December Meeting

Hey songwriters,

The broad spectrum of musical styles loosely included in the singer-songwriter genre was on display Tuesday at Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle’s final meeting of 2013.

With two new members and some old friends in attendance, the group showcased and analyzed some very good songs. Chris Rholf ( and his band Ortega Fuerte performed a fiery featured set.

Jack Erdie ( will take the featured slot at the Jan. 7 meeting, where the optional songwriting assignment will be “new beginnings.”

Sun., Dec. 8, a group of Circle members will play a sing-along set of Christmas songs, and holiday originals, at a Washington, Pa., homeless shelter. If you want to join in the fun contact Sue Gartland (


You know Jack Erdie can write, play and sing, but did you know he can act? Check him out in the Pittsburgh-based feature film “Out of the Furnace” starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck, which opens wide in Pittsburgh Dec. 6.

If you’ve wondered why we haven’t seen much of Circle member Jordan Umbach (, he moved with his family to Nashville. Pittsburgh Froggy radio (FM 94.9, 103.5 and 104.3) has added Jordan as one of its Hometown County Artists and is spinning his single “Bottle Rocket with Angel Wings.” Call Froggy and ask them to play Jordan’s song (Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties 866-983-9898; Fayette, Westmoreland counties and the Mon Valley 866-878-0949; Washington County 855-410-1035).

Christmas goodies

A note from Circle member and luthier Alex Meleshenko:

Looking for a Christmas gift for someone special, or maybe one for yourself? Several acoustic guitars are available — sizes OM — Dreadnaught – Jumbo and 00. Very reasonable prices. Contact Alex at 412-823-3377,

Auld Lang Syne

2013 has been a very good year for Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle. With lots of new members and more active participation than ever, the group’s tenth annual compilation album coming up and plans underway to also release a ten-year retrospective album, I think 2014 is gonna be a blast.

Best wishes for the holidays. See you next year.