Songwriter’s Circle provides members of 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. Singer/Songwriter Dore Coller is spearheading these sessions which highlight some of the best tunesmiths around.
A David Gans “solo electric” performance is likely to consist of several elements: country-blues-style fingerpicking; loop-based improvisations created live in the moment; sweetly-sung ballads, original or borrowed; Grateful Dead songs reinterpreted to suit his voice and guitar; wry observations of the music-festival subculture and the larger world; soulful and passionate political commentary; favorites from the folk-rock canon of the last 50 years. Mix and match – it’s never the same show twice, but it’s always worth a listen.
Adam Traum always puts on a fun high-energy show with a rootsy vibe with a rock and roll attitude. He was raised Woodstock, N.Y., in a musical family, which shaped his musical world view. His father Happy Traum, a mainstay of the Greenwich Village folk scene, turned the younger Traum on to blues, bluegrass and folk styles while his irreverent teenaged spirit soaked in electric blues styles and blues-driven rock.
In his early twenties Traum got bit by the Americana bug and there was no turning back. He dug deeper into the styles of the progenitors or American music which informs his choices when he arranges other artists songs and his original music. Traum’s influences include Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Mississippi John Hurt and Rev. Gary Davis to name a few. He performs and teaches throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Michael McNevin started his career with a six-month stint in New York City, cutting his troubadour teeth in the subways and streets of Greenwich Village. Now a veteran of the folk scene, Michael has logged close to 20 years worth of concerts across the U.S., and he’s been a main stager at some of the bigger music festivals around, including the Strawberry, Kerrville, High Sierra, and Philadelphia music festivals. He’s been billed in clubs and halls with the likes of Johnny Cash, Shawn Colvin, Donovan, Richie Havens, Christine Lavin, Utah Phillips, and 100s of others on the songwriter circuit. He has a seasoned voice, accomplished steel string guitar work, and a vivid brand of storytelling. He is a past winner of the Kerrville New-folk award in Texas, a 6-time winner of the West Coast Songwriters Association “Song Of The Year” (’91, ’92, ’97, ’98, ’05, ’09), and was chosen by Performing Songwriter Magazine as a Top 12 “DIY Artist Of The Year”. With 5 releases under his belt, and a few hard to find cassettes, his next CD is tentatively titled “Kickin’ Tires”. Tracks include ‘Broom’ & ‘Scarecrow’ (both winners of the WCS ‘Song Of The Year’ award), ‘Phoenixville’, ‘Pioneer Shindig, & ’60 Years Of Sand’. Two of the tracks – ‘This Town Is Gonna Change’ & ‘I Shot Broncho Billy’ – are also heard in the indie film “Weekend King”, an indie film that features five of his songs in the soundtrack, and casts him in a cameo role as a broke and lovesick bartender. In addition, Michael is an Etch A Sketch artist of some renown, delighting and dumbfounding audiences with his song illustrations on the little red toy. Michael has been a guest on CBS “Evening Magazine”, numerous news and entertainment segments on NBC, ABC, and dozens of cable music shows. He also owns and operates the Mudpuddle Shop, in downtown Niles, CA. He’s hosted 70+ concerts there, and well over 200 jams in the 6 years he’s operated it. It also serves as the Golden Spike Headquarters – a volunteer crew that Michael facilitates for the town, to help the local steam trains gather passengers for rides through the Niles Canyon. His original Etch A Sketch art creations are also a shop attraction — 20 of them hang on the wall, waiting for an earthquake.
Colin Gilmore grew up in Lubbock, Texas, spending many nights as a child in nightclubs like Stubbs, where he witnessed songwriters like Joe Ely, Terry Allen, and his own father, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, bring the stage to life. He developed a taste for Buddy Holly, Townes Van Zandt, and bands like The Clash and The Pogues. For 14 years, Colin has been informed by these observations, writing songs and playing under his own name. He recently performed in and wrote songs for the critically acclaimed feature film Barracuda, which premiered at SXSW Film Festival and has since had great success and distribution. He is currently working on another album with producer Richard Barone.
Colin’s second album Goodnight Lane won fans across the world and critical acclaim, including 4-star reviews in Mojo and Uncut. The songwriting style he is creating has developed over the years, emphasizing uniqueness and truth above immediate public reaction. His third release The Wild and Hollow marks a departure from Goodnight Lane, sonically and stylistically. The recordings took place in Austin and Chicago, under the direction of Rob Seidenberg and Tim Bennett, respectively. The album features two songs by Colin’s lifelong friend Johnny Walker, of Archive War and Ignorance Park. It will features a string section by Will Taylor and Strings Attached, guest vocals by Amanda Shires, Sally Allen, Julia Klee and a host of other talents. Colin has also collaborated with his Chicago-based band on the opening track “Into My Future”, which points to the way in which his travels are shaping his overall act. His tours in the US, Japan and Italy, and the crowd responses in all of them, prove that Colin has a rare gift that cuts across styles and cultures.
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.