Jimmy Webb’s appearance at the reopened Cutting Room marked the club’s rebirth in its stunning new location, christened by one of its more illustrious performers.
The Songwriter’s Hall of Famer played his own lush piano fills with low-key accompaniment by Peter Calo on guitar and harmony, and delivered as many of his hits as he could fit into 90 minutes, leaving just enough time for the story behind each song.
Leading off with “Galveston,” and his views on our military (grateful) and war (negative), Webb talked about writing for Glenn Campbell, and choked up while recounting Campbell’s grace and courage on the “Farewell” tour Campbell launched after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. On a lighter note, Webb recalled how he came to see the bright side of Simon and Garfunkel’s breakup: Garfunkel would need a songwriter. Enter “(I Love You and That’s) All I Know.”
Gently poking fun at Leonard Cohen and sending kudos to other fellow songwriters, Webb kept the evening sunny between his many famous tunes of heartbreak and longing. The finale, “MacArthur Park,” was preceded by Webb’s story (complete with mock sobbing) of being called “a sad little man” because he once failed to play the massive hit in concert in Australia. No such mistakes at the Cutting Room—in fact, no mistakes at all.
– Suzanne Cadgene