Advertisements

Tag Archive: open mic


The TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan Show at Stan’s Main Street in Frisco on Wednesday, March 14.

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

Shaun Outen

Shaun Outen

John Mason

John Mason

Jade Nickol

Jade Nickol

Jeff Stachowski

Jeff Stachowski

Red Neighbors

Red Neighbors

Follow the links so you can hear their music for yourself. Make a note of 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 on a future show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Advertisements
Richie Smith and I

Richie Smith and I

Richie lost his fight with brain cancer and went to his heavenly home within the past twelve hours. Below is the post I wrote when I met Richie in 2016. He was a wonderful young man. Even at the worst, he had a smile on his face, a song in his heart, and praise for God. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends – which includes everyone he ever met. I can still hear him sing his song, For A Reason. Rest in peace, Richie.

I was hosting the Angela’s at the Crosswalk Monday night open mic on Halloween when I first met Richie Smith. He came in with his mom and dad, waving to people as they came by the tables – just saying hi. His dad, Rick, came over and told me who he was so I knew when his slot came up. I asked him what he needed, sound-wise. He said Richie just needed a mic because he was going to play the song on a small Bose iPod/iPhone player.

When his time came, Rick helped Richie up to the microphone. Richie’s left leg was in a brace and his left arm was in a sling. I got him set up with the mic and his dad helped him start the songs. I adjusted the sound and Richie introduced himself.

“I’m Richie Smith. I had surgery for brain cancer to remove a tumor and what was left was diagnosed as grade 4 brain cancer. After surgery, I came out I was like this. This isn’t part of my costume.”

The crowd erupted in laughter. That is a perfect introduction to Richie. He is a twenty-two year old young man who has always loved music. He could play piano as well as other instruments. Music came to him naturally. He performed in cafes for charity.

Then he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011. No one outside of his family knew he had brain cancer. When it worsened in 2012, he had two

Richie and his father, Rick.

Richie and his father, Rick.

days to live without immediate brain surgery. After the surgery on November 24, 2012, what could not be removed was diagnosed as grade 4 brain cancer, and he was given two years to live. “The fight raged on, and in 2013 there were two brain tumors growing in size, leading Richie to lose most mobility on the left side of his body, but he never gave up.”1

Richie thanks God for his music even after all that has happened. His positive attitude and faith in God is infectious. There were a number of his close friends there, but, as far as Richie is concerned, everyone there was his friend. He had everyone laughing and dancing along to one of his songs. Even me – and I don’t dance – used to long ago,  but not anymore. Except for Halloween night.

Two weeks later, when I once again hosted the open mic, Richie was on the list. His left arm hung by his side rather than held up in a sling. He played piano with his right hand while he sat behind it and sang. His father, Rick, played the cajon. Once again, his laughter and infectious spirit filled the room. He played a hilarious cover of Skinny Girl Jeans with some additions of his own. Richie had the crowd singing along on Lean on Me by Bill Withers.

Veronica, Richie, and Rick Smith

Veronica, Richie, and Rick Smith

And, naturally, he played his song, For A Reason. Not only is it the name of his song, but it is also the name of his For A Reason Foundation. For A Reason is also Richie first official song release, produced by multi-platinum producer, John Kurzweg. The song was released this past Thursday, the fourth anniversary of his first brain surgery. It was also – as Richie pointed out at Angela’s – Thanksgiving, his mother, Veronica’s, birthday, and his re-birth. His re-birth is how he refers to the immediate emergency surgery.

For A Reason is available on iTunes, Amazon, and the usual online music distribution sites. You can also check out Richie’s Facebook page and his YouTube channel. You can see Richie on Mondays at Angela’s or  at the fourth Saturday Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) showcase on December 17.

Peace be with you.

                                                                                        1  Quoted from ournewmonarch.com

Ireland Casteel

I introduced Ireland Casteel to begin the inaugural TexasSelectRadio.com Monday night Shaun and Dan show at Guitars and Growlers on February 5. Ireland is one of the better and popular young teenage songwriters in the Dallas area. Her songs illustrate her experiences and the things she has learned. Without any pretense of being older than she is. Which helps her have insights – brought out in her songs – she would not have had otherwise. I have invited her to play showcases a number of times in the past couple of years and will continue to do so. You will know what I mean when you hear her songs – which will soon be in rotation on TexasSelectRadio.com.

Cat McGee

Cat McGee is a songwriter with intense emotion. Not just in her voice or expression, but the words themselves as well. As illustrated in the song, City of Steeples, which she wrote about Charleston, South Carolina on a tragic day as she watched the community respond with determination and faith. Cat was struck with the large number of churches, hence the title. Follow the link to hear that song and others and see where she is playing.

Bill Nash

Bill Nash followed McGee and displayed his penchant – out of necessity – for using capos and alternate tunings. With his MS symptoms, his hands sometimes are cantankerous – as it were – and the capos and tunings help him to keep playing guitar and writing songs. His songs are distinctly folk, which is not surprising given his 25 years of volunteering at Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse and decades residing at the Kerrville Folk Festival. He has a song he wrote as a Christmas song that friends talked him into changing into a song about Kerrville. “But it’s still a Christmas song.” Follow the link and check him out when you can.

Clint Sherman

With most of the younger songwriters I see being girls – which is a good thing – it’s nice to see a young man such as Clint Sherman write some nice songs. Blackland Fever is the name of his band and I wouldn’t mind hearing him with them. But he does pretty well by himself.

All in all, it was a great first TSR Shaun and Dan show. Come on out to Guitars and Growlers on Mondays and be part of a fun experience. We have John Mason, Gigi Gostas, and others next week. If you are a songwriter and would like to be on the show, send me a message and we’ll find a night for you. We usually keep a spot or two open for walk in sign ups, but they go fast, so it’s best to sign up in advance.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Shaun Outen, Darren Rozell, Alayna Mitchakes, Rob Case, Dan Roark, Mike Freiley

Shaun Outen and I had a good show last Tuesday at Love and War in Texas, Plano. We changed the starting time to 7 p.m. As usual the show was broadcast on TexasSelectRadio.com.

I started the show and played songs from my upcoming EP, Hello Out There. Mike Freiley took the stage after me. He played a set that included one of my favorite songs of his, Dog Left in

Mike Freiley

the Rain. He told the story behind the song when he played at my Songwriters for Autism benefit last year. The short version is he saw a dog that was hiding under parked cars in the rain as he was leaving an event.

Darren Rozell followed Freiley and played his original country songs. Which included It’s Complicated among others. Rob Case, with Alayna Mitchakes, performed next and wrapped up the show. They performed songs from Case’s cd, Last Call in Texas. Love and War was having the floors done and closed at 10 p.m., so we had to end at 9:30.

As always, follow the links and hear their music for yourself. More pictures can be found on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Robbie Marks

Robbie Marks opened the showcase last Tuesday, January 9 at Love and War in Texas, Plano that Shaun Outen and I host. Marks played a set of originals mixed with country covers.

Ray White took the stage after Robbie Marks. The show was broadcast on TexasSelectRadio.com as usual on Tuesdays. Ray followed Robbie’s example of playing originals and covers.

Ray White

Troy James has a unique sense of humor that he displays in his clever songs. He is also a fellow author. I didn’t realize until later that we had both been judges at Little Anthony’s Reach For the Stars Talent Competition. Follow his link to find his music – as with all the performers. It’s hard to take notes, pictures, and be a host at the same time.                          

 

 

Rob Case followed Troy on stage. Case played played a number of his originals, including my favorite, Bayou City. He closed with a couple of cover songs.

Shaun Outen played a few covers, including one of his favorites, Willie Nelson’s Me and Paul. Shaun ended with his recent single, Senoritas and Tequila.

Rob Case

Dan Roark closed out the evening with three songs from his upcoming EP. Then the waitress, Yvonne – I don’t have her last name – sang “Crazy” A Capella. She did a very nice job.

Come on out and join us on Tuesdays – except for tonight (January 16). Come listen or plan to play a few of your songs on TexasSelectRadio.com. The heaters usually suffice to make it comfortable. Good music, good food, friendly staff. More pictures will be found on my Facebook music page. Follow the performer’s links to hear the music for yourself.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Dan Roark

I was guest host for Bill Hook at the first Wednesday night Songwriters Showcase/ Open Mic of 2018 on January 3rd at Guitars and Growlers. While it was every other Wednesday in 2017, SS/Open mic is now weekly.

I was getting over a cold

Jade Nickol

that I got for Christmas. I opened the show and made it through two songs before I realized it was time to pass the mic. Jade Nickol took the stage and played her original songs as well as a Stevie Nicks cover.

Remy Reilly, another teenage songwriter, played piano and sang her original songs. She also played a Stevie Nicks cover – since Jade had.

Remy Reilly

Anna DiTommaso took the stage after we got the keyboard off the stage. “I will now play some songs that I definitely didn’t write,” Anna said as she introduced herself. She then did musical justice to four cover songs.

Local songwriter, Alex Benavides, followed DiTommaso. Benavides played his original songs and ended with Country Roads by John Denver and everyone singing along. Karl King played a couple of tunes on harmonica before asking Joe Gerard, who was up next, to join him on stage for a song. The two performed Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull. Gerard then stayed on stage to play a set of cover songs. Donna Weis closed out the evening with her unique brand of folk music, hearkening back to the ’60s and ’70s.

In all, an interesting musical evening. More pictures will be on my Facebook music page. Join Bill Hook each Wednesday to hear some good songwriters and/or play a few of your songs. Good music, good food, great craft beer selection and friendly staff.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

Jason Gibson and Mark Purnell

Now that Christmas is over and I’m finally starting to get over the cold I got for Christmas, it’s time to start catching up.

Jason Gibson and Mark Burnaugh opened the show at Love and War on December 19th that Shaun Outen and I hosted. They swapped songs as well as accompanying each other. Their set included Don’t Take My Whiskey and One Night Taco Stand.

Cold Multiple & Domestic

Cold Multiple & Domestic took the stage after Gibson and Purnell. The band consists of Craig Fasken, rhythm guitar and vocals, Craig Smith, lead guitar, Michael Levy on bass, and Matt O’Dea on drums. They play rock and roll and blues. And they do it well.

Dan Roark

The band played songs by Old 97s, Bob Seger, and others. Their set also included originals like the one about Pancho Villa. Fasken said that the first two songs they wrote together were blues songs. Then they played Fifteen Years, one of the two songs.

I followed the band and played a few songs, including Waffle House is a Mighty Fortress, and I Got My Ass Kicked in Nashville from my upcoming cd, Hello Out There. Terry Strange followed me and closed out the evening with a set that included his songs, Angel Song,

Terry Strange

and How About the Truth.

It was a great show. Come on out this Tuesday and join Shaun and myself. Come listen or plan to play a few of your songs on TexasSelectRadio.com. Good music, good food, friendly staff. Come join us!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Shelby Ballenger

Shaun Outen and Dan Roark hosted the Songwriters Showcase on November 28 at Love and War in Texas in Plano. I’m a little behind, but it was too good a show not to share.

Shelby Ballenger and Brad Wayne Purdom swapped songs to start the show. Ballenger played her songs Messing With a Cowboy, and Smell the Rain among others. She also played Hank William’s You’re Cheating Heart, and Kris Kristofferson’s Me and Bobby McGee.

Brad Wayne Purdom

Purdom’s “set” included his songs, Gypsy Soul and Bright Light of Day. Brad Wayne also played his song about John Fulbright. He assisted Shelby on lead and harmonica.

Mr. Troll and I took the stage next and swapped songs. Troll played what open mic regulars would refer to as his “greatest hits.” Which obviously included Cry, which is one of my favorites. And of course, Going Nowhere. I played songs from my

Dan Roark

upcoming cd, Hello Out There. Shaun Outen closed out the show with a set of his own tunes mixed with covers.

Check out the links and hear the music for yourself. You won’t regret it. Go see them live when and if you get the chance. You won’t regret that either.

Mr. Troll Mallow

Come out and listen or play on Tuesday’s at Love and War. The heaters and enclosures make it comfortable. Come join us!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Shaun Outen

Bill Hook, Host

Bill Hook, host, opened the Songwriters Night at Guitars and Growlers on Wednesday, November 22. He played his songs, Let’s Dance, Give Me a Chance, and Heartache Blues.

Dan Roark took the stage next and played four songs from his upcoming cd, Hello Out ThereRob Case followed Dan with his signature song, Bayou City – about Houston. Case also played his version of Stormy Monday.

Dan Roark

Bill Nash played next and played four original songs, the last of which was a song with great wordplay, James Dean’s Genes. Alex Benavides played a set of covers with an original. He turned Country Roads into a sing-a-long that everyone enjoyed.

Khalil Coffield

Khalil Coffield just happened to stop in with a couple of friends. He signed up for an impromptu performance. Coffield is a good young songwriter with interesting songs.

Emma and her father were with the fairly large party in front of the stage. Emma put only her first name on the signup sheet. I had to leave without getting her last name. She sang a song or two with the words on her phone and her father playing guitar.

Follow the links and listen to these songwriters yourself. You’ll enjoy the experience. The next time you get a chance, go listen to them perform their songs live. More pictures will be posted on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Kerry Watts

Kerry Watts opened the show at the Tuesday Songwriters Showcase Shaun Outen and I host on Tuesdays at Love and War in Texas in Plano on November 21st. It’s sponsored by Texas Select Beverage Company and is often streamed live on TexasSelectRadio.com. There are heaters on the enclosed patio which make it comfortable.

Kerry mixed a couple of cover songs in with his original songs. It’s Too

Shaun Outen

Late and Love Means Forever were the first two. Love Means Forever stood out to me. But it’s a toss up between it and his last original, My Heart Doesn’t Know You Left Me.

Shaun Outen got up at the end of Watts’ set and played a few songs with Kerry’s guitar. Kenneth Waters took the stage after Outen. His set included his original songs, Crazy Mind and Turns Me On. Additionally, he did Walk Away, and Witch in Wichita – a cute song.

Kenneth Waters

I took the stage and played my set before Terry Strange followed me to close out the night. I particularly like his song, How About the Truth.

Come out and join us on Tuesdays. Always good music and they serve really good food at Love and War.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Terry Strange

%d bloggers like this: