Whenever a beloved entertainer passes, there seems to be a renewed interest in their artistry. It’s a natural reaction to the attention that comes with the loss of a favorite to feel drawn to what they left behind.
And so it has been with the passing of Mac Wiseman earlier this year. From the earliest days of bluegrass he had been a presence on the radio and on stage with top cats, before launching his own successful solo career. Wiseman liked to brag that he had recorded over 200 individual songs during his professional life, including sides with Flatt & Scruggs and Bill Monroe. He came to be known as The Voice with a Heart for the unique sincerity conveyed in his recordings.
Perhaps the most memorable thing about Mac Wiseman was the tonal character of his voice. One could never mistake Mac when he came on the radio, giving him the ability to cover songs from a wide range of genres. Fans loved to hear his voice, no matter what he might have been singing.
For much of his life, Jerry Wicentowski has been fascinated by the music of Mac Wiseman, listening to all the albums he could find, and modeling his own singing style directly on the master’s. It turns out that Jerry also has a gift for vocal mimicry, allowing him to very closely replicate the sound of Mac in his prime on stage. Now that Wiseman has left us, a demand has arisen to see Wicentowski perform his tribute show, and he has put together high-profile regional bands to support him live – much as Mac had done during his life.
One such is this Thursday in Nashville at the Station Inn, where Jerry will feature material from his latest record, Thanks Mac!, along with other songs from the deep Wiseman catalog. With him will be Corrina Rose Logston on fiddle, Jeremy Stephens on banjo, Mike Compton on mandolin, and John Fabke on bass. Jeremy and Corrina will also provide harmony vocals.
Here’s a taste of Jerry’s spot-on impersonation of Mac.
Anyone with a passion for Mac Wiseman and the early sound of bluegrass music is strongly urged to attend, or watch the October 31 show online at Station Inn TV.