November 2023 VOCAL Songwriters Showcase

Another great night of original music at O'Toole's Restaurant as two performers, one new, and one old member of VOCAL presented their songwriting chops to the assembled audience.

Stephen Rockenbach
Stephen is new to VOCAL and, interestingly, performed his set on a banjo, which actually might be a first for the showcase. First song on his set list included "Pull Me Up By My Roots" in which he described his father's influence on his music. by introducing him at a young age to many types of instruments. Next up, was a singalong song "The Happy Bunny" in which the audience was invited to come in on the chorus. "Love In The Apocalypse" seemed fitting for today's dystopian world as it talked about zombies taking over mankind. Steve finished his set with "Last Song Of The Night" describing the turmoil in a band over what songs they should play and what should be the order of the set list. A good one to end his performance.

Gary Shaver
Gary is a long time member of VOCAL but rarely performs at the showcase, so it was a pleasant surprise for the audience to get a taste of his piano rendered songs. The band supporting him included musicians and friends he has written and performed with: Larry Lyles on violin, John Milano on drums, and Frank Lucas on guitar. They share a strong creative bond which started in High School.

His program of songs was presented in a chronological order, which go back as far as 1976.

This was the lineup of songs:
"Memories" (1976) telling about a 17 year old boy looking back over a long life. (!)
"How Could Love" (6/8/84) A sweet ballad.
"Trading The Present' (12/30/95) dedicated to Big Al Evans.
"Running Away From Love" (2002/2003) A country song
"Your Smile" (2005) dedicated to his lovely partner MMC. With lots of chord changes.
"How To Let Go" (2017) with his full band accompaniment.
"You Know, I Know" (1976/2022) A mashup of an old song recently redone.
And finally: The Mystery Song. ( Apparently an oldie)
"Follow Your Heart" and follow your dreams.

Gary has been a member of VOCAL since 1989 and had held many executive positions. He also is the historian, having collected programs , pictures and memories of his long association with the group, for which he are grateful.

Next month: The big Christmas show on Dec. 18th. with multiple performers, door prizes and good cheer. See you there.


Showcase Photos

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