Archive for September, 2017


Ben Martinec

Ben Martinec and Mandalyn Mack swapped songs to start New Faces Tuesday at Love

Mandalyn Mack

and War in Texas in Plano on September 26. The weekly showcase was live on TexasSelectRadio.com, the event’s sponsor. Shaun Outen hosts New Faces Tuesday.

Martinec was in a bluesy mood, mixed in with his signature, laid-back delivery and songwriting style with some handy guitar work. Mandalyn answered each time with a country song she had written. One of her most memorable songs is My Love Song to Beer – given the fact that she is only 16 years old.

John Morgan took the stage next and played a set of solid country cover songs. Dan Roark played after

Dan Roark

Morgan with his original songs, including Waffle House is a Mighty Fortress. Mr. Troll wrapped up the evening entertainment. He played

Mr. Troll

about four songs before the audience left. They didn’t leave because of Troll, because he played well. They had their carryout containers before he took the stage.

Come on out next Tuesday and join in the fun. There’s always a lot of good, original music mixed with some sing-along covers. The food is good, the staff is friendly, and the drink prices are reasonable. Songwriters interested in performing should message Shaun Outen on Facebook. The  show will be live on TexasSelectRadio.com and sponsored by Texas Select.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Shotgun Josephine

The Poor David’s Pub open mic on Monday, September 25, was another one of those nights when the people not there missed a good show. Granted, most of them were watching the Cowboy game.

Dan Roark, as guest host for Mr. Troll, opened the show. He included his Poor David’s Pub song. Roy Howell followed with his cynical musical musings. Darren Rozell took the stage next with his original country songs.

Then featured artists, Shotgun Josephine, played a nice set of original songs and Americana music. The harmonies of Susie McGuire and Randal Clarke blend together with ease and are pleasant to the ear. Particularly on songs such as The Other One, So Many Ways to Say Good-bye, and Amarillo Rag. Toward the end of their set, they played a nice cover of Sylvia’s Mother by Dr. Hook that had Dan Roark and Scott Thornton harmonizing with them – just back by the bar. Follow the link and check them out. Go see them if you get the chance when they are in the Dallas area. Their area is Ft. Worth and surrounding towns. Even the drive west is worth the effort to hear Shotgun Josephine.

Scott Thornton wrapped up the evening, with Randal Clarke joining him on guitar. Check out the links for all the songwriters and catch their show when you get a chance. You won’t regret it.

Come join the fun on Monday, October 9th, when Dan Roark again is guest host. Open mic is always a good time, the sound is excellent – thanks to Carlos Sanchez, and whether it’s Kevin, Samantha, or Leslie behind the bar, the drinks are great.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Peggy Houlihan

On September 24, the last day of the Oktoberfest celebration in McKinney, the square was awash with activity. From bounce houses and climbing walls, to the various stages, food booths, and miscellaneous vendors. People and families moved among the booths and activities.

But away from all the noise – up the stairs above Spoons Cafe – from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., songwriters were sharing their songs for a receptive audience and a good cause. Kevin Edwards, of Guitar Gallery on the Square – where the songwriters were playing – organizes the event each year. He gives music lessons during the week. This year the event was benefitting Warriors Keep, a charitable organization that aids veterans in the transition back to civilian life after active duty. The purpose was to create awareness for the young charity as much as to collect funds. Kayak McKinney and

Ken Maxwell

Cedar Creek Brewery also sponsored the event.

Originally planned for noon until 7, so many people responded that the jam was to begin at 11 a.m. But things can happen. And they did. But that’s to be expected and the music played on.

Ray White began the day’s performances followed by Jud Block. Peggy Houlihan preceded Ken Maxwell, Russ Lowry, and Stephanie Sammons. Dan Roark led the next batch of songwriters, followed by Jess Skelton, and trio, Wooden Nickel. Ben Shook, Sean & Faye, Larry Martin, and Samantha Beall wrapped up the performances. Kevin Edwards closed out the show.

Dan Roark

It was nearly eight hours of continuous performers and music. With a good number of original songs and healthy doses of sing-a-long cover songs in an intimate setting above the square. Follow the links to learn more about the performers, hear their music, and see other pictures from the event. Also find some more pictures on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

Dan Roark

Dan Roark and Ray White opened the show at Love and War in Texas New Faces Tuesday on September 19. Terry Strange

Ray White

started out as host while regular host, Shaun Outen, had a scheduling conflict.

Dan and Ray swapped songs for five original songs each. The pictures are from a previous New Faces. It’s difficult to take pictures of

Jerrett Zoch

yourself when you are playing on stage. White’s traditional country style was a fitting counterpoint to Roark’s Americana style. Ray played lead on a few of Dan’s songs, but they really jammed on Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters.

Terry Strange

Jerrett Zoch took the stage next for a set of originals and cover songs in his strong, forceful voice. Shaun arrived to take up hosting, and Terry Strange played a set of his red dirty country music to end the show.

Join Shaun Outen, Dan Roark, and other songwriters on Tuesday, September 26 for another installment of New Faces Tuesday. One thing you can be sure of – it’s good music and a good time. And it supposed to be cooler on Tuesday.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Colleen Francis

The Dallas Songwriters Association 3rd Saturday showcase on September 16, was held in the lounge at Plano Super Bowl (PSB) due to a last minute change. Angela’s at the Crosswalk has been sold and the new owner cancelled all music indefinitely. Julie Holmer, one of the former owners, assisted DSA in finding a location because of the sudden announcement.

The showcase was from 9-11 p.m. – as opposed to 7:30 – 10 at Angela’s. League play at the bowling alley ends at 9 p.m. and open bowl begins. The sound system was set up so that the performers  were playing to the people in the lounge, but could be heard by customers walking into PSB and bowlers on that end of the building.

Colleen Francis opened the show at 9. With the casual bowling atmosphere, she played

Host Dan Roark

mostly originals, but threw in a few covers. The crowd in the lounge was fluid, mostly consisting of bowlers coming in from the bowling lanes and people waiting for a lane. While there was little applause at the end of songs, it was obvious people were listening and looking in to see who was playing. Colleen’s set included her songs, Wildflower, and crowd favorite, Better Than This.

Host Dan Roark followed Francis at 9:45. While people moved in and out of, and by, the bar, he played River That Flows and the Aardvark song among others. A small crowd of people were standing in the bar when Dan played Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters and I Got My Ass Kicked in Nashville to finish his set. The security guard was seen tapping his foot and nodding his head.

Jeff Stachowski

Jeff Stachowski began to play about 10:20 for the final set of the evening. He began with his love trilogy: It’s Not Love, 99 Postcards, and Month of Mondays. He also played crowd favorites, 5 Miles of Smiles, and Little Green Men. Jeff also has a band called PROPELLER. Being a comedian in a former life, Stachowski mixes humor with his music.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Carlos and the Enablers

I went to see Carlos (Sanchez) and the Enablers at the Tradewinds Social Club on Sunday, September 3rd. The Tradewinds’ name is an ironic name for a neighborhood dive bar. And they wear both the social club and dive bar monikers with pride. As well they should. From the friendly bartender who asks your name and gives you hers – to the friendly regulars at the bar that do the same – to the shuffleboard table near the pool table that still takes quarters – it’s the neighborhood bar we all know and love. While they may look different to an extent, there is a sameness to them. It’s what makes them comfortable.

Tradewinds is split in half by the bar. You can sit on both sides of the bar. The third side is the front wall of the building and the fourth is a hallway from one side to the other. The patrons at the bar on the entrance/shuffleboard/pool table side can see through to the band side with the kitchen in the far left corner. The red chairs in the right of the pictures are the chairs to that side of the bar.

A Carlos and the Enablers show reminds me of a Grateful Dead concert in that it is laid back and when they play, they all concentrate on their instruments. They are a band that is at home at the neighborhood dive. The customers certainly thought so. Oddly enough, they didn’t play any Grateful Dead that I know of. They did however, play a number of classic songs from all over the spectrum. Songs such as Let the Good Times Roll, She’s So Cold, Sunshine Go Away Today, and The Thrill is Gone. And then, Do It in The Road, Let’s Work Together, and You Don’t Know How it Feels.

Brad Taylor and Carlos Sanchez

Brad Taylor plays keyboard and horns. Lonn Gulley is on drums and occasionally, vocals. James Hargon plays bass. Tim Murray plays guitar, keyboard, and sings. Carlos, of course, is on guitar and vocals. Tim and Carlos trade off on the lead guitar parts.

Carlos and the Enablers have an internet footprint the size of my thumb. Meaning they have little online presence. So I will try to let you know when they’re playing. There is no pretense – they’re just five guys that like to play music and play the best they can. If you hear from me or someone else that they are playing, take the time to check them out. They won’t be the best cover band you’ve ever seen. They’re not trying to be. But they sure as hell have fun and you’re invited to join the party.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

The lounge at Plano Super Bowl

The Dallas Songwriters Association third Saturday showcase has moved. Angela’s at the Crosswalk was sold last week and the new owner is cancelling most of the music events. This Saturday, September 16, the showcase will be from 9 – 11 p.m. in the lounge at Plano Super Bowl on K Ave. on a trial basis (for both parties).

Colleen Francis will open the show at 9 p.m. and play until 9:40. Host Dan Roark will play from 9:40-10:20. Jeff Stachowski will play from 10:20 – 11p.m. It will be a good show.

After the show, bowl a game or two during open bowling. Plano Super Bowl is open 24 hours. They also have really good food.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Dan Roark, Jennifer Holm, Colleen Francis

I had the good fortune to be asked by Jennifer Holm to join her and Colleen Francis for the Song & Story show on DentonRadio.com on Thursday, September 7. The two women were in place with Jake Laughlin setting up the computer and sound when I arrived. I got my guitar and the necessary accessories and settled into my chair in the studio.

We were making small talk as Jake finished getting things set up. Colleen told me she was supposed to tell me hello from Vic and Mary Brooke Casad. Keep that in mind – it will come up later. After a technical issue that caused us to restart the introductions, Jennifer welcomed the listeners and did the usual radio announcements. After which we introduced ourselves – follow the links for our info.

Then Colleen started the songs with Night Owl. While we traded off songs, the other songs she played were Wildflower, a piece from a current project, Better Than This, and Rainbow in the Night. I liked all of her songs, but I liked Better Than This best.

Jennifer was next in the rotation. Her first song was Falling, about falling in love. Her other songs were Old House, I Guess This is Goodbye, Against the House, and Fire and Ice.

When my first turn came, I played Hello Out There, my song for those on the autism spectrum. My following songs were I Just Want to Get Social, Why Now?, and Walking to Jerusalem, before ending the show and my five songs with Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters. Walking to Jerusalem is a song I wrote while reading Mary Brooke Casad’s book, Road to Amazing, which she wrote with her brother, Clayton Oliphant. Mary Brooke is Colleen’s aunt in-law. Talk about a small world.

It was a delightful show and we had a lot of fun. Performing in the round is always a good time. But you don’t have to take my word for it. The video is below and you can see for yourself.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

David Card

David Card, Poor David his own self, put the benefit at Poor David’s Pub together in six days. I am proud to be a member of Team PDP that produced a successful benefit and raised  over $4000 on Saturday, September 2. The money  was delivered to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and a pet rescue agency in Port Aransas.

I opened the show and was happy to be the first in a long line of songwriters and one cover band.

Dan Roark/Mr. Troll/Don Wall/Sam Baker/Bill Nash/Loose Change/Elizabeth Wills/Grady Yates/Jimmy Baldwin/Mike Freiley/Bob and Sally Ackerman/Caroline Murphy/Jimmy Adcock Trio/Rickey Gene Wright/Tim York/Travis Buster/Rick Babb/Annie Benjamin/Grace Pettis/Sonia of Disappear Fear/Greg Schroeder/Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes/Baylis Laramore.

I will post pictures on my Facebook music page. I had to leave after Caroline Murphy so I may have the exact order a little off. If people who have pictures of the other acts would send them to me, I’ll add them to the album.

Thanks to David Card, Clare Card, all the great songwriters and musicians, the food crew and all of Team PDP for a wonderful benefit for our southern neighbors.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

I was guest host for Mr. Troll at the Poor David’s Pub (PDP) open mic on Monday, August 28. I started the evening off at 7:30 with my Poor David’s Pub song and a couple of others. A second time newcomer, Michael Williams came next. He played three nice songs, including a bluesy number, despite his insistence that he “still needs to practice.”

The inimitable and cynical Roy Howell

Michael Williams

followed Michael with three songs, including his “mass murderer song” dedicated to John Lennon. Cort Harris, a first time newcomer, preceded the featured artists, Dan and the Decade. He had a nice voice and country/americana style.

Visually, Dan and the Decade look like a culturally diverse Buddy Holly and the Crickets. And these young men can certainly rock and roll. They are definitely in sync with one another. Lead vocalist Dan Friedman and Vivek Koshti both play guitar, with Kyle Lester on bass, and Vinay Kotamarti on drums.

Dan and the Decade

Dan and the Decade brought friends and fans and played a tight half hour set. This was their premier performance and they did quite nicely. A band to watch as they bond more musically. They will only get better. Like them on Facebook and go see them when you can. It will be worth it.

Rob Case, former Houston resident with family still there, played a set which included

Cort Harris

Bayou City. Bayou City is about Houston and why Rob left in the first place. Rob and Lynda’s family are safe, but they may be headed down to help out.

Michael Newkirk began what I called the “extended absence” set. Michael, Jeff Stachowski, and Tin Man Travis returned to PDP open mic after an extended period of time. We were glad to see them. Michael Newkirk is a country crooner of sorts. Jeff has also been a comedian. The humor and cynicism shows in his songs, such as 99 Postcards. Tin Man Travis played Stormy Monday, and Georgia, to end the open mic.

Another good show you didn’t get to see. (More pictures on my Facebook music page.) Support open mics – you won’t regret it.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

%d bloggers like this: