For Neil Diamond fans, listening to his “Hot August Night” concert album is almost a religious experience. Diamond’s voice is in top form, his backup band is cooking and the applause from the huge audience is palpable. With a pair of headphones, the listener is there on the stage with him. He is an internationally recognized star with a long and illustrious career that continues today.
Since the 1960s, from “Cracklin’ Rosie”, to “Sweet Caroline”, he has had 11 number one hits, selling more than 120 million copies. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. His song “I’m a Believer” was a top 10 hit for The Monkees, “Red Red Wine” a major country hit for Tom T. Hall and a world-wide hit for British reggae group UB40. But his highly personal “Solitary Man” remains Diamond’s favourite. A fact not lost on Canadian singer/guitarist Will Chalmers.
Canadian Will Chalmers, has been performing his “Solitary Man” tribute to Diamond at the peak of his popularity for 15 years. He says “the enduring popularity of Diamond’s music is what makes the show so popular, not my humble performance”. “I’m still trying to master the guitar, so I won’t be doing an Eric Clapton tribute any time soon, that’s for sure”. He loves to get an audience clapping and singing along. His natural resemblance to Neil Diamond in his prime, flawless replication of his singing voice and relaxed stage presence captivates audiences wherever he performs. He just nails it.
The response from Neil Diamond fans to the Solitary Man show is an experience to behold. Some fans have had difficulty accepting the fact that he isn’t the famous star. But Will is friendly and personable and fans approach him with ease. And he is always happy to meet and greet them after his shows and hear their comments.
Will has performed throughout Canada, the US, Mexico and the Caribbean in theatres, casinos and resorts and at numerous festivals and conventions and says “I get the biggest thrill of all watching fans leave my shows with smiles on their faces and a song in their hearts”. Truly a talented and dedicated entertainer.
Solitary Man appears at The Luna Lounge, in Bucerias, on February 14th, El Rio BBQ, in the Paso Ancho are of Vallarta (bus route #4), on February 16th and La Pina Colada, in Guayabitos, before flying to Mazatlan for a series of shows. More information can be found on the various venue web sites and here in The Tribune.
Merv Buchanan firstname.lastname@example.org