Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monday afternoon 3PM: Jerad Tomasino’s White Hall

On a hot Monday afternoon in August, the 16th to be exact, at around 3pm, Jerad walked onto UMKC’s White Hall stage alone. On a piano seat, his guitar. In the audience a handful of friends. In his heart five incredible songs which he sang one by one. We applauded. He moved us.

On the last day of November we had coffee at Mildred’s together with Elaine McMilian. We three talked about that afternoon and his recording of that Monday afternoon. White Hall is his CD’s title. The five songs as we heard them that afternoon. Courageous, yet courage balanced with craft. This was a first for me, watching someone record five songs in succession without retakes, in front of an audience in a grand concert hall; voice, guitar, a microphone, a piano bench.

There’s that; the experience. The songs are the thing here. Each one stands alone but there’s a theme here as well.

A minimalistic “a cappella” with fingers snapping “All the Difference” starts the journey, talks about stalling but doesn’t.

The Best of It” talks about personal challenges, idealism, possible friendship, self-doubt, and the sweet ache of needing someone, and the willingness to give the best of it. Jerad does on this one.

Try to manage the lump in your throat, and be mindful of your tear ducts during “Two Kids”. It’s hard to explain. It’s a surprise in a way. Meeting someone from long ago with the comfort of connection from a childhood time and the joy of just being, making a date for tomorrow.

There’s a word in my pen, but I can’t squeeze the ink out to describe “Fool’s Gold”. Two words maybe…life is. A string of absurd beautiful pearls of whimsy about love, balding, rocks, dreams. Not foolish. A golden sound.

American Folk Psalms” transported me back to my medieval fun Catholic School, Friday afternoons at 3pm when we’d line up for confession in church. I tried to get Father Duffy because he gave the shortest penance and usually had a joke to share. Jokes aside, this song is an epic confession. Confessions require courage and something to confess. Step aside King David for this song of songs.

I won’t bring up Jerad’s age or discuss his fondness for Simon & Garfunkle’s debut album which came out 24 years before his birth nor give some starry-eyed paragraph of admiration for this one-take highwire, heart-extracting collection of songs recorded on White Hall stage, Monday afternoon, 3pm, August 16th to be exact. That's that.

Jerad's CD release celebration:
7pm, Saturday, December 4th with Matt Shoare and Mackenzie Copp
Mildred's Coffee House
1821 Wyandotte Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 471-1155
or grab one here

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