I can’t dance, but during the tour of The Civil War, I wanted to get up and try. A score like that takes an immense talent like Michael Lanning to do it justice, and I walked out of that show a big fan of his talent.
It was a tragedy to me that The Civil War never got a real OBC recording, but hearing Michael Lanning on three tracks of “The Complete Album” has helped to appease me. Of course, it always depends on the show, but I love great voices that are both theatrical and unique. Michael Lanning has one of those voices with intense warmth to it. It’s a rock/country voice that would also be very appropriate for traditional musical theatre, but it can do more than give texture to the melody. His voice seems to come out and wrap around you, taking all the emotion of the song and injecting it into your heart. To me, Phil Collins’ work on the film Tarzan has that same effect, and Michael Lanning is the only other performer I know of with that quality, though Lanning’s voice seems to me deeper and more versatile.
Anyone who laments the rocking of Broadway, I defy them not to find extreme theatrical pleasure in Michael Lanning’s vocals.
Note: In the clip below, that’s his voice you hear first.
the Broadway Mouth
July 24, 2007