August meeting recap and other news

Hey songwriters,
At the height of vacation season, a dozen songwriters including one new member took time to drill deep into the songs work-shopped at the Aug. 5 meeting of Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle. 
Tom Beckman’s ( idea for the optional assignment — write a “hit” song that structurally and lyrically sounds like a radio hit — encouraged members to push beyond their previous boundaries to write different types of songs, eliciting insightful critiques and conversation. Heather Donovan and her band, Roulette Waves, played an aggressive set of Heather’s contemporary rock songs. 
The next meeting will be held Tue., Sept. 2, 7 p.m. at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. The optional songwriting assignment — the suggestion of Victoria Montgomery ( and others — is to rewrite an existing song. That is, change the structure, lyrics, arrangement, etc., of any song and rewrite it as you see fit. Alyssa Turkowski ( will play the featured set.
Album project
With 34 songwriters on this year’s annual compilation album, it’s been a busy summer for producer Doug Wilkin ( Graphic design is underway. Please send your credit text to me at byAug. 22. Your text will look like this:
“Song Title” by Your Name (ASCAP/BMI if applicable)
Artist name: instruments  Artist name: instruments  Artist name: instruments
If your song is not finished now, time is running out before the Aug. 29 recording deadline. Doug’s schedule is rapidly filling — if you were hoping for an evening session you might already be out of luck. The recording deadline makes possible subsequent mastering, graphics and replication deadlines necessary to get our CDs pressed, printed and back in time for the Nov. 14 release event. Songs that remain unfinished after Aug. 29 will not appear on the album, and the songwriter will lose the $100 duping/participation fee and group discount (that means you’ll owe Doug $50 an hour for every hour of session time, instead of $25 per hour for the first three hours). Please don’t make me get all whip-and-a-chair on you in the next several weeks. Call Doug now — like right now — at 412-736-9068.
Retro CD, website
Aug. 31 is the deadline for chipping in to help pay for the retrospective CD celebrating our annual album project’s 10 years. Get details at
While you’re on the site, check out the Artist Pages — all songwriters who have ever put a song on our album series can put up a page free of charge. Use it as your free website, link it to your site or Facebook, etc. All members can post performance Events. Contact webmaster Dennis Malley (
Songwriters Circle members perform the pre-show sets 6:10-6:40 p.m. Details here.
8/8  Haley Rohlf / Horse Flies
8/15  John Hayes / Chris Smither
8/22  Marty Zundel / Birds of Chicago
8/29  Dennis Malley / Alternate Routes
Pahanish in Pittsburgh 
Not long ago, Dave Pahanish was you — a Pittsburgh singer-songwriter playing open stages, entering music competitions, wishing someone — anyone — would listen to his songs. 
That has changed. In the last several years Dave has co-written several No. 1 hits on the Billboard Country chart including Tobey Keith’s “American Ride,” Keith Urban’s “Without You” and Jimmy Wayne’s “Do You Believe Me Now?.” He’s placed album cuts with Tim McGraw, Collin Raye and Emily West.
Our friends at the Nashville Songwriters Association/Southwest Pennsylvania Songwriters Network will showcase Dave at a concert and story-teller event 7:30-9 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.Aug. 23 at 3rd Street Gallery, 220 3rd St., Carnegie, 15106. $10 with registration by Aug. 20, $12 at the door. Register at 412-596-5831 or