Anthony Cochran is probably one of the unlikeliest looking guys to be singing a mix of gospel, country/western, blues and Dolly Parton that you are ever to come across. Slightly bearded, black shirt sleeves rolled up and wearing a vest he comes across as that real nice guy next door. He has a pleasantness and calmness about him that is contagious. A confiding, soft spoken husky voice that transforms a lyric into a thing of beauty as his voice strengthens and then lifts into a clear and easy falsetto. I guess you could say I was impressed.
This is his fourth gig at the Metropolitan Room and you can be sure that he’ll be back real soon. Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and having a Granny who inspired him to do what he thought best and forget what anyone has to say about it has instilled in him a desire to follow his dream of singing with a glass of port at hand to soothe the vocal cords. Sure does work.
He spends countless hours on iTunes searching for the perfect song. With the perfect lyric. Listening to dozens of renditions and then coming up with his own. He is after all a story teller who just so happens to sing – simply and beautifully. No fancy back up singers. Just his terrific pianist Daryl Kojak and guitarist Daniel A Weiss. When some reinforcements are necessary the wonderful Melissa Cross helps with some very subtle vocals.
There is an underlying, pensive sadness to his performance. As well as some self deprecating humor. And some positive affirmations. The hours he’s spent selecting the songs pays off in spades. It’s a most original set and they are charmingly performed in Anthony Cochran’s understated style. Not that he can’t get down and dirty with a rockin’ “Rock Me Baby” – he can and he does. The audience really went along with him whether he was singing a pulsating “Wayfarin Stranger” or a wistful “Someone To Watch Over Me” or the standout “I Shall Be Released”.
He recently helped decorate Dolly Parton’s temporary New York apartment for her stint on Broadway for her musical Nine To Five – which by the way is wonderful. So he sang, as an encore, “Little Sparrow”. Although he worked for weeks on her digs he never met her and I had so hoped that she would be standing in the wings to come out on stage to applaud his success. Maybe she’ll get to read this and another one of Anthony Cochran’s dreams can come true.
For updates please visit www.anthonycochranmusic.com