Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
OCTOBER 2012 VOCAL Showcase Review
Before what can only be called a “Full House” all seats filled, and standing room only, the October 2012 VOCAL showcase kicked off with the vocal stylings of Frank Lucas. Lucas, who has not done a showcase in recent memory, began his four song set with “Styrofoam” a song dedicated to his wife, comparing the undestructable property of the substance to their love. He was accompanied by Louis Millhose on trumpet and Gary Shaver on clarinet, giving the song a decidedly dixieland quality. the next tune, “Winter Rose” had a definite Gordon Lightfoot “Edmund Fitzgerald” quality to it, wth fellow guitarist Rick Good adding some somber strumming. On “Ghost” Lucas switched to mandolin for some fine picking and then closed out his set with “Baseball Blues’ in which he invited the audience to participate by shouting out prompts at the designate time. All in all, his set was very well received by the lively audience.
After a short break, The next act, Louis Millhouse, with daughter Nancy on bass, set up and launched into a calypso-ish “Marauder” which got the crowd back into the music. “I Promise I Will Love You” (assumed title) was a uptempo duet with Robin Kim that comtained some heart-felt lyrics to which the audience could relate. Taking some cues from Jimmy Buffett, Millhouse next gave us a lively tune “Marathon” which described life on the Florida Key of that name and had us all wishing we could be there. Rounding out the “island” set, Millhouse performed one of his classic Jamaica tinged songs, “Kara’s Mom Is Hot”, which had the audience singing along. A very upbeat and enjoyable set.
Gary Shaver is a long time VOCAL member going back to group’s origins and, as such, he has had an opportunity to work with many fellow writers and singers over the years. Calling on that experience, Shaver prepared a retrospective of his music career by inviting many of those collaborators to assist him this night on a series of duets from his catalog of material. As the featured performer of the evening, he did not disappoint. with songs in different styles, country, pop and jazz, Shaver manned the keyboard and mike with authority. Sharing vocals With Carol Covel on the jazz tune “How Could Love”, Wendy Lael on two songs, Carolyn Crohn, on “Love You More Each Day”(his very first composed song), Frank Lucas on “Better Than This”, Marilyn Miller on “We Don’t Matter, Anymore” and a reprise with Louis Millhouse and Robin Kim on “We’d Better Leave It Alone”, the audience heard a wide array of music. Shaver’s ten song set, included a couple of solos, sent the crowd home completely satisfied and enthused for the talent that VOCAL counts in its ranks of excellent singers and songwriters.