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Fiddling Around with "My Grammy Moment"
February 12, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 
When I visited The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last month to attend the rehearsal of an hour devoted entirely to Ringo Starr, I was impressed enough by one unfamiliar face to consider going up backstage and complimenting her afterward.

ann-marie-with-ringo.jpgIt was the first time she was playing with the former Beatle, and in the course of the four songs played on Ferguson's show, she backed him up by playing violin, acoustic guitar and singing - all while radiating enough energy, talent and charisma that the Late Late Show director and cameramen, in particular, took careful note.

After the show, I wanted to get her name, and tell her how impressive she had been holding her own with such musical icons as Starr and Dave Stewart, but I didn't. I couldn't think of a way to make it sound genuine (I'm a TV critic! This is a professional opinion!) rather than creepy. So I let the moment pass.

Imagine my surprise, then, when midway through Sunday's Grammy Awards telecast on CBS, Jason Bateman set up the special on-air "My Grammy Moment" contest - in which three musicians not signed to any record label would audition live for a chance to join the orchestra backing the Foo Fighters - and introduced the three finalists.

grammys-ann-marie-calhoun.jpg

Finalist #1 was named Ann Marie Calhoun - and looked remarkably like the young woman who had played with Ringo, on the same CBS network, a few weeks before. Her "audition" was brief, but showed the same assured bow technique on the violin, and the same dazzling smile.

No surprise: She won, and got to go take her place in the string section, backing the Foo Fighters.

Yesterday, I called the Late Late Show offices and asked if there was a way they could look up the call sheet for the night Ringo Starr and company performed, and check to see if an Ann Marie Calhoun had been one of the backup players. There was. They did. She had.

Now, I'm not saying the Grammys are playing fast and loose with their "My Grammy Moment" rules. If the violinist didn't have a recording contract, she was fair game, though hardly the sort of off-the-street amateur the contest was encouraging.

What I am saying, though, is that if two weeks before, you got to sing and play with a Beatle on "With a Little Help From My Friends" on national TV, then maybe sitting in the string section behind the Foo Fighters wouldn't even count as your biggest thrill of the month.

A "Grammy Moment," yeah.

But a Beatle Moment, that's at least three times as good.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

2 Comments

 

Bill Brioux said:

David--Nice catch with the fiddle player. She did indeed dazzle on Ferguson. Did I miss it or did you write at length on your left coast magical mystery tour to Ferguson's set? Thought Ringo and Stewart rocked the house, you must have been in heaven. I saw Ringo play and rehearse up in Casino Rama about a year and a half ago and he was gear, fab.

Comment posted on February 12, 2008 11:37 AM


Robert said:

She may not have a recording contract (and was *very* impressive on Ferguson), but she's certainly not new or undiscovered.

http://www.annmariecalhoun.com/

Comment posted on February 12, 2008 1:53 PM

 
 
 
 
 
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