By Brian Griffith
It was Willie Dixon who sang "The little girls understand," and if you have one around the house who's grown out of the Hannah Montana stage, you probably already know that Teddy Geiger is coming to town for an all-ages show at the Mystic Theatre this weekend. The 20-year-old singer songwriter from Rochester, N.Y., has legions of mostly young, female fans who call themselves "Tedheads."
What sets Geiger apart from contemporaries like the Jonas Brothers is that he's not a "packaged" pop star. He wrote his first song at the age of 10 and has developed into a seasoned musician. Too young to play clubs, Geiger honed his chops at high schools and coffeehouses, and self-released an EP in his hometown at 15, drawing the attention of VH1, who invited him to audition for In Search of the New Partridge Family.
The network thankfully never did find the new Partridges, but Geiger was discovered by Sony, signed to a deal and put on the road, opening for teen queen Hilary Duff. It was a perfect outlet for the gangly, dark-haired, blue-eyed songster, as Duff's young audience ate him up.
Underage Thinking, Geiger's 2006 major label debut, entered the Billboard charts in the Top 10, earning good reviews not only from the teen mags but from critics in the New York Timesand the Associated Press, who said that Geiger "showed an unforced maturity in his songwriting."
Geiger has yet to release his sophomore CD, but he's posted 33 completed songs on his website, asking his Tedheads to choose the 11 that will ultimately be packaged and sold. And his acting career continues with a role in the upcoming comedy The Rocker, alongside Rainn Wilson and Christina Applegate.
Opening the show is another young singer-songwriter, Hilary McRae. Hailing from Florida, the 21-year-old boasts a soulful alto and arrangements dripping with '70s R&B and pop sensibilities. Her debut, Through These Walls, features McRae's electric piano, and horn charts reminiscent of Chicago and Steely Dan.
A safe bet to kick off the kids' summer, this all-ages show should be fun, a lot more sane and far less expensive than an arena sojourn for Miley. Brave the squeals when Teddy Geiger hits town on Saturday, June 14, at the Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 8pm. $20–$22. 707.765.2121.