An interview with Songwriter Night creator Todd BurgeBy Don • Category: Inspiration, Songwriter Interviews, Songwriting Articles
I’ve always admired the age old saying, “if there’s no scene, make your own”.
Singer and songwriter Todd Burge has done just that. Big things are happening in the little town of Parkersburg, West Virginia. Over email, we did a little interview which explains the concept behind the growing success of their Songwriter Night:
Blogging Muses: So tell us a little about the concept behind Songwriter Night?
TB: Basically we are trying to bring the best singer/songwriters in the world to our small town, Parkersburg, WV. I see so many great songwriters while I’m touring and it is hard to explain it to the folks back home what I’m seeing and hearing out there! How great the live music is i mean. I mean you’ve gotta experience it first hand right?
Also, I wanted to inspire my songwriter pals in the area by bringing in great talent for shows and workshops.
My friend Mic Molinaro was hired to video tape and document parts of the Mountain Stage New Song Festival a few years back. He had all this great footage of writers like Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Chris Smither and so on. We thought it would be cool to edit it somehow and create a show for PBS.
Well, it was tricky getting all the rights, so [instead] we started from scratch and have been producing our own TV pilot. We’ll start to edit bits from our winter series in late April.
Read the rest of the interview
Blogging Muses: How did the idea get started/conceived?
TB: It starting as a way for me to find ways to find gigs in other regions.
I play 150+ shows a year and didn’t really have a great venue back home to trade gigs with.
You know, I’d play some great listening venue in a hip college town, and I’d have some stinky bar back here with an indifferent audience. Who wants to travel and play to that?
Blogging Muses: Obviously this is a new venture for you. How do you swing the production aspect of the show?
TB: Production can mean many things, so I’m not exactly sure what you mean. But, we have been working “on a shoe string” as they say, but we have some great people, very pro who are all in love with the music. We also have a great staff at the Blennerhassett Hotel helping with almost every detail.
But at this point, we still depend on a bunch of volunteers and feel it will pay off for everyone once our concept is realized and we can start getting some sponsorship.
The shows have been mostly selling out too, so that helps.
Of course, we have produced many radio shows throughout our region, as well as many live events and festivals too. So really the big difference here is the video and editing of that – and trying to convey our concept in the best way.
We are attempting to incorporate live performance with songwriting workshops and not bore a viewer who my not be into the nuts and bolts of songwriting.
[The balance is] a bit tricky, but I think we can do it by being heavy on the performance part.
Blogging Muses: If someone wanted to play your Songwriter Night, what is the process? Do you accept unsolicited submissions?
TB: yes we do, the best way is to go to the site and follow the booking directions.
Additionally, we have a Songwriter Invitational on April 14 and other really hip things cookin’!
Songwriter Night Information
Booking information, tickets, songwriting workshop sign ups, and booking information can be found at www.songwriternight.com
Todd’s own music and tour schedule is available at www.toddburge.com