Tag Archives: Jim Puckett

March 2020 VOCAL Songwriters Showcase

The March 2020 VOCAL Showcase took place on Monday, March 9, 2020 at O’Toole’s Irish Pub. The showcase had a Spring theme, so performers were asked to perform at least one song with that in mind.

Joan Smith opened the show with Emergence, a Spring-like love song calling for the awakening of her heart. She followed with Pot of Gold, a search for something more in life, possibly even leading to a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow! The Yes Man is a unique a cappella doo-wop style song, giving it back to the man dangling too-good-to-be-true offers in front of you. Let’s see your credit score and I’ll see what I can do!

Gary Luong, who’s only been writing for a year or so, opened with a really cool heartbreak song, You’re the One Who Taught Me Guitar. His next room-quietening tune was a very delicate Ed Sheerin-ish number, recounting the advice from his father (I’ve Got to Give Back My Love to You). He enlisted the grooving help of a looping machine for his last tune, saying we’re still young and have plenty of time to live out our lives together.

Bill Kaffenberger returned to the VOCAL stage with three of his offerings. Early Spring was written by his friend and local RVA songwriter Steve Antonacci, who recently passed away. This is a really touching song about the promises Spring will bring, and Bill plans to play this at Steve’s upcoming memorial service. She’s So Real describes the girl with a heart a million miles high, and a smile a million miles wide. If only he could get near her to tell her! What am I Doing Here has him sitting on his hands, with no one listening to what he has to say. Things have never been good to him, and probably never will be. You may never strike a chord anywhere near fame, but you can’t give up or you’ll lose the game.

Jim Puckett then took the stage with The Sunshine Knows Your Name, where the warm Spring sun trumps all the bitterness that Winter can throw at you. Lenten Roses delivers on the promise of Spring, with the beauty of the blooming flowers, showing the fruit of your labors. Doesn’t the Rain Still Fall had some really cool images of the sun always shining, the wind sneaking down the mountain, babies always crying, etc.

Long-time member Karen Trump graced the stage after quite a long absence. It was great to hear her stellar roots/folk/blues offerings. God’s Redeeming Grace was reminiscent of the Carter Family, a Spring-ish number about falling in love when the flowers are in bloom. Silver-Tongued Devil was a delightfully dark number about succumbing to temptation. No Spring Chicken is something most of us can relate to. While we’re still quite able in a lot of areas, there’s certainly nothing wrong with hitting the sack at 9:30! Welcome back, Karen!

Martin McNeil brought us some fine British muse with Back in Your Arms Again, asking for his lover to hold and soothe him. Give Myself Up to the Night was a poignant number, crying all the tears at the station, and hitting the road on the 8:39 train. He ended with In My Breakdown, receiving an arrow through the heart from his former lover.

Norman Roscher ended the evening of original music as only he can do. My Bitch Lad was a very irreverent (but tender and loving) tune about a young lad walking through the woods when he was “taken in” by a woman for her personal needs. So was there a loser in this transaction? He then delivered a tune written by fellow “Vocal-onian” Bill Wellons, Gonna Take My Baby Dancing. This is just a really happy, feel-good song about kicking your feet up on the dance floor! Waiting for The Moon is a signature Norman tune from the Dog’s New Clothes era, and is always a crowd favorite!

feb. 2020 VOCAL Showcase

Feb 2020 VOCAL Showcase
(due to a complete delete of a full review, I am only listing a set list of each performer. Sorry about that.)

Tonight’s performers included two returning songwriters, Jim Puckett and Steve Nuckolls. who was the featured performer.
Jim went first and did six songs.

  1. Runaway Horizon (a travelling song that ook us from east to west and back)
  2. In the Bargain ( it’s hard enough to love yourself musch less lose the one your love)
  3. On Your Mind ( you can forget me, i’m in your mind)
  4. Last of the Lonely Girls ( he ends up the last of the llonely men when all the girls are gone)
  5. Opalena ( a mountain doula who delivers many babies but has no surviving choldren of her own)
  6. Song of Love ( a song strangely enough, about love)

Steve Nuckolls followed with a 13 song set including the following:

  1. Making My Getaway (doing what it takes to supress one’s pride)
  2. Sitting In With Emmy Lou ( a Saturday session to sing along with Emmy Lou Harris)
  3. Sunrise ( equivaling a sunrise with the idea of hope)
  4. Something About Your Love (She is the singer’s answered prayers and a gift from heaven)
  5. The Flag’s At Half Mast (pondering the reasons why the flag is at half mast)
  6. Open Door ( Being thankful for the things on your life that make it what it is)
  7. Everything’s Just Two Good (body parts as a metaphor for loving someone)
  8. The Gibson Guitar ( a surprising place to see a guitar for sale, in a furniture store)
  9. Praying For a Rocky Top ( hoping good old country values still exist)
  10. Lines Of Love (how the words we say reflect on those we love and those that love us)
  11. Higher Bar (describing the sacrifices made by heroes in war and at home)
  12. Sumanye ( An African term for togetherness and pride in unity of a homogenious group)
  13. Two Hours From Everywhere (living in a town that is 2 hours from all the major cities and their offerings)

As seen by the above: there was a wide range of topics and ideas spun together by the two performers , and highly appreciated by the audience at hand.

Nov. 2019 Showcase

One of Richmond’s longest songwriters showcase, probably the longest, presented its #340th, this Monday, Nov. 18th, at O’Toole’s Bar and Grill. Two sets of songs were on the menu.

Sherry Heath Wagner and Jeff Wagner

First up, the duo of Sherry Heath Wagner and her husband Jeff Wagner, starting off on two guitars. . They did 7 songs which included the opening number “Reckless Mind”, followed by “She Was Raised On Sad Songs”, “Scarecrow ( Jeff on mandolin), “Ghost Rider”, “Borderline” , “Is It Still You” (again with mandolin) and lastly, Musicland”. The songs ranged in scope from painful experiences to relationship doubts, to a trip to Nashville. Their singing blended well and they instrument playing was exceptional and versatile.
After a brief pause and new setup, the show was back on with Jim Puckett. Jim is an extremely proficient guitar player and he showed off his skills on the set of mainly folk style songs he presented. Beginning with “Breaking Ground’, “I Will Take You Into My Arms”, a rocker “Keep’em Comin’ Around’, “Looking Down”, and followed by “Our Own Blues” Learning How To Say Goodbye”, “Letter To a Friend”, “Riverside” ( with harp accompaniment) and lastly, The Rest Of Our Lives”. A well planned set of songs, which covered wide ranging subjects from heartbreak, love, pep talks, sadness and secret rendezvous’.
The nearly full house showed their appreciation for the talents of these 3 people with hefty rounds of applause and in some cases, clapping along with the song. Be sure to mark your calendars for the big Christmas showcase on Dec. 16th. Lots of good cheer and prizes will be dispensed.

Jim Puckett

After a brief pause and new setup, the show was back on with Jim Puckett. Jim is an extremely proficient guitar player and he showed off his skills on the set of mainly folk style songs he presented. Beginning with “Breaking Ground’, “I Will Take You Into My Arms”, a rocker “Keep’em Comin’ Around’, “Looking Down”, and followed by “Our Own Blues” Learning How To Say Goodbye”, “Letter To a Friend”, “Riverside” ( with harp accompaniment) and lastly, The Rest Of Our Lives”. A well planned set of songs, which covered wide ranging subjects from heartbreak, love, pep talks, sadness and secret rendezvous’.

The nearly full house showed their appreciation for the talents of these 3 people with hefty rounds of applause and in some cases, clapping along with the song. Be sure to mark your calendars for the big Christmas showcase on Dec. 16th. Lots of good cheer and prizes will be dispensed.