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Songwriters Showcase January 2008

An incredible night of original music was delivered at Richbrau’s TapHouse on January 21, 2008 for a crowd of enthusiastic music lovers gathered to witness the VOCAL Showcase as the consecutive-showcase-counter changed over to #198 – somewhere in the greater Richmond area for 198 consecutive months, VOCAL has hosted a live songwriters showcase!  And we’ll pass the 200 mark in March with a special showcase presented by Gary Shaver.

Served up this particular evening were the Jazz/Gospel sounds of Glendora Woodard, the melodic and sometimes folk-like sounds of Drew Routh and the inspiring, compassionate lyrics of Steve Nuckolls.

The VOCAL Showcase is hosted every 3rd Monday of the month at Richbrau’s TapHouse located at 1214 East Cary Street in the historic and intriguing Shockoe Slip.  Join us for fine food, home brewed beverages and camaraderie every month!

Glendora Woodard Easing the TapHouse crowd into the night’s festivities were the soothing and rhythmic sounds of Glendora Woodard’s jazz vocals accompanied by keyboard rhythm tracks and her finger work on the keyboard.  Often upbeat, but always elegant, Glendora’s lyrics spoke to the spiritual and the emotional with songs such as ‘Hold on Be Strong’, ‘Ordinary Love’ and ‘I Want You Too’.  Glendora stepped out a little with her finger work on the keyboard during ‘Ordinary Love’ and showed the musical dexterity that accompanies the lyrical ability.  The 20 minute set closed out with ‘When I Remember’ and ‘In Your Presence’.  Thanks to Glendora for getting the evening off to a great start!

Drew Routh
Feeling the inspirational vibe from the first set, Drew Routh made some last minute play list changes and started off his set with ‘It All Comes Down to Grace’.  The sounds emanating from his C.F. Martin were so beautiful that it was a shame to hear the first song end.  Drew showed some of the fantastic finger work that I remember from years ago on the next song ‘Dream Me Out of Here’.  The song incorporates intricate picking patterns and harmonics with some interesting chord changes.  Drew’s next song was one he had written but had not had much time to learn to play, ‘Nowhere to Run’ – despite his reservations, Drew was well prepared, as usual, and pulled off another great performance!  The second set was closed out with ‘Half a Mile From Home’ and ‘This Life I Live’.

Steve Nuckolls Our featured performer for the evening was Steve Nuckolls.  Steve uses words and music to paint wonderful pictures of humanity often inspired by ordinary people and situations that he has encountered throughout his life.  Some examples of Steve taking the world in and returning it to us in song are found in ‘The Whole World Turning’, ‘When the Flag’s Half Mast’, ‘Making My Getaway’ and ‘Honest, Dependable & Fair’.  Steve is also partial to love songs and introspection as demonstrated in ‘Trying to Get You Home’, ‘Caught Up in the Path of Love’, ‘Living Out This Love’, ‘Love Found Me Out’, ‘Making Memories’, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Lines of Love’.  The song ‘Sunrise’ is one of Steve’s newer ventures and is quickly becoming one of my favorites due to it’s gentle, but uplifting guitar rhythm that repeats throughout the song, supporting a beautiful vision of the sun rising (as Steve puts it) “...while driving down I-95 one early New Year’s day.”  Steve also embodied a not so ordinary experience in the song ‘Simunye’ inspired by spending time in Africa with a Zulu tribe.

Thanks so much for the dedication of Larry Cody who printed out our table tent cards for the Showcase, to Gary Shaver for getting the tent cards to the show on time and generally lending a hand.  Thanks to a superb crowd who showed up in support of our songwriters and to the Showcase songwriters for putting on such a fine display of VOCAL talent.  We’ll see you next month!

- John Ellis