March 2022 VOCAL Songwriters Showcase

The March 2022 VOCAL Virtual Showcase featured two very talented VOCAL songwriters, Dean Broga and Jeff Wagner.

Tonight’s showcase, simulcast on Zoom and Facebook, featured two longtime VOCAL songwriters, Bill Kaffenberger and Matt Manion. After some brief opening remarks by VOCAL president Matthew Costello, and two introductory songs by the featured artists, the show began.Matt Manion
Firstup, Matt Manion began his set with one of his standard songs “Don’tStand By Me” which is the hilarious tale of a band member who is leery of being on stage with another band member because he is getting shot at by a cuckold. This was followed by “Power Play” a song about job frustration. “Song For Speculators” describes half hearted love affairs, and part time lovers who don’t commit as “a bitter pill to take”. At this point in his set, Matt switched over to his keyboard, using organ tones, to present, what was a sad and mournful song “A Terrible Dream” which depicted musical scenes from the Ukrainian war. Quoting from the late civil rights leader, John Lewis, Matt created a song entitled “Necessary Trouble, Good Trouble” a phrase associated with Lewis, and exhorts those, such as LGBT people to stand up for their rights which leads into the next song “Boys On The Beach“. In this song Matt, sings about the singer who enjoys watching the young men on the beach cavort about in their swim suits which keeps him entranced. However, at the end, we learn the singer already has a companion who is enjoying the sights with him. The last song in the set was one to which most of us can subscribe “This Gettin’ Old, Is Gettin” Old“. Outlining all the aches and pains old folks suffer, he ruminates, “Golden Years are over sold” Indeed. Bill Kaffenberger
Bill Kaffenberger (Berger, not Burger) now lives in L.A. but still participates in VOCAL activities. He has recently completed a CD entitled “Ghosts Of Laurel Canyon” from which he chose a couple of songs. But before those, he kicked off his set with an older song (Co-written with Jim Howard) “A Clear Day For Peace” which, in a way, piggy backed on Matt’s “Terrible Dream” but in a more positive tone. “She’s So Real” describes a lady with a smile as big as the sky, and eyes that sparkle and dance in the sun. In fact, as he stated, this song could have been titled “She’s Surreal” for all the idealistic metaphors he used. “Summer Day, Summer Sun” follows in the same path, though descriptive more of nature than a person musing of long lost days looking at mountain vistas and babbling brooks. “Oh Dad” is a tribute to his departed father in which Bill, presumably at graveside, talks to hi sfather about how much he misses him and loves him. It was touching to say the least. As mentioned a couple of songs Bill did came from his latest CD. This one, the title tune, has the singer searching the canyon and oll the SoCal locations looking for a lost love but so far, only finding the ghosts and asks, at the end, “are the ghosts still there, is the magic still there”. “The Weeping Time” takes place in Savannah Ga. during a sad time in history during the middle 1800’s during the slave trade era. It castigates those who profited off this despicable practice. “If I Ask” was a pleasant tune about seeing someone the singer likes and inquires if he can dance with her. “Without You” from the new CD follows through on the title with the plea “How Long Can I Go through(life) without you.” Bill ended his set tonight with a plea to God as “Someone Greater” we need in our lives and invites us to be “part of His plans’. That ended tonight’s showcase.

Click here to view the showcase on Facebook.