September Meeting Recap

Hey songwriters,

The monthly songwriting assignments, originally a good idea from Howard Davidson (, have evolved into a motivational tool intended to give members who are stuck in a songwriting drought something to write about. The optional assignments can coax members out of comfort zones, provide deadlines for procrastinators, encourage songwriters to think about and articulate what they’ve been doing all along and focus the conversation at Songwriters Circle meetings. The August “children’s song” assignment did all of that resulting in new songs ranging from fun to frightening and old songs being dug out of the mothballs.

Featured performer Kev Gray ( — originally from Britain, living in Japan and touring through the U.S. — performed a fabulous set featuring witty lyrics, solid guitar work and precision embouchure without an horn.

The open stage that followed may have been the best and most fun that I’ve experienced in 13 years of hosting Calliope Songwriters Open Stage at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. Interesting and well-played sets by Circle members Heather Kropf (, Jim Skiff (, Paul & Joan Eisert ( and others ended with an unplanned an 45-minute crescendo of sing-along piano songs led by Karl Bailey (, a Circle member and music director of Sing Sing piano bar at The Waterfront in West Homestead.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern.

Optional assignment: Write a song that increases the emotional value of a lyric by pairing it with a chord progression from major to minor, or vice versa. Get tips at

Featured performer: Brian Junker (

The move to Club Cafe

Invited to monitor the group’s September meeting, Club Cafe manager Dave Romano ( said he was impressed with what we do and is looking forward to hosting the group. Calliope, too, is comfortable with Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle and Calliope Songwriters Open Stage moving to Club Cafe on Nov. 7. Club Cafe is located at 56 S 12th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. 412-431-4950 Bloomfield Bridge Tavern will close forever Oct. 21.

Gig opportunities

– Organizers of Walk and Roll Pittsburgh for GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome), a benefit for the neurological disease, are looking for performers for their Sat., Sept. 16 event at a South Park pavilion. No pay. For details and to get on the list contact Circle member Joan Eisert (

– Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle has been invited back to play at Venture Outdoors’ annual TriAnglers end-of-season celebration 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wed. Sept. 27. We perform on the North Shore wharf near the Clemente Bridge. For details and to get on the list email

See you soon,