Archive for April, 2009

VOCAL Showcase April 2009

Showcase number 213, was the annual cover night for VOCAL.  Performers covered at least one song from a fellow VOCAL songwriter.  The night was full of surprises and anticipation as the weather kept performers at home and the night turned into a review of some of VOCAL’s outstanding long-time members.

The showcase is hosted each month by Richbrau’s TapHouse.  Come join us at 1212 East Cary Street in Richmond’s historic Shockoe Slip for fine food and great beverages from this local brew-pub.  Enjoy the company of our songwriters as you enjoy your meals in a great venue.

Steve Nuckolls kicked off the night with his brand of thoughtful narratives drawing on many life experiences to craft songs of deep meaning.  The set started off with ‘Making My Getaway’ an original of Steve’s with good feeling and a nice easy rhythm.  Steve then presented his cover song ‘Sundown in a Coal Town’ which was penned by VOCAL’s John Carter.  The song is about miners expressing their passions and hopes on a Saturday night through their own music.  The set then turned reflective with Steve’s song ‘When the Flag’s Halfmast’, which is about the memories conjured up when we see this reminder of those no longer with us.  The first set concluded with the hopeful and spiritual song inspired by a trip to an African village ‘Simunye’.  Thanks to Steve for a great start to the evening.

Gary Shaver took to the stage next for his first of two sets.  Gary’s ‘Your Sweet Love’ was a great way to get started.  Gary’s cover songs inlcuded a number written by the team of Nancy Walker and Cham Laughlin as well as a number from Chris Craig.

A short intermission was allowed for the attending songwriters to determine the next guest up to the stage.  It seems that the weather kept many of our songwriters at home for the evening and we wanted to keep the spirit of the open call alive.  About the time we were ready to pick straws to see who would play next, someone asked ‘Where’s Norman’?  No sooner were these words uttered, than Norman Roscher appeared – as if Huddini had conjured him up with a magic word and a puff of smoke zapping Norman from his peaceful home to Shockoe slip.  He was immediately drafted into the showcase line-up!

Norman used an acoustic guitar loaned by our first performer Steve Nuckolls and Gary Shaver’s keyboard to put on an impromptu, and incredibly entertaining show!  Sampling his song catalogue, Norman played songs that were sometimes sweet and sometimes just wild and fun!  One of my favorites ‘Keep on Droolin’ was a humorous reminder that no matter how alone we feel at times, there’s someone droolin’ for you somewhere (even if it’s someone you’d be more inclined to run from than embrace).  Songs like ‘Mr. Sleepy Head’ and ‘Butterflies’ had a good bit of the sweetness I mentioned earlier, while ‘Bart the Pirate’ (a Glen Hobles song) and ‘Hey Baby You’re Beautiful’ were just great fun to listen to and sing along with.  We can’t thank Norman enough for volunteering his talents to keep the showcase rolling along!

Gary Shaver stepped back up on the showcase stage to present his second set of the evening.  ‘Tell Me You Love Me One More Time’, written by Nancy Walker and Jeff Long was the first song of the set and a fantastic ballad with a great melody.  The set was rounded out with ‘Make Everything Alright’, ‘If I Could Go Back Home’ and ‘As All Things Pass’.

Thanks to our volunteers for making the showcase a great event.  Larry Cody provides table tent cards to advertise the showcase, Matthew Costello handles photography and web development and John Ellis handles sound services.  Thanks as well to the performers and all who show up to the showcases each month!

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