Robert Michaels is a monster guitar player. The Toronto-based acoustic guitar wizard and vocalist is also Juno Award-winning musician (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) and platinum-selling recording artist.
Michaels is in the midst of an international tour in support of his latest release, “Cumabemco.” Like his performance at Lake George’s newly expanded Shepard Park amphitheater, the album is chockful of amazing Latin jazz and Spanish flamenco sounds.
It looks like the rest of the world is about to find out what Canadians already know – Robert Michaels is a world class musician.
Joining Michaels on stage were drummer-percussionist Larry Crowe and bassist Eric Sooster of the “Star Search”-winning group Mad About Plaid. (Remember the late Ed McMahon emceeing that “American Idol” forerunner of the late ’80s and early ’90s?)
With such a crack back-up band in tow, Michaels’ nimble guitar work effortlessly sailed atop the fiery rhythms of “The Matador,” “Reginella,” “El Toro” and the whirlwind of the old Mason Williams nugget “Classical Gas,” as he mesmerized the audience through two jam-packed improvisational sets of sheer musical magic.
To anyone there sitting under the stars on that gorgeous evening, it was easy to understand why he is our Northern neighbor’s most accomplished Latin Jazz/flamenco-inspired guitarist and considered by so many to be a Canadian national treasure.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk