By: Sandi Durell
The one thing that is evident is that famous celebrity mom (Christie Brinkley, sitting in front of me) and dad (Billy Joel) have passed along their genes to their one and only off spring, Alexa Ray. She has a striking, sultry, alluring hippie-Bohemian look and music runs in her soul. She, too, writes songs – – in fact, in the same manner as her piano man dad – melody first, lyrics second – – and plays keyboard.
Opening with a parody to Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman Way Over Town,” it became “I Got the Carlyle way uptown. . .,” Alexa Ray spoke about her love of the icons who graced the stage in her homage to New York.
Her set list is a compilation of songs she’s written, intertwined with some old and new, like Stevie Wonder & Yvonne Wright’s “I Believe,” as she got choked up singing it to her boyfriend in the audience which, by the way, was filled with friends and family who came to cheer on the 28 year old in her Carlyle debut.
Her voice is child-like with a mixture of smoke, wailing, screech and scratchiness, as she sings a “Song of Yesterday,” “Night Fantasy” and one about fighting the blues (which she describes as cowgirl meets Billie Holiday), “Till It Goes Away”(the three self written), making it evident that the Carlyle is all for trying out new genres of music as this young pop, punk rock gal plies her newer contemporary music on its audiences. (wonder what Bobby Short would say?)
Her eclectic mix included Greg Graffin’s “Skyscraper” (build me up, tear me down) and Al Dubin and Harry Warren’s novelty of tips if you want to be loved – “Keep Young and Beautiful.”
At the conclusion, proud mom, Christie Brinkley, stopped everyone she came in contact with to say “wasn’t she great. . . wasn’t she?” That’s what Moms do! BTW: Mom looks more like a sister and definitely knows how to keep young and beautiful!
I can’t imagine it being an easy, simple life growing up with celebrity parents such as these and establishing one’s own identity without constant comparison. But Alexa Ray is out there doing her thing and, for this, I give her all the credit she deserves.
Alexa Ray Joel is accompanied by Carmine Giglio on piano and Garo Yellin on cello and will appear at the Café Carlyle thru April 12th 212 744-1600
Images courtesy of Getty Images: