June 18th, 2013
VOCAL June 2013 Showcase
It was ladies night at the June 2013 VOCAL showcase held at O’Toole’s Bar and Grill this monday. There was a large crowd on hand to hear the three performers. They were well rewarded with a menu of different styles from the songwriters.
The program began with Jenn Smith,in her debut on the showcase. Ms Smith definitely got the audience’s attention with her quirky style and soprano voice. She did her first song, “Mama Rosa” a capella to a pre-recorded track. Switching to electric guitar and track, her next song “Elusive Woman” was a bluesy love song that held the audience’s attention with it eerie treble guitar line. “Kiss In The Night”, in the same vein as the previous song, followed. Ms. Smith segued into her final number with a joke about “plan-its” (planets) that got a groan from the crowd as she started playing “Intelligent Life In The Universe”, stepping forward from behind the mike to allow the audience to witness her guitar picking ability on this spacey instrumental song. There was a short break after this well received set to allow the next performer to set up her keyboard.
Claudia Carawan, a pop artist, also making her debut on the VOCAL showcase, followed Ms Smith with her first song “Joyriding” which was an upbeat happy tune that got the crowd involved. Ms. Carawan continued on electric keyboard and tracks, with a string of ballads. “Love Come Home” a love plea, came off her first CD. “Lifeline” a co-written song with Harold Payne, came next and then “Beautiful” a self descriptive song.”Fearless” an uptempo piece, and the title of her newly released CD, was Ms. Carawan’s personal statement about her approach to music and the music business, in general, which received an Amen from the audience. For her last number she chose “Pure Possibility” a song written to a child about hope and the future. All in all, another well received set of songs, as Ms. Carawan displayed her songwriting prowess and talent.
Carol Torricelli, or, as she likes to be called “Torch”, ended the evening with a set of folk tinged songs that had a geographic thread connecting them. Sitting on a stool, guitar in hand, she took the audience through several states and countries with her lyric narrative. “Come to Virginia” kicked it off, moving on to “Don’t You Slow Me Down” which took us to her home country of Sicily, This song was nicely punctuated with a whistling interlude. The next set of songs, followed her nephew Tommy’s journey from his Texas childhood to (Kansas) grown man, including the song “Major Dad” about his stint in the military (Iraq). “Swinging and Swaying” a jazzy love tinged song was well received and included the rhyme of “squeeze/Belize”.
A broken affair love song had the unusual title “Tossing Like a Salad” which got a chuckle from the audience. “Searching For Change” a somewhat political commentary tune was next and Torch ended her set with a song dedicated to her father. “Save a Place For Me in Heaven”. A well constructed set of tunes.
Another excellent night for music buffs and fans of original songwriting and performing.