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Songwriters Showcase March 2007

Showcase 188 was a big improvement for VOCAL’s image, since the men were cleared from the stage and the night was opened up to the ladies of VOCAL.  Kim Gammon, Marti Hartung, Jen Smith and Stephanie Boarman entertained a crowd of enthusiastic supporters as Ladies’ Night 2007 was presented at the TapHouse Grill.

The March 19 Showcase was kicked off by Kim Gammon who produced and hosted the special event.  Kim played ‘Long Road (Going Home)’ to start the evening of great music.

The next two performers traded off songs in the popular in-the-round format.  Marti contributed ‘Sing the Blues’, ‘It was Yeah’ and ‘Sitting on a Window’ (nicknamed ‘The Cat Song’).  Demonstrating a skill for blues infused licks as well as gentle rolling melodies, Marti gave a multi-faceted performance.

Jen showed a lot of soulful insight with ‘Not By My Own Strength’, ‘Whisper’, ‘More Than a Survivor’, taking on themes from religious experiences, to empathetic humanity accompanied by passionate six-string rhythms.

Kim transitioned the evening from the first set to the featured performer with her heavenly voice on ‘My Angel’.  Accompanying Kim for the song was mandolin player Barry Lawson, who was part of Stephanie Boarman’s featured performance with husband Jeff Boarman.

Stephanie was in great form, captivating the audience with select cuts from her bluegrass catalogue including the more melancholy and passionate tunes such as ‘Bury Me in Kentucky’ and ‘Don’t Take My Baby Away’, as well as the light-hearted and humorous tunes such as ‘Cappucino Cowboy’ and ‘Don’t Mess With Daddy’s Little Girl’.  The set was high energy and beautifully played as the performers stayed true to the bluegrass form with one condenser mic and each member moving in or out as the song required.

Thanks goes out to all of the performers for a fantastic evening, to Kim Gammon for pulling the night together, to Jim Uzel and Gary Shaver for making the sound and MC thing happen and to Richbrau’s TapHouse for providing a great venue.

- John Ellis