Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
VOCAL Showcase JJanuary 17, 2011.
It was a soggy night in Rivah City, all the cats and kittens were gathered at a southside eatery, O’Toole’s, to dig the sounds of Richard White and Pam McCarthy. No ears were left hungry or unsated.
“Father” White, in semi-hippie garb, began his set with a solo acoustic version of “Amazing Grace” which, did in fact, amaze the assembled masses. Joining him for the rest of the set were Ron, and Gabin, who contributed their groovy brand of drum licks throughout the rest of White’s performance. Next up was “The Smiling Raven,” an instrumental, ably supported by Gabin’s african rhythms. As this was Martin Luther King day, Richard contributed “It’s a Wonderful Life”, a solemn song, that seemed apropos for the occasion. Continuing along through “Wind in the Pines’ and “Into the Bliss”, White sequed into a bluesy mood, firing up a traditional take on the blues with a Louisiana flavored tune bolstered by Ron strumming along on his zydeco necktie (!). The last song in the set, another blues tune “Hell to Pay” filled the room with some rocking licks that amped the audience into a spontaneous round of the claps. The short set (8 songs) was followed by a brief respite in order to allow the next artisté, Pam McCarthy, to set up her gear.
Pam McCarthy is a lady of tall stature with a big voice that probably needs no amplification. However; amped or not, she definitely set the room aglow with her 12 string folk oriented tunes. Much of her material is taken from real life experience and interaction with friends and relatives, citing such influences as her mother and grandmother for song ideas. There is a bittersweet tone to her musing about romance and relationships that connects with the listener, a lot of which can be gleaned by the titles of her songs. From the opening strains of “Not a Tear Left” through “One More Try”, “Finally Gone”, “Over You” to the closer “Let Me Be”. Standout of the evening were “Set You Free” a Julie London type sultry ballad and “Long Time Since You’re Gone” a vey melodic, singable tune.
Overall, some great material which pleased the receptive group of fellow music lovers.