Hey songwriters,

Some interesting characters were developed by Songwriters Circle members who accepted the challenge of writing a character-driven song. About 23 songwriters sat in with the group at the August meeting at Hambone’s. Christopher Mark Jones ( and Jay Michaels ( performed memorable songs, and Vince Rause ( workshopped “Hey Rudy,” his clever sequel to John Prine’s “Hello in There” with a well-developed central character who answers Prine’s question, “What could I say if he asks ‘What’s new?’ Nothing, what’s with you? Nothing much to do.”

The suggested assignment for the Sept. 3 meeting is to write a song about murder. Learn more on the group website’s Monthly Assignments page. 

CD project

Producer Mike Hickman ( says everything is on track to meet the Aug. 30 recording deadline. If you still need studio time, you’re running out of time. Evenings sessions are filling fast. Call Mike now at 512-785-2132.

Album participants can help Debbi Pace ( to meet her graphic design deadline by submitting their credits text by Aug. 23. For the sake of brevity and consistency, please submit credits in the following format:

“Song Title” by Song Writer(s), professional affiliation (BMI, ASCAP, etc.)

Amy Ash: guitar, Bob Brown: bass, Charles Chin: keyboard; Dorothy Day: drums.

Check name spellings, don’t forget anyone. See the 2020 CD Project page on the group website.


Debbi Pace ( plays the Songwriters Circle featured set starting between 8-8:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at the AcoustiCafe open stage at Mr. Small’s Funhouse in Millvale. A group member gets the spot every third Monday. The Circle’s CD release event will be held at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside Dec. 6. Circle members play outdoors on the North Shore 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the annual Venture Outdoors fishing awards event. Additional performance opportunities are in the works. If you’re looking for stage time email group manager John Hayes (


Our friends at the Pittsburgh chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International meet 6:30-9 p.m. Aug. 11 at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church in Allison Park. Get details from David Michael King  (412-498-6360) and Kim Maverick (724-732-7255).

Classified ad

Heather Groll ( is selling used sound gear. 

“The PA system has 2 Optimus speakers and cords that go from the speaker to the PA Head. I don’t know what happened to my microphones. It’s a 6 channel unit and I used to plug in a guitar, bass, my violin and vocals all at once. It was pretty great. I posted all that I’ve mentioned (the speakers, the PA head and cords) on Facebook for $550.”

See you soon,

– John