Sunday, October 27th, 2013
VOCAL Songwriter Showcase – October 21, 2013
The October VOCAL Showcase attracted a large, attentive audience on a cool fall night at O’Toole’s. The “In-The-Row” format featured Gary Shaver, Louie Milhouse, Frank Lucas, and Jim Uzel. They swapped songs throughout the evening, often accompanying each other on guitar, vocals, and other instruments.
Gary opened the show with a heartbreaker There Must Be Someone Else, asking how can you really be leaving me when you were holding me so tight earlier?
Louie then jumped in with Marathon, a true “island-feel” song about the desire to take a long run to Marathon (in the keys) just to get away from it all.
Frank then took us to Spain with a flamenco-flavored number Latitude and Longitude – people in the street will throw flowers in gratitude… Gary delivered a cool, out-of-town accompaniment with maracas.
Then Jim brought us Like The Night, with Gary singing harmony – I like romance under the moon, and dream of you when the first star appears.
Gary then waltzed in with If I Could Go Back Home, bringing regrets of leaving home so early and missing out on so many important things. Jim joined Gary on vocal harmony.
Louie introduced us to the Introduction Song, recounting his songwriting beginnings. It doesn’t matter how bad you suck, momma will always love you!
Frank delivered what I thought sounded like a Tom T. Hall song, I Feel Sorry For Texas. No more blue skies or cowboys, the west is no longer wild, and Texas no longer has you. Frank brought out the harmonica while Jim played guitar.
Jim then played Wishing For Summer, dreaming of holding that special someone while the lights shine down on the city. Gary sang harmony and played a beautiful flute accompaniment.
Gary then brought on more tears with Just One More Time – do you ever stop and think of me now that you’re holding him? If only I could turn water into wine…
Louie then played a new, very tender/beautiful song about his Mom & Dad, Forever in Love. His dad took at 96-hour pass while in the Navy, took a swim, and met the woman of his dreams. The rest is history! What a beautiful love story.
Frank uncovered his bluegrass-leanings with I am Committed, another love song – the skies are clearer since you’re near to me.
Jim then showed the dark side of him with Black Stars and Shadows, which is where he says he belongs, revealing his secret love for someone. If it’s torture you’re after, it’s in my eyes, it’s goodbye, black stars!
Gary’s anthem I Stand Amazed by Your Love was a crowd-pleaser – I thank you my darling for lifting me up to a world I never knew of.
Louie delivered a Bossa-nova-like tune Summer Song – while we say goodbye for the summer, I hope our love will last all year long – every love song that’s been written can be heard in the sea.
Frank dropped us into dropped-D tuning (I think) with Another Time – hey pretty mama, I really want to be with you, can’t wait to be with you, but we better wait ‘til next time…
Jim’s Love is Just a Friend was a very somber tune about running into an old friend after many years – hardly recognized you – do you remember when?
Gary brought up a special guest, Wendy Smith, to deliver some stellar vocals on Little Old Me. This is a really cool, catchy, upbeat song – don’t overlook me, you ought to try a little love from little old me! Gary sang harmony, with Jim and Frank on guitar.
Louie then “bottomed out” with Dr. McBoogie, a song he wrote after coming out of “retirement” writing songs. The word play is contagious, and you really have to keep up to catch the wit. Dr. McBoogie is a proctologist, but plays trombone on the side, so this makes for a very entertaining story to say the least!
Frank then tuned to open-D with Both so Far, talking about an empty room just down the hallway – there’s a lot of empty space between the stars, do you think I’ll miss you, do you think I’ll forget you?
Jim brought out a minor tune My Summer Dream, a sad song for the winter – the saddest part of two lovers is that love must end – Christmas had an empty chair – you’re not hear, but you’re still my summer dream. Gary accompanies him on flute on this number.
In the last round, Gary cranked out a new tune, Down the Road to Nowhere. Are we on the road to nowhere, or have we finally got it right?
Louie delivered another crowd favorite, Kara’s Mom is Hot. The whole crowd was singing on this – you can just see the island men checking out Kara’s mom – she should be so proud! Other women see her coming and step out of the way. She looks sexy walking toward you, but sexier walking away!
Frank played a cool song, Carolina – like mandolins and moonbeams, dreams are much better when you hold them in your hands.
Jim closed out the evening with Rock You Into The Night. If you’re lost, you’re now found, my love’s an ocean, it’s that deep.
What a wonderful treat it was (Halloween’s coming, after all) to have these four tunesmiths in-a-row for the Vocal showcase!