March Meeting Re-cap/Newsletter

Hey songwriters,
Couldn’t ask for a better turnout or a more productive meeting. Tuesday at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern we had a good turnout, good songs, good insights and lots of good group news followed by a really good open stage.
No takers on the optional songwriting assignment (write a chorus but use it as a verse, then write another chorus to replace it — try it, you’ll get a better song). Nevertheless, lots of good songs drew smart critiques by old friends, several newish members and one newcomer. In the featured slot, Jessica Saenz ( dazzled with an outstanding performance. Great job, Jess.
At the Circle’s April 1 meeting, our friend from Italy, Luca Zan (, will play the featured set. The optional songwriting assignment is to write something “cheery.”
2015 album project
See the upcoming post for details about the group’s 10th — can you believe it? — 10th annual compilation album. Doug Wilkin ( returns to produce, and our sponsor Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society ( has invited us to hold our CD release event Nov. 14 at the Roots Cellar at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
To date 79 individual songwriters have placed 178 songs on the album series. But what’s more important to me is that many group members used their participation in the inexpensive, nurturing, educational project as a springboard to the release of their own independent albums.
First juncture: the $100 duping/participation fee is due by May 2. See the upcoming post for details.
Retrospective album project
To celebrate the album series’ 10th anniversary, Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle will release two collections this year. The second is a retrospective album including one song from each of our 10 CDs. Calliope will use judging criteria provided by the Circle to choose which artists appear on the Songwriters Circle’s first juried album. Doug Wilkin will donate his mastering service. We’ll get 1,000 CDs to be distributed through Calliope and other sources, and will release the album at the Nov. 11 CD release event.
To finance the project we’ve launched a GoFundMe crowd funding campaign, we’ll solicit business donations and plans are underway for a show benefiting the project.
The Circle needs your help. Visit our GoFundMe page. We hope you’ll chip in ($20 donation gets you a CD) and spread the message to your family, friends and fan base.
More cool stuff
• For the fourth year, Songwriters Circle members will play the pre-show sets at the start of all of the dates of the Greensburg SummerSounds music festival (Fridays June through August). Thirteen members (details pending) have been invited to play based on their performances on last year’s Songwriters Circle album. The gigs pay $100 for a 30-minute set of original material played for a crowd that can reach 2,000 or more. Consider this: 50 percent of the Circle members who put a song on last year’s CD will, in effect, get their $100 duping/participation fee returned while playing what may be the biggest gig of their lives.
• Sun., May 4, Songwriters Circle members will perform along the route of the Pittsburgh Marathon. Wanna play? In April organizers will tell us our position on the route and other details. As of now, I know four things: our application to participate is confirmed, roads close that morning at 6 a.m. so we’ll have to show up early, the race is over by 1 p.m., and it’ll be a blast. Please shoot me a message if you want to play.
– John

John Hayes

cell 412-335-1446, home 412-751-7744