Spencer Day

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Spencer Day

Feinstein’s at the Nikko, San Francisco, CA, June 16, 2017

Reviewed by Steve Murray for Cabaret Scenes 

Spencer Day

Spencer Day swept into his home-away-from-home San Francisco in support of his new CD Angel City, a collection of songs examining his perspectives on Tinsel Town and Los Angeles proper. With his sharp, wonderfully descriptive songwriting, and smooth, congenial stage persona, Day always delivers a top-notch performance that further solidifies his fan base and elicits new recruits.

Backed by a three-piece horn section, as well as longtime collaborators John Storie and Cliff Goldmacher on guitars, Day breezed through selections from the new CD, as well as a few old chestnuts, each buoyed by his precise orchestrations and velvety tenor. The title track, “Angel City,” sets the tone for Day’s perceptions on Hollywood and images of success, pretension, and the allure of the fast life of money and sex. In it, he sings, “I believe in the Hollywood ending,” but his faith is tarnished by the phoniness and flakiness he encounters.

These sentiments are fleshed out in “I Got Love” (“Gold Digger”), “Lost in LA,” and the wry humor of “California Yes,” where a maybe is always a definite NO!

Day tours relentlessly, and life on the perpetual road is the topic of two tracks from his Vagabond CD, the tile track, and “Joe,” where one can feel the loneliness and wanderlust of the artist. A number of these newly recorded songs have been in Day’s repertoire for years, specifically the hauntingly beautiful “Ghost of the Chateau Marmont” and “72 and Sunny,” both lyrically stunning homages to Los Angeles. The only covers of the evening were a burlesque take on the old Robert Palmer R&B hit “Addicted to Love,” and a rocking version of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.

” Day’s songwriting genius was represented by the Raymond Chandler-esque noir opus “Mystery of You” and “Till You Come to Me” (highlighted with some great horns).

Day has seen his share of disillusionment with the music industry, which has perhaps given him his keen eye for creating songs that describe so accurately his experiences. He moves and touches his audience, which now support his dreams and ambitions. Day is primed for a breakout and those who’ve followed him along the ride will say ,“It’s about time.”

Steve Murray

Always interested in the arts, Steve was encouraged to begin producing and, in 1998, staged four, one-man vehicles starring San Francisco's most gifted performers. In 1999, he began the Viva Variety series, a live stage show with a threefold mission to highlight, support, and encourage gay and gay-friendly art in all the performance forms, to entertain and document the shows, and to contribute to the community by donating proceeds to local non-profits. The shows utilized the old variety show style popularized by his childhood idol Ed Sullivan. He’s produced over 150 successful shows, including parodies of Bette Davis’s gothic melodramedy Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte and Joan Crawford’s very awful Trog. He joined Cabaret Scenes 2007 and enjoys the writing and relationships he’s built with very talented performers.