Behind the Music

Friday, December 3, 2010 15:02
Posted in category In the News


A plush, 300-seat supper club in Little Italy, Anthology is renowned for its steady lineup of jazz and blues greats. But Alanis Morisette, country singer Hal Ketchum and Latin artist Arturo Sandoval have also starred here since the venue opened in 2007. On a rainy October night, Shawn Colvin, who won Grammy Awards for her album Steady On and the song “Sunny Came Home,” is about to play a solo acoustic set.

An elevator to the second floor leads to the backstage area, which looks like a well-appointed living room. Just outside the door, a bus tray filled with ice chills Colvin’s backstage necessity, Coke in a can. Not in plastic, please?—?always a can. On the floor, there’s a green guitar case with a single red sticker that reads “Fragile.” It contains a six-string Martin, the Shawn Colvin signature model. Burnt-orange walls surround cream-colored leather chairs and a suede couch inside; a standing lamp emits a soft gilded light, and there’s an attached changing room in the back. Large posters of Winton Marsalis, Natalie Cole and Pat Metheny in black lacquer frames decorate the walls.
Colvin says some of her backstage experiences have been loud and ugly, with dirty cement floors, rodent sightings and a Lilith Fair singer in an adjoining dressing room who loudly “bitched out her whole band.”

“But this is a great backstage—?exceptional, actually,” Colvin says with hushed reverence. “There’s even a closet, and the lighting isn’t fluorescent.”

Anthology also is known for a menu that showcases the talents of executive chef Todd Allison, who often creates dishes that complement the genre of music on tap for a particular evening. For the performers, getting a gourmet meal is considered a luxury.

“I don’t ask for dessert,” Colvin says. “But it’s always nice to get it.”

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