Gettin' Carried Away with Bryan Duncan

Bryan Duncan Carried Away
Calvary Pentecostal
March 11, 2005
Opening for California blues rocker Bryan Duncan was Brampton's dynamic trio Carried Away, who kicked off the night in Cambridge, Ontario. The trio were easily the highlight of the night and it showed as the audience quickly warmed up to the Walker sisters Pam and Colleen who along with their cousin Christine Prankard performed signature songs "I Will Live For You" and "Closer to You", their title track from their debut album.

The trio embarked on a cross Canada tour at the beginning of February and it has really matured them. Colleen has stepped to the forefront as someone who has the ability to get the audience involved and interacting with her. One still has to be amazed that 17 year old Pam Walker continues to demonstrate the kind of stage presence and poise that belies her years.

The group however needs to take more advantage of Prankard's smooth voice by putting her in a position on stage where the audience can relate to her better. There was a great opportunity to do so when Prankard took the lead on one particular song while playing her guitar, instead the audience could hardly see her as she was at the back of the stage.

Bryan Duncan is an enigma. He is arguably one of the most gifted artists in North America. The host for the evening was right when he said that Duncan's quality voice is only upstaged by his mastery of the keyboards.

For whatever reason the audience didn't seem to respond to Duncan as enthusiastically as the opening act Carried Away, which is a shame because they witnessed a very talented individual. Duncan to his credit kept trying to involve the sparse crowd in his act. He even joked about his guitar skills. He noted while listening to a well known song from the seventies (America's "A Horse with No Name") he discovered it only had two chords that were played over and over again. He told the audience that is when he realized he is working far too hard.

Duncan's voice is as sweet as Aaron Neville's and his blues rock style reminds one of Canada's own Colin James. In an earlier interview Duncan told me he had contemplated retirement before hooking up with the Neho Soul Band to produce his most recent CD and DVD "Live from Music City". He said the direction he and the band have taken has revived his career. Unfortunately for the audience Duncan appeared alone this night. A virtual dynamo on stage Duncan really needs his backup band or he appears almost overwhelming.

One of my all time favorite musicians slipped a notch this night when Duncan unveiled his cover of Paul McCartney's "Amazing". I didn't think it was possible but Duncan sung it better than Sir Paul.

Writer: Joe Montague

Photo:Joe Montague

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