Archive for the ‘Showcases’ Category

July 2018 VOCAL Showcase

July 2018 VOCAL Showcase

Tonight’s VOCAL songwriters showcase featured three performers with totally different styles of music. First up was newcomer Jim Puckett, with guitar and harmonica, and a hard playing Appalachian style, Started off with his first tune, “What Went Wrong”, a chronicle of the singer’s miseries, with lines such as “Nobody to talk to”, “My money’s all gone” etc. to support the title. “Doesn’t the Rain Still Fall” was followed by “Riverside”. a sad tale of a backwoods romance which was followed by “Lenten Roses” a story of love lost and a hope for it’s return. Next song was “Shaky Leg” in which the singer was trying to runaway from his past, and having a hard time at it. Jim’s final tune in his set was “Stand In the James” which hit home with the audience, due to it’s local proximity of the James River. The message here was that the James offers a way to relieve one’s self of the cres that plague us every day and the rush of the water is a healing balm.
Shifting gears, and instruments, Keely Burn, a talented young lady, set up her keyboard and began her pop influenced set. “Waltz” iirst out of the box, was the singer’s personal statemetn on love which seemed to imply cautiousnes and contemplation. She continued on her philosophical bent with “When I’m Acting” in which she sung about how much better she is appreciated when she putting on a character that appeals to the singee, which is less reactive and more passive. “Sky Song” had an intereesting chord sequence which was reminiscent of a 10CC song, That was followed by “The Spirit In Me” aptly played on the organ setting to give a churchy ambience to the song, Keely closed out hewr set with “The Illusive Rhythm” an interesting conversation imagined between the Great Gatsby and his love Daisy. as was noted by many in the audinece, Keely has become a performer to be reckoned with, creating interesting piano melodies and pithy lyrics.
Last up for the night was Andrew Rohlik, wlo has appeared at a VOCAL showcase a time or two in the past, but not in awhile. Contrasting with the previous two perfromers, in style, he plays electric guitar with a vengeance, and a huge dose of funk and soul. He kicked it off with “Take For Granted” which had the songer sort of caught between being able to read his musical object like “an open book” yet trying to convince her of his sincerity, even though she thought he was taking her for granted. “Fine” a tale of not to worry, everything will work out, was punctuated with Andrew’s soul shouting, which also appeared in some of his next material. “Time To Spend” was a message of patience, with lines like “I’d like to get to know you” and “take it slow”, accented musically by a lot of funky guitar riffs. Next song “For What It’s Worth” was desacribed as a breakup song, and indeed, included the line “I’m fine being single”. Using his pedal effects, Andrew went for the wawa sound, so common in past r and b material, on “Lost and Found” and then shifted to a latin beat with “Pique” or “Peak”, which posed the question “where do we go from here”. Creating a singalong, he continuted with “Heads or Tails” with the chorus “we were never meant to bem why can’t you see” which engaged the audience. His high energy performance called for an encore, and Andrew obliged with the song
Through the Fear”. Hs perfromance definitely was different for a VOCAL showcase where country and pop reign supreme most nights.

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June 2018 VOCAL Songwriter Showcase

The June 2018 VOCAL Songwriter Showcase took place on Monday, June 18th at O’Toole’s Irish Pub. This was a really special night with a collaboration between Doug Patrick and Dick Upton. They backed each other up on every song, and also had some stellar guest performers. Tim Morley and Gary Shaver joined them on harmonica and sax/clarinet, respectively, which added a very special element to their songs.

Dick opened up on his keyboards with Going Down to Georgia, a nice bluesy tune taking us down the road to the peach state. Doug then followed with a new song Make it Work, telling us you just have to do what you have to do to “get it done”! Full Time Love is another Doug tune saying I want to be front and center, not a back-seat love. Dick then brought on Distant Friend, an ode to an old friend who was fighting cancer, and who sparked his desire to resume his songwriting. Gary Shaver then joined the stage with saxophone in hand to add some wonderful flavor to the next tune. Dick delivered Put Down the Bottle, asking for help from above in getting through each day. Doug then played his signature tune New Orleans Night, with Gary accompanying on clarinet – thought I was in Dixieland for a moment! Doug then brought us River Town, his tribute to RVA and the wonderful things it has to offer. Dick sang Have you Ever Had the Blues as only he can. He started writing the song 40 years ago, and only finished it six months ago. My Spiritual Home is another really cool, tropical song from Dick about an experience playing a bar in the Florida Keys. Secretariat is a memorable tune from Doug that all horse loves can enjoy, a major source of pride for Caroline County in Virginia. He then delivered Set it Free, letting us know that we are better off than we think we are. Dick then delivered a couple of muse-inspired tunes Why I Do What I Do and Where Everybody Knows My Name. We are all influenced by our musical friends/surroundings, so it’s great to hear songs about that relationship. He was joined by Tim on harmonica and Gary on sax on these numbers. Doug has a very tender song about his grandchild, I’ll Hold You as Long as I Can, teaching lessons of love, patience, and guidance. He then delivered Leave it as you Found it, a moving number about taking care of Mother Earth. Dick ended the show with a new song, You’ll Always Drive me Crazy, featuring Gary again on sax.

This was a very special evening of musical collaboration and was enjoyed by all!

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VOCAL showcase May 2018

VOCAL Showcase. May 2018.
Open mic night.
Every quarter, VOCAL holds its open mic night, which allows anyone with original songs to get up before the mic and perform. Tonight, there were a host of various artists sharing their music, including some new to VOCAL. To kick off th evening Norm Nortledorf, acting as emcee, began with his song “I’m a Fool” a sad exploration of the singer’s opinions of himself as in “I’m a simple man, no dreams.” Jim Puckett, aw newcomer to the showcase, followed with a set of 3 songs including “Vegas By Now” a tale of two kids who get locked up on the way to as Vegas and are ruing their actions, “Pick Up the Phone” was a desperete cry for help, and “Red Dog” told the tale of West Virginia miners who had to suffer when the mines shut down.
Up next was returning performere Martin McNeil, who’s done a couple of showcases for VOCAL over the last year. Originally from Ca. he now lives in Richmond and plays around town at the various clubs. He comes on with a very high energy approach to his material. “Second Hand Girl” told the story of trying to make it Hollywood, the line “You don’t get anywhere without giving it up” sums up the gist of the song. “Life on the Road” bemoans the difficulty of driving for a living and being away from family and friends with the observation “It ain’t nothing, if you ain’t got love.” “Taking Leave of the City” (intuited titile) was followed by “Apothecary For a Broken Heart” which detailed possible remedies for fixing a love gone wrong.
Aaron Pidd, another newcomer to the showcase followed McNeil. His first song was “What Love Is” in which he tried to explain how to win at the game by making “promises to win” but never quite getting there. A very pretty ballad which he wrote as a teenager, “whisper” came next followed by “We Evolve” which is to say, “we move on” as circumstances dictate. He closed out his set with “Turn My Face and Cry” a sad song of loss.
And, now for something completely different. Rap. We don’t get many (none) rappers doing a VOCAL showcase, but tonight proved the exception. Jay and CD, two young guys stepped up to the mic and proceded to wow the audience with a short set of 3 raps all with backing tracks, “Brand New” either a title or definition was first, followed by I’ll Do You” with CD beat boxing, and lastly, “Soul Far” a long rap that left people wondering how he could have memorized all those words.
Closing ou the night was the group “The Trestle Walkers”, a trio featuring Jeanne Bishop on vocals, Jamie Joyner on upright bass, and Steve Brookings on electric guitar. Their set kicked off with “Cold Dark Hill” followed by “Lured” a rather bluesy type song making good use of Ms. Bishop’s voice, next came “Stare Down The Sun” and then, “Spirit Witch” inspired by the sight of an old black gentleman walking down the street. The trio worked well together in finding the entry and exit points to the songs which, were of anarrative style.
A varied night of music and some unexpected suprises were well appreciated by the audience .

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April 2018 VOCAL Songwriter Showcase

The April 2018 VOCAL Songwriter Showcase took place on Monday, April 16th at O’Toole’s Irish Pub.

Steve Nuckolls opened the show with his new “technology running my life” song Siri Alexa-fied Blues, an ode to self-driving cars, smart homes, artificial intelligence, etc. His song Countryversy contrasts the various types of backroads, country folks out there. He then played Everything’s Just Two Good, the title track of his new EP. He also played Something About Your Love, Sunrise, and Simunye, his tribute to the Zulu people in South Africa.

Headliner Glenda Creamer then took the stage. She played her entire musical she recently wrote on the life of Jesus. She started with a song about Christmas and the birth of Christ, with stories about Joseph, Mary and the Magi. She then moved on to a twelve-year-old Jesus with It’s a Long Walk to Jerusalem. The Wilderness song was about Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist. Wherever You Go is a very beautiful, tender wedding song about one’s steadfast commitment to their partner. That was followed by the Wine song, describing the reception that followed. Follow Me is another beautiful song about Jesus asking the disciples to trust and follow him. Another tune followed based on a parable, asking “wandering child, where did you go? How far did you run? You left behind hearts that love you”. Lazarus describes the story of Jesus waking Lazarus from the dead, and Glenda certainly woke up anyone in the audience who may have been sleeping at the end of the song! She then delivered Zekias, a story about the tax collector, who changes his ways and begins giving half of his possessions to the poor. After riding on the donkey to the children’s delight in Hosanna, the stories around Holy Week unfolded, with the washing of the feet, blessing the bread, and being nailed to the cross. Glenda then sang a lullaby like Mary sang to Jesus’ dead body, followed by Rise Up, Jesus is here to stay!

That was the end of another wonder showcase of original music!

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March 2018 Showcase overview.

March 2012 Showcase
Tonight was the 320th consecutive VOCAL songwriters showcase. Thwre were two featured performers, Martin NcNeil and Steve Fisher.
McNeil , making his second showcase appearance, was first up, on electric guitar. A, very energetic singer, he kicked off his set with “The Love You Give To Me’ which was followed by “Don’t Need a Light/I Believe in You”. This was succeeded by a take-off of The Everly Brothers song “Cathy’s Clown” which was more of a slower version snf more emotional. “I’m Out Of Love” was followed by a faster mover titled “Life On The Road”. A cover of an Emmylou Harris song “In My Dreams” led into the last song of his set, “I’m Comin” Tonight.” Mcneil was well received by the audience for his energetic and vigorous guitar work and singing. After a change over , Steve Fisher stepped up to the mic. He is a long time VOCAL member currently with the local “Tin Can Fish Band” which is well known around Richmond.
Fist song in his set, on electric guitar, was “Saving Grace” followed by “Calico Jack”. “Stowaway” came next. Switching to acoustic-electric guitar, he then performed “Never Gonna Feel”, Till a Morning Comes” and”Too Blind To See”. “Forgive Me” was followed by the crowd pleaser, “Peaceful Revelution” and the Irish tinger tune Friends of the Lord” To close out his set, Steve encored with “Turn Me Around”. Once again, he was greeted with lots of applause and good vibes from the audience.
It was an excellent night of music and conviviality as it appeared there was good feelings, coversation and love all around.

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February 2018 VOCAL Songwriter Showcase

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!

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December 2017 showcase

December 2017 VOCAL showcase:
Ho-h0-ho. It was a Merry Christmas VOCAL showcase at O’toole’s on Dec. 18th. Feat;ured were many of VOCAL’s finest singer/songwriter performers, and the drawing of prizes. As a holiday oriented show, it was requested that each performer do at least one holiday themed song, and to thet extent they did just that. The show was emceed, by John Ellis, who was also the first performer up. He did two songs, (Me and my baby) On a Cold Winter’s Day which touted the benefits of staying inside and enjoying eahc other’s company in comfort from the cold outside. That was followed by an instrumental “Winter Solstice” which showcased his g;uitar picking ability. Matt Manion, on acoustic-electric guitar followed John with three selections, “God’s Thythm” which extolled the virtues of allowing God to be charge of our lives, “Quarter To Midnight” told the story of two strangers who pass in the night on Christmas Eve, and “Thank You Chuck Berry” recognized Berry sa a main contributor to Rock and Roll with many references to his oeuvre, all sung to Johnny B Good. Steve Nuckolls shared two songs “Sunrise” written while jogging, and “When Like Turns to Love” . Glenda Creamer followed Steve with a varied set of songs,
Ho-h0-ho. It was a Merry Christmas VOCAL showcase at O’toole’s on Dec. 18th. Feat;ured were many of VOCAL’s finest singer/songwriter performers, and the drawing of prizes. As a holiday oriented show, it was requested that each performer do at least one holiday themed song, and to thet extent they did just that. The show was emceed, by John Ellis, who was also the first performer up. He did two songs, (Me and my baby) On a Cold Winter’s Day which touted the benefits of staying inside and enjoying eahc other’s company in comfort from the cold outside. That was followed by an instrumental “Winter Solstice” which showcased his g;uitar picking ability. Matt Manion, on acoustic-electric guitar followed John with three selections, “God’s Thythm” which extolled the virtues of allowing God to be charge of our lives, “Quarter To Midnight” told the story of two strangers who pass in the night on Christmas Eve, and “Thank You Chuck Berry” recognized Berry sa a main contributor to Rock and Roll with many references to his oeuvre, all sung to Johnny B Good. Steve Nuckolls shared two songs “Sunrise” written while jogging, and “When Like Turns to Love” . Glenda Creamer followed Steve with a varied set of songs, “”Jesus, Meek and Mild’, “Christmas Cookies” was a humorous song about oveereating cookies, complete with sound effects (nibble nibble, crunch crunch etc). She closed with “After Christmas” a picture of the holiday aftermath. In between sets, prizes were gien to lucky ticket holders who received gift certificates and CD’s. fter the drawing, Mark Daniel started his performance with “When a Soldier Calls Home” which was a touching portrait of what home means, family, kitchen siblings etc. In the next song, the singer detailed what happened when he picked up a hitch-hiker who went on the regale him with a ll the things that makde him”A Rich Man” mostly all the free things we have around us, mountains, trees, storms, eagles and stars, for example. He closed out his set with “Big Daddy Roll On” a tale of a truck drtiver heading for home. Carey Colvin and Granger Helvey are a couple who make music together and they came up next to showcase their talents. In “Gulf of Mexico, the singer (Colvin) lays out her longing to be out of her rut and living the god life in or by the Gulf of Mexico. “Christmas Kitty” was a cute song listing all the things a cat can do to wreak havoc in and around the Christmas tree and presents, “It’s Christmas Time” typically described all the decorations and f;uss that make up the holiday, and “The Christmas Imp” was a diatribe about Elf on the Shelf, The list of performers closed out with Steve Fisher of the Tin Can Fish Band, doing a song about his “Experiences In Ireland” which outlined a short term relationship during a visit there, Mama Don’t Cry” gave an upbeat message to hang in, because everything will eventually will be all right. His final song, All We Have” had a similar message directed to hobos, that they will find a better place in the sweet bye and bye. After the final prizes of the evening were handed out, a song-along of popular Christmas songs followed. VOCAL wishes everyone a happy holiday season no matter what you celebrate.

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November Showcase

November 2017 Showcase

November 20th, 2017

316th Consecutive Show

This past Monday the Virginia Organization of Composers and Lyricists met once again for their monthly showcase. For the night there were three main performers: Glenda Creamer, Guy Gorman, and The Taters.

 

First to perform was Guy Gorman! He treated the audience to nine songs including: Ukulele Yodel; I Oughta Know Better; The Roswell Rock; and I Gotta Lotta Love which was performed with The Taters. Guy’s songs consisted of a unique rock and roll element that got the crowd energized for the evening. He also had a mix of instruments including the guitar, ukulele, and harmonica. Everyone was enthused and left feeling anxious to hear The Taters after their performance with Guy!

 

Next to perform was Glenda Creamer. Glenda performed with her guitar, and strummed six of her original songs. She slowed things down for the evening, but were pleasing to the audience of O’Tooles. Some of her songs included: Lift Up Your Feet, Unexpected Ways, and Jacob’s Well. There was also a lovely performance that was dedicated to her daughter which touched the hearts of every listener.

 

Last to perform, but certainly not least was The Taters! They performed twelve of their original songs for the audience of O’Tooles. Each song was upbeat, and left the audience feeling energetic and happy! A couple of their songs took us back to Halloween, but they also performed a few Christmas songs to get us ready for the upcoming holiday season.

 

Overall the night was once again an enjoyable evening! Each performance was original and a true treat to hear. The VOCAL members would like to thank all performers and audience members for taking time out of their evening to support these great singer/songwriters. Please join us again for next month’s Christmas Showcase for a true treat that is always jam packed with great performances of original and classic holiday tunes, a raffle, and much more!

 

For more information on future showcases and meeting look to the VOCAL Newsletter, website, and blog.

 

 

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October 16, 2017 Showcase

This past Monday, October 16, 2017 the VOCAL group met for another open mic night. There was a great turn out as well! We had a total of eight great performances for the night. Performers included:

  • Norman Roscher performed three of his original songs: “Ghouls on Parade,” “You’re Beautiful,” and “Within Your Eyes.”

 

  • Andy & Andy Handley (ft. Kelly Kennedy) performed two instrumental numbers that gave the crowd a true pub feel with their fiddles!

 

 

  • Kelly Kennedy performed with her accordion, and humored the crowd with a twist on one of her favorite songs. I think the men in the room learned a lesson not to mess with women when returning home from battle!

 

 

  • Guy Gorman performed three of his original songs Monday evening. One was inspired by the infamous Norman Roscher which brought smiles and laughs from the audience!

 

 

  • Glenda Creamer performed three of her original songs on Monday as well. Songs performed included: “Wherever You Go,” and “The Splendor King Solemn.” Her third song got everyone in the spirit of Halloween with an October theme!

 

 

  • Genie Bishop performed two songs for the night! Both of them were incredibly deep love songs. For one song she was assisted by Norman, and another was an acapella version.

 

 

  • A returning favorite, Doug Patrick performed as well in the open mic! He performed three of his original songs for the evening, and slowed things down a bit.

 

 

  • Last, but certainly not least to perform was Steve Nuckolls! He performed three of his original songs as well. He drew back on his past experiences in Africa, and growing up in a small town that ended the night with a nice sentimental feeling.

 

O’Tooles had a great turnout this past Monday, and it was a pleasure to have so many artists volunteer their time to perform for those in attendance! Great job to all of the performers, and we hope to see some of you perform in future showcases (the Christmas showcase is right around the corner if you are interested). Stay tuned to the VOCAL newsletter and blog for more information on next month’s meeting and showcase!

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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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