Tag Archive: Mr. Troll

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.

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.


Joe Catanese, Mr. Troll, Lynda Case

The featured artist at the Poor David’s Pub (PDP) Open Mic hosted by Mr. Troll on Monday, August 14th, was Joe Cat (Catanese). Joe comes by the open mic whenever he tours through Texas on a weekend.  In fact, it’s the only open mic he plays at any more because of the “vibe at Poor David’s.” And there is a good vibe at PDP.

It starts with the chairs that don’t all match. The listening atmosphere which was a hallmark of all three PDP locations. The pictures on the wall of the many performers who have graced PDP stages over the years. Not to mention Poor David his own self.

But, as with David, it’s the people that top off the vibe. There’s Samantha Sanders, her sister, Leslie, and Kevin Hale behind the bar – always with a smile and occasional joke. Mr. Troll, when he is not hosting the open mic on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, is everyone’s introduction to Poor David’s. Sitting at the table in the vestibule, he greets everyone with a smile and hearty hello as he takes money or checks the list. Other than that, he is, as he says, doer of things at Poor David’s.

Last, but definitely not least, there’s Carlos Sanchez running sound. As architect of the sound system, he sits behind the sound board – when not darting to the stage to make adjustments – as grand master of sound. And at the open mic, for a nominal fee he will record your set. Which is more than worth it. If you’re on stage for your set, if you need any adjustments, just ask Carlos. More likely than not, you’ll hear him holler out, “I got it!”

Then there are the “usual suspects” at the open mic. All uniquely individual characters in a bowl of musical soup. Roy Howell, the philosophical cynic. Rob Case, with his disdain for Houston in his song Bayou City. Along with his “minions,” consisting mainly of  talented family and friends. John Mason, myself, Darren Rozell, and Scott Thornton are others.

Come on down, get on the list, and play. Or come and listen. We will talk to you, thank you from the stage, and make you welcome. We love listeners. But most of all, enjoy the vibe.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Mr. Troll

The Monday, April 10th edition of the Poor David’s Pub Open Mic was another one of those open mic shows you’d be sorry you missed. If you knew you missed it. And now I’m here to tell you what you missed. So you can be sorry.

The show began, as it usually does, with the host, the

Josh Vincent

inimitable Mr. Troll. Keith Crow, one of the regulars, followed Troll. Josh Vincent played next – you should check him out if you get the chance. Yours truly, Dan Roark, followed Josh and preceded the featured artist.

The featured artist was Voodoo Witness. They rocked the house for the next forty minutes. People go completely crazy these days when it comes to music genres. Those who are into genres might use two or three kinds of rock to describe their

Voodoo Witness

music. I only need one – kick ass rock and roll. Of course, they put their own spin on it, but they simply rock. Do not miss a chance to see them.

Harry Hewlett, a fellow member of Dallas Songwriters Association – as is Troll – played next and thanked Voodoo Witness for opening for him, tongue in cheek. Then he played his West Texas farm sort of country. Diana Gale played next. Diana is a vocalist, voice instructor, and creative artist and coach. She also writes some pretty nice songs.

Harper O’Neil

Zane Cook is an interesting young songwriter who followed Gale. Harper O’Neil is cute as a button and has some very good introspective songs. Unfortunately, I had to leave and was not able to hear Corey Clark and Mike Newkirk.

Do yourself a favor and go to an open mic, any open mic – either to play or listen. There will almost always some excellent songwriters and some really good music.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.



Now that I have a chance, here is another video from the 40th anniversary Poor David’s Pub open mic. It’s the host, Mr. Troll, playing his song Cold Grey Sky. If I am wrong about the title of the song, it will mysteriously be corrected in a few days and the words you are reading will mysteriously disappear.

Peace be with you.

Poor David’s Pub has only one Monday night open mic – hosted by Mr. Troll – in March, due to a flurry of 40th anniversary shows. The one open mic was held on March 13. Mr. Troll opened the show with two songs, followed by Life in Hollywood, and Ireland Casteel. It was a long list of performers. There are more info and videos to come, but after Ireland played, David Card came up to thank everyone. He did such a good job, I thought everyone who has ever been to or played in Poor David’s Pub would like to see it.

Peace be with you.


Madalyn White

Madalyn White

There are nights at open mics that are full of surprises and guest performances. People who are traveling through town for whatever reason and find an open mic to play. Such was the case on Monday, February 20, at the Poor David’s Pub open mic, hosted by Mr. Troll. After Troll opened the show, Madalyn White, one of  two young performers playing that night.

Madalyn White, began by saying that she would do a song by her favorite band. Much to the surprise of the

Michael Freidman

Michael Freidman

audience – that band is the Grateful Dead. But at the same time, it was a comforting thought. Even more confounding was that the song she played was from one of the lesser knows albums. Madalyn is a young woman with a nice voice and a laid-back “Grateful Dead” attitude. Just saying.

Rob Case was next, followed by Michael Freidman. All he put on the signup sheet was Michael, so I have no idea if I spelled his last name right. Michael is from Baltimore. He had come to Dallas for a good deal on a couple of speakers for his studio. The Dobro he was playing might have been new as well. The loudness of the instrument seemed to surprise him. Next on the list were Roy Howell, Dan Roark, Alex Kovach, Ron Sexton, and M’Lynn Musgrove (a good young singer-songwriter).

Titus Waldenfels

Titus Waldenfels

Then came Titus Waldenfels. Titus is from Germany and was traveling through – which explains the “around the world” part. He is a very entertaining and interesting fellow. He played his first song on guitar. His second song he played on violin/fiddle. He preceded the song by saying that he had grown fond of country music in Texas. See the video on my Facebook music page.

John Mason followed Waldenfels. I had to leave during John’s set. But following Mason were Baylis Laramore, Joe Watson, Darren Rozell, Blake Edwards, Fiyad, Lori Mosely, and Mark Brandt. A good complete show. See other pictures – up to John Mason – on my music page.

Go out to an open mic tonight. You never know who you will see. But it’s bound to be highly entertaining.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.


Mr. Troll

Mr. Troll

The Poor David’s Pub open mic on January 16 was one of those nights when the open mic is a mutual admiration society. Fortunately, for venue owners and hosts, they do not happen all that often. But on occasion, only a few songwriters show up. Granted, it was Martin Luther King, Jr. day. But a few of us figured that playing the open mic was a good way to celebrate the day. We played a few songs that MLK Jr. would have appreciated.

But the point is we sang our asses off. It was the best show you never saw. Even Troll muscled through his set admirably well – despite coming off of a case of strep throat. Cat McGee came across stronger and more confident than I’ve seen her – and I’ve seen her a good number of times. Her voice was in powerful form. Songs such as Sleeper Awake and Suspect. But the one MLK Jr. would have appreciated is City of Steeples.

Darren Rozell followed with his original country songs, with a little blues thrown in. I took the stage after

Cat McGee

Cat McGee

Darren and played a good solid set myself, which included Peace Be With You, my song that includes MLK, Jr. Kathleen Farris, a newcomer who hadn’t expected to play, played a few of her songs. Then Joe Cat showed up after his gig at Opening Bell. I wasn’t able to stay for his full set, so it’s a good thing he played my favorite song of his first – Silver Thread City.

It was a solid night of good music. And you missed it. As I have said previously, I am writing about the Poor David’s Pub open mic specifically, but also about open mics in general. This one wasn’t the only one you missed. To paraphrase Droo D’Anna, one of many open mic hosts, about  the Wednesday night open mic at Tutta’s Pizza:

“If you’re not coming out to our [insert day] open mic at [insert venue], you need to seriously reconsider your life…all the fun is being had here.”

Keep supporting live music.

Keep writing songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

The Dallas Songwriters Association’s annual song contest awards ceremony and Christmas party takes the place of the monthly meeting. Which was Tuesday, December 13th this year (The meeting day is changing in the new year – just to give you a heads up.) The event was once again held at Sons of Hermann Hall. What follows is from the program for the event with the pictures I took included. Because a couple of performers were stuck in traffic, the order was altered somewhat, but was essentially the same in the individual categories.

The winners are listed following the program. Congratulations to all the winners!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.


Barbe McMillen - DSA President Emeritus

Barbe McMillen – DSA President Emeritus

WELCOME – Barbe McMillen Founding President Emeritus, Newsletter Editor, Administration & Song Contest Director Barbara founded the DSA in 1987 after running the group for several years as part of the now defunct Texas Music Association. Currently a working Music Therapist, performer, and Associate Professor of Songwriting at Collin College, Barbara is caring for the admin duties and editing a newsletter for DSA. She is a voting member of the Recording Academy and a member of the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Academy. She has produced a number of albums for other artists and her own. Her songwriting spans the genres of Rock, Pop, R&B to Americana. Her rock musical, Give Me A Break, has been performed in the metroplex and off Broadway. To get to know more about Barbe or to sign up for an online Songwriting Class, visit her website, http://www.barbaramcmillen.com.

PERFORMANCE by multi-semifinalist DeDe Wedekind, Houston, Tx
Stronger from Dream of You, My Unsung Hero, A
Leaning on Heaven , Sell Me Out, Recipe of Love, Love Lives On
DeDe’s music is a mix of pop, Americana, and jazz, with some Gospel thrown in and has been compared todedewedekind everyone from Michael Buble to Adele, and from Linda Rondstadt to Emmylou Harris.
Her music has been and remains on several WORLD TOP 10 CHARTS on Broadjam.com Although she writes mainly pop, she’s also a Crossover Gospel artist. Recognizing that a lot of the current popular music out there is focused on young teens, and also may have depressing, violent, or negative messages, she decided to “fill the gap”, and write positive music She writes beautiful melodies, powerful and inspiring lyrics, and good clean music full of hope. Breathecast.com’s Timothy Yap says, ” When it comes to song interpretation, she is without peer.’

PERFORMANCE by multi-semifinalist Rick Babb, Dallas, Tx
Lucky In Love, Praise You, Roly Poly , Walk Away
Born and raised in Tulsa, OK, Rick was introduced to music and the guitar by his Uncle Don. 3
Rick began writing his own tunes and started performing them at family reunions as a teen. When he moved to Texas in 1969, he began performing in coffee houses and working behind the scenes in the concert industry in the early 1970s. In the 1990s, Rick moved to Nashville

Rick Babb and his wife Paula McClanahan

Rick Babb and his wife Paula McClanahan

to pursue a song-writing career and, during that time, also worked various odd jobs from radio DJ and dishwasher to bartender and circus wrangler.He returned to Dallas in 2003, performing again in the Dallas/ Ft Worth area. He now performs regularly with Royce David James on mandolin and Paula McClanahan on upright bass and vocals.
PERFORMANCE by Americana semifinalist John Mason, Grand Prairie, Tx California   For 30 years gifted singer-songwriter, John Mason, has been a musical inspiration. During the 1970’s and 80’s, John recorded and performed in Southern California. Now living in Grand Prairie Texas John writes and plays a contemporary style of folk, country and Americana.

Dan Roark, Director of Showcases and Workshops In addition to being a singer/songwriter, Dan Roark is an author, writer, and poet. He played in the band, Southern Plains, for twenty-five years prior to the death of bandmate and musical partner, Joel Nichols. After

Dan Roark

Dan Roark, Showcase Director

taking time off from performing while he and his wife, Cyndy raised their three boys, he has returned to performing and the Dallas Songwriters Association.  You can find out more and listen to his music at danroark.com. Follow his blog at chasingafterwind.net. He also writes posts for the dallassongwriters.org blog.
Dan Roark presents AMERICANA Semifinalists
California by John Mason, Grand Prairie, TX
Just Can’t Drown a Broken Heart by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX
Lucky in Love by Rick Babb, Dallas, TX
My Unsung Hero by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX
Two Trains by Renee Saffier, Andy Hill and Hard Rain, LA, CA


PERFORMANCE by Pop semifinalist Richie Smith, Richardson, TX
For A Reason
At the age of 3, the first instrument Richie learned was the bass then later on he learned to play the

John Mason

John Mason

piano, violin, ukulele, guitar, harmonium, and more. While attending Collin College, he was a student in Barbe McMillen’s songwriting class where his love of singing and writing music matured. Towards the end of that semester, he underwent brain surgery and was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer which he is still battling.
On this journey for 4 years now, he’s written music through all of it. Ritchie says, “God does everything for a reason”.

Barbe Presents
Only A Prayer Away (Acoustic) by John Nelson Kullberg, Rivervale, NJ
Stronger from Dream of You by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX
Once Again by Jeff Moore, Dallas, TX
I WILL SING by Matt Stemme, Castaic, CA
It Could Be You by Robert Graham, Toronto, Can.
Love Lives On by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX
Praise You by Rick Babb, Dallas, TX
On the Breath of God by Len Seligman, Sarasota, FL
God is Too Big for Any One Religion by Len Seligman, Sarasota, FL

Richie Smith

Richie Smith

Hearts Wide Open by Michael Roth, Arlington, VA


PERFORMANCE by COUNTRY SEMIFINALIST finalist Chris Michael (Sjostrom), Bedford, TX Wanted Man
He began singing and performing and developed his songwriting skills at a young age. A recent graduate of Dallas Baptist University with a degree in Music Business and an emphasis in songwriting, Chris has traveled across Texas and has performed shows, events, venues, clubs, bars, festivals and sororities. Many of his songs

Bobby Montgomery and Chris SJostrom

Bobby Montgomery and Chris SJostrom

and lyrics are embedded with Texas Culture and way of life in which he was raised,
DSA Executive Vice President, Bobby Montgomery, 2014 Songwriter of the Year, has been writing songs since he was a teenager. He says songwriting is a form of therapy and is his reason for writing. He has performed his songs at private parties, festivals, local venues and church. Recording his songs at JoMusik studios this past year, many have won the monthly critiques. Many thanks to Bobby for leading our fundraising drive and helping DSA stay afloat. He was Songwriter of the Year last year and is in the running for Song of the Year tonight. Thanks to Bobby for organizing our buffet tonight.

COUNTRY Semifinalists presented by Bobby Montgomery
Still Enough by Tim Sharp, Tomball, TX
Pills by Tim Sharp, Tomball, TX
I’m Singing My Heart Out by Charles Carter, Dallas, TX
Behind Bars by T Edwin Doss, Silver Spring, MD
90 Proof by Amy Abernathy, Canton, GA
Small Town Masquerade by Hayley McDaniel, Denton, TX
It Ain’t Half Bad by John Swantner, Bellville, TX
Wanted Man by Christopher Sjostrom, Bedford, TX
Coal Dust by Nitanee Paris, Jean-Pierre Williams, Clarence Lawson, Malibu, CA
Malibu, CA
Just Want My Baby Back by Rick Babb, Dallas, TX

DSA President, Michael Brandenberger has been involved in music for over 40 years playing blues and jazz

James Pappas and the Christmas tree sculpture he made for the event.

James Pappas and the Christmas tree sculpture he made for the event.

guitar since his high school days in San Antonio.  His most recent band in Dallas was Big Daddy and the Swell-Tones who made the Hole In The Wall their home base up until its demise.  He only started writing songs several years ago but has had a few on local and internet radio stations.  The Dallas Songwriters Association has given him many opportunities to play his original songs at open mics plus the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, the Wildflower Festival and the House of Blues.
INSTRUMENTAL Semifinalists presented by Michael Brandenberger
Aural Therapy by Al Marcy, Downers Grove, IL
Analyze by Al Marcy, Downers Grove, IL
Russian Odyssey by Marc Tilson, Sacremento, CA
Enchanted Kingdom by Bill Wren, Port Aransas, TX
Recipe of Love by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX
Sell Me Out by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX
Shoot Out by Conrad Swartz, Vancouver, WA
Welcome Home by John Miltano, Miller Place, NY

Jeff Palmer, Sean Layer, and Carlos Silva

Jeff Palmer, Sean Layer, and Carlos Silva

PERFORMANCE – Love semifinalist Sean Layer, vocals, keys, Carlos Silva, guitar, Plano, Tx
Under a Starlit Sky
Virginia born, Sean has lived in Iowa, England, and Texas. He is a multi instrumentalist who’s played both in orchestra and a rock band though out middle school and high school. His influences include Ed Sheeran, The Flipside, Marvin Gaye, and Passenger.

LOVE SONGS/ EASY LISTENING Semifinalists presented by Michael
Under a Starlit Sky by Sean Layer, Plano, TX
Let My Heart Take It From Here by Randy Overton, Waxahachie, TX
Sanctuary by Nitanee Paris Lawson, Rachelle Lynn Gislason, Malibu, CA
The Warmth of Your Love by Don Coyne, LA, CA
River of Memories by Charles Carter, Dallas, TX
Hate That I Love You by Deborah Gussin, Brian Bell, Luther Russell, LA, CA
Recipe of Love by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX
Let Me Love You by Mimi Balkey, Plano, TX

PERFORMANCE – Novelty/Childrens semifinalist Ireland, Casteel, Grapevine, TX Eenie Meenie

Ireland Casteel

Ireland Casteel

Ireland is a local singer songwriter who, even at the young age of 15, is a storyteller at heart that effortlessly captivates listeners with lyrics that speak directly to the audience.  She started writing songs and playing guitar and ukulele at age 12 and has over 20 originals already under her belt!

NOVELTY / CHILDREN Semifinalists presented by Barbe
Today I’ll Marry My Friend by DeDe WedeKind, Houston, TX
Dreamland by Charles Carter, Dallas, Tx
The Christmas Song No One Knows by Renee Saffier, Andy Hill and Hard Rain, LA, CA
Chicken or Beer by T. Edwin Doss, Silver Spring, MD
Grow Up by Lauren Paley, Lauren Paley, Cedar Hill, Tx
Roly Poly With You by Rick Babb, Dallas, TX
Eenie Meenie by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX
Cool To Be Kind by Randy Sauer, Hays, KS
What Would I Do by Randy Sauer, Hays, KS

Harry Hewlett and Richie Smith

Harry Hewlett and Richie Smith

Harry Hewlett, Director of A&R, Co-Director of Song Contest, Harry grew up near Lubbock, Tx, and went to Texas Tech, where he sang and played guitar in the quintessential 1960’s 4-piece garage band, performing mostly for frat parties and HS dances. He began songwriting years later, while living in NYC, where he joined the Songwriters Guild and Nashville Songwriters AssocHe’s been writing and entertaining with his own songs and humor ever since. Now retired, he lives in Dallas, and has two CDs, World Class Dirty Old Man and Tahoka Daisy. He is currently serving as A/R Director on the DSA board of directors. We thank him tonight for providing the song cues of the winning songs.

POP/ROCK Semifinalists presented by Harry Hewlett
Break Me Open by Debra Gussin, Brian Bell, Luther Russell, LA, CA
Find Myself by Jonathan Ditto, Kona, Hawaii
For A Reason by Richie Smith, Richardson, TX
Insignificant Other by Andy Hill, Renee Safier and Hard Rain, LA, CA
I’m Alright by Jeff Moore, Baton Rouge, LA
I’m Looking at You by Clark Ford, Ames, IA

Harry Hewlett and Hayley McDaniel

Harry Hewlett and Hayley McDaniel

Leaning On Heaven by DeDe Wedekind, Houston TX
Mystery Girl by Andre Kerek, Miami, FL
Never Come by Sebastien Parentin, Strasbourg, Lorraine, France
Oh Jenny by Debra Gussin, Brian Bell, Nate Shaw,LA, CA
Ordinary Day by Susan Odella, Virginia, MN
Sell Me Out by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX
She’s A Pistol by Vicki Lee, Pine Bluff, AK
Sunrise by Pamela Olivia, Santa Clarita, CA
This Means War by Mary Jennings, Nashville, TN
Word Man by Stefanie Johnson, Allentown, PA
Dear Fear by Katie Riley, Poetry, TX
KIcks by Jacquelyn Schwartz, Dallas, TX
Lost by Jacquelyn Schwartz, Dallas, TX
Walk Away by Rick Babb, Dallas, TX

PERFORMANCE by Singer Songwriter semifinalist Haley McDaniel, Denton, Tx Aaron See, Guitar
Small Town Masquerade
Haley has taken the Texas Country Music Scene by storm since the release of her hit, “Small Town

Aaron See and Hayley McDaniel

Aaron See and Hayley McDaniel

Masquerade” and shows no sign of slowing! Her writing style is authentic, conversational and reminiscent of 90’s Traditional Country; When steel guitars and story-telling lyrics ruled the airwaves. Her Hosting gig for The ETX ROCKS Show Podcast and YouTube channel has even further solidified her as a truly influential VOICE in Texas! She has received numerous awards and accolades for her Songwriting. Please welcome Hayley McDaniel performing Small Town Masquerade.
SINGER SONGWRITER Semifinalists presented by Harry Hewlett
10 Feet Under by M’Lynn Musgrove, Dallas, TX
Cleansing Rain by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX
Crash by M’Lynn Musgrove, Dallas, TX
Halleluyah Today by Denise Rosier, Lake Forest, CA
I’ll Be Coming Home Soon by Edwin T. Doss, Silver Springs, MD
Let My Heart Take It From Here by Randy Overton, Waxahachie, TX
Running Throuhg The New Brown Corn by Edwin T. Doss, Silver Springs, MD
Small Town Masquerade by Haley McDaniel, Denton, TX
Soft Place To Fall by Debra Gussin, Jonathan Bluth, LA, CA
Wilted Flower by Erin James, Nashville, TN
SINGER SONGWRITER AWARD presented by David Card

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS Anounced- presented by Barbe McMillen
Roy Elkins of Broadjam.com was our grand prize judge. You can read his detailed comments on the DSA website.
Explanation of the process.
All three winners in each category were placed in dropbox for our Grand Prize judge to listen to and pick the Grand Prize Winners. It is unknown to the judge how each song placed in it’s category. In the past we’ve had an HM win the grand prize. Also, he does not know who the songwriter and singer is. It’s very blind judging.

WINNER OF THE IPOD – Jeffery Moore, Baton Rouge, LA

FALL 2015 Memories of the Future by David Byboth
WINTER In His Hands by Lauren Smith, Livermore, CA
SPRING Fences by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, PA
SUMMER  Addiction by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX

Harry Hewlett, Mr. Troll, Rio King, Michael Brandenberger

Harry Hewlett, Mr. Troll, Rio King, Michael Brandenberger

PERFORMANCE by critique finalist Rio King, Plano, Tx Last Chance to Dance, Play Sump’n Like Dat & That Window Closes Fast
After early successes with his college rock and roll band, The Techniques out of Lubbock, and as a solo singer songwriter at Kerrville, Rio King has re-emerged from musical retirement. With deep affection for his native state, Rio has recently recorded his album, I’d Love To See Texas Again with Chris Gage of MoonHouse Studio in Austin to bring a great collection of original Texas Music. He is performing songs that were winners of the Best Songs of the Second Tuesday Meeting.

SONG OF THE YEAR presented by Harry Hewlett

Michael Brandenberger and Rio King

Michael Brandenberger and Rio King

Explanation of the process
Each month songs of members are critiqued at the 2nd Tuesday meeting. Winners each month are published in Songwriters Notes. At the end of each year, the songs are judged by industry pros and the Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriter whose song garnered the most points from the judges.
1 Time to Leave by Beth Murphy, Richardson, TX
2 My Pickup Truck She Never Lets Me Down by Charles Carter, Dallas, TX
3 Last Chance To Dance In Texas by Rio King, Plano, TX
4 I’m Singing My heart Out in Dallas Tonight by Charles Carter, Dallas, TX
5 Play Sump’n Like Dat by Rio King, Plano, TX
6 That Window Closes Fast by Rio King, Plano, TX

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR presented by Michael Brandenberger
Explanation of the process.
The songwriter who has won the most Best Songs of the Meeting throughout the year becomes our songwriter of the year.


Thank You
Special thanks to Harry Hewlett for co-directing the contest, and providing the audio clips tonight.
Dan Roark, Cameron Roark and Dave Lewis of Sons of Hermann Hall for our live sound reinforcement, .
Bobby Montgomery for catering, fundraising and many other things.
Lisa Byrn, SOH Manager, Our Song Contest and Lyric Judges, Nancy Rynders
Ginger Stanoiu for setting up, Ken Duren for helping at the door
Michael Brandenberger for ramroding DSA through 2016

DSA Board of Directors 2016
President / Membership Director – Michael Brandenberger
Executive Vice President, Program Director, Fundraising – Bobby Montgomery
Newsletter, Song Contest, Admin – Barbe McMillen
Workshop, Showcases and Open Mics & Lyric Contest Director – Dan Roark
Treasurer – Dickey Johnson
A&R and Co-Director Song Contest – Harry Hewlett
Secretary – Ginger Stanoiu
Technical Director – Rachel Wilhelm
Marcus Belmore – Webmaster
At-Large: Joe Milton, James Pappas, Ken Duren, Steve Sullivan

Directors for 2017
Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Barbe McMillen, Harry Hewlett, Dicky Johnson, Ginger Stanoiu, Rachel Wilhelm, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, Dan Roark, Joe Milton, Marcus Belmore, James Pappas, Malini Shaw

Grand Prize Judge : ROY ELKINS, CEO of Broadjam, Inc.

Americana: KENDRA TERRY, Booking manager of Uncle Calvin’s Coffee House.
Christian/Inspirational:  KIMBERLY INGRAM – Open Heart Musicals
Country: ROD PHELPS – VP Global Music Development, the American Music Channel
Children’s/Novelty :MONTY HARPER , award-winning children’s performer, and songwriter http://www.montyharper.com
Instrumental: TERRY HANKINS, premier jazz guitarist
Love Songs/Easy Listening : TONY HAKIM , Jazz performer and owner of the jazz venue, Kitchen Cafe.
Pop/Rock – Music Director KATHY FORSTE, KC Café Radio   http://www.kccaferadio.com
Singer Songwriter: DAVID CARD, Owner, Poor David’s Pub

MR TROLL, Open mic host and doer of things at Poor David’s Pub


1. Two Trains by Renee Saffier, Andy Hill and Hard Rain, LA, CA

2. Just Can’t Drown a Broken Heart by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX

3. My Unsung Hero by DeDe Wedekind, Houston, TX


1. Hearts Wide Open by Michael Roth, Arlington, VA

2. It Could Be You by Robert Graham, Toronto, Can.

3. Praise You by Rick Babb, Dallas, TX


1. Still Enough by Tim Sharp, Tomball, TX

2. Pills by Tim Sharp, Tomball, TX

3. Wanted Man by Christopher Sjostrom, Bedford, TX


1. The Warmth of Your Love by Don Coyne, LA, CA

2. Let My Heart Take It From Here by Randy Overton, Waxahachie, TX

3. Sanctuary by Nitanee Paris Lawson, Rachelle Lynn Gislason, Malibu, CA


1. Shoot Out by Conrad Swartz, Vancouver, WA

2. Aural Therapy by Al Marcy, Downers Grove, IL

3. Enchanted Kingdom by Bill Wren and Frank Ralls, Port Aransas, TX


1. Grow Up by Lauren Paley, Lauren Paley, Cedar Hill, Tx (email)

2. Cool To Be Kind by Randy Sauer, Hays, KS (email)

3. The Christmas Song No One Knows by Renee Saffier, Andy Hill and Hard Rain, LA, CA

3. Roly Poly With You by Rick Babb, Dallas, TX

HM Eenie Meenie by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX    (email)

HM Dreamland by Charles Carter, Dallas, Tx


1. INSIGNIFICANT OTHER by Andy Hill, Renee Safier and Hard Rain, LA, CA

2. BREAK ME OPEN by Debra Gussin, Brian Bell, Luther Russell, LA, CA

3. SUNRISE by Pamela Olivia, Santa Clarita, CA

HM FOR A REASON by Richie Smith, Richardson, TX


1. SMALL TOWN MASQUERADE by Haley McDaniel, Denton, TX

2. CLEANSING RAIN by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX

3. HALLELUYAH TODAY by Denise Rosier, Lake Forest, CA

HM SOFT PLACE TO FALL by Debra Gussin, Jonathan Bluth, LA, CA


1. Enchanted Kingdom by Bill Wren and Frank Ralls, Port Aransas, TX

2. Just Can’t Drown a Broken Heart by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX

3. CLEANSING RAIN by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX


Jeffery Moore, Baton Rouge, LA  His entry, This Love, #102 was drawn.


%d bloggers like this: