Advertisements

Tag Archive: Austin


When I knew I was going to be in LA to see Conner and record, I contacted the Tribal Cafe and Gary Stockdale and booked a gig. I was trying for Friday, but Gary was busy, so I arranged for a Sunday afternoon show. The Tribal Cafe, as you can see, is a funky little place in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. It has an extremely varied menu and the food is really good. They have an open mic five days a week.

The show was from 4:30 to 6:30. Gary played first because he had an obligation later. I really wanted to do a show with Gary and hear a full set of his songs. I met him at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance in Austin a few years ago and see him there each year. But I only got to hear a few songs at a time. Gary is the consumate folk entertainer. He has some really good songs which you can find through his website.

Gary Stockdale

Fortunately, he had a couple of friends show up to hear him play. There were few other people in the cafe. Gary played a good, full set which included a song from his show, Bumpersticker – the Musical. He also played my favorite song – so far – Who’s That Old Man. I think that’s the title.

After his set, Gary was able to listen to a few of my songs, but then he had to leave – a couple of songs after Conner and his girlfriend, Jimena, arrived.

A few songs into my set, people began to arrive. For the last half of my set, I had a full crowd. Granted, it was not a huge place, but a full group of people for my first show in LA felt really good. And they liked my songs. I almost always adjust my set list when the crowd isn’t the type or size I expected. I switched places with a few songs, but I actually played the set as planned and even did the two standby tunes.

The fact that Conner and Jimena were there was a bonus. It was the first time she heard me play. She’s quite the guitarist and songwriter herself. Jimena Fosado is one of the angels in Corey Feldman‘s band. I also have her to thank for the pictures of me playing.

I spent the rest of the evening grinning quite often. All in all, my first show in LA was a success.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

Advertisements

dan-at-swrfa-2016-bCatch up continues…This year’s edition of SWRFA in Austin began on Wednesday, September 28 with an open mic at Threadgill’s at night. Since I had the recording time at the Harman truck for the JBL contest at 4:30 p.m. (see previous post), I would not be able to get to Austin in time to sign up, so I couldn’t justify the extra night in the hotel. I arrived at the hotel on Thursday about 3:00 p.m. in time to check in, register, get my song prompt, and get ready for the dinner and open mic by the pool.

Berkalin Records provided the dinner and drinks – as they do each year. Butch Morgan hosted the open mic(s) – as he does each year. After the open mic was the official showcase alternates concert. Which were the performers who were finalists, but did not get chosen for the official showcases on Friday and Saturday night.

Friday began with the First Timers Advice – per usual, followed by various other breakout sessions. Lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday, and the brunch on Sunday morning are covered in the quite reasonable registration price. One of the things always mentioned for first timers that everyone pretty much takes to heart is to sit at the meals with people you don’t know. So you meet new people and make new friends and contacts. It can be a little tough when you know a lot of the people there. So if we sit at a table and there happens to be someone we know, we simply put some people between us.

The first timer showcase(s) were from 1:30 to 3. Sponsored showcases were from 3:30 – 5:30 and

Baylis Laramore

Baylis Laramore

again from 10:30 p.m. until early in the morning. The DJ reception, welcoming party, and dinner, all preceded the official showcase concert from 7:30 to 10. Throughout the hotel there were spontaneous bursts of animated conversation and song circles until the wee hours.

Saturday was similar to Friday with the general exhibit area and various breakout sessions. The second pool party and open mic was held from 3:30 – 5:30, with Butch Morgan hosting. Followed by dinner and the second official showcase concert. Then more sponsored showcases, spontaneous outbursts, and song circles.

Sunday brought the brunch followed by the song assignment performances. If you will recall I said that I got my song prompt when I registered. The challenge is to write a song using the prompt during the weekend and play the resulting song on Sunday. As advertised, it’s one of the highlights of the weekend. This year 61 people sang the song they had written. Many were funny – you should have heard some of the prompts! Others were heart-reaching and thought-provoking. Especially with a group of sleep deprived individuals in the audience.

Bill Hook and Lynn McCracken

Bill Hook and Lynn McCracken

Good-byes were said throughout the morning as people from farther away had to leave. If it sounds like it was a whirlwind it was. A thoroughly enjoyable, powerful, musical whirlwind. Reuniting with friends, making new ones, learning about our craft and business, and hearing songs that inspire a songwriter to write other ones or just bring out emotions that need touching.

Dalis Allen and the volunteer staff did a marvelous job as always. Not to mention the hotel staff at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown. Add to that a couple of hundred singer-songwriters and over fifty venue representatives, and for four days we were all one big happy, sleep deprived family. Join us next year. You will be welcome.

Peace be with you.

Dan at SWRFA ShowcaseWeekend before last I attended the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) in Austin. As a singer/songwriter, it was a fantastic experience. A weekend with like-minded souls enjoying what they do. Three and a half days of nothing to do but play music, listen to music, and “talk shop.”

An open mic Wednesday night at Threadgill’s began SWRFA. I didn’t get to that event, opting not to spend an extra night in the hotel. Except for the fact that I would have liked to have gone to Threadgill’s, it turned out to be a good decision.

For one thing, I was told that it was completely packed. Come to find out that if I had played in that open mic, I wouldn’t have been able to play at either of the other two open mics. Because there were so many attendees, each act only played one song at the open mics. So I figured I made the right decision. We’ll see about next year.

On Thursday, registration was to begin at 2 p.m. I arrived about 1:30. While we waited on our rooms to be ready, a guitar was passed around the lobby. It wasn’t too long before my room was ready. I made two trips to the room, parked the car and went to register for the conference – which is, and isn’t, the right term for it.

The pool party/open mic began at 5 p.m., with Berkalin Records providing a dinner buffet and drinks. I have some pictures from the open mic that I will post on Facebook when I get a chance. Following the open mic was the official showcase alternates concert. Which would be those acts who didn’t get chosen for the two official showcase concerts on Friday and Saturday. After which, song circles popped up around the hotel. And events were just getting started. More to come.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

asglogo    I attended the Texas Songwriters Conference in Austin a couple of weeks ago. I’m just now getting caught up enough to post about it. The conference is put on by the Austin Songwriters Group (ASG), of which I am a member. I am also a member of Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA), where I am on the board as the lyric contest director and the showcase director. The two organizations have not, as of yet, had a joint event, but they support each others organization and mission in various ways.

I spend a lot of my time talking to people in one form or another (in person, on the phone, email), promoting myself or either organization. When I am promoting DSA, for example, I can “brag” a little more openly since I am referring to a group of people. When promoting myself, it’s necessary to be a little more subtle to straddle the fine line between promotion and braggadocio. As a result, some people don’t understand what I’m trying to say and have blank looks on their faces. Then there are the condescending “of course you’re a songwriter” looks.

So it was nice to – not only get out of town – but to spend a weekend with people who know what I’m talking about. People who are like-minded, accepting, and non-judgmental. At music and songwriting conferences there are always things I already know – since the conference is for all levels of experience. However, since things are changing constantly, it’s nice to know what has changed. As to the things that haven’t changed, I enjoy being assured that what I’m doing is what I should be doing.

I like hearing other songwriters, publishers, and other music industry people tell their stories, making me think “thank God I’m not alone.” That, I think, is the main purpose of any conference – making the attendees realize they are not alone. And the ASG did that. They are an accepting and supportive group (as is the DSA – just saying). It was all about the songs and careers of the songwriters. A few of the events and conversations I would like to share with you – and will – in upcoming posts.

Peace be with you.

Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt

Sitting at my desk thinking about the last year and planning for the new year, I was looking forward to playing shows more often. Not to mention the upcoming music conferences. Such as the ASCAP Expo in April. Or the Songwriter Symposium hosted by the Austin Songwriters Group coming up in a couple of weeks. Which naturally caused me to relive last years symposium, in a fashion. Which led to recalling an interesting story I thought I would relate to you.

For a number of years, I have been attending the Theological School for the Laity at Perkins Theological Seminary at SMU for a weekend in early March. I took a few classes with Robert Hunt, a professor at Perkins. I have also been to other functions at Perkins and have seen and talked to Robert. He has preached in our church. He also gave a presentation at a meeting of the Religion Communicators Council of which I am a member.

Then at the symposium, I saw Robert and thought it was cool that he wrote songs as well as his theological works. I never heard his name at the symposium, but he seemed to know who I was. We are both a friendly sort of people – when we see people we give a knowing look, as if we are introducing ourselves with facial expressions. Which makes each of us seem as if we knew the other beforehand. But I had no doubt at the time that I knew him.

In October, I played a showcase at eSpiritu in Frisco. One of the other four songwriters was Robert – or so I thought. In the emails from the host, Ryan Michael Galloway, he said Richard Hunt was playing – along with Julie Jean White, myself, and Mudcat Reames. I thought he had Richard’s name wrong. When I arrived, I walked up to him and shook his hand. He said he was glad to see me again. While he was playing, his wife was standing at a table across the aisle from Cyndy and I taking pictures. I asked her if he was writing songs under the name of Richard.

“Yes, he’s a lawyer. Both of us are. And yes, he goes by Richard – his real name.”

Now I was thoroughly confused. Cyndy and I looked Richard up on the internet, since she had met Robert as well, and found our answer quickly. Julie Jean played after him. I went on after her. After my set, I walked up to him and asked if he had a brother.”

“Yes,” he said, with a smile and a nod, “a twin.”

“When I saw you at the symposium, I thought you were Robert.”

“That’s a common occurrence.” Another nod and smile.

I was just thankful I was not going stark raving bananas. Who would have thought I would meet twin brothers in basically unrelated areas of my life? I know quite a few sets of twins, but I met them together. I also know there are a lot of twins – more than you would think.

Have you ever met a set of twins, each at different times, not knowing they were twins? I would be interested to know. I don’t think I am the only one. Let us know in the comments.

Peace be with you.

P.S. This story reminded me of another story I heard years ago. Look for the next post.

%d bloggers like this: