Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
July 2010 Showcase
The July 2010 VOCAL showcase was held at O’Toole’s Irish Pub as it has been for the past few months now. Like the weather, there was a hot and steamy crowd in attendance, perhaps, the largest crowd yet to show up for one of these events. James Lester, on solo guitar, opened up the night with a set of blues tinged songs. As a member of The Richmond Blues Society, James demonstrated his adroitness with the genre deftly picking out various forms of blues, from standard 12 bar based tunes to some atonal blues. A lot of his material focused on contemporary issues, such as his first number which described becoming a baby boomer. “Golden Rule” his final song featured references to Palin, Rev. Wright and Obama. Overall, a fine set from James, well received by the audience. After a short break the next performer up was Sarah Kane with back up help from Leigh Giza. Sarah, beautifully decked out in a black gown and stunning necklace, started off her folk leaning set with “Polka in the Parking Lot” and picked her way through a few more songs, until inviting Leigh up to accompany her on vocals and rhythm instruments. Among the stand out songs were “Coffee” and “Crimson Sky”. The enjoyable set ended with an a’Capella reading, backed by the somber drumming of Leigh, of “A Gun” a solemn and haunting recitation on the devastation a gun can cause. Sarah is one of the newer members of VOCAL, and a welcome addition to the showcase. Another short break ensued while the featured performers of the evening set up. Final act of the evening, Norman Roscher and the Clackwells (Known as AL Sal and Blinky), a novelty act of gigantic proportions, came on. If you haven’t heard or attended a performance by these folks, you are sorely missing one of the most enjoyable groups in town. Norman kicked it off with a couple of solo tunes on his funky sounding piano, paying homage in one, to his daughters, with “My Little Girl”. Switching to guitar and joined by the Clackwells( really Evan, Liza and Deanna) Norman and the group romped through a series of uplifting and funny tunes, highlighted by “The Train” which featured onomatopoeiac guitar strumming and (Al) Evan’s thumping stand up bass accompaniment. “I Don’t Play Doctor, Anymore” featured visual aids held up at various times by Blinky (Deanna) and some deft washboard playing by Sal(Liza), Audience participation was encouraged for “Bip Bop On The Top” (pat your head). Urged on by the wildly enthusiastic crowd, The performers launched into a couple of closing novelty tunes “The Hat” and “Mr. McCall’s Pink Balls” leading to a vigorous demand for an encore, which was gladly granted. Norman and The Clackwells end the riotous night with the ever popular “Boobs” singalong. It was a fitting close to a great evening of varied and professional entertainment.