Hey songwriters,

Several killer murder songs were performed Wednesday at the September meeting of Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle. Most of those who followed the monthly songwriting assignment chose to write in traditional murder ballad style, leading to a particularly folky meeting with insightful critiques and comments. 

The songwriting assignment for October is to write a song about faith. Faith of a spiritual nature? Faith in yourself or someone close? Faith in the outcome of an event? It will be interesting to hear members’ interpretation of “faith.” For cool examples visit the website’s Monthly Assignments page.

The next Circle meeting starts at 7 p.m.  Tue., Oct. 1 at Hambone’s (4207 Butler St, [Lawrenceville] Pittsburgh. 412-681-4318.

CD project

The recording deadline passed Aug. 30. At Wednesday’s meeting producer Mike Hickman ( said he was happy with the quality of this year’s songs and has moved on to mastering. The deadline for submitting credits text (song title, who played what) was Aug. 23. If you’re on the project and haven’t submitted yet, send your credits to John at Please follow this format:

“Song Title” by Song Writer(s), professional affiliation (BMI, ASCAP, etc.), Tim Toms: vocals, guitar. Tony Timber: bass, vocals. Tex Tully:  keyboard. Tina Tomay: drums.

Check name spellings. Don’t forget anyone. The 2020 CD project rules are posted page on the group website. The CD package design is done, we’re waiting for credits.

The CD release event will be 7-10 p.m. Fri., Dec. 6 at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside. Get details in upcoming newsletters.

Gig opportunity

Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle has been invited back to the North Shore wharf to perform at a unique outdoor awards event for Venture Outdoor’s TriAnglers fishing program. From 11:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 25, we perform under a canopy with sound gear beside the Allegheny River outside PNC Park. Venture Outdoors participants fish and we take a break when they reel in their lines to pass out the summer season’s awards: biggest fish, most fish, etc. It’s a fun gig for Circle members who don’t work weekdays or have that Wednesday off. If you’d like some stage time use it to play as little or as much as you want. To get on the list please email John at


Mon. Sept. 16 Paul and Joannie Eisert (, will play the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle featured set at the AcoustiCafe open stage at Mr. Small’s Funhouse (400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale, 15209. 412-821-4447). They’ll start sometime between 8-8:30 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27 A Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle Showcase will feature the songs of Bruce Hoffman (, Howard Davidson (, David Hawkins (, Vince Rause (, Debbi Pace ( and Sue Gartland (  7-9 p.m. at Bottlebrush Gallery & Center for the Arts in the Historic village of Harmony, Butler County (539 Main Street, Harmony, PA 16037. 724-452-0539). $5 door, BYOB.

See you soon,

– John (