September 2017 VOCAL Songwriters Showcase

The September 2017 VOCAL Songwriter Showcase took place on Monday, September 18th at O’Toole’s Irish Pub.

Steve Nuckolls opened the show with several acoustic numbers. Everything’s Just Two Good, Gibson Guitar, and Sunrise are some of his signature tunes. He had a new song Siri Alexa-fied Blues, an ode to the current technologies running a lot of people’s lives. Grayson Lady is a bluegrass tune about Grayson County in Southwest Virginia.

John Ellis took the stage as the headline performer, well-equipped with his electric and acoustic/electric guitars, pedals and backing tracks. He opened with Blues # 1, an instrumental that reminded me a bit of the rock band Focus (Hocus Pocus). The instrumental A Time Piece was played on this acoustic/electric, and I thought channeled George Harrison during certain parts. I’ll Be There for You is an optimistic love song, which John admits he doesn’t do too often. Honesty is on the opposite end of the love spectrum, an in-your-face tribute to a relationship gone bad. The Strange is an older “dark love song”, the first song he finished after joining VOCAL. This had hints of Black Sabbath with some searing lead guitar solos. The next tune was an instrumental “combo” of Chimes and Groove Thing, a juxtaposition of tender guitar picking and blistering electric guitar. In My Place is another love-gone-bad song with some stellar electric guitar performance. That was the end of a very rewarding performance from Mr. Ellis.

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