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Category: Songwriting


I headed for Chattanooga two weeks ago Monday. I stopped over in Memphis and drove on in to Chattanooga on Tuesday. I played at Tremont Tavern Tuesday night. Then Wednesday night at Abbott’s Bar and Grill in Atlanta. I had a show on Thursday at Akademia Brewing Company with my friend, Joe Cat. So I was playing open mics on my way down. Hopefully setting up future shows.

Open mics are pretty much the same any where you go. The host is usually a popular member of the local music community. In the case of the Tremont Tavern, the host is Mike McDade. He’s pretty much a staple of the local scene.

I intended to get there when the list went out at 7 p.m., but I screwed up on the time change. Yeah, I know, but I did. When I got there, some of the local performers had already signed up. I added my name to the list, not all that concerned about the time. Check out was at 11 a.m. and I only had a two hour drive to Atlanta.

I got a beer at the bar and found a place to stand to watch the show and be out of the way. I missed Mike playing to open the show. But I only missed one or two on the list. I don’t know if it started on time or not.

There was the usual assortment of people playing the open mic. From those who don’t really have a lot of talent, but have friends who will show up and make noise to those who actually have a little talent and are working to get better. Needless to say, the latter had the most talent. Then there are those who think they are significantly better than they actually are. Yet they still need support, so I clapped too – but not too hard.

With the exception of those who showed up late because they only wanted to play for their own little group anyway, most of the performers stayed to hear other performers. Of course, two or three people played their set and left. Which is pretty standard for open mics.

I opened the out door for a guy coming in with a bag and a guitar case. His wife, I assume, followed him. He said hello to Mike, who told him he was next. Either the guy had showed up early to sign up and leave – which I doubt, or he had Mike put him on the list. Either way, he almost overshot his starting time.

He pulled his guitar out of its case. Then he opened the big black case he had. He pulled out three dulcimers. Then he pulled a stand out of the bag.  The third case – a bit smaller – held his pedal board, with looper. In the time it took him to get everything on stage and get it set up, someone else could have played. On the final of his three songs, he played all four instruments, two of them more than once, setting the loops up, and playing the one song – which took somewhere around six minutes. I understand that he had a show there that Friday and wanted to advertise. But all of that for three songs?

The girl pictured above was a regular who had a new song to try out. She was one of the performers who stood out from the rest. She was one of those people who make open mics interesting. As was another young man who played his songs in a practiced manner. He was playing a couple of places around town.

I played after the two people who followed the dulcimer player. I woke the place up to a degree with three songs from my Hello Out There cd in rapid fire delivery. After waiting to play – and having driven a good part of the day – I was fairly pumped. The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy my songs.

After a few more acts, I headed for the hotel. Next morning, I headed for Atlanta…

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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Doobie Jones, Dan Roark

Cameron and I arrived at Skully’s Saloon about 6:30 on Thursday June 28. It’s called a dive bar, but it’s one of the biggest dive bars I’ve seen and has a stage. But it’s between railroad tracks at a railway station, so there’s that. It’s in Old Hickory, just northeast of Nashville on the Cumberland River.

Doobie Jones and I opened the Music City’s Unsigned Best Songwriters Night hosted by Billy Lee of Truckstop Honey. Doobie is a card and writes some interesting songs. I played three songs from my new EP, Hello Out There. The crowd was very receptive.

The following is the line-up with links. It was a stellar group of songwriters, all playing their heart out. I didn’t get a chance to hear the last two sets of songwriters because we had to get back to the hotel. But I have no doubt they sang their hearts out as well.

Take the time to follow the links and listen to their music – you won’t be disappointed. Billy was a good host and he and Amanda Jo Kielpinski (Truckstop Honey) had colorful songs. Arvie and Bunny Bennett were a gracious couple and sang some really nice songs.

I felt a little out of place not being in the local group. But songwriters are a pretty accepting lot as a general rule. Arvie and Bunny made me feel like I was part of the group. Arvie apologized for not being there early enough to hear me play. They had gotten ready, got in the truck, and it wouldn’t start. I have no doubt we’ll keep in touch. Billy has invited me back so they’ll get a chance to hear me play.

Dan Roark/Doobie Jones

Luke Hatfield/Jerr Grunn,

Marc Oriet/Arvie & Bunny,

Truckstop Honey,

Jeffrey Allen/Christina Valentino,

Jeff Dezern/Eli Locke,

Andrew Ullman/Colt Stroud

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Cameron and I arrived in Nashville on Wednesday, June 27th. Thursday morning we checked in at Summer NAMM (National Association of Music Merchant) and got our badges. We went to the D’Angelico booth so I could sign up for the open mic to be held at 3 p.m. on the Reverb stage.

After cruising through all of the booths, we stopped at the Kyser booth. We also say hi to them because their down the road in Tyler.

Then to the John Pearse Strings booth. I have been using JP strings on my Alvarez for all of its 42 years. We chatted with Todd Newman and picked up a few things.

The Alvarez booth was next. We played a few of the new line of guitars and chatted with the staff. The guitars sounded really nice, with a full sound.

At 3 p.m. we were at the Reverb stage. I was concerned because a storm had just blown through, canceling the previous band’s performance. At 2:45, they were still taking the tarps off the stage. They finished in time and the D’Angelico staff situated guitars across the stage. The idea was to use one of their guitars for the one song. My name was called first, and I chose the guitar you see in the picture. I played I Got My Ass Kicked in Nashville – which incidentally is on the EP that will be released Wednesday at Malarkey’s Tavern in Dallas. I received good applause.

After watching most of the other performers, we left to go back to the hotel until time to head to Scully’s Saloon for the showcase…

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

While my live cd, Peace Be With You, has been available on my website – www.danroark.com – it was just recently released to all other outlets. The first seven songs were recorded at various times by Carlos Sanchez at Poor David’s Pub. The last song is a studio recording of What the Lord Intends, a song I wrote about Sack Summer Hunger that was mixed and mastered by my son, Conner.

The title song is a song I wrote about the shooting of the police officers at the peaceful protest in downtown Dallas in the summer of 2016.

I wanted to get it released before the release of my new EP, Hello Out There, in early July. Check out Peace Be With You on my website, CDBaby, and the usual places. Some sites insist you put Daniel rather than just Dan since my copyrights and such are in my full name, Daniel Lee Roark. Feel free to like, subscribe, share, etc.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

The TexasSelectRadio.com Songwriter series hosted by Shaun Outen and Dan Roark at Raphael’s Mexican Restaurant was on the patio and the weather was good, as was the music and food.

JP Campbell

JP Campbell

Don Wall

Don Wall

Dan Roark

Shaun Outen

Shaun Outen

Follow the links and hear their music for yourself – give your day a boost. Look where they’re playing and go see them in person and support live music. Songwriters, message Dan or Shaun to be on a future show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

The first TexasSelectRadio.com Songwriters Series show that I, Dan Roark, hosted on Sunday at Malarkey’s Tavern began to go awry on Saturday. Cyndy and I were at the EarthX event at Fair Park. On the way back to Fair Park Station I hit a slick spot on the wet walkway and went tumbling. Damn the concrete came up fast!

As if that wasn’t enough, I slid along the pavement. Not only did I fall on my knee, but the slid took skin off of two places on my right hand. It was that part of the pavement at Fair Park that looks like it has hundreds of pebbles glued to it – double-whammy.

With effort I stood up and waited for the tremendous pain

Terry Bloss

in my knee to subside enough to be able to limp. We started walking again when I realized I had sprained my left wrist. Then I saw the blood dripping from my right hand in two places. With the napkins Cyndy had I managed to get the blood to stop to a point. After washing my hand off and putting on bandaids when we arrived home, I checked to see if I could still play guitar. It hurt, but I could play with the pain.

[Due to time constraints, we move ahead in the game.]

When I woke up on Sunday, I was sore in places I had not previously known existed. A software issue meant I couldn’t stream the show live. I had planned to record it anyway, but had to adjust my method at the last minute. One of the performers had a migraine and couldn’t make it. One other person I hadn’t

John Mason

heard back from at show time. But John Mason and Terry Bloss were there at showtime. Rob Case was on the way.

I started the show a little after 2 p.m. I played for a little over half an hour when I was through playing with the pain. Terry Bloss followed me. John Mason took the stage next, and Rob Case closed out the show. All three performers went above and beyond, playing longer sets than they had planned – covering the missing performers and my inability to play again due to soreness and pain.

Follow the links and hear their music for yourself. It will be time well spent. Also see where they are playing live so you can go see them play and support live music. Contact me if you

Rob Casef

would like to play on future TexasSelectRadio.com live radio shows.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

The first TexasSelectRadio.com Texas Songwriter Series hosted by Shaun Outen and Dan Roark at the Wyndham Garden Dallas North hotel in the lobby bar was an interesting evening in a unique venue with some good music. Shaun opened the show.

Shaun Outen

Rae Marks

Rae Marks

Jason Gibson and Mark Burnaugh

Jason Gibson and Mark Burnaugh

Jade Nickol

Jade Nickol

Jeff Stachowski

Jeff Stachowski

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

It was a great show. Follow the links and listen to their music for yourself – you will not regret it. Make a note of when they play, go hear them, and support live music. Songwriters, message Dan or Shaun to be on a future show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

The TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan show at Canucks in Lewisville on March 22nd was the last show due to owner cancellation. The performers on the show were:

Robbie Cleigh Marks

Robbie Cleigh Marks

Jade Nickol

Jade Nickol

Shaun Outen

Shaun Outen

Taylor Chicks (I was running sound and didn’t get a picture. Here they are at Stan’s Main Street in Frisco.)

Taylor Chicks

Jason Gibson and Mark Burnaugh

Jason Gibson and Mark Burnaugh

Brett Cox

Brett Cox

Follow the links and hear their music for yourself. Notice when they are playing and go see them live to support live music. Keep an eye out for possible future Shaun and Dan shows.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

While it was the final TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan show, the radio show will continue to be hosted by Shaun at Stan’s Main Street. I will be playing at Malarkey’s Tavern on Wednesdays. Here were the performers for the show:

Shaun Outen

Shaun Outen and Scott

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

Michael Franceus

Michael Franceus

Baylis Laramore

Baylis Laramore

Harold King

Harold King

Taylor Chicks

Taylor Chicks

Brett Cox

Brett Cox

Follow the links to hear their music for yourself. Make a note of when they’re playing so you can see them play live. Keep an eye out for possible future Shaun and Dan shows.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

The TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan Show at Canuck’s in Lewisville on Thursday, March 15.

Layne Elizabeth

Layne Elizabeth

Cat McGee

Cat McGee

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

Click on the links and hear their music for yourself. Notice when they are playing, go see them play, and support live music. If you are a songwriter and would like to be on the show, message Dan to be scheduled for a future show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

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