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    Michael Feinstein and Jim Brickman at the Palace Theater

    Herman and I have had this very bad habit this past summer of buying and paying for tickets to a variety of concerts and then not going. Reason being the weather was too nice, we just plain didn’t feel like it, etc.

    When Herman reminded me about our tickets to see Michael Feinstein and Jim Brickman at The Palace Theater in Albany, I made up my mind that this concert was one we wouldn’t blow off.

    It was a very hot day and I literally had to pry myself away from the lake. Thank goodness the air conditioning in our van was working.

    So down to Albany we go on a warm summer evening. The concert was great and both Herman and I were very glad we went.

    It started off with Jim Brickman simply coming on stage and playing the piano. He has a unique style that is easily recognized and he also had a very easy going manner with the audience. One thing he told us I didn’t know was that he wrote and played much of the background music for the summer Olympics.

    He also mentioned that he started out in Cleveland, which really struck me since that’s where I grew up. He also mentioned he started in the music business writing jingles for commercials before he became the biggest selling artist for Windham Hill Records. Since I had only heard his instrumental music, I didn’t know he also sang, and that was a nice surprise.

    When Michael Feinstein took the stage, the audience virtually erupted in applause. Ever since his one man Broadway show, “Isn’t It Romantic,” Feinstein has become known as quite the showman and he certainly didn’t disappoint us that night.

    Michael does older, pop tunes by Gershwin, and Bernstein and others, but always giving them his personal touch. He asked for requests on Gershwin tunes at one point and ad-libbed a medley on the spot that seemed like he had rehearsed it before the show.

    When he sang, “My Romance,” it took me back to my days in New York City. He told a couple of stories about his background that were especially interesting. He had been asked to play for Barbara Sinatra’s birthday and rehearsed as many obscure Sinatra tunes as he could. Frank asked him how he learned so many, since at the time he, “looked about 12 years old.”

    So I’m glad we didn’t procrastinate and finally went to a concert we had planned on attending.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"