November 2018 Meeting RECAP

Hey songwriters,

The group’s new meeting space at Hambone’s in Lawrenceville is drawing capacity audiences and helping to set the stage, literally, for Chet Vincent’s ( happening open stage, which follows. The Nov. 6 songwriting assignment, write a song in one week’s time, inspired interesting songs and conversation, but with 34 members completing the Circle we ran out of time to hear everyone. New rule beginning with the group’s Dec. 4 meeting: keep the pre-song descriptions short — very short — so we have time to hear and discuss everyone’s song.

The suggested assignment for Tue., Dec. 4 is to write a holiday song celebrating Christmas, New Year / First Night, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, family holidays, Blue Light Specials, glittery displays of secular capitalist culture … Whatever you do at the end of the year, write a song about it.

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Next meeting: Tue., Dec. 4, 7 p.m. Hambone’s (207 Butler St., [Lawrenceville] Pittsburgh 15201. Followed by Hambone’s open stage with host  Chet Vincent (

Upcoming stuff:
Nov. 19 Brian Junker ( is the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle featured performer at Acoustic Cafe Open Stage, about 8:30 p.m. at Mr. Small’s Funhouse (400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale 15209. 412-821-4447).
Nov. 30 The Acoustic Guitar Project. A global songwriting initiative including Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle members Christopher Mark Jones (, Ben Shannon (, Sue Gartland (, Brian Junker ( and Steve Gallo ( Songs and artists are posted at Performance will be held Fri., Nov. 30 (doors 6 p.m., show 7-9 p.m., $10) at Club Cafe (56 South 12th St., [South Side] Pittsburgh 15203.
$1 from each Club Cafe ticket through Jan. 1 will be donated to Tree of Life congregations.

The project performance will be held Fri., Nov. 30 (doors 6 p.m., show 7-9 p.m.) at Club Cafe, South Side. $10. $1 from each Club Cafe ticket through Jan. 1 will be donated to Tree of Life congregations.

Dec. 8, City Mission Christmas Party

Every December Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle performs a Christmas show at City Mission, a homeless shelter in Washington, Pa., run by the husband of member Sue Gartland. Our show is unique because in addition to singing the holiday standards, group members perform their original holiday songs (see the December songwriting assignment above). The date is Sat., Dec. 8. We arrive and set up at 3 p.m., show is 4-5:30 p.m. 84 West Wheeling St., Washington, Pa., 15301.  My phone day of event is 412-335-1446.

The group provides sound equipment, song lyrics, goofy hats and hot chocolate (bring cookies). We’ll need just a couple of guitars and one keyboard as we all stand and sing into mics. If you have a holiday original (appropriate for children at a homeless shelter), bring your instrument and play it. Families, friends, kids are invited. If you’ve thought about doing one good thing this holiday season, this is it. If you plan to join us, please inform Sue at

See you soon,

– John