Nancy Gilliland is a torch singer in an era of disposable lighters, a martini with an olive in the age of light beer. She relates more to Garbo than to Oprah, to Ella more than Madonna. Give her Rodgers and Hart. And Cole Porter. And Duke Ellington. And George Gershwin...the songs she sings go way, way back, to when movie stars dressed in tuxes and gowns.
She has been called the best-kept secret on the Peninsula. Actually, she's the best-kept secret of the decade. The question is, which decade? What makes her act even more effective is that she doesn't try to pretend she's singing during the '40s. She can belt out all the old standards (and some you don't hear often), but along with each song, she provides a fitting little history lesson about the period or the composer, citing facts even those who were around then might have forgotten or never knew.
Nancy Gilliland is a modern chanteuse who is happiest when she's singing sad, heartfelt love songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s...but it's the voice ---the breathy, sultry voice---that hearkens back to an era of speakeasies and a world war, a time when people wanted to know that other folks had problems too.
A walking catalog of Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Porter, etc., Nancy Gilliland makes you smile with witty lyrics like "beans could get no keener reception in a beanery", then melts you with "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry".