Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
VOCAL Showcase, Dec. 2013
Awesome would be the appropriate word to describe Monday’s performances at O’Toole’s. Before a packed house, many of VOCAL’s finest singer/songwriters strutted their stuff for the annual Christmas showcase. In between drawings for gift certificates, the artists presented original Christmas and non Christmas songs. First to perform was Bill Wellons. Alone at the keyboard with backing tracks, Bill kicked off the evening with “Salvation Army Man”, A song for late december called “While the Time Away” and closed out his set with a per talk to the audience titled “Life Can Be Anything You make it”. A great job by Bill. Next Ray Brady on guitar entertained the crowd with “Turn Your Head” a song about watching your children grow up right before your eyes, followed by “In The Road” a blues piece, and his Christmas tribute “Seasonal Beers’ to which we all raised a glass. Valerie Rourke continues to bring us new material and armed with her uke, she did “My Dream” a song full of hope for the future. ext up Glenda Creamer started off on guitar with her song “Love’s Not Supposed To Hurt” about domestic abuse that closes with a tinge of hope, “Sure Feels Like Christmas Tonight” was an uptempo song full of seasonal images and her final song with help from Matt Manion and Gerry Laverty, depicted the impending birth of Jesus was entitled “Don’t Be Frightened, Mary”. Matt Manion then proceeded to do a set if his own tunes. “Don’t Stand By Me” was a funny bit about wanting to get away from being a band member to going solo, and his Christmas song, dedicated to his father, was “Quarter To Midnight” a heartwarming tale of finding the meaning of the season. Steve Nuckolls followed onstage with a song about Christmas past and “Where The Morning Glories Grow” a Bluegrass waltz (!) that drew a great crowd response.
Closing out the festivities, everybody’s favorite group, The Clackwells took stage, headed up by Norm Roscher, and accompanied by bass and banjo, What fun. They ran through a series of novelty tunes, “You and Me and Baby”, “Did I Hear You Say”, ‘The Magic Hat” and “The Little Box”. Segueing into the holiday mode, “Waiting For Santa Claus” wowed the crowd, “All Grandpa Wants for Christmas” (to hug his grandson) and the snarky “The Remedy” about offing Rudolph, a song which received local airplay last year. This officially ended the scheduled performers, But, Norm offered to conduct a singalong, and the audience hung around for a couple of more holiday tunes. The feeling of good cheer was palpable. This was perhaps, one of VOCAL’s largest attended showcase events held at O’Toole’s. No room at the inn, would be a perfect description for this holiday show.