Once again, due to COVID, the VOCAL showcase for July, was a virtual event, streaming on two platforms, Zoom and Facebook. Viewers who attended both sites were treated to a night of music, provided by two performers, Jim Puckett and Keely Burn.
After a brief intro by VOCAL prez Matthew Costello, Jim Puckett started the show. His first number was “East Coast Trucking” a paean to those who drive route 95 up and down the east coast, problems faced and solved during the course of their long haul. That was followed by “This World” an older song, which talked about making good out of what you been given. Then “Find the Good” was a song that suggested we look beyond the surface of what we have and where we are, to appreciate the better things of life. “I’ll Never Get Over Your Love” tells us of a person who was beaten down, taken for granted, getting hurt, yet continues to love the perpetrator of the pain. Next on the set list, Jim presented a new song “Giving Me Ideas” which was a tale of two people taking a drive out to the country, in a Lincoln, not a Prius (too small to fool around in), and how the atmosphere of the countryside was inducive to romantic thoughts. “RPM” stands for record playing momma which was his next offering, a rollicking song about remembering the good old days of vinyl records and the artists we enjoyed. Of all Jim’s songs “Chinese Butterfly” provoked the most comments, as listeners tried to figure out what it was about, describing different scenarios in almost every line, about Emperors, Rabbis, and assorted other characters. Lastly: “For the Bold” a new song dedicated to his wife, offers her words of love and commitment.
Keely Burn is, as is often mentioned, the youngest member of VOCAL, but comes across as a seasoned veteran of the music wars. Tonight, she performed on ukulele, a set of songs mostly taken from her new CD “Not My Masterpiece” which in itself might have a dual meaning, that being a claim dedicated to a lover, or the fact that a better CD will emerge later on. “I Am Not Afraid” started off her set. “I’ve Been More Aware” begins with a great line “I am not a doorstop” that sure gets your attention, and then goes on to talk about being overlooked in the world and feelings of discouragement. The next song was a new one titled “Bed of Nails” and describes an affair that has its consequences and is prickly and difficult. “Lightning” describes a relationship that has changed over the years and the singer wants to know of those changes are too radical for the relationship to continue, asking will you stay or will you leave? This was followed by “Come Down Love” which began with some well done whistling and then moves to an exhortation of wanting to be loved by someone who is reluctant to commit and hears the final plea “plant your flag” on me. Switching from tenor uke to soprano uke, Keely did “Out of the Flood” and then closed with the self described “Cute Girl with Glasses” tune, though not wearing them tonight. No question she fits it to a tee. However, she tells us, we shouldn’t judge a book (person) by its cover (persona) she may dye her hair blue, play ukulele, only know 4 chords, or act quirky sometimes, but she is a real person with real feelings, not a stereotype of some ditzy young thing. Amen to that.