by Michael P Coleman
After Monday night’s bravura performance at the B Street Theatre in Sacramento, vocal powerhouse Oleta Adams can add “magician” and “chameleon” to her resume.
The latter was evidenced by the morphing of her popular 90s persona, the confident pianist with the stirring contralto, into the smoky, sexy siren behind “Do I Move You.” As she breathtakingly flirted through lines like “When I touch you, do you quiver / From the top of your head to your liver,” more than a handful of the men in the audience — including this writer — found themselves needing a cold shower.
Minutes later, the self-proclaimed preacher’s kid delivered a jaw-dropping “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” her own original “Wilted Roses,” and a rethought version of her signature hit, “Get Here.” She said, these days, she sings the latter as a prayer to God.
I hope, one day, to have an offering to Him that is that heartfelt and beautiful.
If you’re wondering how Adams is a magician, think about it: with that set list, and those performances, she effortlessly turned the B Street Theatre into a juke joint one minute, then into a southern baptist church. And from the moment she took the stage for her 90 minute set, which also included a stunning “Hold Me For Awhile” from her highly underrated Evolution project, we’d have gone anywhere she wanted to take us.
Adams, now 64, burst onto the music scene as a solo artist in 1990, when there was always a Whitney or a Mariah who had bigger hitsalthough neither could out-sing her. Well, New Years Eve revelers know that Carey generates more buzz for what she doesn’t sing these days. And sadly, Whitney’s vocal power had faded long before she left this earth at 48.
Fortunately, we’ve still got Adams. If she brings that piano and those pipes to a city near you…
Get There if you can.
Information on Oleta Adams can be found at oletaadams.com
Connect with Sacramento-based freelancer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com or follow him on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP.
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