April 2023 VOCAL Songwriters Showcase

Monday evening, April 19, marked VOCAL's return to live performances!! Well, sort of...

There were over 20 people gathered at O'Tooles' Forest Hill location, to celebrate our first "live" Songwriters Showcase since the pandemic lockdowns. However, the perfect storm of miscommunications and misunderstandings. Due to the confusion, Jeff Wagner, who was scheduled, wasn't in attendance. He was missed.

Hours before the show it was discovered that O'Toole's closes its kitchen at 9 PM on Mondays and were advised that we shouldn't play past that time as the whole restaurant may close down if there's no bar business. We had a good crowd, and some people had driven a some miles to get there, so someone suggested that we just play without the sound system and see how things went.

So what is one to do? You gather in the bar side of the restaurant, place your drink and food orders, pull your guitars out of their cases, and you stage an unplugged, impromptu "guitar pull"! Erik Gaines, Steve Nuckolls, Jim Puckett, and Ken Roller, passed around their guitars and performed before an appreciative group. Before the evening ended, even a few of the O'Tooles regulars found their way over to our side of the bar.

This reviewer gave up trying to identify titles by the third song, because as good as the songs and performances were, that wasn't the point. What caught my attention were the smiles and hugs, the handshakes and laughter, the music and applause. For the first time since March of 2020, VOCAL was gathered together in the same room, at the same time...that was the point!

And a good time was had by all...

Showcase Photos

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