Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
VOCAL Showcase 07/15/2013
Gentlemen’s night at the VOCAL showcase featured three male performers this month. The line-up included Steve Nuckolls, Richard Hinman and James Lester. While not a full house, there was plenty of enthusiasm for the various songwriters. First up, Steve Nuckolls acoustically launched into his 8 song set with “Signs of Love,” a melodic ode to love in the folk vein. He followed that with a quirky co-written tune (Bill Wellons) “My Karma Driving Around” that received a good response from the audience. “2 Hours from Anywhere” told the tale of life in the hinterlands and the happiness derived thereof. A song about Grayson county followed and then his tribute to EmmyLou Harris. “Country-versy” was a plea to listeners to respect the roots of country music. Steve closed out his set with the African-tinged “Somanye” (sp.) After a short break Richard Hinman took the stage.
For Richard, this was his second showcase appearance. His all electric set kicked off with “Darkness” which self-descriptively, was a sad dark love song.
Picking up the pace, “At the Honky-Tonk” told the tale of a patron checking out the female action at the local watering hole. “Tennessee Vols” not a rah rah college song, was, rather a tale about the Civil War and the renegades who conducted their own battles regardless of side. Moonshiners got their recognition in “Ridge Runners” and “Which Way to Arkansas” showed Richard’s jazzy chops. He closed out his set with a demonstration of what he called “Chicken Pickin” guitar playing on “big Bob”. Overall, Richard gave us a good selection of song styles and genres.
Closing out the night, guitar slung/harmonica equipped James Lester is always a crowd favorite with his mostly upbeat blues stylings. Fist up, however, was “Like Your Love” which was more rockabilly than blues, and “Satisfied” which sometimes sounded like “Satisfried” was another upbeat tune.”It’s All About Money” took a shot at greedy politicians and roused the crowd’s appreciation, tho, James candidily pointed out that the song doesn’t play well in certain conservative areas. “Why I Song the Blues” was self explanatory, “Lame Pony” was a blues lament about a bad relationship, which is his normality, as was “Drinkin’ Again”. Interspersing anecdotes, James pleased the audience with a song from his repertoire “Coatesville Blues” “John Fahey” was in tribute to that late great guitar player and “Empty Arms” closed out his well honed set.
The audience seemed to be pleased with the whole nights’ offerings from these three performing songwriters.