Walking out of Morgan Neville’s documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, you may come to appreciate the almost existential crisis of those talented professionals gathered around microphones just off to the side behind your favorite lead singers/bands. To be able to sing (and I’m talking about soulful “sanging” here), to meld your voice in perfect harmony in order to bolster a star without seeking attention and adoration or a chance to step forward in your own right, that’s a mighty tall order, and it might take an even stronger, greater talent.
At least that’s the impression I got from watching the likes of Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Claudia Lennear and Lisa Fischer share their experiences about life just out of the spotlight behind performers such as The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Ike and Tina Turner, Luther Vandross and Sting. But what matters most is that 20 Feet From Stardom allows us to hear their voices and then race home to search through the liner notes of our music collections so that we can continue to appreciate these folks (and their greatness) for ourselves. Now open at Esquire Theatre. (PG-13) Grade: B+
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