There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Anyone who took the gray, striped kitty on the cover of Tapestry as a totem, from your hip junior-high English teacher to Ben Folds, will recognize the import of Carnegie Hall, recorded the week “It’s Too Late” went to No. 1. Mostly solo at the piano, King brought home 10 of her already emblematic album’s tunes with a smattering of other numbers. Some of the latter are more callow than absolutely necessary, with “Carry Your Load” way too bouncy and “Snow Queen” obliviously glib. But when she digs out “No Easy Way Down” (immortalized by Dusty Springfield on Dusty in Memphis) and “A Natural Woman,” it’s a little bit of heaven, even when her voice starts cracking. Actually, her nervousness is kind of charming, though some of her between-song wisecracks fail to wow the very partisan crowd, much less the CD listener a quarter-century later. Guess that’s only natural for someone just coming into her own in public after a decade or so behind the curtain, and no one seems to mind much anyway. As the history books tell us, this was a pretty polite rock moment; as if to prove it, James Taylor shows up for the encores. Though Tapestry remains the essential item, this gets by on the grace of King’s heart. After all, when’s the last time a ’90s adult-pop icon sent up the jazzy nuances of her own hit single at such an iconic venue?Rickey Wright