Hey songwriters,

Few takers on writing a song with a well-placed key change, but at the June meeting of Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle a half-dozen newbies sat in, offered insight and showcased songs. Discussion ensued about possible arrangements for an old-timey jazz tune and a melancholy Christmas song, and longtime member Sue Gartland ( revealed she’s been holding out on us — she debuted a wonderful song that she wrote in 2008.

The suggested songwriting assignment for July is to write a song in the voice of another performer, like Paul McCartney channeling Chuck Berry when he wrote “Back in the U.S.S.R.” Read more about that songwriting tip on the Monthly Assignments page.

CD project

The next deadline for participants in the Songwriters Circle’s 15th annual compilation album is to contact producer Mike Hickman (512-785-2132) to schedule a first recording session. We’ll let you slide a little on the June 7 deadline to make that call, but it’s important to get on the schedule now at Electric Eye Recorders to protect Mike from a bottleneck of session requests near the August 30 recording deadline.

All participants are invited to perform at the project’s crescendo, a CD release event sponsored by Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts on Fri., Dec. 6.

Songwriters Circle showcase set

Please turn out to see John Lecky ( perform his songs at the group’s monthly showcase at the AcoustiCafe open stage at Mr. Small’s Funhouse (400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale, PA 15209, 412-821-4447). He’ll go on between 8-8:30 p.m. Mon., June 17.

Next meeting

7 p.m. Tue., July 2 at Hambone’s (4207 Butler St., Pittsburgh [Lawrenceville], 412-681-4318).

See you soon,

– John