Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
May 2016 VOCAL Songwriters Showcase
First up tonight at O’Toole’s was Carol “Torch” Torcelli. Playing her acoustic guitar, she started her set with a trio of travel themed songs. “Come To Virginia” Which invited the listeners to visit Virginia and take in the amenities such as the “lure of the shore” and “sand in your shoes” type attractions. “Don’t Slow Me Down” was a musical trip to Italy which the singer was anxiously wanting to accomplish soon. It was punctuated by a little whistling interlude that added charm to the song. As an employee of the travel industry, Torch attends many meetings and conventions to push tourism. Her next song “Measure Up” reflected the concern for the statistics and metrics involved in improving the flow of visitors. to the state. which including some insider terminology. Changing themes to a romantic bent, “Whenever I’m Thinking Of You” delved into a relationship that eventually fizzled out. “Swingin’ and Swayin’ ” in an upbeat style described the feeling of being deserted by her “main squeeze” and left to “hang in the breeze” . A humorous concept song “Tossin’ ” Like a Salad Over You” had the singer in a state of anxiety wondering what happened to her love interest…..no more e-mails or texts. On a personal note “Major Dad” was a tribute to her nephew Tommy serving in the military and trying to make adjustments to various locations and situations that soldiers find themselves in. Ending on a heartfelt note, Torch concluded her set with “Blessing” an invitation to join her up in Heaven when we reach that final exit. which tied in nicely with the opening song as both had musical invitations.
After a break to set up the instruments . The featured performer of the evening was Richard Hinman, a long time VOCAL member. To help accompany him on the songs, he brought along his son Rick, on dobro guitar, and Gary Shaver on alto sax. Richard, on electric guitar, has a vast repertoire of musical styles and picking abilities which he demonstrated during his set. Starting off with the folk tinged “Missionary Ridge”, a civil war themed battle song. he moved next to the blues of “On The Levy” with a plea to his honey to go strolling, “Whining of a Diesel” in classic country, had the singer bemoaning the sadness of a lover leaving him “my only one left me behind”, as the train faded away, and featured solos by each of the players. Switching back to a folk feel, “Tennessee Vols” was another civil war story song involving returning soldiers to Tennessee for trial as deserters. had Rick on vocals. Picking up the tempo, “Summer Beach” was a happy tune about spending time at the shore. “strolling the boardwalk” “walking in the sand” etc. “Ridge Runner” about moonshining, had a driving guitar sound much like a racing car making tracks to get away from the feds. Demonstrating some tasty bass licks, Richard played “Looney Mae” a song about a temptress who’s attention he trying to attract. With s rockabilly feel. “Hots For You” was self explanatory with a few little suggestive grunts to express the desire. “Me and The Boys” was a upbeat song about going out with the guys and having a good time. Drawing on his young experiences listening to radio music in the 50’s, Richard created “Sunrise” , a blues tune reminiscent of black blues he had been exposed to, added solemnity was provided by Shaver’s sax solo. This was followed by “Pour Me Another” a reference to booze. Changing style again, “Crazy For You” was a swing song featuring Shaver that was upbeat. The last song of the set, “Which Way To Arkansas” is Richard’s theme song about looking for a place to settle down and find a home. He was accompanied by Rick on vocal which was a nice way to close the night with a father and son duet.