I had the pleasure of attending the 17th Annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering yesterday in Glendale Arizona. Thanks to Lon Austin for telling me about it and signing me up to play. It was an interesting event and there were several workshops there I wanted to join, but with simultaneous performances running in two locations, I opted instead to spend most of the day listening to other songwriters perform, many of whom I had not met, some of whom I already knew. It was good to see Steve Decker again and hear his wonderful finger-picking. Good also was seeing Lon Austin and Andy Hurlbut whom I met years ago at the Tucson Folk Festival. Sandy Hathaway was there too, who along with Steve Decker (and my friends JC & Laney), had just performed at the Chandler AZ Downtown street fair the night before.
I was also pleased to again see Robby Roberson (no, not the guy from “The Band”). I met Robby at the Tucson Folk Festival also and last year EmCee’d his performance there. Robby can play just about anything with strings on it and yesterday showed up armed with a banjo. He blew me away with his powerful and soulful performance.
I made too many new acquaintances to mention, but there were some stand-outs I’d like you know about. If you live in the greater Phoenix area and have a chance to hear and see play Glenn Alan Torrico – don’t miss it! Glenn is a terrific guitar player and his voice has a “Bing Crosby” resonance that just pleases my ear. He hosts an Open Mic on Mondays at the Gaslight Inn in Glendale.
Another impressive new friend is Chris Frazer. Chris is a music teacher, a clever song writer and the man behind AZOPENMIC.com which, thanks to our meeting, I will now be checking for places to try out new material. Chris did a couple songs yesterday that I really enjoyed. Chris runs the “Songwriter’s Challenge” events where songwriters have just 30 days to write a song to a title Chris provides. They perform those songs at the 30-day mark and participants vote for their favorites.
My third recommendation is “Go See Gregg Myers“. Gregg stepped in for a late performer so I only got to hear one song called “I like Sunny Days Too” . It had a Kenny Rankin kind of style, to me – jazzy with a clever lyric. His playing is great and so is his voice. I looked him up on line and he performs with a group called “peasant empire”
I guess living in Casa Grande kind of isolates me from the “scene” in both Phoenix and Tucson, yet it also makes both cities equally accessible by car (we’re right in the middle).
Here’s a few pictures: