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Rumer brings her highly touted voice to Bimbo's

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Songwriters the likes of Burt Bacharach have praised Rumer’s gorgeous vocal style.
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Many singers fantasize about meeting their artistic idols. But  young Rumer (born Sarah Joyce) is actually living that dream.

With only one album to her credit — the cabaret-chic “Seasons of My Soul” — she already has spent a summer at the home of Carly Simon, at the invitation of Simon’s son Ben Taylor; hung out on James Taylor’s farm; and performed a duet with Leon Russell onstage in London, at the request of concert headliner Elton John, who praised her as “Just extraordinary, a beautiful voice — she’s going to be a huge star.”

But Rumer — who debuts in The City on Wednesday — has rubbed shoulders with even bigger industry giants. Her warm, crystal-clear vocal style, heard on delicate overseas hits like “Slow” — has often been compared to that of the late Karen Carpenter.

“You know I got a letter from her brother Richard Carpenter,” says the Pakistan-born Brit, who still giddily rereads it. “He wrote, ‘Our mutual friend sent me your music and spoke highly of it, and how right he was. You not only sing beautifully, but you’ve created something that is actually musical, which I feel has been in short supply in recent years.’ It was very lovely.”

But when the legendary Burt Bacharach himself demands an audience with you, you can’t climb much higher.

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Rumer flew to California without hesitation to meet the composer at his Malibu studio-abode.

“I think it was a combination of things — the record label sent him my music, which he liked, and also, the thing about Burt Bacharach is, he’s like a 21-year-old hustling songwriter in an old man’s body,” she says. “So he heard there was this new girl on the scene, and he wanted to pitch me a song. It was business!”

Lyricist Steven Sater was there, too, as Rumer trilled he and Bacharach’s title track from their upcoming Christmas-set musical “Some Lovers.” She released it as a seasonal single.

“But it was just incredible, being in Burt’s presence,” she says. “If I ever felt like a rookie, I really felt like one, sitting on his sofa. More like a puppy, actually.”

Rumer worked countless straight jobs, even lived for a year on a commune, before being discovered by UK stage/TV impresario Steve Brown, who became her producer. But celebrities keep surprising her.

At a recent Los Angeles gig, a stranger handed her a stack of CDs. “And I went, ‘Yes! I love Stephen Bishop!’” she says. “Then I looked up, and it was Stephen Bishop! So I’m covering one of his songs on my next record.”

 

IF YOU GO

Rumer

Where: Bimbo’s 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Tickets: $18
Contact: (415) 474-0365, www.bimbos365club.com, www.ticketfly.com

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