Tag Archive: Songwriters


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.

 

 

 

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.

 

John Mason

New Faces Tuesday at Love and War in Texas on November 7, hosted by Shaun Outen, and sponsored – with a live broadcast – by Texas Select Radio, began about 7:30 with John Mason. His set included the title song of his upcoming cd, Branches and Leaves. Mason also played I Wanna Know – asking why we call coffee “joe.” He switched guitars and ended with Lone Star State.

Cat McGee took the stage next, opening with Summertime. Following with A Place of Their Own, and Coda. Coda and Summertime

Cat McGee

are the first and last song, respectively, of Cat’s recently released EP, ironically called, Don’t Rush Me. McGee ended with Four Guns and a Mercedes.

Dan Roark played his song for those on the autism spectrum, Hello Out There, to begin his set. Peace Be With You – written about the police shootings at the protest in downtown Dallas in the summer of 2016 – came next. Then he played Waffle House is a Mighty Fortress before finishing with I Got My Ass

Dan Roark

Kicked in Nashville.

Dave Ross, touring with Madison Rising, announced that his was an impromptu set because he hadn’t planned on performing. He borrowed Dan Roark’s guitar and started with Stormy Monday. He followed with two of Bob Dylan’s songs and one of his own about his daughter when she was about two years old.

Host Shaun Outen closed out the evening’s music. Beginning with Wear My Ring, by Bart Crow, his set also included his own single from a couple of years ago, All I Saw Was a Flash. He concluded with Holding Her and Loving You, and the Willie Nelson tune, Me and Paul.

New Faces Tuesday is always a good time for music at Love and War in Texas in Plano. Come on at and have something to eat on the heated patio while you listen to the performers. Or bring your guitar or instrument of choice and get your time on stage.

More pictures will be on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Justin Tipton and band

The  featured artist at the Poor David’s Pub (PDP) open mic on Monday, October 9, was Justin Tipton and his band. He’s currently in the process of coming up with a band name.

Guest host Dan Roark, Roy Howell, and Don Wall, played their sets before Justin and his band took the stage about 8:40. Tipton’s music is a bluesy rock blend that makes for good rock and roll. They kept the rhythm going with songs like Shake ‘Em On Down, Train to Memphis, Stay, and Barefoot O’ Blues. Will Latham on bass and Trevor Jordan on drums kept the back beat smoothly. They played Instant Karma in honor of John Lennon’s birthday. They finished up the set with Cornbread and You’re Gonna Miss Me by Band of Heathens.

The original songs in their set will be on the next cd. I think Barefoot O’ Blues may be the title song, but I was taking

John Mason

pictures and hosting, and didn’t write it down. Check his Facebook page for more information. Catch the band or any of it’s members when they play. You’ll enjoy the music.

John Mason followed the band. Trevor Jordan then took the stage, playing guitar instead of drums. Tennessee Dixon, who hasn’t played the PDP open mic in a while, played his brand of Ft. Worth country music. Mike Newkirk played before Scott Thornton closed out the evening with Trevor Jordan joining him.

Come out to Poor David’s Pub on the 2nd and 4th Mondays to hear or play good music. All are welcome.

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.

Peggy Houlihan

On September 24, the last day of the Oktoberfest celebration in McKinney, the square was awash with activity. From bounce houses and climbing walls, to the various stages, food booths, and miscellaneous vendors. People and families moved among the booths and activities.

But away from all the noise – up the stairs above Spoons Cafe – from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., songwriters were sharing their songs for a receptive audience and a good cause. Kevin Edwards, of Guitar Gallery on the Square – where the songwriters were playing – organizes the event each year. He gives music lessons during the week. This year the event was benefitting Warriors Keep, a charitable organization that aids veterans in the transition back to civilian life after active duty. The purpose was to create awareness for the young charity as much as to collect funds. Kayak McKinney and

Ken Maxwell

Cedar Creek Brewery also sponsored the event.

Originally planned for noon until 7, so many people responded that the jam was to begin at 11 a.m. But things can happen. And they did. But that’s to be expected and the music played on.

Ray White began the day’s performances followed by Jud Block. Peggy Houlihan preceded Ken Maxwell, Russ Lowry, and Stephanie Sammons. Dan Roark led the next batch of songwriters, followed by Jess Skelton, and trio, Wooden Nickel. Ben Shook, Sean & Faye, Larry Martin, and Samantha Beall wrapped up the performances. Kevin Edwards closed out the show.

Dan Roark

It was nearly eight hours of continuous performers and music. With a good number of original songs and healthy doses of sing-a-long cover songs in an intimate setting above the square. Follow the links to learn more about the performers, hear their music, and see other pictures from the event. Also find some more pictures on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

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.

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