July 14th – 20th: If R & R was a Contest, I’d Sleep Through it.

The week following this one, I’m going to be on vacation (more so than I already am). I’ll have a computer, but on the off chance I don’t get around to posting about what’s going on, I’ll try to cover the next two weeks here.

Songwriter Sunset: This week, two of my absolute favorite Erie songwriters are going to be paired up. Tony Kellogg and Matt Texter will be playing our Thursday night show this week. When I talk about local area songwriters who taught me a thing or two just by doing what they do, these two are up there on that list. The following Thursday, there will be no Songwriter Sunset do to me being on vacation. Edinboro staple Tiger Maple String Band will be playing in my absence.

Speaking of TMSB, singer-songwriter of the group Lori Burke had to make a cancellation at The Hotel Bar in Edinboro this Friday (July 18th), and was kind enough to pass the gig along to me! So this Friday, I will be play from 6 to 9pm at The Hotel Bar. I myself was supposed to play their over the past winter, but came down with a nasty cold that weekend. So it’s nice to have a second chance.

The week after (once I’m done sunning myself on the exotic Lake Erie shores), Strangers and Liars will be taking part in their second appearances The Gathering at Chaffee’s!

We did it once, and we'll do it again!

We did it once, and we’ll do it again!

This year the event is implementing a second stage to eliminate down time between acts. Strangers and Liars will be performing two twenty-five minute sets on Saturday (July 26th), first one from 9:10 to 9:35, second one from 11:00 to 11:25.

And I think that’s everything regarding the next two weeks.  Hopefully if I missed something, someone will point it out. Until then, I’m asleep on the beach. Join me at your leisure.

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July 7th – 13th: You Move Too Fast

Already July 7th!? This summer is not holding back in the slightest. I’ll get right to it then!
After our good time holiday with Potwhole and with a few exciting shows looming ahead, Strangers and Liars has this week off, which we will spend diligently preparing ourselves for the next gigs (combing our hair, polishing our instruments, you know the important stuff).

Before going into the details of this week’s Songwriter Sunset, I would like to give a special thank to all songwriters involved in last week’s show. Seann Clark, Colette Bone, Rob Douglas, Laura Mustard and Jack Dwyer, not only did you all allow us to have our first extra long Thursday in the history of our event, but you did while putting up with a whole bunch of unforecasted rain coming down. And I thank you for that!

This week we have more friends from Pittsburgh making the trip! Ben Valasek will be returning to perform for us again, and new comer to the SWS Brad Yoder will be joining him. Who doesn’t love a good Thursday?

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June 30th – July 6th: Independent Together

After a stellar weekend of rock n’ roll at the Edinboro Lake Resort, Strangers and Liars will be preparing for some more good times on the good ol’ 4th of July. While we might be passing up on buying some fireworks (the band tends to play better with all limbs intact) we do intend to make some noise.

With the show starting at 10pm at The Oasis, Strangers and Liars will be sharing a show with our friends, POTWHOLE.

The gypsy-tonk rockers themselves, Potwhole. Watch out!

The gypsy-tonk rockers themselves, Potwhole. Watch out!

We’ll be opening show before Potwhole takes over for the night. So once you’ve barbecued your face off, come out to the Oasis for the show!

Meanwhile, in the Songwriter Sunset world, this Thursday is chalk full of songwriter-ey goodness. We got ourselves another double header in the works! Our Erie natives Seann Clark and Colette Bone will be playing for the first half of the show. After that, we’ve been introduced to the traveling band “Stillbridge”, straight out of Massachusetts. Rob Douglas, Laura Mustard and Jack Dwyer will be gracing our stage, winning them the currently record holder for folks who’ve come the farthest to be a part of our little show.

Who’s excited!? (Other than me?)

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June 23rd – 29th: Have Sun; Will Shine

It’s the trouble with the great outdoors: you are no longer in control (though I guess we never fully all, there’s just even less control when you’re outside). After our late May gig was canceled at the Edinboro Lake Resort due to some low temps and rough winds (might as well of been March!), Strangers and Liars are back this Saturday (June 28th) to take another chance with Mother Nature and Edinboro Lake. Forecasts already look more favorable, but like any sensible weather man, we’re always on our toes. If all’s well, we’ll be there from 7 to 10pm.

Another great Songwriter Sunset this week as well at the lovely lake. Fred Oakman and Heather Devore, two of our songwriter veterans will be down this Thursday (June 26th) gracing the stage.

Beat the heat, and abstain the rain!

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June 16th – 22nd: Far Away Friends

A quiet week in store. Strangers and Liars are kicking back and preparing for some gigs in the not so distant future. No solo performances this weekend either. Just some hot weather to enjoy, and an excellent Thursday night planned for this week with some out of town friends.

Henry Backorski and Guy Russo

Henry Backorski and Guy Russo

Henry and Guy are two friends I made during my brief tenure in Pittsburgh a few years back. They made their way up north last summer to take part in the Songwriter Sunset, and will be doing so again this Thursday (the 19th).

I know it’s been awhile since a Strangers and Liars gig, but there is one right around the corner. But in case you need something to hold you over until then, here’s a new video of us performing in Meadville!

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June 9th – 15th: More the Merrier

This week’s Songwriter Sunset is to feature a first. With the increasing number of Songwriters, both new and returning, taking a part in the Songwriter Sunset, new plans have been taking form to accommodate these talented friends. That’s why this Thursday will be the first double feature Songwriter Sunset!

(left to right, top to bottom) Tonya Camasi, Dom DeCecco, Kieth Wilson, Jackie Clarke Rodriguez

(left to right, top to bottom) Tonya Camasi, Dom DeCecco, Keith Wilson, Jackie Clarke Rodriguez

Thursday will feature three of our returning songwriters Dom DeCecco, Keith Wilson and Jackie Clarke Rodriguez, as well as newcomer Tonya Camasi. The night will be split into two separates sets, the first being Kieth and Jackie performing together, the second being Dom and Tonya. Ecstatic to have all these great musicians and friends to be part of the show.

Also this week, Strangers and Liars will be hitting the studio to work on some early recording drafts for some “album 3″ songs. With time away from gigs, it’s important to keep busy. Something something idle hands are bad, right?

Lastly, this Friday (the 13th <gasp>) I’ll be at the Harbor View Grill playing solo from 7 to 9pm. It nice to be back in the habit of playing solo regularly for the summer. Personally, I think it helps me keep on my game, both for myself and for keeping up with the band.  If you aren’t willing to try standing on your own from time to time, why should anyone else stand with you?

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June 2nd – 8th: Quiet(ish) on the Shoreline

Welcome to June, folks! The sun is hot, the lake is still chilly, and the grass needs mowed.

This weeks music agenda: Thursday June 5th, we have Jay Baumgarder (of The Vigils) and rookie to the program Jason McCann will be our songwriters for this week’s Songwriter Sunset. Also, this Saturday (June 7th), I’ll be playing solo at the Edinboro Lake Resort as an opening act for Clay Snyder, a new face in the area out of Hawaii. The show goes from 7 to 10, with me playing the first hour and Clay taking over for the rest of the night.

That’s all for this week. If I don’t see out there, keep cool and enjoy the weather!

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May 26th – June 1st: Write Away

After a brief bout of 50 degree weather (which, alongside a cold lake breeze, got an outdoor Strangers and Liars gig canceled. Commence fist shaking!), summer seems to be upon us in full force. Bring the heat! Here’s what’s in store for this week:

Wednesday (May 28th) Strangers and Liars will be heading down to Meadville to take part in the access cable show “Dirty Dog Live. Hosted by Lisa Bower, each 30 minute show features an interview with the highlighted musician(s) and 20 minutes of performance. Us Strangers and Liars are elated to be a part of the show and get some solid video footage.

Smile for the camera

Smile for the camera

The Songwriter Sunset got underway swimmingly last Thursday. Frank Marzano and Jerry Gaff did a grand job opening the season, leaving us with many more excellent Thursdays to come. This week, we have one of the songwriters nearest and dearest to me, my friend, mentor, and drummer Mr. Tom Hitt. He’ll be joined by a bright new face to the Songwriter Sunset, Jake Baker.

Friday night, I’ll be playing solo out in Harborcreek, at the Harborview Grill, which is the bar and grill of the HarborRidge Golf Course. All of which are mysteriously bereft of harbors. Show is from 7 to 9pm.

That’s all for weekly events. In other news, as far as new songs go, I have had the pleasure of experiencing a first over this past week: spontaneous innovation of guitarist Justin Anderson, combined with immediate conviction of Tom Hitt as led Strangers and Liars to begin work on the first song co-written by band members (and the first song I’ve ever co-written with anybody). While still a work in progress, the structure, melody and lyrics are all underway with contributions from all four band members, as well as some lyrical assistance from my own lovely lady, Miss Jessica Annunziata. A very exciting twist to one of my favorite pastimes.

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May 19th – 25th: The First Resort

This week marks that yearly “it’s that time of the year” feeling (the good kind, not the “oh god taxes” or “oh god Christmas shopping” times of year). The Edinboro Lake Resort’s music season is officially in full swing, and this week starts Season 3 of The Songwriter Sunset!

Poster brought to you by video/photo production artist, bassist and all around good guy Russ Straub

Poster brought to you by video/photo production artist, bassist and all around good guy Russ Straub.

Our opening Thursday will feature two dear friends and Songwriter Sunset veterans Frank Marzano and Jerry Gaff, who aside from their illustrious collection of solo material have been working together recently on a project entitled “Darwin Was Right”. We’ll be kicking the show off at 7 this Thursday.

Strangers and Liars will also be making their first appearance at The Lake Resort this weekend, performing from 7 to 10pm this Friday the 23rd. On all accounts, I’m excited to have as many excuses to be there as humanly possible.



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May 12th – 18th: The Power of Progress

After an excellent time at The King’s Rook Club on Saturday, the band and I have the week off. Resting easy, sleeping late, drawing on drawing boards. So in the lapse of activity to talk about, I’ll talk about this: I finished a new song!

About time, too. Writers block had been hitting me harder than I care to admit, but something came together on paper that I felt like keeping. Fittingly, the song’s called “The Hard Way”, originally with the theme of the struggles of being an original music band in a small town, the message evolved as I wrote into a realization that there’s quite a few things I’ve been doing ‘the hard way’. There’s an energy of frustration to it, with a feel of consolation trying to set things straight in a whirlwind of bad habits.

I may have a demo to share soon, or maybe it’ll become a band song before you know it. Either way, it is nice to have something new on paper that actually got done!


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