Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay
Josh Grodsky is a well-known jazz type singer who usually plays Martuni's and other clubs in the area. On April 15, he made his debut at Society Cabaret in the Hotel Rex with his show Even Mad Men Need Love - an evening of songs from the mid-20th century. Josh has a voice reminiscent of Hoagy Carmichael with a little bit of Johnny Mercer. He reminds me of the jazz singers of the 1950s and '60s in the Village clubs that I used to visit.
At Society Cabaret, Josh Grodsky entertained his fans with an eclectic range of songs from the Great American Songbook. Backed by David Austen on piano, Chuck Bennett on bass, and Bob Blankenship on drums, Josh gave his life story of how he was raised by an Irish Catholic mother and Jewish father and would escape to his room to play the 78s of Ella, Frank, and Sammy and sing along with them.
Josh Grodsky came to the stage looking like a guy straight out of the '50s-'60s wearing a "Frank Sinatra" hat. He opened the show with a good arrangement of the upbeat "Give Me the Simple Life" and regaled the audience with an 80-minute program of 17 songs ranging from the romantic "Pure Imagination" to the mundane "Ballet of the Sad Young Men" from The Nervous Set to a more upbeat "Lullaby in Ragtime." He particularly shone singing "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" New Orleans style and "The Music That Makes Me Dance." As an encore he nicely sang "Orange Colored Sky."
Josh Grodsky performed Even Mad Men Need Love - an evening of songs from the mid-20th century April 15, 2016, at Society Cabaret, in the Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter Street, just off Union Square, San Francisco. For a complete listing of shows at Society Cabaret in the Hotel Rex, go to www.societycabaret.com.