Review of the First Singer-Songwriter Showcase

Review of the Singer-Songwriter Showcase at the Thumbnail Theater
September 17th, 2011 with Beth Whitney, Bill Davie, J.W.McCLure and Tim Noah

The Thumbnail Theater – Snoho-town’s ‘cozy home for the performing arts’- launched the first of their quarterly Songwriter Showcase Concerts on Saturday night, September 17, 2011 featuring PNW singer-songwriters Beth Whitney, Bill Davie, J.W. McClure and the Thumb’s own, Tim Noah. The theater’s spacious stage with its all-pro sound and lighting equipment comfortably seated the songwriters in a gentle arc facing the audience where each could be heard and seen with intimate clarity.

J.W. Mc Clure had the additional duty of MC for the evening poking gentle fun where needed and keeping the songs moving with his smart sense of timing and humor as the performers took turns presenting their original compositions, insights and asides. The night’s songs were an amazing study in diverse creative approaches, styles, vocal ranges and subject matter.

With Beth Whitney representing the ‘twenty-something’ take on the world – the audience was treated to highly creative lyrics and accomplished pared-down guitar lines with Beth’s pure, intimate & powerful vocals. Her on-stage persona was original, fresh and disarming. Beth has a beautiful and unique sounding voice that she combines to great effect with her evocative, poetic lyrics.

Singer-songwriter, Bill Davie, delivered his incredibly energetic and intense lyrics, guitar picking style and vocalizations with consummate professionalism. An extremely facile and powerful guitar player, Davie’s songs were like whirlwinds – capturing and propelling the listener down the alley-ways of his wildly original story-lines. Bill’s showmanship is effortless, and captivating.

Tim Noah, whom I had known through his award winning work as an entertainer and songwriter with children’s programs, took me by complete surprise with his beautifully crafted and delivered adult contemporary songwriting work. Tim is a naturally gifted performer on stage, relaxed, engaging and incredibly polished. His voice is warm and powerful and his songs were melodically fascinating and superbly performed.

As his singer-songwriter self, J.W. McClure delivered a fine batch of original songs with a Jimmy Rogers yodel thrown in for extra measure. Whether comedic, politically pointed or deeply human – J.W,’s songs go straight to the listener’s funny bone, heart and soul. With his easy going manner, effortless old time guitar playing and low key but hilarious stage presence he doesn’t exactly let on where he is taking you until the song is over and you realize he has perfectly captured human frailty via a song about a lonesome cowboy sitting at his campfire, scared and hearing things – possibly space aliens. The audience was all ears and enjoyed the ride immensely.

A great evening of entertainment with a fine group of singer-songwriters!

by Karin Blaine, a PNW singer-songwriter, entertainer and workshop presenter. Learn more about Karin @

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