Steve Lipman offers unique twists on classics

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Vocalist Steve Lipman presents his third full-length album, “Hats Off.” On the recording, Lipman takes style cues from Frank Sinatra, and puts his unique stamp on American songbook classics like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

The album’s title, “Hats Off,” has layers of meaning for Lipman. In one sense it refers to acknowledging gratefully the work of masters such as Sinatra and Cole Porter. The phrase also means that Lipman is no longer an imitator of the greats. Where once Lipman wore a black fedora when he performed, his confidence increased as he studied music and took voice lessons. Lipman not only grew as a singer, but also as a storyteller.

About Steve Lipman

Lipman’s route to becoming a professional singer was unconventional at best. A dentist by trade, Lipman was spurred to explore music by one of his patients. The opportunity was the continuation of Lipman’s admiration of Sinatra that had begun when he was a child discovering his mother’s 78 rpm records.

By 2011, Lipman had released his first full-length album. His sophomore effort followed the next year. In the intervening years, Lipman continued to study the American songbook and the results of that can be heard on “Hats Off.”

The sound of “Hats Off” by Steve Lipman

At eleven songs, “Hats Off” is an ambitious album with a wide-range of songs. Of particular note are “You Make Me Feel So Young” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

On “You Make Me Feel So Young” Lipman displays a commitment to song styling from yesteryear. His low tenor vocals are accompanied by brilliant instrumentation. The combination of elements transports listeners to the age of Sinatra’s heyday.

With “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Lipman switches gears and offers audiences something different. His tone is heartfelt and that is an engaging quality. His approach to the 19th century Christian classic compels listeners to hear every word and consider their meaning.

Lipman has a great deal of style to offer audiences. It will be interesting to hear where Lipman goes as he continues to grow as a singer.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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