Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Vocal Showcase: July 18, 2011
Tonight’s showcase featured two contrasting artists: Gerry Laverty, the smooth balladeer and Andrew Rohlk, the Emo singer/songwriter. Laverty was first up and kicked off his location oriented set with “Only Need”, a touching Irish folk song with echoes of military and skirling undertones provided by his strumming technique. The medium sized audience was very enthusiastic, and responded with a big round of applause. “Details of Catastrophe” Followed next and Gerry accompanied himself with mouth harp on this rockabilly tinged song about the post Katrina aftermath. A song written from the perspective of a house continued the set in what was a dylanesque folk style. Heading back to his Irish roots. Gerry next gave us “Don’t Want to Die” which was inspired, he says, by the tragic death of Glenn Miller, who disappeared during WWII, while flying over the Atlantic. The minor chorded “Blues In The Night” offered a change of pace in tone. “Jerusalem” picked up the tempo and outlined the conflicts going on in the Middle East, to the end that peace is a desired outcome. He next called up Valerie Rourke to provide harmony on “Lonesome Blue Eyes” which offered the audience a traditional sounding country song set in Montana. Closing out his set Laverty offered up his signature song “Zion Crossroads” about a lonely lover awaiting his never-to-show lady love. All in all, a trip around the world in song done to perfection by Gerry’s flawless picking and singing talents.
After a short intermission, the featured performer of the night, Andrew Rohlk took the stage. Andrew is a newer member of VOCAL and brings a refreshing youthful outlook to his music and the group. Most of his selections were in the emotional (EMO) category, detailing broken or unsettled relationships. “Not To Late” was first and immediately one could hear echoes of John Mayer or Dave Matthews in his performance style, using his guitar more as punctuation to the lyrics than melodic accompaniment. “stubbornly” Added falsetto singing to the chorus, which Rohlk continued injecting sporadically during his set. This was followed by “Only Friends” and “Fade Away” which continued in the free form style of song construction he uses. A work-in-progress song “Make a Decision” followed which seemed fairly well complete. “Too Much Input” was, perhaps, the most accessible song of the night as it had the most traditional form of song composition, a verse/chorus pattern. A new song “Everytime” had a blues quality to it and was enhanced by the falsetto singing. A cover of “Ring of Fire” was next. Andrew closed out his set with two more original songs. “Conversation About You” and a singalong closer “What This Will Be”, which heartily engaged the audience, Rohlk’s high energy was infectious throughout his set and he appears to be a star in the making and a great addition to the VOCAL family.