The August 2021 VOCAL Virtual Showcase spotlighted the 2021 Songwriter of the Year and writers of the Song of the Year. August is normally reserved for the annual banquet, but we decided to forego that this year due to the pandemic. The Songwriter of the Year award went to Keely Burn, and the Song of the Year award went to Carol “Torch” Torricelli and Glen King for their co-written effort. CONGRATS to all! This was another virtual showcase using Zoom while streaming via FB Live, which has been our standard operating procedure during the pandemic.
Keely Burn opened the show with several songs from her new album Not My Masterpiece. Waltz describes what constitutes love – it’s not a foregone conclusion, and certainly not just a box to check off. Masterpiece tell us that love is a tug-of-war, and we sometimes are left holding the leash. “You’re a work in progress, and I can’t see your conscience”. She then delivered When I’m Acting, where she’s convinced he’ll like her much better if she’s acting, and not being herself. He’ll find her more attractive when she’s less reactive. To Be Loved is yearning not to be a lover, but simply to be loved. She doesn’t care about the promises or diamond rings as she would rather have the simple things. You Were My Guiding Light is a beautiful song inspired by Joni Mitchell, where every cloud has a silver lining, but all she sees is gray.
Glen King then treated us to some of his treasures, all on the theme of love. Miracle of Love is an uplifting tune touting the wonders of being in love. Drops of Your Love is on the other end of the love spectrum and even involved tearing up pictures! Fanning the Flames of Love is a hot number about a love that is still as strong today as it was when it started many years ago. Glen ended his set with a tune he wrote during Pride Week called It Don’t Matter Who You Love, telling us to love the person who feels right to you and what is natural. “The world is like a prism, all the colors you can find, some may run together or flow outside the lines”.
“Torch” finished up the evening with several of her finely-crafted tender tunes. She opened with the Song of the Year, Highway to Your Heart, co-written with Glen King. This is a really cool driving number about a trucker burning up the asphalt on the highway to get home as fast as he can to the one he loves. The genesis of this trucker song was a VOCAL challenge to write a trucker song in honor of long-time VOCAL member John Ellis, who was trucking down the road at that time and couldn’t attend the meeting. She then delivered Come to Virginia, a very beautiful song highlighting the numerous compelling reasons to travel to Virginia (majestic mountains, bluegrass music, etc.). I feel that this song channels Joni Mitchell and Maria Muldaur! Don’t You Slow Me Down (with her self-accompanied whistling) describes her booking her round-trip ticket to Sicily where she plans to discover her roots. There are many picturesque images of the Italian countryside in the lyrics, and no one is going to get in her way of this Italy-bound woman! Roads In Between Us is an older tune lamenting the fact that she was living in New Jersey but all her friends were moving away. She often sat on the rooftop singing to the sunset and placed numerous long-distance calls to her friends to catch up. Torch ended the evening with her dreamy signature song Swinging and Swaying, born on the 4th of July weekend while sitting alone on her back porch. The moon was full, and lovely breeze was blowing, and you know the rest!
Another wonderful VOCAL virtual showcase, and congrats to all the award recipients!