Tag Archives: Darryl Ellyson

Steve Bassett VOCAL Songwriters Showcase Podcast November 2010

Give a listen to this month’s VOCAL podcast featuring Steve Bassett

Steve Bassett

Coming up on November 15, 2010

  • The VOCAL Songwriters Showcase at O’Toole’s.
  • Steve Effinger
  • Darryl Ellyson
  • Headliner: Special Appearance by Steve Bassett
  • 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
  • Click here for directions

See you there!

VOCAL Showcase October 2009

The October 19, 2009 showcase was a little new, a little old, a little folk, blues and soul!   We welcomed new member Cheryl Fare to the stage for her showcase debut, Darry Ellyson brought out some new songs as well as some of his great older material, and Steve Nuckolls treated the showcase crowd to his featured performance including new material.  Showcase #219 was a great event for live, original music in the river city!

Cheryl Fare kicked off the evening with her mixture of folk, jazz and blues.  In addition to songwriting, Cheryl’s creative endeavours include 17 years in theater.  Her website www.cherylfare.com includes a blog and bio – check it out!  Cheryl started her set in a laid back fashion with the first song she recorded ‘The Messy Song’ which sounded wonderful with the piano accompaniment of Sonny Baharloo.  Many sources in life provide inspiration for her songs like ‘Roll Me Under’, which is based on a book she read.  Throughout the set, Cheryl’s smooth, but strong vocal was a pleasure to drink in, made all the sweeter by strum of her acoustic guitar and Sonny’s work on the keyboard.  The song ‘Stones in my Pocket’ was a wonderful lead-in for the next song, which celebrated the bygone days of the Ford Pinto, ‘Springfield’.  This song brought back a lot of memories for those of us in attendance.  It is wonderful to have Cheryl as part of VOCAL and to have this opportunity to hear her original works on the showcase stage – we hope she’ll come back in 2010!

Darryl Ellyson was up next with new material, and the beautiful tone of a Martin guitar for accompaniment.  The crowd did not have to wait too long for a sample of Darryl’s new material, because he started off with the fresh new lyric ‘Romeo’s Hot Tonight’.  Darryl kept the theme of love going through much of the set as he worked his way through ‘I’m Still in Love With You’ and ‘I’m a Fool for You’.  As always his booming vocal was strong and carried throughout the venue like a thunderclap across a summer sky.  After the song ‘I’m Late Again’, Darryl decided to treat us to his attempt at his own version of Bluegrass music ‘The Diamond Ring’, then closed out the set with a favorite ‘When I Get Home’.  Learn more about Darryl’s music and where he’ll appear next at www.myspace.com/darrylellysonbluelightdistrict.

After Darryl packed up and mingled with the crowd, it was time for the much anticipated appearance of our featured performer for the night, Steve Nuckolls.  Steve is a Virginia songwriter who is originally from a musical hot spot known as Galax, Virginia.   Known for thoughtful songwriting with a very human quality to his subject matter, Steve has written many great songs based on his travels, whether overseas or in the small town where he grew up, often inspired by the people he has met along the way.  Love was the theme of choice for the first part of Steve’s set as he began with ‘Living Out This Love’, then moved right into ‘Die for Love’ (one of the first songs he wrote) and ‘Your Loving Arms’.  ‘Hand Me Downs’ is a wonderful song about making due with what you have as seen from the viewpoint of growing up as a younger sibling.   Amidst some classic songs such as ‘Greetings from Normandy’, ‘Much Obliged’  and ‘Alley Man’, Steve offered a new song to the crowd ‘Something About Your Love’, a wonderful surprise for the crowd.  The song ‘Alley Man’ has a true backstory to it, from Steve’s interactions with a gentleman who would patrol the alley’s in his neighborhood just looking for the time and maybe some tin cans to take away.  With his quiet, but confident vocals and a guitar style that jumps between strumming and fingerpicking, Steve evokes images of James Taylor and other singer/songwriters who have made major contributions with an acoustic guitar and a thoughtful lyric.  The set closed out with a song inspired by a trip to Africa ‘Simunye’ and a song inspired by a trip down Interstate 95 ‘Sunrise’. 

Thanks to all of our showcase attendees for supporting live, original music, it would not be a showcase without you!  And since we are a volunteer organization, we could not get the showcase off of the ground without help from dedicated members like Larry Cody who provides table tent cards (and a whole lot more), Matt Manion for sound services, as well as just being there when you need him, and Matthew Costello of Costello Media www.costello-media.com for photography and web services.  We’ll see you next month at a new location O’Tooles Restaurant and Pub www.otoolesrestaurant.com .  See you there!

VOCAL Showcase January 2009

The showcase counter turned to 210 as the VOCAL members prepared the stage sound for the monthly installment of live, original music in Central Virginia.  The heavy double doors of the TapHouse entrance kept the cold out as the instruments were tuned up and the house was warmed up with the sounds of VOCAL songwriters.  Performers Bill Wellons and Norman Roscher treated the audience to a night of great songwriting.  It was a great night for music, January 19, 2009.

We thank Richbrau’s TapHouse for hosting the showcase each month.  Join us every third Monday of the month for great food, home brewed beverages and the best of live original music from Virginia artists.  The location is 1212 East Cary Street in historic Shockoe Slip.

Bill Wellons took the first set and showed the audience a great time with songs ranging from the ballads to the blues, from slow and easy to upbeat boogie rhythms.  Bills voice was accompanied by fine fingerwork on the piano.  He blew the crowd away with ‘Hurricane’ a moderate tempo song with sort of a bluesy, folk lyrical content, but a light, easy, steady piano pattern.  Bill then injected a little humor into the evening with ‘In a Family Way’, a humorous look at expecting the arrival of a baby – this song had an upbeat “boogie” rhythm to my ear.  The instrumental ‘That’s How it Goes’ was a beautiful song and an interesting change from the earlier songs.  The emotional content of the music swept from tender reflection to humor and love with the next series of songs including a tribute to Bill’s father ‘When I Needed You’ and another boogie tune ‘Unlucky at Love’.

It was great to have Bill on the showcase stage and we hope to have him back soon.  Until then, you can hear some of Bills music at www.myspace.com/billwellons.

At the request of Bill Wellons and Norman Roscher, time was set aside for special tributes to Cham Laughlin, VOCAL’s founder, who passed away January 5, 2009.  Cham was a great inspiration and source of support for many songwriters and performers in Virginia.  VOCAL took time to honor Cham with a few songs.

First to pay tribute to Cham was Darryl Ellyson with his song ‘The Final Hour’ a very moving song about contemplating the end of life www.myspace.com/darrylellysonbluelightdistrict.  Next, Eddy Kitchen performed ‘This Beer’s on Me’ which is a light-hearted country style song featuring Larry Cody on lead guitar.  Eddy’s song was somewhat the reason for Cham and Eddy first working together.  Norman Roscher gave the final tribute with ‘If I Should Ever Get to Heaven’.  We thank Bill and Norman for remembering Cham by setting aside this time and thanks to each performer for taking time to honor our founder.

For the closing set of the evening, Norman Roscher took to the stage with family and friends in the formation of ‘Norman and the Clackwells’ to bring his unique, imaginative music to life.  The first song was the reminiscent, fun song ‘I Don’t Play Doctor Anymore’.  Keeping the fun alive, the act moved on to the song ‘Fat Alice’.  The Clackwell portion of the band was made up of Evan Esch on upright bass, Eliza Brill (Evan’s spouse) on backup vocals and washboard rhythms, and Norman’s daughter Deanna Lorriani on vocals.  The Clackwells rounded out Norman’s live sound nicely!  Another special guest, Charlotte Roscher joined the group with backing vocals for ‘So Long Baby Goodbye’.

So much of Norman’s music has lively rhythms and catchy words that make you want to sing along.   Norman included some of his lively material in the closing portion of the program, which included ‘Kazooka’, ‘Burn Baby Dynamo’ and ‘I Don’t Want to Grow Up’ for the Peter Pan’s in the audience.  Catch Norman on the web at www.myspace.com/normalnormannortledorfband .

I can’t give enough thanks to Norman, Bill and my cousin Kenneth Sebera for making themselves available to help out on the showcase as I recovered from a back injury.  They showed up early to make sure the showcase was ready to roll and helped me pack up as well.  It was truly a group effort this month!

VOCAL’s thanks goes to all of our performers and to the showcase crowd who supports our wonderful artists.  Thanks to Larry Cody for making the table tent cards to announce the performers, thanks to Matthew Costello for web support and John Ellis for sound services.  Until next month, be sure to support other live, original music events!

VOCAL Showcase December 2008

VOCAL songwriters, performers and the public gathered together at Richbrau’s TapHouse to start off the holidays with live, original music.  A selection of VOCAL’s membership turned out to perform their material for a lively, attentive audience.  The showcase counter flipped to 210 as we kicked off the event on December 15, 2008.  You can find more information about the upcoming showcase at www.vocalsongwriter.org/showcase.html.

For over two years now, Richbrau’s TapHouse has hosted the VOCAL Showcase every third Monday of the month.  VOCAL’s original music is complimented by original, home crafted beverages and fine cuisine.  Join us at 1212 East Cary Street for the best in original songwriting from Virginia artists.

James Lester kicked off the night with his own style of instrumental blues.  Much of James’ music was finger-style picking on a sweet sounding, hollow body electric that rang out with a cool, jazzy feel.  The eight song set included ‘Bucky’s Blues’ as well as ‘Bernie and the D Blues’, written in honor of two cats.  James conveyed a rich, bluesy feel as he moved his hands about the fretboard, demonstrating dexterity and creativity.  We look forward to James’ return to the showcase in February 2009.

Gary Shaver and Jim Uzel joined forces for the next round of music as they took turns featuring their own material in an in-the-round format.  Gary’s songs included ‘Somewhere Between Her and You’, ‘Right Through My Mind’, ‘Calling You Back Home’, ‘Take Me Back’ and ‘I Stand Amazed’.  This sampling of Gary’s music reflected the ballads and love songs that he is known for.  ‘Calling You Back Home’ was written on Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago – the song title reminds me of someone reflecting on a loved one during the holiday season.  ‘I Stand Amazed’ is Gary’s self-described ‘happy song’, which he dedicated to a friend in the audience.

Jim Uzel’s portion of the set included songs with a seasonal theme.  Jim’s songs ‘Spirits in the Rain’, ‘Christmas Love’ and ‘Gifts of a Child’ were accompanied by his resonator acoustic guitar, which sometimes provided a haunting feel to the melody.  It was good to have Jim on stage again.

Darryl Ellyson stepped up to the microphone next with some great time tested songs as well as one song written since his November showcase performance.  ‘I’m Not Afraid’ is a favorite of mine, with a powerful, moving melody, strong vocals and intense lyrics.  The rest of the set included ‘You and Me Baby’, ‘I Don’t Know’ and Darryl’s new song ‘Pushin’ Against My Heart’.

Gerry Laverty closed out the evening with some of his most popular songs.  ‘Details of Castrophe’ started the short set, followed by the song ‘Lonesome Blue Eyes’ which is a fanatastic song that is an instant favorite with the first listening.  ‘I am a House’ was inspired by the sudden death of a friend.  ‘Zion Crossroads’ is another crowd favorite and sample of Gerry’s ablilities with creative, poetic songwriting.

Thanks to our performers for making the holiday season ever more enjoyable with their talents on the showcase stage.  The showcase event and coverage was made possible by a team of VOCAL volunteers made up of Larry Cody (tent cards), Matthew Costello (web updates), Gerry Laverty (photography) and John Ellis (sound services).  We thank all those who come out in support of live, original music and we hope that everyone can join us again next month for the longest running, original music showcase in Central Virginia!

VOCAL Showcase November 2008

It was a cold, windy night in Richmond, Virginia as the showcase stage was set up and the equipment turned on to warm up.  Our performers were ready to go to keep the pre-holiday spirits up and present some of the best original music that VOCAL has to offer.  The showcase counter flipped to 209 and the performers tuned up for a night of great music.  It was November 17, 2008.

As always, we like to take a moment to thank Richbrau’s TapHouse Grill for hosting the showcase every 3rd monday of the month.  Join us at 1212 East Cary Street in historic Shockoe Slip for great food, home brewed beverages and live entertainment from Virginia’s songwriters.

The evening’s first performer was Justin Brown.  This was Justin’s first Showcase appearance, but he is not a stranger to the stage having performed in his former band Plaid Rose.  Justin also enjoys recording his own material in his home studio.  Joining Justin on stage was a great local harmonica player from the band Barrelhouse, Tom Mayer.  Justin and Tom are both members of the River City Blues Society www.wegotblues.com where they work to ensure that the blues tradition is kept alive in Virginia.

Justin kicked off the evening with a Beatle-esque tune ‘Lead Me On’ followed up by ‘Whiskey Towne’.  The song ‘Footsteps’ was written by Justin right after graduating High School and moving out into his own home.  ‘Mississippi Railroad’ is a tune penned just six months prior to the showcase and a song with a steady, driving rhythm that reminded me of a train chugging down the line.  The next two songs were written by Tom Mayer and they were heavy on the blues!  ‘All My Wife’s Relations’ was a somewhat humorous and lyrically interesting song with the line ‘…of all my wife’s relations, I like my self the best…’.  The song ‘Blue Eyes’ was an upbeat number with a theme that things are not always as they seem.  Tom’s harmonica work filled the TapHouse with the spirit of the blues, ringing out sweet riffs just dripping with feeling and grit.  Justin and Tom closed out the set with ‘Shake the Dew’ and ‘Turn Your Damper Down’.  Thanks to Justin for getting the evening off to an inspiring, blues driven beggining!

VOCAL was pleased to welcome back a Showcase regular and a great local song writer.  Darryl Ellyson has a songwriting and performing history going back at least twenty years including performances in different local bands.  Since becoming part of VOCAL, Darryl’s songwriting has been quite impressive with the ability to turn out many catchy, well written songs of many styles sometimes completing songs in a single day.

Darryl started off his set with ‘Raindrops Fallin” and ‘Final Hour’.  The second song highlighted Darryl’s ability to convey an emotional, soulful feel.  ‘I’m Gone’ is a new song written two weeks before the showcase.  ‘Teardrops Cover my Pillow’ has a lyrical meter and melodic structure that really allows Darryl to show the power of his voice – it’s a light-hearted, blues inspired song.  The country-blues song ‘That’s Just the Way Love Goes’ uses the lower ranges of Darryl’s voice and demonstrates his songwriting talents with the line “…remember the good times, forget the bad, that’s just the way love goes…”.

Darryl continued the set with a second new song ‘It’s So Hard’ followed up by ‘I’ve Got to Walk On’ and the rocking blues number ‘Been Out Travelin”, where Darryl’s vocals were strong and powerful.  The set wrapped up with ‘Tell Me Baby’, ‘I’m Not Afraid’, ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Broken Dreams’, and ‘When I Get Home’.

We must thank the volunteers that make the showcase happen each month.  Larry Cody provides the table tent cards to inform the audience, John Ellis provided sound services and we thank Matthew Costello for keeping the showcase information on the website.  And, of course, thanks to each performer who made the showcase a great musical affair.  And thanks to all who support the performers.  Join us again the third Monday of next month for the best in original songwriting and performing on the VOCAL Showcase!