Rachel Vogt is on her way to stardom by way of hard work and loads of talent. She’s not selling herself through “American Idol” claptrap; she’s doing it with blood, sweat and tears and the help of a hand-picked back-up band that includes inspired R&B/jazz saxophonist George Kurtz, guitarist Mark Tremante, drummer Mark Hollis, bassist Carl West and super pianist Azzaam Hameed (better known regionally as Saratoga jazz singer Judy Wyle’s steady musical partner).
In addition, Vogt’s gorgeous voice – which falls somewhere between the pop stylings of Mariah Carey and the blues-soul power of Joan Osborne – is nestled between two superlative back up singers Tomika McDougald and Danielle Vitullo.
Vogt’s live repertoire is drawn from a wide range of classic nuggets that go back to the 1930’s with Fats Waller’s “I’m Gonna Sit Down Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” through the 1970’s with Tavares’ “Heaven Must be Missing An Angel,” and into today with her own originals that have a timeless quality.
Her debut album, “On My Way” on DreamSpun Recordings, is a fine introduction of what she is capable of as a songwriter, but seeing her perform in front of an audience is the real proof of her talent. Last Saturday at the Van Dyck in front of a sold-out house, Rachel Vogt delivered the goods with a powerful vocal delivery on ballads, jazzy tunes, rocking numbers and funky R&B.
Review and photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk