Jack Spann: Beautiful Man from Mars (Big Boo Music)
In search of an eclectic double bill at Summerfest? Put Saturday, July 1 on your calendar. That’s when vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jack Spann will open for Collective Soul at the Briggs & Stratton stage. Spann built his reputation on keyboards and recorded demos for David Bowie’s final record, Blackstar. But on his own second solo album, Beautiful Man from Mars—co-produced by Milwaukee music stalwart Gary Tanin—Spann plays just about everything. The Bowie influence is obvious, not only in the album’s title and leadoff title track (which Spann says was inspired by his work on Blackstar) but in Spann’s vocals. He sounds like a more laid-back Joe Jackson, but you also can hear Ziggy Stardust floating in and out of these songs. A metronomic piano line, shuffling drums and Spann’s anxious delivery make “Time” a highlight, while the feel-good, guitar-free “Songman” bounces along with encouragement for anyone who ever dreamed of making music.
Jack Spann performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 1 at Summerfest’s Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard.