SummerSounds and Album Project updates

Hey songwriters,
For the third year Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle has been invited to provide all of the pre-show entertainment (can’t say “opening act” for contractual reasons) for the SummerSounds music festival at St. Clair Park in Greensburg. Pays $100 for a 30-minute outdoor set in front of crowds extending into the thousands. The shows run 13 Fridays through the summer, June 7-Aug. 30. Learn more about the festival at
The first of our members to get a paid SummerSounds gig this year was Alex Meleshenko, who played an atmospheric instrumental set during a thank-you reception for last year’s donors and volunteers March 12 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. Thanks Marty Zundel for donating the PA.
You may remember that promoter Gene James attended one of our 2012 album release events, where he was given a copy of the new CD. He and associates will choose the pre-show performers primarily from songs placed on recent Songwriters Circle albums.
If you have a song on the 2011, 2012 or 2013 CDs, you are already being considered for a gig — you don’t have to do anything. If you’re not on one of those albums but want to be considered, send an independent CD or CD demo to John Hayes at 101 Daggette Dr., Buena Vista, PA 15018, or drop it off at Calliope Songwriters Open Stage 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. The deadline for demo submission is the April 2 Songwriters Circle meeting.
No other demo formats will be accepted – no .mp3, no YouTube, no tapes, etc. One of the main reasons we get this opportunity is because it’s super easy for Gene. Songwriters Circle compilation CDs showcase a variety of Pittsburgh-area singer-songwriters, the type of performers they’re looking for. Gene and his associates pick the pre-show artists during one easy living-room sitting, and Gene doesn’t have to accept pitches or negotiate logistics with a dozen local artists during a month when he’s out raising donor money to finance the festival. Please don’t contact Gene at this juncture. If you get a gig, you’ll get instructions on when he wants you to call him the week of your show.
“It’s become a great partnership that brings value to everyone!,” said Gene, in an email exchange today. “There are so many good artists now that choosing becomes difficult. Realistically, [the independent CDs and demos] won’t get the attention that the Songwriters Circle CD artists do.”
By April 5 Gene and his people will get back to me with their pre-show choices and suggested dates. If you’re on that list I’ll contact you and try to work out your availability. Timing is important in this, and email exchanges aren’t always fast enough to accommodate the bookings. If you think I may not have your phone number, as well as your email address, please shoot me that number now. It may mean the difference between your getting a gig and not getting one.
Performance dates will be set by April 19. If you don’t hear from me by then, sorry, you didn’t get booked.
St. Clair Park is a natural amphitheater with a nice stage. Solo performances are preferred, but pre-show artists get two vocal mikes, two direct boxes and a monitor. Bring your own 1/4-inch instrument cables. Don’t bring additional musicians. Our artists get a good soundcheck and are treated well, and despite the size of the crowds they’ll actually listen to you. Your family, friends and fans will want to be at this free show. Many of our members have said SummerSounds was one of the best gigs of their lives.
We would not still be involved in this for the third consecutive year if Songwriters Circle members didn’t perform well and were not generally easy to work with. You’ve earned this opportunity, people. Congratulations.
Questions? Please contact me at or 412-263-1991.
Fingers crossed,