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Songwriters Showcase August 2007

The August 2007 Showcase was a night full of surprises!  As the Showcase counter flipped to #193, we found ourselves moving upstairs to one of Richbrau’s other halls while the TapHouse staff took a break for a few nights.  The new venue gave us an opportunity to configure the seating to our stage set-up and to experiment with the sounds of a new space.  We will be back in the TapHouse for September, so be sure to join us there.

John ELlis at the August 2007 Songwriters ShowcaseGerry Laverty provided sound for the evening and acted as MC as well.  Thanks to Gerry for the hard work!

First to the stage was John Ellis for a quick two song set to get the crowd warmed up to a night of fantastic songwriting.  John performed a ‘near studio’ version of ‘The Stranger’ with backing tracks consisting of rhythm guitar, bass, conga and drums.  This was an expanded version of the simpler version that he has been performing at recent Showcases.  John also performed ‘Gentle Persuasion’, with lyrics written by his good friend and fellow musician Jeff Cuneo.

Glenda Creamer at the August 2007 Songwriters ShowcaseGlenda Creamer wowed the audience in a six song set with her strong vocals and bright guitar that she used to take the listener on an emotional journey.  She put fear in our hearts with ‘I’m a Witch Today’, then put a joyful smile on our faces with ‘That’s What Country Kids Do’, gave us a touch of heart break with ‘Never Sing About the Moon’ and ‘Fortune Teller’.  She wrapped up with ‘Broken Pieces’ and one of my favorite songs ‘Moonshine Sky’.  The song ‘That’s What Country Kids Do’ always reminds me of some good times as a kid ‘...making mud pies, catching worms and bugs...’.  Glenda’s howling vocals on ‘Moonshine Sky’ adds intensity to the drama of the underlying lyrical story telling.

Norman Rischer at the August 2007 Songwriters ShowcaseGerry Laverty had a surprise in store for those in attendance as he called a long time VOCAL member from the audience to the stage.  Norman Roscher kindly accepted the invitation and treated us to three great songs. ‘You & Me & Baby’, included Norman’s own skat in the middle, ‘Dogs New Clothes’ featured an audience bark-along, and ‘Mr. Sleepy Head’ was a soothing lullaby.  Thanks to Norman for supporting his fellow songwriters and entertaining the audience with a fantastic, spontaneous performance!

After Norman’s performance, Gerry Laverty stepped to the mic and plugged in his acoustic for a Featured Performer slot that included many sensitive and thought provoking songs, all of which are thoughtfully written.  ‘Details of Catastrophe’ dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Gerry Laverty at the August 2007 Watermelon FestivalKatrina.  Gerry followed up with ‘84th Floor’ and ‘I am a House’.  A VOCAL favorite was performed next with Glenda Creamer adding a wonderful vocal harmony - ‘Lonesome Blue Eyes’ has been covered on stage by several VOCAL members and is one of those songs that tends to stay with you long after the performance is over.  I like this song for the beautiful melody accompanied by Gerry’s skillful finger picking, adding a great supporting guitar melody.  ‘Blues in the Night’ was described by Gerry as an insomniac’s dream.  ‘Zion Crossroads’ is another of Gerry’s classics that recalls an experience late one night (early one morning) near Charlottesville, dreaming of a beautiful lady.  The set was closed with ‘Lead me on to Paris’ and ‘This Lethal World’.  You can keep up with Gerry at www.gerrylaverty.com.

Thanks again to all performers, to Larry Cody for producing our play bills, and to those of you who come out to listen to live, original music from VOCAL songwriters.  Special thanks to Richbrau’s TapHouse for hosting the monthly Showcase!  See you next month!

- John Ellis