So a mini-review of what I saw.
Gwen Knighton is amazing on the harp. She just plain performs magic on them. Her sound check was Heart and Soul which cracked us all up. And it went uphill from there. I can't remember what she sang, thanks to my mind like a steel sieve, but I remember it as highly entertaining, and spanning the range from comedy to tragedy with lots in between. To help my memory I've ordered her CD. She was joined by a huge chorus of a who's who of filk to start and end the set. She is a natural performer, has a great sense of humor and a feel for her audience. The only improvement I would suggest would be professional voice lessons. She has a strong, clear soprano voice, and she mostly knows how to use it, but more practice with breath support would bring her a step closer to perfection. Gwen now lives in the UK, and my cousin happens to run a theater and voice school in Brighton, I really have to get them together. Shanna would know a good person for Gwen to work with. Anyhow, she richly deserved the standing ovation we gave her.
Gwen is a hard act to follow, and Alex Bohnhoff was thrown into that spot. Sorry, Alex, but you didn't wow me. Put me to sleep, almost. Here's a young man trying to follow in the 15 EEE footsteps of his filk legend parents, but not quite making it. His guitar playing is super, but his voice is kind of dull and he's not much of a showman. His tunes are monotonous and his lyrics not particularly powerful. And the songs he sang were not filk. Which is a rant I may as well get into
I'm a music purist. When I go to a filk concert I expect to hear mostly filk. I don't want to hear world famous filk singers doing their non-filk tunes. I don't want to see the children of legendary filk singers doing their non-filk tunes. There is so little opportunity to hear filk that I'm pissed when I'm afflicted with a set of mundane songs at a filk concert. Slipping in one in a set I can handle, but not the whole set. I'm the same way with other music. If I go to a jazz concert I don't want to hear rap. If I go to see The Sound of Music, I would walk out if Capt. von Trapp launched into If I Had A Million Dollars or Jamaica Farewell. I like both of those tunes, but they don't belong in a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. Yes, I know, I have to write some filk songs and get up and sing them. Maybe this Baycon. End of rant.
The Bohnhoffs rounded off the evening, and I am happy to report that they mostly resisted the temptation to sing mundane songs and instead reprised lots of their old filk numbers. As a result I now have their Aliens Ate My Homework CD on order from CD Baby. Maya was in rare form, and it was fun to hear the youngest girl up there singing - she has It. Maybe she can rub some off on her older brother.