By Victoria L. Dammer
The intimate dining and exceptional music venue Chelsea Table & Stage was host to Billboard chart-topping singer and songwriter Billy Valentine on Wednesday, June 8th. Every seat, including those at the in-theatre bar, was occupied with guests who were in for an outstanding presentation of Valentine’s gifts of vocals and his ability to perform music that crossed a broad genre of songs.
Valentine warmed the crowd, sharing his personal stories of how he got to where he was today in the music industry. Accompanied by the Laurence Hobgood Trio, which included piano, cello, and drums, Valentine opened his show with a dazzling rendition of Bob Dylan’s Blowing in The Wind, which started the audience rocking to the music.
Valentine thanked his friends and family for being in attendance and told the crowd, “I’m just going to be me.”
Valentine dedicated his second song, The Tennessee Waltz, to his wife, Amy. Written in 1946, with lyrics by Redd Stewart and music by Pee Wee King, many patrons could remember the popular country song made famous by the 1950 recording by Patti Page. Valentine had, by now, engaged the crowd and the night just got better.
Valentine introduced world-renowned jazz tenor saxophonist Don Braden, and the two performed the amazing hit song On the Street Where You Live from the 1956 Broadway musical My Fair Lady. For those who didn’t see the play, many will recall Nat King Cole’s version from the early 50s and Dean Martin’s rendition from the 60s. However, the song never gets old.
Valentine then told a personal tale of how he got his start at Leon’s Cocktail Lounge in Hackensack, New Jersey, while everyone else was opening at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Stars have come and gone who performed at that iconic venue in New York, but Valentine has remained in the spotlight for years.
Younger fans will remember Valentine’s stirring voice as he sang All Along the Watchtower on the famous series Sons of Anarchy. Valentine has transcended several decades and styles of music during his career, entertaining fans of all ages. He then sang Sam Cook’s What a Wonderful World This Would Be before treating the group to some new music he recorded during the pandemic.
The audience was delighted with his new song, We People Who Are Darker Than Blue, expressing that all of us should come together. Valentine remarked he started off listening to Ray Charles early in his career. Then, he performed Georgia, and Stevie Wonder’s You Haven’t Done Nothing.
The crowd was awarded another little tidbit of Valentine’s life, explaining that when he got laid off from one of his jobs, he and his brother wrote Money’s Too Tight (to Mention), which was featured on their second album, and spent 14 weeks on the Billboard R & B chart, reaching number 41.
Valentine finished the show with Bob Thiele and George David Weiss’s What a Wonderful World which was the perfect ending to a magnificent night and followed by a heartwarming, stand-up, thundering round of applause.
CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE, highlighting a diverse range of musical genres, is a welcome addition to the list of high-end venues on the New York performance scene, deftly balancing a glamourous interior, traditional hospitality, and top musical talent. The current lineup features a dazzling array from the worlds of pop, folk, country, soul, jazz, and much more. Providing a wide variety of upscale American menu items, with distinguished wine and bespoke cocktails, audiences will experience some of the best touring performers in the world alongside local emerging artists. CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE melds the ambiance of a classic supper club with the acoustics of a serious listening room and a contemporary spin appealing to several generations of music lovers.
CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE opens the doors to hospitality, entertainment, and enjoyment every night, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a 10-seat in-theatre bar, lofted VIP mezzanine for private groups, and table seating for the perfect date night. The ever-changing menu and entertainment schedule mean guests never have the same night twice. CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE is located at 152 West 26th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), downstairs inside the Hilton New York Fashion District. Purchase tickets at chelseatableandstage.com@chelseatableandstage.
Special thanks to Dan at Fortune Creative.