Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
VOCAL May 2010 Showcase Review
Not even a steady downpour could deter the small but enthusiastic crowd that gathered at O’Toole’s pub for the VOCAL, 2010 May showcase. The bill consisted of three performers. First up was John Ellis, who entertained the audience with a set of original acoustic material that included two instrumentals, one, titled “Just What You Were Looking For” was expressly composed for his brother’s wedding. Another “A Time Piece” featured some well executed arpeggio runs. As an encore, John covered “Crying Shame” a song written by VOCAL member Gary Shaver and gave it a good country feel. After a short break, Richard Hinman took the mike. This was Richard’s debut showcase performance for VOCAL. Once wired up, he started his nine song set off with a boogie tune “On The Levee” which, as you might guess was about love down by the Mississippi river. Richard demonstrated a great command of various musical styles as he moved through his set list. Folk (“Lonnie Mae”) bossa nova (“Oh Rio”), reggae (“Reggae Band”) which featured a solo break that imitated the sound of a steel drum, and some more jazzier pieces (“Crazy For You”, “Purple Passage”). All-in-all it was an auspicious start for Richard in his first VOCAL performance. Last, but certainly not third rate, by any means, was the featured performer of the evening, Darryl Ellyson. Accompanied by Josh Wortham on electric keyboards, Darryl wowed the crowd with a set of old and new tunes. Mostly thematic in nature, songs of broken hearts and love gone awry, he used his big booming voice to mesmerize the audience wih blues riffs and minor accents. Kicking off the set was “Newsman Blues” a self explanatory saga of unfulfilled love. “I’m Still In Love With You” was highighted by a great musical fill from Josh. Among the new tunes, “When I Close My Eyes” stood out for its soulful bluesy quality. Another new one “Comes a Better Way” also stood out. As a closer, Darryl gave us “When I Get Home” which got a large round of applause from the appreciative gathering. This was the 226th consecutive VOCAL showcase, and the performing artists demonstrated the breadth and scope of the talent that exists within it’s members. OUr next showcase, again at O’Tooles, will be on June 21st. Make plans to be there.