By Kevin Coughlin
A long time ago, a TV ad asked: Is is true blondes have more fun?
On Friday, at least, the answer appeared to be yes. Carla Ulbrich’s whimsical parodies had everyone howling at The Minstrel in Morris Township. And Blaire Reinhard and her band kept a crowd at Morristown’s Famished Frog dancing the night away.
These two entertainers could not be more different.
Carla’s charm is her unvarnished, seat-of-the-pants, let’s-see-where-this-goes approach. She’s not averse to using listeners as guinea pigs, testing new material on the fly. The guinea pigs seldom complain; Carla’s smart-alecky, twangy banter alone usually is worth the price of admission.
Here’s what this South Carolina native gave a friend who requested a wedding song:
Video: Be careful what you wish for: ‘My Love’ from Carla Ulbrich
Video: Here’s one for all your motor-mouth friends…
The many faces of Carla Ulbrich: Slideshow photos by Kevin Coughlin
Blaire and her co-horts, on the other hand, are all business.
Although they don’t perform together on the club scene as often as they used to, one can imagine them calmly answering a last-minute call from the Grammys, plugging in their amps, and blasting a note-perfect show to millions of viewers.
This band is tight, thanks to ample talent, years of gigs, and family ties. (The BRB includes Blaire’s husband, Wade Perrin (bass, harmonica) and her brother and fellow Morristown High alum Gray Reinhard (vocals, guitar, keyboard).
Performing really is in the Reinhards’ DNA– their grandfather is bandleader Doc Severinsen of Tonight Show fame. Guitarist Phil Ward and drummer Keith Woodward round out the ensemble, which also boasted Grammy-nominated Saturday Night Live sax player Geoffrey Countryman on Friday.
Blaire is Back: Slideshow photos by Kevin Coughlin
The group’s repertoire is extensive and impressive, too, ranging from catchy pop originals to the latest by Bruno Mars and Adele to chestnuts from before band members were born. Friday’s set list included the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered and the Jackson 5’s I’ll Be There.
Here’s a sampling:
Video: Back at the Frog, the Blaire Reinhard Band