Bridges of Madison County, Betty introduces a World Premiere song from the composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown. "Cassandra," written for a musical project currently in development, portrays a young woman who can predict the future. "I have been thrilled by Jason's work since I was smitten by Parade when it first opened at Lincoln Center," remembers Buckley. "I feel honored that he sent me this song. It speaks to the heart of things I have always felt and questioned since my girlhood. I am so grateful to Gloria Steinem and all the women of the feminist movement who gave me the words for my feelings about sexism."
Another album highlight is "Old Flame," a new song written expressly for Buckley by Joe Iconis (NBC-TV's "Smash"), which represents the next generation of exciting young theater composers. "I knew of Joe's work and had written him a fan letter on Facebook," Buckley explains. "He kindly wrote me back and asked me to sing at one of his concerts. Three days before the event he sent me this wonderful song. We had never met. That he knew how to write a character that fits me so well is uncanny."
A remarkable version of Stephen Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" - which stopped the show at the historic 2015 London concert presentation of Follies to celebrate the composer's 85th Birthday - closes the recording in grand fashion.
The first disc - recorded live at the Samueli Theater at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA - features Christian Jacob on piano, Oz Noy on guitars, Trey Henry on bass, and Ray Brinker on drums. The second disc, taped at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in New York, features Jacob on piano, Noy on guitars, Tony Marino on bass, and Todd Isler on drums.
Story Songs debuted at Joe's Pub last fall, followed by a run in the Bay Area later in the season.
Betty Buckley - "Story Songs" - Track Listing:
2) Cassandra - Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
3) High & Dry - Music and lyrics by Radiohead
4) Chanson - Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, from The Baker's Wife
5) All Things In Time - Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
6) Old Flame - Music and lyrics by Joe Iconis
7) Another Life - Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, from The Bridges of Madison County
8) Prayer in Open D - Music and lyrics by Emmylou Harris
10) Don't Give Up - Music and lyrics by Peter Gabriel
11) Throw It Away - Music and lyrics by Abbey Lincoln
2) Practical Arrangement - Music and lyrics by Sting
3) Stephen Bruton Story
4) Too Many Memories - Music and lyrics by Stephen Bruton
5) Bird on A Wire - Music and lyrics by Leonard Cohen
6) Howard DiSilva Story
7) Both Sides Now - Music and lyrics by Joni Mitchell
8) Elaine Stritch Story
9) I'm Still Here - Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Betty Buckley, in an award-winning career that has encompassed TV, film, stage and concert work around the globe, is probably best known as one of theater's most respected and legendary leading ladies. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. Buckley received her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical for her performance as Hesione in Triumph of Love, and an Olivier Award nomination for her critically-acclaimed interpretation of Norma Desmond in the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, which she repeated to more rave reviews on Broadway. She is a 2012 Theatre Hall of Fame inductee.
Her other Broadway credits include 1776, Pippin, Song and Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Carrie. Off-Broadway credits include the world premiere of Horton Foote's The Old Friends for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination in 2014, White's Lies, Lincoln Center's Elegies, the original NYSF production of Edwin Drood, The Eros Trilogy, Juno's Swans and I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road. Regional credits include The Perfectionist, Gypsy, The Threepenny Opera, Camino Real, Buffalo Gal, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Old Friends at Houston's Alley Theatre and Grey Gardens at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY and The Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles. In London she starred in Promises, Promises for which she was nominated for an Evening Standard Award and in 2013 the British premiere of Dear World.
Her films include M. Night Shyamalan's Split, Brian De Palma's screen version of Stephen King's Carrie, Bruce Beresford's Tender Mercies, Roman Polanski's Frantic, Woody Allen's Another Woman, Lawrence Kasden's Wyatt Earp and Shyamalan's The Happening. On television, Buckley most recently guest starred in the NBC Series "Chicago Med" and in the HBO series "The Leftovers" and "Getting On." She appeared in "The Pacific" also for HBO and twice on the Kennedy Center Honors. She also starred for three seasons in the HBO series "Oz" and as Abby Bradford in the hit series "Eight is Enough." Buckley has appeared as a guest star in numerous television series, miniseries and films for television including "Evergreen," "Roses For the Rich," "Without a Trace," "Law & Order: SVU" and "Pretty Little Liars."
Buckley tours in concert worldwide with her ensemble of musicians and recently was featured in the Royal Albert Hall concert of Follies in celebration of Stephen Sondheim's 85th birthday. She has now recorded 17 CDs, most recently Ghostlight, produced by T Bone Burnett, released in 2014. Story Songs is Buckley's fourth album on Palmetto Records. Visit www.BettyBuckley.com for more.
PALMETTO RECORDS has been an independent leading voice in music since it was founded in 1990. Through its choice of innovative artists and careful attention to sonic value, it has emerged as a critically-acclaimed and Grammy-nominated label. Although it has been named as one of the best jazz labels for four years running in the Downbeat Critics Poll, Palmetto has taken this foundation of excellence and expanded it to include the great legacy of American-influenced music. Its original mission of enabling artists to fulfill their creative visions still remains the label's focus. Go to www.Palmetto-Records.com.