Frank Shiner: Live at World Cafe Live
Covers. Every artist tackles a cover song at some point in their career. Obviously, many musicians prefer to perform their own original songs when playing live, but a good cover song can be the ticket to making that connection with the audience and earning a larger fan base thanks to that cover song. Sure, it’s not the artist’s song, and they want to be known for their original music, but choosing the perfect cover song to perform also says a lot about the artist. It also gives the musician a chance to challenge themselves to make that song their own by putting their own twist to the song. Musicians like Frank Shiner are taking on an entire album worth of songs that have moved him in more ways than one and making these songs his own.
Last weekend, the NY-based singer took the stage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, the day after the release of his sophomore album, Lonely Town, Lonely Street, to perform the songs on the album and show his audience how he has chosen to reinterpret these classics. Shiner classifies his style in the category of the ’60s “blue eyed soul” singers who performed soul and rhythm and blues music that was similar to the music of the Motown and Stax labels.
Shiner took on artists like Bill Withers (“Lonely Town, Lonely Street”), The Young Rascals (“How Can I Be Sure”), Van Morrison (“I Will Be There”), and Brook Benton (“Rainy Night in Georgia”). The songs Shiner chose to cover were songs about love. Losing love, falling in love, and the hardships of love. Shiner sang each of these songs with so much passion that you could tell he could relate to each song even though these songs technically weren’t his own.
One highlight of the evening’s performance was when Shiner brought out his own version of Philly’s own, Hall and Oates’ “She’s Gone.” Not only did he do the song justice with his impressive vocals, but he also performed the song with an extra theatrical flare that had every face in the audience smiling and enjoying every moment.
Shiner successfully displayed the pain of love in the late Amy Winehouse song “Love is a Losing Game,” as he spoke of the artist before the performance of this heartbreaking song. He said he could only imagine the pain she was feeling when writing this song because you could hear it in her voice. Shiner once again did an extraordinary job at conveying the message of Winehouse’s song with his emotional performance.
While Shiner’s fan base seemed to be of an older crowd (from the looks of the audience at World Cafe Live that night), he showed everyone he can “hang” with the younger crowd when deciding to take on his own version of the Justin Timberlake song, “Drink You Away.” Timberlake’s version still has that soulful feel to it, but with a little more rock to the original. Shiner put his own spin on “Drink You Away” and even though he admitted to not being much of a drinker, he was definitely able to pull off the song with his trademark dramatic, passionate performance.
Frank Shiner has dedicated his sophomore album, Lonely Town, Lonely Street, to reinterpreting classic songs from some of the greats of the past and present. He has a gift for connecting with the songs and he brings his audience along for that ride with his passionate, theatrical, and enjoyable way of performing. Something that sticks out most when watching a Frank Shiner performance is that the man loves what he’s doing and you can tell by that contagious smile across his face throughout the show. The Frank Shiner experience was the perfect way to spend a Saturday night out in the city and we would recommend catching one of his shows to any of our Wordkrapht readers.
Artist Name: Frank Shiner
Location: Westchester, NY
Genre: Adult Contemporary