The February 2018 VOCAL Songwriter Showcase took place on Monday, February 19th at O’Toole’s Irish Pub with a quite attentive crowd.
Norman Roscher opened the show with one of his classics and self-inspired Prince of the Trees, a dreamy number that many of us can relate to from our childhoods. The world might be a better place if more of us spent time in the trees! He then entertained us with his newest creation Hyperplastic Polyp. Now this isn’t just your ordinary love song you hear every day (maybe a glove song?). Being a Polyp Farmer allows you to cultivate little clones of yourself. Lost in a Dream is a love song written a year or so ago and was inspired by his friend Jeannie. Mr. Johnson’s Sticky Substance is a little ditty that many local folks can relate to if they keep up with the local news. Just don’t leave your shoes out on the porch! Lady of the Poppy is a very intriguing tune about a statuary in Hollywood Cemetary. She’s so peaceful – is she asleep? He ended his set with another tender love song, Anniversary Song, written for his love Jeannie. With all those beautiful words, she just had to be his man!
John Ellis opened his set with the instrumental A Time Piece. John demonstrates some very delicate finger-picking on his acoustic/electric with this number. He then delivered a new song, Walking With Sharon, another delicate instrumental that had a bit of Spanish classical influence. I’ll Be There for You is a song of resolve, about being there for someone you love (something we need more of). I’m Through is an ode to love lost, a good riddance/Hell-with-you tune. The Last You Could Have Done was to Call, is another love-gone-wrong song, describing the feeling when you hear your partner was seen with someone else. Brother is a minor-key electrified song saying “does she love you like she should”, or are you just hearing the siren’s song? In My Place is another anti-love song, where we had a chance at love until you threw it all away.
Headliner Mark Daniel then took the stage treating us to several of his finely-honed tunes. Big Daddy’s Ride featured some blistering finger-picking on this tune about an over-the-road trucker, and his experiences out and back to his home in Kentucky. I’m Just a Soldier Calling Home is a very moving story about his daughter, a combat photographer in the Marine Corps, and the unique perspective she has in the line of duty. The bluesy I’m On a Love Mission states how he’s trying to win your love, so don’t blame him for what a previous lover did. “Was it the whiskey talking”, the first line of How Can We be Over if We Haven’t Started Yet, may divulge the truth to this mystery – how can it all be over when things appear to be going so well? Mark delivered a mighty fine western swing tune Who’s Sad and Lonely Now. Was there a misunderstanding about how I wear my hat? A new song, You’re the One for Me”, was inspired by one of his daughters and talks of “spoken words I can’t unsay”, “feelings I can’t unfeel”. His next song was written post-breakup, and about trying to get dates – may have been some Facebook involved! What Do You Think of a Man Who Does Dishes includes a man with strong hands and a warm heart, not afraid to do his part. Another love song was revealed: Wherever Your Love Leads Me, ofte”n song by VOCAL member Eddy Kitchen: “Thought I was fishing in Heaven, casting in the Milky Way. Loving You Really Makes Me Groove is another love ditty about loving watching you, and the things you do. Charles City Rain is a cool story from 1939 describing the town suffering from a long drought, and finally getting relief with rains from the Heavens “Lord teach us to pray and send some rain down”. Feeling is Believing is yet another tender love song from Mark, debunking the theory that saying the words “I Love You” is a sign of weakness. Captain is a really cool tune written about his great-grandfather, who never came home from the Civil War. He left home on a sunny day, leaving Mom and a team to plow the land.
That was the end of another wonder showcase of original music!