The fifth edition of the Songwriters Spotlight, took place Saturday night at The New Hazlett Theater.
Hosted by Joe Grushecky and Rick Witkowski. The guest songwriters this time were EMay, Greg Dutton (Lohio) and Melinda.
The format: Each singer-songwriter performs a few of their original songs, then each performs a cover of a song that they wish they wrote, and the two hours of music ends with a group collaboration / sing-a-long.
The hosts Mr. Grushecky and Mr. Witkoswki are at each end of a semi-circle with the guest singer-songwriters in the middle; like you’re in their living room for a songwriter’s roundtable. One of the topics during the evening was what came first during the writing process: the music or the lyrics; in some cases the answer was the title.
Mr. Grushecky offered "Le Ann" (East Carson Street) for his wife who was in the audience, "Homestead” (American Babylon) which he co-wrote (lyrics) with Bruce Springsteen (music) in 1993-94, "Labor of Love" (American Babylon), along with his cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love", featuring EMay on accordion. It was the first time he performed that Elvis song. Mr. Grushecky also related a story about almost getting fired from his day job, since he took time off to record with Mr. Springsteen.
Mr. Witkoswki sang a “piece for hire” from the Current TV show “Bar Karma” - "Reap What You Sow". In talking about songs that wrote themselves, he said an example was “Vitamin L” . He covered The Beatles “All You Need Is Love”; the first time performing this Beatles song.
EMay performed "Upon a Mountain" (with Mr. Grushecky on harmonica), "Don’t Lock the Door”, along with a cover of a song written by local musician, Rob Gray.
Greg Dutton choose a Lohio song “We’ll Hide Ourselves Underneath” along with a new song in the process without a title. Mr. Dutton did a stripped down version of The Flaming Lips “Do You Realize” as his cover.
Melinda’s songs included "Leave Your Key" and "Don’t Be Sweet" with a cover of “Me and Bobby McGee”, the first song she sang for an audience when she was a teenager.
The final group number was Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" with the audience accompanying the talented singer-songwriters each time on the chorus.
I look forward to future installments and discovering more local singer-songwriters.
Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host
EMay Greg Dutton joe grushecky Lohio Melinda rick witkowski singer-songwriters