Sunday Sessions Songwriter’s Circle provides songwriters from some of the most popular local bands with an outlet for creative expression; musicians are able to focus on their songwriting in an intimate space and the community is invited to share in the creative process. On February 18th, join talented musicians Jo D’Anna, Megan Mclaughlin, Doug Blumer, Ira Marlowe and Dore Coller (who is spearheading these sessions) for a musical treat that showcases some of the best tunesmiths around.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
Born & raised in Palo Alto, Jo D’Anna is a native Bay Area songwriter who writes in a heartfelt, story-telling classic folk-pop style. She uses a signature fingerstyle/strum guitar technique, which she originally learned from Palo Alto musician icons–Jerry Garcia at Dana Morgan Music in Palo Alto, and later Carol McComb of Gryphon Stringed Instruments–and then adapted the technique to her own songwriting style. She originally developed her uniquely warm and clear vocal style by listening to the early records of Joan Baez (another Palo Alto folksinger icon) back in the early 60’s. She has been an award-winning member of West Coast Songwriters since 1990 and has been performing in and around the greater Bay Area since 1993 (in coffee houses, local folk festivals, house concerts, songwriter showcases, local farmer’s markets, and the Bay Area’s best acoustic listening rooms, such as the Freight & Salvage and Monkey House in Berkeley). Jo’s songwriting influences are primarily Kate Wolf, Joni Mitchell and others–mostly the evocative folk-rock songwriter icons of the late 60’s and early 70’s, especially the Laurel Canyon songwriters. Since 1995, Jo has independently released two CD’s, “Alouwenja” and “As She Is”.
Megan McLaughlin is an innovative guitar player and song poet from Sebastopol, California. She’s known for her clear, powerful voice and high – energy performance. Her music ranges from funky, groove oriented rock to poignant ballads. It’s a range that sets her apart from most other songwriters. Last year, Megan won Best Song from West Coast Songwriters at every North Bay Chapter. “Megan writes, sings, and plays like Joni Mitchell and David Crosby’s love child. Che lights up the stage.” Bob Hahn, The Loft Series, Berkeley, CA.
Doug E. Blumer was born and raised on the banks of the Mississippi River in Southern Missouri. His musical education included equal parts Buck Owens and The Beatles with dashes of bluegrass, gospel and folk. After a stint in the Navy, which included playing in a band on board his ship and in several different countries, he relocated to northern California.
It was in San Francisco that he became a respected and popular artist on the local music scene, performing and recording with several bands and writing award-winning original music. In the mid-90’s, he formed and toured with Prime CD recording artists, The Westerleys, eventually recording three albums with them. In 2000, he toured and recorded with Texas honky-tonk great, Dallas Wayne.
In 2010, Doug moved north from San Francisco to Sonoma County. He continues to perform in his new territory, and is excited about performing with his latest band, The Bohemian Highway.
Ira Marlowe’s songs have been described as “four-minute movies”, known for a rare combination of lyrical wit and emotional impact. Marlowe grew up listening to his parents’ jazz and show tunes, begged for guitar lessons at eight, finally got them at thirteen, experienced a high school conversion from folkie to rocker, and at nineteen started penning songs that sounded somewhere between Daltrey and Townsend and Lerner and Loew.
He’s won numerous awards, including the SF Weekly “Best of the Bay” song contest, the Napa Valley Music Festival, plus a half-dozen Northern California Songwriters Association competitions. In 2004 his song “The Wish” was selected for the Songs Inspired by Literature CD and appears alongside songs by Tom Waits, David Bowie, Steve Earle, Roseanne Cash and other people more famous than him.
In 2005, he was performing in a San francisco cafe when he was approached by the director of The Learning Company, the world’s largest producer of education software for kids. Hired on the spot to write a series of songs their new release, Marlowe took an anything-goes approach to his task. He soon had his own kids’ music label, BRAINY TUNES–“Smarter Songs for Smarter Kids”. In the past five years he released six CDs, won the coveted Parents’ Choice and Mr. Dad Awards, and sold thousands of units, mostly to schools and libraries. But though he loves writing kids’ music and usually enjoys performing for children, he never felt at home with the smiley, squeakly-clean persona required for the job. Having recently teamed with a partner to handle to business aspects of BRAINY TUNES, Marlowe has returned headlong to writing and performing for those big kids known as adults.
In June of 2012, Marlowe opened The Monkey House, a cozy nest for thoughtful performers of all stripes: singer/songwriters, storytellers, comics, magicians and more.
Local artist and Songwriter Circle Host Dore Coller has played with many artists including Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jeffrey Cain, Larry Campbell, Lacy J Dalton, Matt Eakle, Jerry Garcia, , Dan Hicks, David La Flamme (It’s a Beautiful Day), Old and In the Way, Maria Muldaur, David Nelson, Pablo Cruise, Quicksilver, Jefferson Starship, The Rowan Brothers, The Waybacks and The Youngbloods.
Over the years Dore and his groups have opened for Elvin Bishop, Los Lonely Boys, Dana Carvey, Jesse Colin Young, Foxy Collwood, R Crumb & The Cheap Suit Serenaders, High Country, Rattlebox, Mikey Dread, Dr Hook, and even made an appearance on the Gary Radnich Show on KRON TV. One of his songs ‘Silent Spring’ was the Platinum Award Winner of the Marin Earth Day 40th Anniversary Green Song Contest. Some of his most recent efforts have been concerned with local issues. His song ‘The Way It’s Supposed to Be’ about the restoration of the west peak of Mt Tamalpais was written for a video produced by Dore and reknowned filmaker Gary Yost, as well as ‘The Old Railroad Grade’ which is going to be used in an exhibit at the visitor center in Mt Tam State park.
ABOUT SUNDAY SESSIONS
Throckmorton Theatre’s Sunday Sessions offer the community the opportunity to discover artists and be inspired in an intimate and positive setting. To ensure accessibility we offer these sessions free of charge to the public. We pay a small stipend to performers and greatly appreciate your support in making these programs possible. Donations are welcome and appreciated.
Throckmorton Theatre is committed to fostering community and providing accessible, transforming experiences. We believe the arts create and bestow community identity and a strong sense of identity and pride rallies confidence, hope and productivity. This cannot be done, however, without risk, adventure, and the willingness to embrace and understand the new. We embrace that risk every day.