- Ronnie Beith
This year has been different somehow for me, and maybe it's just that I never paid close enough attention before. I noticed a diverse mixture of classic rock, country, old crooner, dramatic renderings and originals. Still no Grateful Dead or Tom Waits music, but still a bit of a mix.
There were powerful voices hitting places in my ears I didn't expect.
As the contest winds down towards today's final, there are four young men still standing. Ian Best, Scott Gressly, Jacob Burris and Tim Craver. They each bring two songs with them today as they vie for the 2021 Taste of Talent winner.
The competition begins at 4 p.m. in Bandstand Park.
I expect to hear some strong performances still, though it will be lacking female voices which seems odd also for this competition final.
A few thoughts I had listening last night in between clicks of my camera. I felt everyone brought their A-game. Michael Drzewiecki started off the night with an incredible original titled "Mr.Hide in a Hole." I'm impartial to folks who create and perform, so that is part of why I really responded to this performer during the competition. This isn't usually a smart move in this competition as folks tend to want to hear familiar songs that can relate to. But he made it to the semis and nailed it with a really, really, really great song. I hope he writes more music and releases something soon.
Brianna Schwab took "Somewhere over the Rainbow" to a really great place with a huge performance. She has an amazing power, but that song had a depth of emotion to it as she just put everything into her voice, growing each note to a peak. I actually said wow out loud at the end of this performance.
Jordan Boughner looked playful and the most comfortable I've seen her yet on stage. She too had more power in her voice than I'd heard before.
And Ruth Herrick, perhaps my sentimental favorite because of how she has decided to reignite her passion for singing in the wake of her husband's death. Beautiful performances each week that were just downright good versions of country/gospel songs that seemed as if each one was from her life.
And these where to folks that didn't make it to the finals.
Rain kind of hampered the end of the night leaving folks scrambling for cover as voting was taking place.
But all the songs got in before the rain and the new sound system, which was dedicated on two days earlier really made a difference.
Saturday's show really could be considered of the best in Taste of Talent history. It certainly was best this observer has seen.