First and foremost, Howie Newman is a performer.
His shows are hilarious, interactive, spontaneous – and just plain fun. So it’s no surprise that he put together an album that bottled the atmosphere of a live performance. "You Shoulda Been There" includes nine songs recorded at New England coffeehouses.
Newman introduces the songs with short comedy bits, then performs his unique music, poking fun at TV commercials and his wife’s inability to park along with other real-life topics.
On the serious side, where he occasionally dabbles, there’s “Our Kids Aren’t Kids Anymore,” a sentimental look at watching his children grow up.
Speaking of kids, Newman’s son and daughter – Keith and Jen Newman – capably provide backup on three tracks, with Keith doing some great flute work on “Big in Belgium.”
"You Shoulda Been There" is a highly entertaining collection of tunes that strikes a chord with people of all ages. If you can’t make it to one of Howie Newman’s live shows, this is the next best thing.