“It’s all right to have a good time, yeah…!”
Four strong male voices opened Roanoke College’s fall Coffee Shop Talks with that classic do-wop number. A good time would be had by all, indeed.
The happy, once-a-month, Thursday night scene again mixed RC students and townsfolk — including pupils encouraged by Salem piano teacher Sarah O’Brien to attend.
This was the first time that students, rather than faculty, have had a starring role in the free series at Mill Mountain Coffee. And these talented, funny members of “Looking for an Echo” were more than up to the spirited task.
They sing “a cappella” (look, Ma, no instruments). “There’s nothing more collegiate than an a cappella group,” noted singer Cullen Truett. The biology major also said such programs show how RC offers a well-rounded education.
Questions are welcomed, but if the audience hesitates, RC Associate Dean / excellent organizer Adrienne Bloss poses just the right ones. Answering one about choosing songs, “Echo” said they “kinda mimic,” but add something original. Group president Paul Fariss compared them to sushi: “Not cooked,” but different elements come together. Other “elements” this night included Parker Gunn and Rodrick Hooper. Alex Weant joined in for a world-music tune. They miss the-guy-who-does-beat-boxing; he’s in China right now.
Their most requested number is “Wagon Wheel,” which gives the audience a chance to shout “Roanoke!”
And yes, RC students and alums stood for the closing alma mater — complete with motions that left everyone laughing.
Culture, coffee and cookies! It’s more than an all-right way to have a good time.
(The full 16-member “Looking for an Echo” and other groups will perform Sept. 29th at Olin Hall as part of RC’s Family Weekend.)
* Well-known RC Political Science Prof. Harry Wilson will give his take on the 2012 elections at the next Coffee Shop Talk. (Even if you don’t leave this one with a song-in-your-heart, it should be worth attending.) MMC, Oct. 4, 8 p.m.
* Music? History? Culture? If you are a fan of any of these, mark your calendar: It’s your LAST CHANCE to catch “ ’60s Rock — When the Music Mattered.”
The groovin’, “walking encyclopedia” Barry Drake’s last multimedia show will be Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m. at RC’s Colket Center. For years he was named Best Campus Entertainer nationally.
Some years he showcased the ’50s, ’70s or ’80s. Even if you’ve already seen his take on the ’60s, attend! Each show is a bit different (yeah yeah yeah, I went every year).
It’s free. It’s wonderful. I can’t believe it’s ending. (Thank you, RC Student Activities Director Mark Petersen, for alerting me to Drake’s retirement.) For more info, (540) 378-5125.
Here are more photos by Laura Tucker from the performance of Looking for an Echo.