Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
The 272nd consecutive VOCAL showcase took place on Monday, 3/24/14 at O’Toole’s Restaurant and Bar, with an attentive crowd of 30+ (numbers, not necessarily ages). We moved this out a week this month to avoid conflicts with St. Paddy’s Day festivities. The lineup consisted of Doug Patrick, Larry Cody, and headliner Steve Effinger.
Doug kicked off the evening with his 1973-era Secretariat, an ode to the record-setting equine figure – hotter than a Maytag range, rolling on like an oiled machine. Full Time Love is a cry for full-time love, not some one-night stand or placement on the short list. Set it Free is a very good message about intolerance – we’re all born with innocence, but unfortunately grow out of it – take me back to my childhood, set it free. Larry joined Doug on his last two songs, accompanying him on guitar and vocal harmony. I Think I’ve Really Done it This Time delivered a message many of us are familiar with – walking the side streets in the rain with a too-small/collar-turned-up winter coat, trying to find our way home. No one to blame for the shape I’m in – I’ve stepped over the line, think I’ve really done it this time. One Lone Georgia Pine is a captivating tale of a Civil War soldier from Kentucky who went off to war as a kid, and was killed in Georgia. A Georgia pine tree seed fell under his collar where he died, and when his two brothers came to carry his body back to Kentucky, they didn’t know they had also planted a seed when they buried their brother. Sounds like a possible future scene for the Justified TV series!
Larry then took the helm on stage, and Doug stayed to accompany him on his first number, Now I Know. I don’t know if he was smitten or stricken (or both), but when she held him like a baby, and the bolt of lightning hit him in the heart, he definitely knew! Keep On is a “keep-on-truckin” song – I don’t want to grow up, just want to keep on going. The river is dammed, but is never stopped, not even by the bay, I want to be like that river all day. Be Thankful was a very heart-felt, tender ballad about being thankful for what you have – thankful it’s not your heart that’s broken, that you’re not blue, that you’re okay. Enough Heartache is a falling-out-of-love song – I’ve seen way too many movies by myself, you’ve said you’re sorry, but I’ve heard it all before. Larry left us with his newer What I Thought You Said, an up-tempo tribute to marital bliss – is anyone ever accused of not listening, or not hearing what you said/meant? I’ll try to be a better mind-reader next time! Way to go, Larry, and your invisible band!
Steve Effinger then took the stage as headliner to an enthusiastic audience. Down in New Orleans was written upon return from the city, with hints of voodoo, saxophones, and Bourbon Street Zydeco. He then delivered a trio of songs he wrote as a teen, reflective of some lonely years, infused with pain. Just a Lonely Bluebird was reminiscent of moving from the burbs to a small country town, always looking for something, but nothing to be found. Jeffrey was a tribute to a childhood friend whose house burned down, taking his two younger brothers with it. He channels the pain in many ways – his pain will only be buried with his soul. Emptiness was a bittersweet number, where he’s consumed by the surrounding emptiness and his mind’s disarray, but there’s something out there still believing in him, and he feels the positive vibes. Why Can’t He Love Her Tonight describes some misery of a hard-luck, always-fighting man and his inability to love the woman – you can tell by the look in her eyes when she breaks down and cries. The Best I Ever Had fondly remember a past lover – for many years, the seasons have passed over my windowsill, and I remember the great times we had up on that hill. I’m still lonely, can never forget you. Then She’ll Cry was a tale of woe about a woman with six kids, whose husband is in his coffin paying his gambling debt. It’s hard to be a widowed gambler’s wife, but she’ll get by, she’ll often tell the story, but the pain won’t die. We’ll Be in Havana for the Night had the whole crowd hand-clapping with the beat – I’ll just truck off in my hijacked plane, my mom told me it was okay. The pilot tells me we’re gonna be on time, it’s gonna be alright, we’ll be in Havana for the night. The crowd called for more, but Steve was done for the night, until next time.
That’s all folks!