Norah Jones and Leslie Feist are in agreement that Tony Scherr is among the finest guitar players they know. In spite of that, the New York sideman to the stars has developed a sizable rep as a versatile picker who could make a living as a tunesmith if Rufus Wainwright and Shawn Colvin ever stopped calling on him to improve their recordings.
Somehow, he managed to find time between gigs to get down a few of his own songs with some pals. Scherr is definitely not a crooner, and from the first note he warbles you know why he makes his money with the guitar. But his ragged howl has an intriguing realness (no pitch correction here) that works well with his soul-baring compositions and bluesy, raw presentation. Yet each time he tears into a distorted lead, you kinda wish he’d left more room for his biting guitar runs.
Tony Scherr and bandmates Anton Fier, Rob Jost and Chris Brown hit the Dakota tonight (Thursday, March 20).