Songwriters Showcase June 2007

VOCAL Showcase #191 happened at Richbrau’s TapHouse Grill June 18, 2007.  It was a night of ‘come as you are’ performances, where songwriters showed up and played in no particular order as time allowed.

The Showcase also served as a warm up to the Dogwood Dell “We Write the Songs” VOCAL event on June 29, 2007.  Unfortunately that event was washed out by mother nature after only two performances, but what an accomplishment by VOCAL volunteers to organize and prepare such a monumental event for the membership!

Larry Cody warmed up the Showcase audience for the night’s festivities with his classic ‘Now I Know’.   This song is always a pleasure to hear with a gentle strum on Larry’s guitar and his mellow, raspy vocals.

Steve Effinger and Mari Hartung were two performers who were on the printed playbill, since they had signed up for the Showcase prior the show date.  Marti took the second slot of the night to deliver four great songs.  Marti’s guitar was ringing out loud and clear in perfect unison with her vocal delivery on the play list that included ‘That Kind of Music’ and ‘What’s Doin’ Here’.

As an interlude between Marti and Steve Effinger, an old friend of VOCAL, Steve Smithson, was called to the stage to re-acquaint himself with the VOCAL membership.  What a treat it was!  ‘For a Moment Young’ was a finger picking guitar style with very bold, bright strums intermingled for a great sound.  ‘Would not Last a Year’ showed quite the vocal ability with sounds that went from great howls to low roars.  Thanks to Steve for stepping up!

Steve Effinger was next to the stage and ready to entertain with a five song set that included two new songs ‘Vieux Carre’ (a Louisiana reference) and ‘Why Can’t He Love Her Tonight’.  The crowd was revved up with Steve’s light hearted and rhythmic style of ‘Sing My Song to Jesus’.  Steve also included ‘Then She’ll Cry’ and ‘The Best I Ever Had’ to round out the set.

John Ellis came to the stage with the electric guitar slung across his shoulder.  Unfortunately the single coil pickups were demonstrating why the ‘double humbuckers’ were invented, but the show must go on, hum or no hum.  John covered Gary Shaver’s ‘Cryin’ Shame’ and played his own composition ‘The Stranger’.

Larry Cody came back to the stage to complete the evening.  ‘Winter is on the Way’  opened up Larry’s second performance.  Then in a great effort to make the following week’s Dogwood Dell performance all it could be, Larry performed David Atkins’ ‘Sing Your Own Songs’, which was going to be VOCAL’s grand show closing number at Dogwood Dell had mother nature held out just another couple of hours!  Never the less, Larry did a great job with the song and it was great to hear another performance of this tribute to songwriters.

As I wrap up this month’s review, I would like give Larry Cody a big thank you.  For quite a while now, Larry has been typing up, printing and laying out the playbill for each VOCAL performance and he has not always been acknowledged.  And I would be remiss if I forgot to mention our sound and MC team of Jim Uzel and Gary Shaver.  Thanks to Richbrau, to all who show up to support the performances and to all of VOCAL’s volunteers.

- John Ellis