Become a Fan
By Gary P Starta
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
A blues singer finds she has the power to heal with her voice. Read the details in the fictitious Cranburytown Journal.
The following feature story celebrates the career of one of Cranburytown's greatest entertainers. The artist took a break from her busy itinerary to tell her story
to our reporter Bill Blaine. Please note: the Cranburytown Journal takes no responsibility for the claims our reporter makes in this article.
Tamara Charlize Wilson is not the superstar performer who commands legions of fans or makes millions of dollars. In fact, she doesn't even have a record contract. But the local singer possesses a much more valuable asset. She has the ability to touch people's souls.
Many musicians try all their lives in vain to cultivate interest from the major record companies. Wilson has done the same and struggled just like any other 26 year old with a dream. But “interest” in the business generally translates into the artists ability to line the pockets of record execs. In this world, it's a game of numbers; whether it be in six figure digits from a top ten hit, a corporate sponsored tour, or better yet, a multi-million dollar endorsement deal. As a result, the intangible talent of Tamara Wilson still eludes the mass public.
I asked Wilson to describe the source of her “hidden power.” The slender and shapely singer is quick to dismiss references to the paranormal. She prefers only to say she has answered “a calling.”
The singer's power is not confined to her soulful wailing or silky crooning. Both of these skills can be found in abundance when one experiences a Tamara Wilson show. The singer is unique because she can tap into a person's physiology through song.
While she believes her style of singing may be responsible for her gift, she also attests it is just as accountable for stifling it. Wilson says singing jazz and R&B has made it difficult for her to reach a mainstream audience. She even laments that her choice of music has become a liability. A&R people want to sign a more mainstream act,” Wilson explains. “My friends have criticized me for not bringing more bling to my act. They want me to add an entourage of male dancers to the show. But it's more important for me to keep my integrity.” The type of integrity Wilson speaks of is not about stroking her own ego. Her talent goes beyond the normal scope of a singer. “I can affect positive change in human beings through my voice,” she told me minutes before a recent performance. “It's imperative I reach as many people as I can. That's my drive to become a signed artist. I can only transform those who attend my local concerts.”
Skeptics may listen to one of Wilson's recordings and come away unconvinced of her special powers. But the singer maintains one must attend a live show to experience the transformations.
“I know many readers may scoff at this. You are probably saying I'm only trying to sell tickets to my shows.” The fact is, Wilson doesn't need to sell tickets. Her shows have sold out for three years running. I remained skeptical myself until she opened her mouth and sang at the Cool Cat jazz club in Cranburytown.
By the close of the show, everyone had wide smiles plastered on their faces.
Wilson maintains she concentrated on instilling this emotion in each and every one of club goers. I myself could not stop grinning from ear to ear. I must attest that neither the alcohol served in the club nor its smoky confines were responsible for my high. I immediately pressed Wilson to explain her charms. Was I enamored by her physical presence, song selection or maybe even the provocative way the notes flowed out of her sensuous mouth? Although any of the above reasons may have plausibly figured into my equation for euphoria, science may tell a more objective story.
Tamara claims a certain ambiance in her voice resonates into the listener's cerebral cortex. “The sound penetrates into the temporal lobe, which contains the sensory center for hearing.” Wilson says. The singer turned to science for an answer even though she spent much of her youth singing in a gospel choir. “The gift never revealed itself in a church. I guess it took a different kind of house of worship to bring it out,” Wilson explains in reference to night clubs. “I therefore found it logical to seek out my answers through the Internet, rather than through a deity.”
Music research confirms certain musical instruments like harps are capable of producing something called undertones. These tones alter brain chemistry. But it is quite rare for human vocal chords to affect that type of alteration.
Wilson says she must remain highly focused on the emotion she hopes to instill in her listeners. “This is often difficult during a show. Especially when I start worrying about paying the sound man or my backup players,” she jokes while playfully tugging on her trademark Jheri curls. “After a concert, I literally pass out on the dressing room couch. Sometimes I try to evoke a sense of peace or sense of well being. There have been other times I put the entire audience into a melancholy funk. I was having relationship problems at the time and I fear the blues just took a hold of me.”
But Wilson explains she would never endanger her audience. “Many folks file out onto the streets unaware I literally changed their mood. They might think it was the performance, but it goes way deeper than that. I transform their chemical makeup.
For that reason, I could never allow despair or anger to take a hold.”
Wilson tells me the only proof she has of her gift is observation. “I spy on the club's patrons each night from an upstairs balcony. There can be no other explanation for their reactions. How can 175 people all walk out of a club smiling in unison?”
So why can't Wilson use this a selling point to get a record contract?
“The label people all think this is a publicity stunt. I don't think they'll ever take me seriously again. Even my entertainment lawyer is now refusing to return my calls.”
If you're still wondering why I am taking Wilson seriously, the reason may lie in the artist's modesty. Tamara failed to recant an incident involving her dearest friend, Joline Saunders. Fortunately, I was able to interview this acquaintaince who compares Wilson's abilities to walking on water. “She is no doubt a miracle worker,” Joline professes.
“I was not only skeptical of Tamara's claims, but downright critical of her. I can't remember how many times I cursed her for sticking with jazz. I know she would have been a star by now if she rapped. But now I could never ever criticize her again.”
Saunders told me the reason for her change of attitude involves her dad, Al.
“My father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctors found it growing in his temporal lobe. When Tamara found out she was mortified. She told me she would give me all her money to pay for an operation. Unfortunately, the doctors claimed it was too risky to undergo such a procedure. The next thing I know, Tamara is urging my dad to attend one of her shows. My father just starts shaking his head like one of those bobblehead dolls. He says the experience would probably do him in.
I suspect he believes Tamara is rapping like most black woman of her age group.
I eventually convince my pop to attend. I tell him she sings healing ballads. She covers the gamut from Etta James to Alicia Keys. My dad doesn't know who Keys is, but his eyes seem to light up when I mention James.”
Joline recalled how Tamara was uncharacteristically nervous before this show. “She was pacing the floor and mumbling something about frequency modulation.” With just a minute to go before show time, Tamara tells Joline she is convinced she can save her dad. “Beads of sweat began pouring off of Tamara's head and her hands were shaking. At that moment, I was only convinced of one thing; my best friend had gone off the deep end.
“But when she sang all her jitters were gone in a flash. My father's eyes locked with hers for what seemed the entire show. I had never seen him so at peace with himself.”
A few days after the show, a brain scan revealed the tumor had totally disappeared
from Al's skull. However, Wilson refused to take credit for the miracle.
Tamara can be found each and every Tuesday and Friday night singing at Cool Cats. So whether you're suffering from a medical ailment, or just trying to recover from a bout with the blues, a visit to Cool Cats may be just what the doctor ordered.
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|Reviewed by Kenneth Seay
|Very interesting. Different idea in a story. Seems your likes come through.|