Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Thomas Wolfe not withstanding, the Starland Vocal Band came home to Wolf Trap Monday night. They proved that a lot of publicity and a network television show do not necessarily have to ruin artists whose strength is simplicity.
Bill and Taffy Danoff, Margot Chapman and Jon Carroll immediately reestablished their musical credentials with a stunning a capella version of Paul Simon's "American Tune." Starland's voices are four instruments of subtle timbres that blend superbly into a velvet-smooth whole and their interpretation of Emmylou Harris' "From Boulder to Birmingham" proved they could also be effective fronting a supporting band.
The changes that national prominence inevitably brings were apparent in their drawing power and television - oriented stage pattern. The Starland Vocal Band was never much at comedy anyway and the middle aged suburbanites with their young children who helped sell out the pavillion despite a torrential downpour - did not appear to grasp most of the references to Woodstock.
Everyone, though, was appreciative of those magnificent voices, especially the one belonging to Margot Chapman. Chapman seems to have gained post from SVB's exposure and she struck an assured figure during "Midnight Flower" and "Fly Away."
You can take the band out of the area, but you can't take the harmonies out of the band.
Tom Chapin, who never fails to ingratiate himself with an audience but who always fails to sing more than he talks, was a perfect opener