Washington D.C.'s City Winery was blessed with the silky-smooth vocals of legendary singer Howard Hewett on Friday, October 14th. The vocalist made two stops at the venue, and I had the pleasure of attending the second show. I had been trying to see Mr. Hewett for years, but something always came up.
To this day, I still regret not seeing Teena Marie, Luther Vandross, and Prince when I had the chance. All of them would pass after making tour stops in the DMV. However, as my good friend, Edward Bowser, always says, "Honor the legends" while they are here." So, I made sure to make time to see Mr. Hewett.
The singer opened up his set with the slow jam "Show Me" from his 1990 self-titled album. Dressed in casual attire, Howard received approving applause from the audience. Howard's only musical accompaniment was a keyboard/piano player, who he later mentioned has served as his musical director for the last twenty years.
Howard kept the momentum going as he delivered a one-two punch of "Stay" and "I'm For Real." Before performing the iconic ballad "Once Twice Three Times," Howard shouted out the late great Stanley Clarke and George Duke. While he has hits for days and most fans come to hear the classics, there was a positive response to the new song Howard performed titled "U R The One," which reunites with legendary producer Leon Sylvers.
Before a Shalamar medley that had the audience on its feet, Howard performed two songs from his 2007 album If Only. A crystal clear and heartfelt rendition of "Enough," where he showed off his scatting skills, and the sensually elegant "Can U Feel Me." Before closing his set with "Say Amen," Howard delivered a beautiful testimony about the last two years' events. My only gripe with the show was that "Heaven Sent" and Shalamar's "Let's Find the Time for Love " weren't on the setlist.
Nevertheless, at sixty-seven years young, Mr. Hewett shows no signs of slowing down, and I recommend seeing him next time he's in town.
Final Grade: B+
To find out more about Howard Hewett and his music, visit HowardHewettMusic.com.
For upcoming shows at the City Winery head over to https://www.citywinery.com/washingtondc.