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#30 April Smith and the Great Picture Show: Songs For A Sinking Ship

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

April Smith grew up in Toms River and became one of the stars of the Asbury Park music scene before moving to Brooklyn; there she became an indie-music darling  and was placed on several national tours.  She’s always had a remarkably powerful voice, it just took a few years to develop a style that took full advantage of it.  On Songs For A Sinking Ship, she’s found that style.

Kicking off with the bouncy “Movie Loves A Screen,” April showcases a unique songwriting style that doesn’t exactly fit within any particular genre, but is immensely appealing.  Songs transverse a landscape of jazz, show tunes, and pure rock and roll.  The mixture is quite fitting for April as she’s always composed songs that were very pictorial; tiny stories you could actually see unfold before your very eyes.  With the new sound, she’s found the perfect backdrop.

Another wonderful tune is “Dixie Boy,” which may have been the first song I can remember ever hearing from April.  On this release she reworks the tune and gives it the recording it always deserved.  Back when she first performed it, her voice was almost too powerful to contain.  She’s since learned how to control her immense highs and lows to make the epic theatrical numbers that were hinted from the very beginning.

Songs For A Sinking Ship blends influences from the ‘40s to the current day, while April and her band prove everything old can be new again.

Highlights include the trio of incredible songs: “Terrible Things” (which wound up being on the Weeds cable television show), “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” and “Colors” along with “The One That Got Away” and “Stop Wondering.”


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien


Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.

 






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Event calendar
Saturday, Jan 25, 2020


MUSIC



WHISKEY CROSSING @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

An Evening with Tony Award Winner Debbie Gravitte and the Russ Kassoff Little Big Band @ The Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

BRIAN WILSON: GREATEST HITS LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

Jim's Big Ego @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 8:00pm

Brubeck Brothers Quartet @ Berrie Center for the Arts, Ramapo College of NJ, Mahwah - 8:00pm

Lunar New Year Celebration @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:30pm

The Sixties Show @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Little River Band @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Bob Mould Sunshine Rock Winter 2020 Solo Electric @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Ethical Brew presents: Reggie Harris & Greg Greenway "Deeper Than The Skin" @ Ethical Brew/Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, NJ, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Shaky Show @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm






THEATRE


Pygmalion [#NotMyFairLady] @ Black Box Performing Arts Center, Englewood - 8:00pm

All Shook Up @ George Frey Center for Arts/Fair Lawn Community Center, Fair Lawn, NJ - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

The Diary of a Mother @ Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC), Hackensack - 7:00pm

RITZ KIDZ - The Pied Piper @ The Ritz Theatre, Haddon Twp - 10:00am and 1:00pm

Brighton Beach Memoirs @ Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Class Act Performing Arts Studio Presents: #ThrowBackTheatre @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


DANCE


Nai Ni Chen Chinese New Year Celebration, Year of the Golden Rat @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 2:00pm


FILM


Toy Story 4 @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 2:00pm

New Jersey Film Festival Spring 2020 Screening @ Voorhees Hall #105, New Brunswick - 7:00pm

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