John Alcorn

Billie, Bessie, Laura and me…

Don’t worry; I’m not about to imagine myself in the rarefied sphere that embraces those 20th century musical giants :)

However, when I was in my mid-teens and a family friend introduced me to the recordings of jazz legend Billie Holiday, the Lady’s voice and style had an enormous impact on me. Her influence continues to this day.

While Billie held me captive in her little corner of the musical world, the ghost of blues giant Bessie Smith was schooling my friend, Laura Hubert. I hear echoes of Bessie’s commanding, no-nonsense stance in every song that Laura sings – even when she’s whispering about lotus blossoms.

While these two innovators appeared to have little in common with each other in terms of sound and style, Billie and Bessie did share at least one powerful trait. Each, in her own way, “told the truth” with every note, every word, every phrase – or, at least her version of the truth. That’s not as easy as it might sound, but those two made it seem as effortless and natural as breathing.

To my mind, Laura Hubert also tells the plain, unvarnished truth when she sings. I slash and burn my way through a myriad of hitches and hindrances as I reach for that same elusive goal.

When Laura joins me at the Home Smith Bar once again on Thursday, September 26, we will not do a tribute to Holiday and Smith. Still, I know that I will keep my eyes, ears and heart open, hoping to feel a trace of their spirits – perhaps a subtle phantom nod, a sly wink, a sotto voce “Mhmm…”

John Alcorn and Laura Hubert

John Alcorn and Laura Hubert




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Over the past two months, exploring the works of songwriters and performers in our Songbook Series has been a fantastic journey of discovery. Now, I’ve found fresh inspiration in this recently published book:

…and so, we begin a new series – The STANDARD!


Starting this Wednesday (and for every Wednesday until further notice), we’re shifting our focus to the big one – the Great American Songbook. Each week, I’ll choose from my ever-expanding collection of inspiring songs (I lost track a long time ago, but it’s at least in the high hundreds now…). My little personal challenge is to make the set lists unique for each Wednesday, including well-known favorites and some lesser-known gems.

As always, a couple of brilliant jazz musicians will join me in the adventure. This week, it’s the father/son team of Steve Wallace (bass) and Lee Wallace (guitar). I expect that I’ll have a hard time wiping the grin from my face :)

6:30PM – Doors Open
7:30PM – Performance Begins

$15.00 adv/$20.00 door
*Dinner reservations get priority seating*

Dinner available, before, during, and after the show.

You can join the Facebook Event Page here, and/or “Like” the John Alcorn Facebook Fan Page here. Thanks :)