Songwriters Showcase September 2007

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Gary - KeysRichbrau - ViewCrowd 1Larry Codycrowd 2drew routh
All photos by Matt Manion

Showcase_table_cardThe Showcase counter turned over to #194 just a few days shy of the turnover to Fall 2007.  By next spring VOCAL will be celebrating Showcase #200 – very exciting!  But no less exciting was the line up for the September 2007 Showcase.  Gary Shaver was the man of the day, as he has been so often for VOCAL, as he filled two performance slots to keep the music going for the full Showcase.  Drew Routh was welcomed back to the stage after a long hiatus after his last performance.  Drew introduced his newer music to VOCAL friends during a half hour set.

Thanks as always to our friends at the TapHouse Grill for hosting the Showcase each 3rd Monday of the month.  The 1214 East Cary Street location has been a fine home for VOCAL for two years.  Enjoy fine food and beverage at Richbrau’s TapHouse Grill.

Gary Shaver Songwriter's Showcase 0907Gary Shaver started the night off with his keyboard and a great collection of original material.  After kicking off with ‘Better this Way’, Gary called for requests and then moved into ‘There Lies the Stone’ a classic and one of my favorites.  Gary’s good friend Larry Lyles joined him with violin in hand for ‘I Stand Amazed’, then the first set closed out with ‘I Don’t Believe You Anymore’.

Be sure to catch Larry Lyles performing with Gypsy Roots every Friday at the TapHouse.

Drew Routh is a guitarist who has been part of VOCAL for a while, but has been out recently to tend to those important life things – family and work!  But he has obviously had time to work on guitar playing because the performance was well worth the wait!  Drew launched into drew Routh Songwriter's Showcase 0907‘Quiet Desperation’ then followed up with two more great songs ‘Half a Mile From Home’ and ‘It All Comes Down to Grace’.  Drew is known for fine finger work on the acoustic fret board and this skill was strong throughout his performances, providing dynamic transitions or melodic accompaniment to the lyrics.  Drew explained to the Showcase crowd that ‘Darkness Takes Its Toll’ is a song that came to him all at once – an inspired piece you could say.  Continuing with ‘Don’t Know Why I’m Calling’ and ‘Truth Is’ the crowd was treated to more songs of sensitivity and well crafted acoustic instrumentation.  The set closed with ‘I Need to Know’.

Larry Lyles Songwriter's Showcase 0907Gary Shaver took to the stage for a second set with his special guest Larry Lyles on violin.  The two have been friends since 1976 when they participated in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra.  Their musical expertise was put to good use for a set that was no less spectacular than the first set.  Gary and Larry were a phenomenal blending of musicianship and aural beauty.  Larry’s violin was warm and bold expanding the sound of Gary’s keyboard work on the songs ‘Calling You Back Home’, ‘Your Smile’, ‘Words on a Page’ and ‘How Could Love’.

No less spectacular than our performers is Mr. Larry Cody for graciously producing our play bills each month.  Thanks to everyone in attendance for providing ears for the wonderful sounds emanating from the Showcase stage and special thanks once again to Gary Shaver for extending his set to keep the good times rolling.  We’ll see you again next month for some of the finest performers in Virginia on the VOCAL Showcase stage!

- John Ellis