Tag Archive: showcase


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.

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.

Alex Francisco Caruthers

I had the good fortune to be in the lineup for New Faces Tuesday on August 22 at Love and War in Texas in Plano.

Christopher Odell Mills

Shaun Outen was hosting the evening. The sponsor, Texas Select/Texas Select Radio, was broadcasting live on TexasSelectRadio.com. Dana Verrill of Texas Select was on hand for the first part of the show.

Alex Francisco Caruthers opened the evenings performances. His music and songs are reminiscent of Dan Fogelberg. Although the lyrics were a little hard to distinguish through the harmony pedal up a little too loud. But we could distinguish enough to know that they were good songs. After a few songs, he was joined on stage by Christopher Odell Mills and they traded songs. Christopher  made one think of Darius Rucker – in stage manner and vocal style more than looks or sound of his voice. He had nice songs and stage banter  – which Alex shared with him.

Dusty Fields

Next up to trade off songs were Dusty Fields, Kenneth Waters, and Mandalyn Mack.

Kenneth Waters

Whereas Alex and Christopher were more Americana, these three were straight country. Real country, not the crap you hear on mainstream country stations. Some of the cover songs played throughout the evening may have been played on those stations, but not in heavy rotation.

Dusty Fields is also in Shaun Outen’s band and a good friend of Shaun’s. At one point during the set, Shaun took Dusty’s place and played his single, Senoritas and Tequila. Kenneth Waters calls his music red dirt – as does Shaun – which works in both cases. You can find their music on Reverbnation.

Mandalyn Mack

Mandalyn Mack is a sixteen year old girl with a big voice. She played mixed cover songs and originals as well. The most memorable of her originals was My Love Song to Beer. Which is ironic – as her father Alvin pointed out – because she is sixteen years old and has never had a drink. Nevertheless, the song was good.

Following them were Jeff Smithart and Ray White. Which mixed outlaw and traditional country. Check the links for their music.

Last up was Dan Roark, John Willis, and Scoot  Drescher. Mixing americana, folk, and country. John and Scoot played together since they

Dan Roark

are part of the Garage Door Boys. They played along with Dan on I Got My Ass Kicked in Nashville, Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters, and the Aardvark Song. Likewise, Dan joined them, adding his voice on Why You Been Gone So Long.

Shaun joined John and Scoot for the last songs of the evening. (More pictures on my Facebook music page.)

Thanks to Shaun Outen, Texas Select Radio, Dana Verrill, and Love and War in Texas Plano for New Faces Tuesday. You don’t want to miss the next one. Hopefully, it will be a little cooler and less humid.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

The Dallas Songwriters Association third Saturday showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk on August 19 began at 7:30 with host, Dan Roark. There was a good sized audience, considering the myriad of musical and culinary choices in the neighborhood. Dan played until 8:10 with a set that included his song, Hello Out There, for those with autism. As well as his pastry song, Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters, which he usually plays at Angela’s.

Loralee Pearman took the mic about 8:10. Loralee is a young

Loralee Pearman

woman – although she looks younger than she really is – with a sweet voice and music in her heart. During the week she teaches  music to young children. With teaching and planning  her upcoming wedding, Pearman doesn’t get to play many shows. She took this time to play some of her newer songs. There was too much going on to write down titles – when they were given. But one doesn’t need song titles to tell you that through her soft, youthful voice she weaves songs of love and life, intertwined with lessons learned.

Bill Hook

Bill Hook began playing about 8:45. He mixed his original songs with chosen cover songs. His choice of cover songs worked for the audience. His originals were varied subject-wise. But in them all dwelt insights. Such as the song he wrote for a friend in a bad relationship. Bill said he “played it for her and she still didn’t get it.”

Which ended another night of good music at the DSA third Saturday showcase. Mark your calendar for the next one on September 16th.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

After a high speed drive back from Memphis with Cameron on Saturday the 15th, I took a nap, and headed to Angela’s at the Crosswalk for the Dallas Songwriters Association third Saturday showcase which I host. As you can imagine, I was a bit tired. A trip to Nashville, Memphis, and back in three days can do that. Then as I was setting up my sound system, a man and woman walked in the door.

The man looked at me and said, “Hi Dan.” I recognized him, but I couldn’t think of his name.

“You don’t remember me, do you?”

“You look familiar.”

“I’m Kevin Burns. And this is Tim’s wife, Jan.”

They asked if I would have time to talk to them. I assured them I would and then they went to

Cat McGee

be seated. I finished setting up the sound, all the while trying to remember who they were. When I went to park my car, I called Cyndy and asked her if his name sounded familiar. No such luck. So I searched for his name in Facebook. There are a few Kevin Burns, as you would imagine. But one said we had two mutual friends, Tim Duggins and Jan Duggins. Between the two mutual friends and his pictures, I knew exactly who they were.

If you have heard me play more than once, chances are you have heard me play “River That Flows.” I co-wrote it with Tim Duggins while we were roommates in West Hall at North Texas State (now UNT). Kevin was a member of the group that grew out of our dorm gang.

Because of that, I altered my setlist to begin with River That Flows. In shows with Joel Nichols – for twenty-five years before he died in ’99 – we always started with River That Flows. Jan was Tim’s wife, as you already know.

John Mason

The rest of that story will be in part two. I want to give Cat McGee and John Mason their due. Their combined fans and friends were there. Cat thought that the extended table should be called Johnny Cat. Cat was at her best, as was John. The pictures are of past performances at Angela’s. I usually take pictures and am on top of things, but I was distracted. Find their music at the above links. Their Facebook pages (Cat McGee, John Mason) are the fastest way to know where they are playing. If you get to see either one or both of them play I guarantee you will enjoy the experience.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

When I’m headed to a show, a few blocks away from home I reach back and pat my guitar case in the back floor. As long as I’ve got my guitar, everything will work out. Even if I’m missing a cord or other piece of equipment, I can still play the show as long as I have my guitar. But I’m usually not missing anything.

I had a friend who had to borrow my guitar at an open mic. He brought his guitar case – his guitar just wasn’t in it. Another friend left his guitar in the parking lot when he left for the evening.

Anyone that knows me knows I am a creature of habit. I’m not anal about it, but I do things the same way all the time. And I usually have good reasons for doing so. As the previous examples illustrate.

But (didn’t you see a but coming?), a couple of weeks ago, I was heading to an open mic. I loaded everything but my water bottle and my guitar, as usual. Something distracted me: a phone call, unexpected conversation, who knows.

I said good-bye to Cyndy and left for the restaurant. I was wrestling with the air conditioner for the first part of the trip. I got to the restaurant, got my backpack and my hat. As I opened the back door, it occurred to me that for the first time in over forty years, I had left without my guitar. And for the first time in quite some time, I hadn’t reached around and patted my guitar case. I won’t make that mistake again.

But I sure felt stupid. And I don’t like feeling stupid. What did you do that made you feel stupid?

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Janelle Nichole

The Dallas Songwriters Association 3rd Saturday showcase on June 17 began at 7:30 with Janelle Nichole. Janelle is a young woman from Fredricksburg with a beautiful voice and a kind spirit. She entertained the diners with cover songs mixed with her nice original songs. She is currently working on funds for a cd. From the songs she played at Angela’s, the cd will be worth getting  – and putting the songs on your playlist when she’s on Spotify. It’s only a matter of when.

As host, Dan Roark went on after Janelle. I played a mixture of old and new songs, ending with my newest song, I Got My Ass Kicked in Nashville. The title is the first line of the chorus. The second line is “seems like all the way to St. Paul.” The first night I played it live, among the people that commented on it was a couple who happend to be from St. Paul. Go figure.

Rob Case

Rob Case ended the showcase with songs from his Last Call in Texas cd. Bayou City, Song about Texas, Last Call in Texas,  and Are We Even Yet? were some of the highlights. He said there were a few he didn’t care for as much, so he wasn’t going to do those. Rob didn’t tell us what they were though.

It was an evening of songs and stories about life and events past for a good appreciative crowd. Make plans to go to Angela’s on the third Saturday to hear more good songwriters in the showcase. On July 15, John Mason and Cat McGee will be co-guest hosting. The opening songwriter will be announced soon.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Layne Elizabeth

The Dallas Songwriters Association third Saturday showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk on March 18, began with young songwriter, Layne Elizabeth. We have started a tradition of opening with a young songwriter each month. The content and poetry of Layne’s songs belie her young age. Her show is straightforward without displaying any pretense. If you have a chance to catch her show, it’s definitely worth the effort. Layne and her mother plan to join DSA. We will gladly accept them into our songwriting family.

Rio King followed Layne at 8:00 with his honky-tonk Americana. Rio takes you back to when country was

Rio King

simple and uncomplicated. Songs like Last Chance to Dance in Texas, inspired by the signs saying “last chance for gas.”

John Mason played next, with his thought-provoking, story-telling Americana songs. Stories of journeys, both literal and introspective. Leaving the audience with the last song wondering “Why I Call My Coffee Joe.”

I was host and came on after John. I started with my song for those on the

John Mason

autism spectrum, Hello Out There. I ended with the Hitchhiking Song.

Rckey Gene Wright was scheduled to play at 9:30 when I finished. However, he had an earlier gig that began and ended later than expected. As he arrived at Angela’s after finding a parking space, the crowd had dispersed, leaving a handful of people. Apparently, there was a lot going on in the area. Rickey and I visited for a while before I began breaking down the sound system. He will be back in a future showcase.

The April showcase will be on the 15th. Look for the line-up to be posted before too long.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Ireland Casteel

Ireland Casteel

The Dallas Songwriters Association third Saturday Showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk on February 18 began with Ireland Casteel. Ireland is a very good young songwriter.  Each month we will try to have one of our younger songwriters open the show to highlight them. A way to encourage them and help them receive feedback.

Buck Morgan followed Casteel with a mix of his originals and covers, ending with his song, Jimmy Loves

Buck Morgan

Buck Morgan

Jesus. Don Wall played next. He started off his set with his song, Corn Bread. Corn Bread was successfully entered in the DSA quarterly lyric contest. He played a lively set of country music. Host Dan Roark began at 9 p.m. and played a set which included Peace Be With You, and his signature songs, Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters, and Supermarket Wreck of ’75.

Young & Rusty closed out the show with a full set including songs from their cd, Back Road Love. Sue Young and Rusty Nelson were special guests from

Don Wall

Don Wall

Austin. They are members of the Austin Songwriters Group. They played the title song from the cd as well as my favorite song, Where the Ferryboats Used to Run. They also played Angelitos – Little Angels from Sue’s cd, Gliding. It was a quite the entertaining set.

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

The audience was very receptive to the entire show and showed their appreciation. Don’t miss the next DSA third Saturday showcase on March 18. The lineup will be announced soon, but it will be a good show. Good music, good food, great desserts, reasonable drinks, and friendly staff.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Rusty Nelson and Sue Young

Rusty Nelson and Sue Young

Rick Sheffield and Little Anthony Bellante Jr

Rick Sheffield and Little Anthony Bellante Jr

Last Friday, February 17, at Harbor Point Club and Grill, Little Anthony Bellante, Jr. kicked off week seven of the Reach For the Stars Talent Revue competition. Regular judge, Dan Roark, representing the Dallas Songwriters Association, was in attendance, with new semi-regular judge, Tanya Houston, and guest judge Ned “Elvis Presley” Spencer. Ned is an Elvis tribute artist.

The show began with Tannery Usrey, winner from week five who was unable to open last week’s show due

Ana Seldana and Anthony

Ana Seldana and Anthony

to illness. Following Usrey was David Conger, winner from week six. Then the competition began. Competitors on week seven were Ana Seldana, Curtis McCallum, Arthur Anderson, Linda Stone, Rick Sheffield, and Cindy Lewis.

Fill-in acts were Renea Sheffield, Ned Spencer, Darren Rozell, Mark Nash (doing comedy), Tomas Pineda, Jr., and Deano Isaac, with Dan Roark closing the show.

The winner was Rick Sheffield, who will open week eight. Second and third place went to Ana Seldana, and Curtis McCallum, second and third place, respectively.

Curtis McCallum and Anthony

Curtis McCallum and Anthony

Come on out to Harbor Point this Friday for week eight. Guest judges on week eight will be Rob and Brinka Lowe of www.castingnewlives.com.  It is always a great show, full of talented performers. Great music, good food, reasonable drinks, and a friendly staff!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

Peace be with you.

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