BWW Review: Singer PAT WHITEMAN and Composer HARRIET SCHOCK Make a Dream Team in the E-Spot Lounge at Vitello's
On Thursday May 19 consummate singer Pat Whiteman presented An Evening of Pat Whiteman & Grammy nominated songwriter Harriet Schock at the E Spot Lounge at Vitello's in Studio City to a sold-out house of ardent music lovers. Although not as well known as the others, Harriet Schock has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon. Her pop songs are that good, for example "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" which gave Helen Reddy a great big hit back in the 70s. Who better to interpret her incisive emotional messages than virtuoso Pat Whiteman? The evening was a divine songfest of original material with a 6-piece band, including Schock at the piano and electronic keyboard, and two backup singers. There were also special guests: Gary Lynn Floyd, who has an uber expressive singing style perfect for Schock's music...and movie composer Misha Segal who co-wrote the gorgeous "First Time on a Ferris Wheel" with Schock.
What is delightful about Whiteman is that her voice adapts magnificently to whatever style of music she is singing. She is known for her lilting interpretations of Broadway music, as well as standard pop rock, perfect for her usual appearances on the cabaret scene. Since many of Shock's tunes border on country, this is not really charted territory for Whiteman, but, as always, she proved herself remarkable, filling each song, each phrase, not only with clarity, but with a biting sense of humor and cutting edge delivery. Coming in at 90 minutes, the show literally went by in a flash, and I must say, Schock's songs, most of which I had never heard before, left a lasting impression on me. Her versatility is just as superior as that of Whiteman, so the combination was nothing short of sublime.
Schock is a native Texan, Whiteman from Pittsburgh, but the ladies do have a lot in common, so Whiteman refers to herself as southern adjacent, coming onstage in a black leather fringe jacket, ready to do her Minnie Pearl. Highlights included: "Hollywood Town", the beautiful "Over and Over and Over", "Mama", "Window Shopping/Shopping for a Dream", the unrelentingly bold "Okay, You Win, I Give Up, I'm Gone" and, with Segal at the piano, "First Time on a Ferris Wheel" - to me more evocative than Michel LeGrand - "Love Is All I Can Give You" ... and, of course, "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" sung at the end of the set first by Floyd and then by Whiteman. There was a wonderful medley including "Pippi" from the film "Pippi Longstocking" that Schock worked on with Misha Segal. Throughout the set fantastic musicians Joe Lamanno was on bass, Brad Blaisdell a standout on harmonica, Jennifer Richardson on cello, Kelly DeSarla on flute, Scott Breadman on percussion, and Schock herself alternating between piano and keyboard and adding vocals on some songs and dueting with Whiteman on others. Andrea Ross-Greene and Barbara Shane provided superb backup vocals.
What a greatly divergent evening of cabaret, focusing on both Schock's and Whiteman's versatile talents, but also bringing so many wonderfully gifted musicians together onstage! I am definitely a new fan of Harriet Shock's music - better late than never...and as far as Pat Whiteman is concerned, she should put out a CD for all to hear. The lady is a musical gem. She has the voice of an angel. Don't miss her wherever she plays. Brava!