Well it did for me anyway. And I instantly became a fan of this guy.
His name is Kevin Smith Kirkwood and he works over in America on Broadway. He is currently performing in Kinky Boots.
I was searching for the song by William Finn (who introduces it personally in this video) after a friend mentioned he was going on a sailing trip. Mr Finn also wrote many other shows but I would particularly recommend going to watch 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' (2004) as it is so very funny.
I have heard it sung before several times back when I was on the dark side and studying Musical Theatre (before my days of opera). It is such a simple song, but oh so catchy.
"I'd Rather be sailing" is from the Musical 'A New Brain'.
In the show Gordon Schwinn (the lead character) is a song writer who has to have potentially life saving brain surgery. He sings this song just before going under the knife. His biggest fear is dying before writing the greatest of all songs. In this beautiful moment in the show, he fantasies about being in his safe place and living a beautiful life sailing on the ocean and then coming home to his loving partner.
Kevin Smith Kirkwood has taken this song and definitely made it his own. He takes the middle section up an octave and really plays around with ornaments, blues notes and jazzing up the whole thing. Yet throughout showcasing his musical style he also demonstrates the versatility in his voice and power that he can create through it. I'm not usually an advocate of belting, but this guy uses his belt to create a dramatic sense of pure passion, desperation and overall emotional torment - even though the song is speaking of positive things, we still get the underlying subtext that he is about to have potentially fatal brain surgery.
The only part of this that I am not such a fan of is the ending. Egged on by the audience, Kevin gets a little bit over confident and adds in a few too many ornaments with little shoulder bops in them - this is slightly to much for the simplicity of the song in my opinion. But I forgive him, as during the context of this cabaret performance, I imagine it was done with a little tongue in cheek and a hint of satirical humour.
Jennifer Coleman is a soprano who works as a classical singer and vocal coach. Available for performances across the UK and internationally.