August Meeting Recap

Hey songwriters,

Among the full house that attended the August meeting, a good number brought songs that included a change in time signature. Some worked, some seemed forced — perhaps in an attempt to comply with the August songwriting assignment — but it led to lively discussions about why a time change might be written into the song (to retain listener interest, draw attention to information conveyed within a particular part of the song) and how to make it work ( use it as a bridge, try a full stop before introducing the change, explore which time signatures go well together on guitar as opposed to keyboard).

Nashville songwriter and new Songwriters Circle member Adam Burrows ( showcased some irresistible folky story songs in the featured set.

Ken Nowacki ( will play between the Sept. 6 meeting and the open stage, and the optional assignment is to write a lullaby.


Every culture soothes its infants with simple and repetitive songs generally sung or played at a high pitch and in 6/8 time suggesting a rocking or swaying motion. But lullabies aren’t only for kids. A 2008 study found that lullabies, more than other forms of music, relieve stress and improve physiological health in pregnant women, and music therapy often makes use of lullabies. Calming melodies that could be called lullabies, directed toward children or not, show up in popular music: “Puff the Magic Dragon,” Peter, Paul and Mary; “Your Song,” Elton John; “You Never Give Me Your Money/Golden Slumbers” from the medley on The Beatles’ “Abby Road.”

Learn more at:

Sing to your baby: Create your own lullaby

PBS – Lullaby Lyrics Primer

“Lullaby” by Natalie Maines, performed by The Dixie Chicks

“Lullaby” by Jewel

“Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter Yarrow and Leonard Lipton, performed by Peter, Paul and Mary

“Your Song” by Elton John/Bernie Taupin

Album project

Mike says it’s going well, even if it’s getting close to crunch time.

Aug. 31, RECORDING DEADLINE: All recording must be finished. The recording deadline advances the project and accommodates the mastering deadline.


Aug. 5 The English Channel, Gerard Rohlf

Aug. 12 Selwyn Birchwood Band, Debbi Pace

Aug. 19 The Banditos, Bryce O’Laughlin

Aug. 26 Luke Wade, Heather Kropf

Sept. 2 Birds of Chicago, Christopher Mark Jones

Other stuff

Heather Kropf

“I just launched a Kickstarter for my next album (recording in Nashville with a producer this time) and I’m super excited about it and I wondered if you’d be up for a $5-15 pledge/pre-order to help make it happen?” visit link 

Chris Jones

7 p.m. Aug. 4, free, Mt. Lebanon Public Library Courtyard Concert Series

6-9 p.m. Aug. 26, free, Southside Works Summer Entertainment Series, Town Square, Pittsburgh

6:20-6:50 p.m. Sept. 2, free, Summersounds (Birds of Chicago)

9-11 p.m. Sept. 2, free, Mr. Toads, 10 E Otterman St, Greensburg, PA 15601

See you soon,
– John