How Did It Go?

Review of June 2, 2016 Shell Cafe

Our Third Anniversary at Shell Cafe in Pismo Beach ran overtime, with nine acts performing three and a half hours of music, celebrating with many of the fans who have supported us through three years of Thursday nights. Our loyal listeners included Rusty, Abby & Alice; Bob & Betty; Loretta, Jackie, Carl, Nancy, Larry, Shirley, Polly, Becky, and many more.

Your host Steve Key began the show with two songs he played 25 years in the songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival (he won). It was close to 10pm when Brian Hanratty wrapped up the show, singing his originals about surfing and dentistry.

Cellist Bob Liepman and violinist Sal Garza had played earlier in the evening at a string quartet show in Santa Maria, so they stopped by on the way home, providing orchestration for the Bob & Wendy set. Wendy played an electric guitar, which prompted the ghost of Pete Seeger to take an ax to the power cable, just as he did with Dylan at Newport.

Gadget guru Cliff Stepp plugged into a harmonizer effects pedal, which provided perfect vocal harmonies on every chorus. This impressed several of the performers, thinking they could hire one less singer for the next gig.

The lineup also included Jim Conroy, Randall Lamb, Holly Ann Lewis, Kristen Black, and Craig Louis Dingman. Thanks to all the performers, listeners, Shell Cafe owner Charlie Brunetti, the cafe staff. Special thanks to Madeline Royal of Love Live Music, our Thursday showcase co-producer, who introduced Songwriters At Play to Charlie. Let's do it again next Thursday June 9 featuring a full band up from L.A., Mick Rhodes and the Hard Eight, plus Hart Bothwell, Sofia & Hannah Lundgren, Nick Brittan, Susan Ritchie with Randy Rigby.


Abby Adams
June 03, 2016 @03:05 pm
Such a fitting celebration of 3 years at Shell Cafe--yummy food, great drinks and some of our favorite local songwriters. Steve, next time sing more than 3 of your magnificent songs. Loved the ethereal ending by Bob & Wendy as well as the violinist. Bravo!
Becky Wade
June 03, 2016 @12:22 pm
What an incredible evening of music put on by Songwriters at Play, hosted by Steve Key. A full night of some of the best local talent we have to offer. Food, laughter and lots of great music! Thanks to all who shared their gifts and amazing talents with the rest of us!
June 03, 2016 @12:07 pm
We love everyone who played this showcase and all the supporters. Thank you Steve Key for bringing together all this amazing talent. Great night!
Cliff Stepp
June 03, 2016 @11:22 am
It was a harmonic convergence. Everyone I talked to was truly impressed with the variety and quality of the evening's entertainment. I'm still chanting Kristen's song (if you were there you'll know which one). The Bob & Wendy orchestra's performance was transcendent (despite Bob's bad jokes).
Bob Liepman
June 03, 2016 @10:40 am
Great review of a great night of music and comradery.

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