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BWW Review: Blaine Alden Krauss A MOMENT OF CLARITY Focuses On Quality And Caring

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He has done Broadway and the clubs, now it's time for BAK to go live-stream.

BWW Review: Blaine Alden Krauss A MOMENT OF CLARITY Focuses On Quality And Caring

The history of television is rich with special events that people made a mental note of, set a timer for, and marked on their calendars so that they wouldn't miss them. In '56 and '64, respectively, audiences were glued to their sets for Elvis and The Beatles, respectively. 1972 saw the broadcast of a TV special titled Liza With a Z, and in 1986 everyone tuned in for the debut of the HBO special Barbra Streisand One Voice. Each person who loves music can remember the TV specials that have made a lasting impression on their journey through this life, and people these days are always on the lookout for that next memorable moment on their monitor.

Last night Blaine Alden Krauss put his money where his mouth is, which isn't difficult since the voice the emits from that mouth is pure gold, whether it is a voice raised in song or relating thoughts and emotions originating from a man who is as open and welcoming to others as a human being can be. Mr. Krauss has displayed, on his social media, a propensity for transparency, something that the people of the world have come to desire and require from the public figures who set the tone and the example for their lives. Some of those public figures of the world are not quite apt to be as prepared or skilled at transparency as others, but Blaine Alden Krauss is, and he brought full transparency and absolute honesty to A MOMENT OF CLARITY, his first-ever live-streamed concert, for which he has been preparing for over a month.

A MOMENT OF CLARITY is equal parts televised concert, political rally, poetry slam, telethon, tent revival, and motivational speech, with Blaine Krauss acting as spiritual advisor, pundit, poet, guru, activist, and teen idol. This is a man whose star has been on the rise with substantial speed, and with each appearance, the reasons for his ascent become more and more apparent. This concert performed under recommended health guidelines from SMASH Studios (two of his musicians wore masks) and because of the restrictions placed on a community of artists unable to appear in live performances, played as a perfect television special, only one from the days when TV was live - and it worked. There was no audience to clap after every song, but at-home audiences don't need an applause track. Remember the TV special Baryshnikov on Broadway? Misha would do a huge dance number to Oklahoma or Guys and Dolls, and after each ballet ended, he just kept going. The applause is implied, as is the laughter, the ooohs, and the aaahs. The people who are most uncomfortable by the lack of audience these days are the artists so used to having that immediate feedback. During the last six months, though, those artists got used to it - they have evolved with the time they are in, and Mr. Krauss will grow into the art medium as he does more of these quarantine concerts, and one hopes he does because he is a born natural. With four musicians, three cameras, and two back-up singers, Krauss put on as fine a live televised concert as one is likely to find inside the small studios available to the artists of Manhattan looking to perform in a space other than their living room. The event, presented on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram live featured new arrangements of songs people know, tailor-made to mold to the Krauss sound, vibe, and entire aesthetic, and the fit is, in fact, perfect.

Blaine Krauss carefully curates his set in a manner designed to appeal to many different people and to speak to all. With songs originating from artists like Marvin Gaye, Stephen Sondheim, Sam Cooke, and Kermit the Frog, Krauss delivers messages of humanity and hope, themes chosen to orchestrate and illuminate, so that viewers and listeners can enjoy the challenge of considering the state of the world, while they enjoy some damn fine musical entertainment. That, by the way, is the purpose of The Artist as an entity, and Blaine Krauss is nothing if not an artist. As an ascending artist with an audience and a platform, Krauss turns his spotlight over to Thomas James of the Healing and Discovery Foundation in a discussion about the work the organization does, and then Blaine turns monies raised through donations to the organization. The time spent discussing the charity tie-in is quick enough (unfortunately muddled by some audio difficulties) before BAK returns to the entertainment portion of the evening, one that includes some deeply joy-inspiring numbers, including some freakish vocals in a new arrangement of "I Got Love" - appropriate since that tune was originally sung by the Queen of Freakish Vocals, Miss Melba Moore. Freakish vocals seem to be a place where BAK lives, as he shares the stage with J. Harrison Ghee, Anthony Murphy, and Austin Rivers, all of whom add mightily to the proceedings.

Nicely surprising is the ease with which Mr. Krauss monologues during the show - the rhetoric appears to be meticulously scripted, yet extemporaneously spoken. There is no sign of a script, no tablet, no loose pieces of paper on a music stand - Blaine Alden Krauss is simply up on the stage, in front of a microphone and three cameras, and the magic flows from him as naturally as a mineral spring flows from a mountaintop. Also especially welcoming are the ways Mr. Krauss brings his spirituality to the table in a way that will speak to every audience member, regardless of their personal belief (or non-belief) system, he masters the tender topic of god and the universe with the delicacy and diplomacy of a seasoned professional, which he is, without question, but then one might say that Blaine Alden Krauss is everything.

Blaine Alden Krauss. All the damn things.

That's billing.

Visit the website for the Healing and Discovery Foundation HERE

See A MOMENT OF CLARITY Below (Be aware there are some audio difficulties during the first few minutes)

Blaine Alden Krauss - A MOMENT OF CLARITY
Executive Producers - Elizabeth and Todd Donovan
Piano - Darnell White
Drums - Edward Pombo
Guitar - Gordon Bonnet
Cello - Jacob Yates
Vocalists: J. Harrison Ghee, Anthony Murphy, Austin Rivers
Special Guest: Thomas Jones

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From This Author Stephen Mosher