Once again, tonight’s showcase was a virtual affair due to COVID restrictions. The program was seen on both the Zoom and Facebook links jointly. Tonight’s performers were Matthew Costello and Matt Manion.
Matthew is the VOCAL President and was the first performer. He opened the show with his classic song “Diggin’ for Elvis’ which describes the singer’s search for where the elusive idol might be hiding or eternally resting. “The Artist That Hung the Moon” was tribute to John Atkinson Grimshaw who was well known for his moonlight shining through the trees nightscapes. This was followed by “If You Knew”, a psychological examination of the singer’s thought process. Next came “She Made You A Home”, tribute to his mother and the home she inhabited for 46 years and was the touchstone of his growing up. “An Affair of the Art” tells the story of Anna, Grimshaw’s muse and target of his wife who eventually came to terms with her husband’s “Affair”. Following this was “I Might Fall Apart” a romantic interlude that showed the sensitive side of the narrator, warning a touch (internally) would cause him to fall apart. The last song in Matthew’s set, “Train of Thought” was underscored by a moving guitar line that emulated a train’s motion.
Next up , was Matt Manion, a long time vocal member and frequent contributor to showcases. Starting off with a song from the 70’s or 80’s, about the growing surge of women’s equality explained how he was being torn inside by it and how hard it might be to adapt to the new order of things. “Sit Down for Standby” told the tale of waiting for a seat at the airport and some of his experiences as a traveler, including a story about looking for the bathroom, in Spain. The very first song Matt claims he wrote was entitiled “Light and Laughter” which he performed, “Song for Speculators” depicted the difficulties that arise in part time love affairs and being in one is “a bitter pill to take”. Digressing from playing, Matt recited a lyric he is working on to honor those in the military who were summarily discharged from the service for following alternate life styles. “Hotel by the Highway” was a rousing look at night life in a hotel ballroom, with observations about the style, look and movements of the dancers. His final song “Man’s Man” tells us about the singer’s search for a compatible male companion with whom he can share his life, not just a casual affair.
Tonight’s program was fully appreciated by the audience who applauded and posted thumbs up after each song.