Tag Archive: songs


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.

Dan Roark, Jennifer Holm, Colleen Francis

I had the good fortune to be asked by Jennifer Holm to join her and Colleen Francis for the Song & Story show on DentonRadio.com on Thursday, September 7. The two women were in place with Jake Laughlin setting up the computer and sound when I arrived. I got my guitar and the necessary accessories and settled into my chair in the studio.

We were making small talk as Jake finished getting things set up. Colleen told me she was supposed to tell me hello from Vic and Mary Brooke Casad. Keep that in mind – it will come up later. After a technical issue that caused us to restart the introductions, Jennifer welcomed the listeners and did the usual radio announcements. After which we introduced ourselves – follow the links for our info.

Then Colleen started the songs with Night Owl. While we traded off songs, the other songs she played were Wildflower, a piece from a current project, Better Than This, and Rainbow in the Night. I liked all of her songs, but I liked Better Than This best.

Jennifer was next in the rotation. Her first song was Falling, about falling in love. Her other songs were Old House, I Guess This is Goodbye, Against the House, and Fire and Ice.

When my first turn came, I played Hello Out There, my song for those on the autism spectrum. My following songs were I Just Want to Get Social, Why Now?, and Walking to Jerusalem, before ending the show and my five songs with Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters. Walking to Jerusalem is a song I wrote while reading Mary Brooke Casad’s book, Road to Amazing, which she wrote with her brother, Clayton Oliphant. Mary Brooke is Colleen’s aunt in-law. Talk about a small world.

It was a delightful show and we had a lot of fun. Performing in the round is always a good time. But you don’t have to take my word for it. The video is below and you can see for yourself.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

I drove out to play the open mic at The Forge in Ben Wheeler on Wednesday, June 28th. It’s a rustic, friendly restaurant in a rustic friendly little town.

I was on the list among locals and didn’t get the names. Eddie Pardee was the guest host for TD Wilt. Eddie let me play a couple extra songs since I’d driven out from Farmers Branch. I had fun and the crowd seemed to enjoy my songs.

Then I had the chance to hear some more local

Aimee Pietzsch

talent, including a young woman with more bracelets than I’ve ever seen any one person wear. Her name was Aimee Pietzsch and she seemed to wear the bracelets naturally and with a little class. She sat down at the mic with a friend on guitar. Aimee sang one hell of a version of Me and Bobby McGee. Both Janis Joplin and Kris Kristofferson would be proud. Unfortunately, it was the only song she had prepared.

I love to promote younger songwriters and younger performers. It’s gives me a feeling of warmth to hear young people perform songs with intensity of those who preceded them. I’ll have to make it back out to play and hopefully hear her again. If you’re out that way, drop in. The food, talent, and staff are all top notch and small town friendly.

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.

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.

 

 

Genaro Sendejas

Genaro Sendejas

The second week of the Reach for the Stars competition at Harbor Point on Friday began with Little Anthony introducing Deano Isaac, winner of week one. He sang a couple of Frank Sinatra songs, and a song that Elvis Presley covered. James Idley began the week’s competition with a few R&B tunes. My fellow judges were Lonny Schonfeld, Pete Cormican, and Gus Garza. [Read on if you would like to play as a fill-in or compete.]

Darby Martin played next. As he did when he played the week before when he came in second, he played an original song. For his third song, he put his guitar down and sang to a track. Isaac came back up and sang a couple more songs in a fill-in performance. Then Jack King – the Magic Guy with the Bow Tie – performed a few magic tricks, also as a fill-in performer.

The competition continued with Rachel Schriver, who also sang the week before. She seemed to have more

James Idley

James Idley

confidence this week and did well. She is also a veteran, for which she received applause and support. Genaro Sendejas followed with three good original songs, accompanying himself on guitar. David Marcus followed Sendejas. Marcus has a very good voice that is reminiscent of Frankie Valle and singers of that era.

LTD is a man and woman duo. I tried to get their names, but was told just to put LTD. They sang a couple of songs, including a Doobie Brothers tune, before she sang the last song alone. Cheryl McGuire came on next as a fill-in performer. She sang a few of the songs she sings at her nursing home shows.

David Marcus

David Marcus

A guy named Dan Roark closed the show with of few of his songs before the winners were announced. Genaro Sendejas came in first and will open the show next week. James Idley and David Marcus came in second and third, respectively.

Come join us at Harbor Point next Friday at 8 p.m. to hear Genaro and see what the evening brings. If you would like to play as a fill-in or compete, call Anthony at    214-660-4799 (no texts). Good food, reasonable drinks, and friendly staff. And a lot of good music. See more pictures on my FB music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Dennis Boykin

Dennis Boykin

Once Again Music in Forney had an open mic/jam new year’s eve celebration. Dennis Boykin, owner, usually has an open mic on Saturday, so this was just a special edition, shall we say.

Cyndy and I arrived a little after 8 p.m., which is when the party was supposed to start. I paid for both of us and signed us both in and received our raffle tickets. It was BYOB, so I needed to acknowledge the fact that we brought our own. As well as sign up on the open mic list.

I was rather looking forward to playing on new year’s eve. It has been many

Darren Rozell

Darren Rozell

years since Cyndy and I did anything for the evening except hang out with the sons that were home at the time. Our families hung out together on New Year’s Eve and we do the same. Cyndy and I went to a couple of NYE parties in high school – together and separate – that went rather badly. I will be posting about one of them soon. But this seemed like a good time to celebrate the occasion by going out and being with friends. And the open mic was a bonus.

Dennis started the show with a few rock and roll tunes. Then Zach Welch played about five country songs. Darren Rozell then played mostly his own songs, including I’m All Whiskeyed Up, Now. Then the Once Again Band played a few songs before Cortlynn Blankenbaker joined them on stage for a few numbers.

During the evening a taco bar, snacks, and desserts were available. Stacy Smith and friends prepared the food. Stacy’s is the only name I know. I met Stacy and Darren at the Poor David’s Pub open mic on Mondays, hosted by Mr. Troll. Come to think of it, I met Dennis Boykin at a PDP open mic.

dan-roark-aAnyway, people gathered around, ate food, and visited while listening to the performers. There was a station set up on the wall with Happy New Years decorations on the wall. On a bench sitting to the side were hats, glasses, and other props for people to wear in often humorous pictures. Since I was a visitor – as it were – I didn’t take any pictures of people posing for New Year’s pictures.

I played after the band. I played four of my songs, ending with the audience participation song, Supermarket Wreck of 75. The crowd really got into it, which always makes it more fun and it was perfect for the party. After my set, they played music over the system so line dancing could take place. After the line dancing, Curtis McCallum played a number of songs. Curtis has a good voice and sang them very well.

Cyndy and I left shortly after Curtis’ set. It was well after 11 o’clock and we wanted to get back across town before people who had more than they should to drink began to drive home. But it was a good party and kept going for a while.

And it doesn’t have to be over. You can hear the same people on most Saturdays at the open mic. Maybe Cyndy and I occasionally. You can find more pictures of the evening on Instagram and Facebook (feel free to like the page while you are there).

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

dan-roark-3As the last hours of the year come to a close – and the emails wanting me to give a donation for matching funds come to a head – I hope that you have music in the plans for tonight. Whether the plans involve playing or listening, I sincerely wish you an enjoyable evening. As always, be careful, safe, and sane.

Beyond tonight, I hope you have a fantastic year this next year. I also hope your year involves music. Again, playing, watching, listening, singing, it all works. It’s music that will get us through whatever happens. Happy New Year!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Tommy LeBoeuf

Tommy LeBoeuf

One of the enjoyable things about hosting open mics is getting to hear young upcoming and talented songwriters. Which is what happened the last time I was the host at Angela’s.

Tommy LeBoeuf is a regular at the Angela’s at the Crosswalk Monday open mic. He has also played shows during the week occasionally. On December 26, he brought the family, which included his daughters, Sabrina, and Elisa. In addition, Sabrina brought her boyfriend, Addis Riddle.

Sabrina played after her dad. Elisa joined her for the first song and their two voices blended well. None of the three songs were familiar to me. I had to ask her later if any of the songs were hers. The last song she did was an original. It was a very nice song, but I never caught the name of it. She said it was the only song she’s written. I told her to keep writing and told her about the Dallas Songwriters

Sabrina LeBoeuf

Sabrina LeBoeuf

Association.

A little while later, her other friend, Addis Riddle, played his three songs.  One of the songs he played was based on the Curious George song. I think one or two of the songs were original. Either way, he has written a number of songs.

Sabrina had a slightly stronger delivery than Addis. Though they both are relatively soft-spoken, their singing voices come across more powerfully. I’m looking forward to hearing them again and I’m thinking of including the two of them in a future DSA showcase.

Addis Riddle

Addis Riddle

You can catch Sabrina and Addis at the open mic at Angela’s. Sabrina sometimes plays shows at Angela’s with her dad. But if you get the chance to hear and support them, do so. You won’t be disappointed.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Cat McGee

Cat McGee

Are you confused yet? Or did you figure out that we had the Dallas Songwriters Association 4th Saturday showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk a week early this month – and last month as well – due to Thanksgiving and Christmas. This was my first showcase as the new host. As showcase director for the DSA, I have been a guest host before. But with both Buck Morgan and Harry Hewlett having life changes coming about, I became the host.

I had the sound system set up by 7:15. Despite a problem I did not discover until I was breaking down the system, everyone sounded good to the audience, except me on part of my set.

The show began with Cat McGee – after a few technical adjustments. She delivered her show in her usual humble sincerity. Cat doesn’t take herself all that seriously, but her songwriting is a different matter. That alone lends a certain urgency to her lyrics juxtaposed with the casualness of her delivery. I have known Cat a while and consider her a good friend. I have read the press on her website before, but it evades me now. But simply thinking about it while replaying her set in my mind, her songwriting and performance remind me of Judy Collins and Joan Baez. The decidedly female perspective, with self-assurance and purpose. One of my favorite songs of hers – and there are a few – is Mydan-roark-3Tribe. Her tribe, of course, is songwriters.

Then the host, some guy named Dan Roark, came on and played his set. Which included several songs from his new cd of live songs. As well as the bonus song on the cd, What the Lord Intends. Which is also the song in his first music video which you can find on his YouTube channel.

Mark Evans, who followed me (the moment has past, if you catch my drift), has a band called Safety Meeting. Alone, on acoustic guitar – as he was at the showcase – Mark comes through as folk with a bit of an edge – albeit with a positive outlook. And a love song is simply a love song. The band’s description of Safety Meeting’s music is “alternative, americana, and pop.” Having heard them live and recorded, I can say that sums them up fairly well. I’m not exactly sure how alternative they are, as far as lyrics and music are concerned. But pertaining to their live show, I can hear alternative to a point. Listening to

Mark Evans

Mark Evans

their recorded songs on Reverbnation before writing this, I caught a John Cougar Mellencamp feel to their songs. Hence the americana and pop distinctions. Catch one of their shows when you can. Their music deserves a good crowd.

Baylis Laramore ended the evening’s line up. Baylis‘ music is folk and americana. He’s a laid-back type of guy, and his music reflects that. He was born in Galveston and grew up around east Texas as a child. He “spent [his] teenage years living in Australia and Indonesia.” He has traveled to other places as well. Some of Baylis’ songs come from those years, such as Blonde Spanish Girls, written while he was in Spain. Other songs, like Ghosts of Galveston, are from stories he has heard and read. He also has written some humorous songs as witnessed by the song Junk Food Highway, written from a song prompt at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance.

It was a good show. I’m sorry you missed it. Do yourself a favor and make it to the next DSA 4th

Baylis Laramore

Baylis Laramore

Saturday showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk on January 28. I’ll have the list of songwriters who will by playing in the next couple of weeks. But you can be sure it will be a good show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

 

Mark Evans followed me

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