In this original concert, AFT celebrates the songs of Dan Fogelberg, one of popular music’s most gifted and successful singer-songwriters. With classic hits like Longer, Leader of the Band, The Power of Gold and Same Auld Lang Syne, Fogelberg remains a timeless voice in the world of popular song. His thirty-two year career included an amazing variety of material, including forays into bluegrass and folk. AFT’s stellar trio featured Scott Wakefield, Claudia Russell, and Paul Helm, who bring their own fresh voices and instruments to Fogelberg’s songs. Produced in 2008.
**** (Four out of four stars)
Green Bay Press Gazette
Fogelberg's Music, Life Remembered
EPHRAIM — Charm flows in "Sometimes a Song: The Music of Dan Fogelberg," this year's new, original fall show from American Folklore Theatre.
These presentations offer a chance to appreciate the career work of singer-songwriters. Previous shows featured the music of such living artists as Paul Simon and John Prine.
The appreciation in this one also comes with a sense of loss. Fogelberg died in December 2007 at age 56 due to prostate cancer.
Given the nature of his songs — love ballads, quiet remembrances and tender tales — the concert often is poignant.
Certainly that's so with the beloved wedding song, "Longer;" the warm thoughts of a colt building toward the Kentucky Derby in "Run for the Roses;" reflections on his father in "Leader of the Band;" falling back on thoughts of youth after a chance meeting with a high school love in "Same Old Lang Syne;" and remembering his wife on Valentine's Day in "Sometimes a Song."
Wonderful in delivering these songs and others are Scott Wakefield, Claudia Russell and Paul Helm. They're fine singers, whether in solo or blend.
Wakefield is the main man in this show. It's his idea, and he and artistic director Jeffrey Herbst put it into shape. On stage, Wakefield plays guitars, harmonicas, accordion and banjo with skill and touch. Fogelberg was an inspiration for him, he tells the audience, and his voice resembles Fogelberg's.
The passion of Wakefield carries through Russell and her sensitive singing and Helm with his bright, flexible voice.
Between songs, the three take turns telling of Fogelberg and his songs, notably "Sometimes a Song." Fogelberg's widow is donating all proceeds of sales of the song to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Wakefield and Russell also are donating a portion of proceeds from their CDs to the foundation.
Door County Advocate
MARTY LASH - September 2008
Show celebrates 30-year career of Fogelberg
Over the past few years, the American Folklore Theatre’s offerings have been given over to music of Paul Simon, John Prine, and the Weavers.
The company’s most recent show reprises songs of Dan Fogelberg.
Fogelberg hailed from Peoria, Ill., and gained national attention with tuneful hits such as “The Power of Gold” and “Heart Hotels.” He had a string of gold and platinum albums such as “Captured Angel” and “Neither Lands,” both produced in the 70’s.
Fogelberg’s work is best exemplified with his highly successful double album, “the Innocent Age.” This collection of beautiful, soulful melodies struck a chord with many and caused the singer to become a pop icon.
AFT’s show goes through the singer’s about 30-year career. heard are early hits such as his 1975 song “Part of the Plan” and carry through this 2005 effort, “Sometimes A Song.”
Fogelberg, who lost a long battle with prostrate cancer last year, wrote the latter for his wife. Jean Fogelberg made the song available on the Internet and indicated that proceeds would go to the Prostrate Cancer Foundation.
Two AFT regulars, Scott Wakefield and Claudia Russell, appear in the show. Newcomer Paul Helm joins them.
With his wit and wonderful stage presence, Wakefield leads the proceedings.
He gives the audience a sense of who Fogelberg was and why his music is still relevant. Wakefield clearly identifies with the singer’s music and plays it with style and charm.
Russell has appeared in many AFT shows, and her soft, gentle manner is perfectly suited to Fogelberg’s melodies. She, too, finds great pleasure in his lyrics and provides very fine balance for the trio.
Helm is a great find. He has appeared in a number of shows produced in the Midwest.
He has an extraordinary voice and makes playing on his electric piano seem easy. He is a very fine musician, and I hope to see him again in further AFT shows.
This evening is fun, enjoyable and a great way to spend a fall Door County evening.