Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Whoever booked comedians Proctor and Bergman, pop singer Kenny Rankin and country-stylist David Bromberg into Carter Barron Amphitheater Thursday night may have wanted to throw himself into the Potomac after the evening's show. Even on paper, the bill was eclectic to the point of bizarre. By showtime, bizarre became disastrous.
Forty minutes after the scheduled starting time, it was announced that Proctor and Bergman would not appear because Phil Proctor was ill. Kenny Rankin then took the stage, but it was obvious tht he had severe laryngitis and was in no shape to perform either.
He croaked his way through several tunes, whose composers ranged from Jimmy Van Heusen to Jimi Hendrix. Hank Williams' "House of Gold" and a bossa nova version of Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" almost overcame adversity, but a poor sound system crippled them. Rankin hung in there, though, and gained the crowd's sympathy, if not its ear.
Bromberg deals in angst more than melodies. He projects an ambiance rather than a musical persona, and the result is the same feeling one gets at a camp bonfire.
Looking at the half-full amphitheater, he made a crack about playing the same night that Linda Ronstadt and Peter Frampton were in town and said, "You are looking at the remains of a dying act." Not his, but maybe that booking agent . . .