Video Review: Brenda Russell “Piano In The Dark (US Version)”

Two men enter the closed bar, escaping the thunderstorm. Brenda Russell walks on stage and begins to sing. Her manager listens in the front row. A guitarist runs his hand over his arm and gazes out the window. In the cornflower blue light, a man makes a call on the pay phone.

The manager waits at another table and talks with the owner. A woman closes her umbrella and spots her guitarist boyfriend in the sitting in the corner, waiting. His girlfriend leans against the wall and touches his lips. The saxophonist looks to the door as he sits at a table. The trombonist examines his instrument while his brunette girlfriend looks up at the ceiling.

The woman takes off her guitarist boyfriend’s glasses. A man smokes a cigar with his girlfriend beside him. The man, by himself, taps the table with the drummer’s sticks. The saxophonist walks to the window and looks to see if anyone is passing by. The guitarist takes back his glasses.

Joe Esposito watches Russell sings and joins in during the chorus. The brunette woman touches her trombonist boyfriend’s cheek. A man taps the ashes of his cigarette into a full tray. The guitarist talks with his girlfriend and kisses her.

The saxophonist, with his back turned, hears the bell jingle on the door and sees his girlfriend rushing to get inside. He greets her with a hug.

The cornflower light from the sky shines through the windows as Russell and the band perform.

Rating: 3.5/5

After the bar closes, the band members ask Brenda Russell to stay and run through a song one more time. Russell obliges and puts down her drink. She thanks the bartender and walks on stage. The men have been problems with their girlfriends. They have been playing in various bars every weeknight, missing family outings and special occasions. The song has been helping them through the tense phone calls between breaks.

The guitarist sulks in the corner, thinking his girlfriend won’t show. She had told he loved music more than her. While she thought he was a fantastic guitarist, he needs to come home and settle down. To some degree, she’s right. Music has been his life since he was a child. He’s dreamed of playing in clubs and relationships didn’t figure into it. However, he fell for her. Most of his relationships have ended due to him not putting in the effort. However, she needed to know he cared and that he wants her to be a part of his music.

The saxophonist waits for his girlfriend to say it’s over. Although he loves performing, he’d give it up in a second if she were to leave him. He didn’t see her in the audience and thought she finally had enough. She usually attends their shows, despite the distance. She races to the door and his heart thumps in his chest. She apologizes to him for missing his show. The rain had caused several accidents on the expressway. He kisses her and tells her it’s okay.

The trombonist can’t look his girlfriend in the eye. He doesn’t deserve her. He writes for songs for her but won’t play them. While at home, she asks him to turn off the television and talk to her. He responds that he has nothing to say. In his mind, he thinks that he loves her so much it scares him and if it were to say it out loud, he’d lose her. Once the words are out, he can’t take them back. However, she doesn’t miss a show and supports him in his music. He thinks she should have someone with a stable job and a romantic heart.

Director: N/A Year: 1988

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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