Renee Olstead live at “Ti Lascio Una Canzone”, an italian TV show May 16th, 2009. She performed “Christmas in Love” and “Midnight Man”.
SOUNDS FAMILIAR By Baby A. Gil Updated June 10, 2009 12:00 AM
This is not about age. Michael Bublé is young but he has what it takes. Nor about race. Rod Stewart who does those songs well is British. Some Pinoys have it. I was fortunate to hear the late rapper FrancisM do some and he certainly had it. I still regret he was never able to record those songs. So it is either they have it or they don’t.
I am referring to singers who like to sing the standards, which is how we now refer to those songs from the pre-rock and roll era in the great American songbook. It takes a certain sensibility for a singer to be able to immerse himself inside those songs. Very few have what it takes and if the singers don’t, the results can be abominable.
Renee Olstead is one of those who has it. She was only 13 and an actress in the sitcom Still Standing when the famous David Foster heard her sing. You know Foster. He made hits for Whitney Houston and Celine Dion, mentored Bublé, Josh Groban and is now doing the same to our Charice. It was he who decided then that Renee was matured enough to record her own album of standards.
The result was titled Renee Olstead and was released in 2004. It was an ambitious effort. Imagine a teenager taking on Summertime and Taking A Chance on Love and Someone to Watch Over Me and On A Slow Boat to China and lots more of the same. I thought that she did quite well considering her age but could still gain from the ripening process that only age can bring. I am glad she now gets to show that off in her new CD Skylark.
Skylark is even more ambitious but Renee now has the necessary chops. Standards like Stars Fell on Alabama; My Baby Just Cares for Me; You’ve Changed; Ain’t We Got Fun; When I Fall in Love, a duet with the romantic wizard of the trumpet, Chris Botti are featured together with the unlikely. Think of the bouncy Hit the Road Jack, which I remember from Ray Charles in the ’60s and new originals which are beautiful, Midnight Man, but at times detract from the mood.
But this album is not about the songs. It is about Renee whose vocal range and depth of expression now ranks her alongside the great divas of these songs. Krall, Monheit, Peyroux, please welcome your little sister to the fold.
After more then two years and several postpones Renee Olstead’s new album “Skylark” will be released by Reprise Records on January 27h, 2009.
This second album is produced by David Foster and will contains both new songs and covers.
This is the tracklist:
1. Midnight Man
2. Lover Man
3. Stars Fell On Alabama
4. My Baby Just Cares For Me
5. When I Fall In Love (featuring Chris Botti)
6. Thanks For The Boogie Ride
7. Hold Me Now
9. Midnight In Austin Texas (special guest Robert Randolph)
10. Hit The Road Jack
11. You’ve Changed
12. Ain’t We Got Fun
13. Nothing But The Blame
Video: Renee Olstead – Through The Fire (from DVD “Hitman – David Foster & Friends)
“HITMAN: David Foster and Friends” CD/DVD will be released on November 11, 2008 by Warner Bros.
The event was the star-studded David Foster & Friends concert held Friday, May 23 at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. It was an almost fourhour musical extravaganza that featured tour de force performances from Foster’s friends such as Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Katharine McPhee, Charice, Renee Olstead, Peter Cetera, Brian McKnight, Babyface, and Boz Scaggs.
Here’s the CD/DVD track listing:
1. Love Theme From St. Elmo’s Fire (Kenny G.)
2. Home (Michael Buble and Blake Shelton)
3. I Have Nothing/I Will Always Love You (Charice)
4. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Josh Groban and Brian McKnight)
5. Somewhere (Katharine McPhee)
6. Look What You’ve Done To Me (Boz Skaggs)
7. Wildflower (Blake Shelton)
8. Hard To Say I’m Sorry/You’re The Inspiration/Glory Of Love (Peter Cetera)
9. The Prayer (Andrea Bocelli and Katharine McPhee)
1. Andre Agassi Intro
2. St Elmo’s Love Theme (Kenny G.)
3. Can’t Help Falling In Love (David Foster)
4. Beauty/Man In Motion (Michael Johns)
5. Mornin’/After The Love Has Gone (Brian McKnight)
6. Video (Barbra Streisand)
7. Somewhere (Katharine McPhee)
8. Through The Fire (Renee Olstead)
9. Got To Be Real (Cheryl Lynn)
10. Wildflower (Blake Shelton)
11. Video (Urban Cowboy)
12. Love Look What You’ve Done (Boz Skaggs)
13. Jo Jo (Boz Skaggs)
14. Chocolate Legs (Eric Benet)
15. Hard To Say I’m Sorry/You’re The Inspiration/Glory Of Love (Peter Cetera)
16. Amapola (Andrea Bocelli)
17. Because We Believe (Andrea Bocelli)
18. The Prayer (Andrea Bocelli and Katharine McPhee)
1. Asturias (William Joseph)
2. Video-Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion and David Foster)
3. I Swear (Babyface and Kevon)
4. Feeling Good (Michael Buble)
5. Home (Michael Buble and Blake Shelton)
6. Save The Last Dance (Michael Buble)
7. Video-Bodyguard w/Kevin Costner
8. I Have Nothing/I Will Always Love You(Charice)
9. Alla Luce del Sole(Josh Groban)
10. Bridge Over Troubled Water(Josh Groban with Brian McKnight)
11. You Raise Me Up(Josh Groban)
12. Got To Be Real(All)
The David Foster official biography “Hitman: Forty Years Making Music, Topping the Charts, and Winning Grammys” will be also released in November 2008. A 272 pages hardcover book that every David Foster fan should pre-order it !
Here are two clips:
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HITMAN: David Foster and Friends