Michael Bolton Live at The Royal Albert Hall, London on WXXI-TV

Michael Bolton Live at The Royal Albert Hall, London on WXXI-TV

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 7:00pm

Photo Caption: Michael Bolton takes viewers on a spectacular grand tour of his music at London's Royal Albert Hall.





Photo Credit: Courtesy of Courtesy Eagle Rock Entertainment

At London's Royal Albert Hall, Michael Bolton takes viewers on a spectacular grand tour of his music. 

Michael Bolton Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, airing Sunday, August 28 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), provides a snapshot of a musical career in which no genre has been off-limits. As singer-songwriter Bolton admits, “I’m always trying to keep one or two steps ahead of myself. I need to take risks.”

He’s been as good as his word over the past 22 years. Bolton emerged in the late 1980s reinterpreting old soul classics by Ray Charles, Percy Sledge and Otis Redding. Moving on, he played guitar with blues legend BB King and in 1991 wrote a song with Bob Dylan entitled “Steel Bars.” In another virtuosic detour in 1998, he wowed classical audiences with an album of arias, which led to his singing alongside the late great Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carerras, Renee Fleming and other opera stars. All the while, he was writing pop hits on his own and supplying material to other performers, including Barbra Streisand, KISS and Cher.

While working on his latest album, Bolton met with a young fan and budding artist who was eager to write with one of her vocal heroes. As soon as he listened to Lady Gaga’s tunes “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,” Bolton was smitten. “Her spontaneity and authenticity were beyond refreshing.” When they got together in the studio, Bolton told her, “If this is gonna work, it has to slay people. She immediately shot back, ‘You murder my heart!’” Cue “Murder My Heart,” one of the standouts in the Michael Bolton Live at the Royal Albert Hall line up.

In the concert, Bolton performs the title track from his 12.5 million-selling album Soul Provider, along with two other favorites, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” and “How Can We Be Lovers,” as well as the Hoagy Carmichael classic “Georgia on My Mind.” Off the Vintage album, from the great Bee Gees writing team of Robin and Barry Gibb, Bolton croons “To Love Somebody.”

It’s particularly important, in Bolton’s eyes, to offer an antidote to the mood of gloom engulfing the planet. “Every song has to make you feel good, because people have enough hardships to think about right now. They need to feel good.” To prove it, Bolton received a Grammy for his version of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” In Michael Bolton Live at the Royal Albert Hall, he steps down from the stage and goes into the audience to perform this classic oldie; then he’s back on stage for a big Bolton finish with “One Love” from the new album One World – One Love, from which he also performs “Murder My Heart” and “Hope It’s Too Late”.

Bolton is always thinking about music, feeding his ears as he tours with his iPod, a mind boggling collection of what he calls “musical nutrients culled from the giants who came before.” In Bolton’s case, this consists of everything from the earliest recordings of Caruso to Robert Johnson compilations, from Billie Holiday to Lady Gaga, from Marvin Gaye to Ne-Yo, from John Mayer to Jimi Hendrix.

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