October Meeting Recap

Hey songwriters,
The last few meetings have been great. Great songs, great people, great discussions about songs and songwriting — I hope all the new members don’t think we’re always that great.
The October meeting was a fun mix of tunes ‘bout da ‘Burgh n’at, critique and discussion not in Pittsburghese, the introduction of five new members and a featured set of well-played introspective, observational songs by Amanda Lazada (
At the Nov. 8 meeting, take a page out of Grimm’s, a scene from Disney or a story from the darkest, most disturbing, borderline-legal recesses of your mind. The optional assignment: write a song about an existing fairy tale or make up a new one in the form of a song. And if that isn’t scary enough, in the featured set new member Ray Pelletier ( will demonstrate how finger-style guitar is supposed to be played.
Album project
Producer Mike Hickman ( and member Debbi Pace ( did an outstanding job on the recording and package design, uploading masters and graphics early. Expect delivery of the 29-song, two-disc CD — the Songwriters Circle’s 12th consecutive compilation album — in October. Participants can get their copies from me, at the CD release event or the Nov. 8 meeting.
CD release event
Whether you’re on the project or not, help to celebrate fellow group members’ achievement.
Fri., Nov. 4, Roots Cellar, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Shadyside (6300 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232). $7, doors 6:30 p.m., show 7 p.m., doors close 10:30 p.m.
Free parking at PCA. Beverages including beer and wine will be sold. Upscale sandwiches and desserts will probably be sold.
All current album participants are invited to play one song. With nearly 30 performer changes and a deadline to close the room, no more than two accompanists (three vocal mics, three DIs). New strings, check battery, bring instrument cables and keyboard accessories, etc. Drum set and keyboard load-in by 6 p.m. Set list will be made on site in order of arrival. Expect an attentive, respectful audience and a cabaret-table listening-room experience.

Sorry, no comps. Calliope pays PCA for the room, taking a loss on our show every year. PCA gets the bar, Calliope gets the door, Songwriters Circle gets CD sales and raffle.
Day of event phone: Call me at 412-335-1446.
CD and raffle proceeds are paid forward to the next year’s album project and misc. group expenses. In addition to donated concert tickets, Songwriters Circle CDs and other items, raffle baskets include independent CDs by Circle members and other Pittsburgh songwriters. Got independent CDs, Songwriters Circle CDs from past years, T-shirts and other merch from your band or other cool stuff? Please donate to the raffle.

Drop it off at the BBT open stage Tuesdays after 9 p.m., meet me at the Post-Gazette office on the North Shore (I’ll meet you at the curb) or make other arrangements at 412-263-1991. Raffle gift baskets are easier to wrap if donations are made in advance, but I leave one basket partially open for late-coming donations (but, really, it’s easier for me if donations come early).
Bloomfield Bridge Tavern.
To preempt the rumor mill, I can confirm that a realtor is looking for a buyer for the BBT’s property. Owner Steve Frankowski said a sale might not occur, but if it does it won’t be until about a year from now and the buyer will not be interested in running a bar — the building will be razed. Long before that occurs, if it occurs, Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle will have another meeting place. I’ll keep you in the loop.
Thanks, and sorry for the long message — there’s a lot going on.