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Songwriters Showcase December 2007

The December 17, 2007 Showcase brought the counter up to #197.  It was a festive celebration with an intimate, enthusiastic crowd who came out to hear a wonderful variety of styles from performers John Ellis, Glenda Creamer and Larry Cody.  A great time was had by all.

VOCAL wants to thank Richbrau’s Taphouse Grill www.richbrau.com for their support.  This and the previous 2 years of Showcases have been hosted by the TapHouse and we are grateful to close out 2007 with this fine establishment.  Thanks to the management and staff.  VOCAL looks forward to another year at 1214 East Cary Street every 3rd Monday of the month.

John EllisJohn Ellis was first to bring the sounds of live, original music to the Showcase audience.  John opened the set with ‘A Time Piece’ – an instrumental inspired by the playing of classical guitarists.  ‘I Wish You Would’ was the second song which included vocals.  The song has flat picking during the verses and strumming during chorus providing an interesting rhythmic variation to the sound of the song.  John closed out the mini-set with two more instrumentals.  ‘Chimes’ is a short, upbeat finger picking instrumental with a strong rhythmic quality, while maintaining a very melodic sound.  ‘TJ’s Jam’ was a light version of a song that is usually only played with loud rock guitar and a full band.

Glenda CreamerGlenda Creamer was in full Christmas spirit as she presented a six song set in a story format, which included narrative story telling in between each song.  The story is set out in the country where a family has gathered around to share stories as the guitar passes from one member to the next.  First to tell their story is Uncle Glen King with ‘Send a Prayer Up’, a wish that good things will come down to those in need.  Next the guitar is passed to good friend Jane who notes how good things come in small packages or ‘Pocket Treasures’.  As Jane finishes up her song, you can hear Grandpa driving up, while all the kids scatter because they just know he’ll be mad over how dirty they are from playing in the yard – but Grandma just laughs it off because country kids love to play in the mud ‘That’s What Country Kids Do’.  As they pass the guitar to Amy, everyone asks her about the guy she’s had a crush on – what ever happened with that guy?  Well, Amy says that she is going out with him this weekend and she exclaims ‘I’m Looking Forward to Tonight’.  Cousin Ben gets the guitar next.  He’s been gone a long time serving in the military, but he turns to his mom and says, this ‘Wandering Child’ is now home.  As Ben passes the guitar to mom, she says welcome home, ‘It Sure Feels Like Christmas (Electric Candles)’.  As Glenda wrapped up her story, cousin Norman Roscher shouted from the kitchen “just one more!”.  So Glenda kindly obliged with ‘Moonshine Sky’ – the family’s story about the depression era.  Thanks to Glenda for her creative performance inspired by the spirit of the season.

Larry CodyLarry Cody took over for his featured performance including self accompaniment with the trusty midi keyboard.  The set started off with ‘Moving in a Groove’ a lively number that got the audience pumped up and screaming for more.  The next pair of songs ‘Did You Think?’ and ‘Enough Heartache’ included some fine fret work from Mr. Cody who has held back on the fancy stuff until he had his back up sounds.  Larry’s blues licks and quick runs added a new dimension to his already well polished finger picking and well thought out melodies.  ‘Almost Too Good’ was dedicated to the lovely Mrs. Cody – a song about the ideal marriage.  The song ‘Across the River’ led into ‘She Smiled at Me’ a song dedicated to the sexiest part of a woman - her smile.  ‘Without a Doubt’ featured more of that fantastic fret board magic in a rock and roll sound.  Larry wrapped up with a ‘bad love gone worse’ song ‘Every Way’ where the man basically thinks of every juvenile way he can get back at his ex.  The encore performance was a sad country love song ‘Let the River Wash Me Clean Once More’ performed beautifully by Larry.

The last Showcase was not the least - thanks to all of the performers for closing out another year in style and keeping the crowd entertained with original music.  Thanks to Larry Cody for the play bills, to John Ellis for running sound and a big thanks to Norman Roscher for lending a helping hand.  See you in the New Year at the VOCAL Showcase!

- John Ellis