The October 2022 VOCAL Songwriters’ Showcase took place virtually via Zoom and FB Live on Monday, October 18, 2022. Two of VOCAL’s long-time members, Glenda Creamer and Jim Puckett, shared their well-crafted tunes with the group.
Glenda opened the evening with a spook-filled set and she was dressed for the occasion with her black witches hat! She opened with Saurena’s Song, describing the melodic hook reeling her in – swallowed the bait – he’s the best fisherman, and she’s waiting to see if she’ll get thrown back in or if she’s a keeper. Lazarus recounts the Biblical tale (a bit creepy/spooky) where Lazarus awakes from the dead. Scary, indeed! She then delivered her signature (and timely) song I’m a Witch Today, conjuring up evil emotions, vibes, etc. that you don’t want to come your way! She then brought us Ghost House, which was inspired by a crazy dark dream. They had just moved to a rental house and started experiencing really weird things, realizing then that the house was haunted. Moonshine Sky is another one of Glenda’s signature songs, a minor-keyed haunting number inspired by the moonshine-making days in Franklin County, VA during the Depression. Fortune Teller is a cool song she co-wrote with former VOCAL member and UofR Speech Professor Jerry Tarver. It “tells” about his love foretold, which then he stupidly betrayed, so he’s now asking the Fortune Teller to tell him a lie – he’ll even pay her double to reward her for her trouble! Glenda ended her set with another haunted tune Never Sing About the Moon (the crescent moon is for the witch, the full moon for the werewolf, but no moon is when all the creepy things come out!) If you don’t want him to fall in love with you, then don’t sing about the moon when you’re looking into his eyes, and don’t act pleased when he gives you a surprise.
Jim Puckett then took the virtual stage with his numerous guitars, swapping them depending on the desired tuning. He opened with Mabscott, an ode to the old coal-mining town, remembering his grandad driving the grocery truck around the mines. The Only Stars is a cool number about not only seeing billions and billions of starts in the sky, but also seeing millions in the darkness of your lover. Mississippi Line reveals a current theme of standing in line for assistance in some form or another, whether it’s food, gas, or most recently bottled water in the case of Jackson. You never know when you may be the one who has to stand in line, especially when your life and dreams have suddenly dried up. In Richmond is a tune where the city is calling out and waiting for you from all corners of its rich and sometimes dark history. From “Hollywood on the James” to the church on “The Hill” there is something for everyone. Jim brought his harmonica for Giving Me Ideas, where he and his lover are taking a drive in the country, the music cranked up to free them. Don’t have to tell me twice, she’s giving me ideas! It’s Okay is a new song from Jim with a “don’t worry, be happy” attitude to life and what comes along. Doesn’t matter what it is, someone borrows and wrecks your car, someone crashes on your sofa, etc. there’s always room at the Inn! Into My Arms is another cool song in alternate tuning that Jim describes as an “apocalyptic love song”. Regardless of all the gloom and doom and despair, I will always be there with arms wide open to take you in. Riverside is one of Jim’s signature tunes, a dark “Appalachian Murder Ballad” tale of taking your lover down to the river where the cool water feels good on a hot summer night. What begins as young passionate lovers trying to get away with everything they could ends with her being shot by a jealous lover who is then “taken to the water”. When The War is Over was written several years ago but is very applicable today with the situation in Ukraine. The parent compares the noises of war to the weather, with the rain and thunder – it will all be better when the war is over. Things Happen Fast describes the situation of many when they are living high on the hog, taking things for granted, when suddenly they find themselves in a free fall and lose everything they had. Jim ended the evening with Winter Town, where he initially is inclined to get out of town when the cold and snow arrives, but then realizes that is where his roots are, so decides to turn around and stay.
Great sets, Glenda and Jim!
If the video below doesn't play when you click it, follow this link to watch it on Facebook: October 2022 VOCAL Showcase Facebook Live