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Songs...Our Stories

Songs...Our Stories, a New Kind of Show by Phil Circle

We all have those songs that remind us of some time in our lives, the tunes that have served as our soundtracks. We’ve all listened to a song and felt almost as if it was telling our story. Some of us may even hear a song we relate to and envision a video short of events in our life in that very moment, a past moment, or an envisioned future moment.

Whether one is a writer or not, there’s still a story to be told, something to be expressed, something related. When we feel connected to a song, we feel as if we could have written it ourselves. In fact, this is how many musicians manage to interpret someone else’s song effectively. I know I do. Many of us songwriters are telling our own stories or at the very least, using some autobiographical element around which to create a story. Even if the story itself is a complete fiction, we’re still tapping something of personal interest. If you always wanted to be a cowboy, you write a song about being a cowboy. It still tells something about you as an individual. I never wanted to be a cowboy. I’m allergic to horses. Two days of puking after riding bareback when I was a kid sealed that. I have, however, written about the life of a frontline musician playing in bars and all the craziness that whirls around. Check out my song “Surreal Life”. Mostly true and neatly embellished, but a story from what I've known, experienced, and have an interest in speaking up about. In this case, the unusual confluence of events in my life over a short time, some people watching, a little presumptive story telling from what I saw and heard, and maybe some socio-political views snuck in.

Whether one writes music or not; no matter if you are a master raconteur or just get by in relating a tale; we all have stories to tell. Songs help us add to the emotional content we wish to express. They can be a backdrop, a soundtrack, or the basis for the core of a story...or all of these. They are a constant in the story of our lives. All of us are able to find our story in a song. Many of us can relate our stories through song or spoken word. I intend to do all of the above.

Songs are…our stories.

As a songwriter, I do this music thing as a life choice. It requires that I must at times be painfully honest about my emotional state or about the state of things in my own life or that of those around me. I’ve decided to broaden the canvas. I’m going to be combining the story telling tradition with a selection of my songs to create a show in one act. Sounds ambitious, but I’ve already done much of the work in my head and heart. Now, I just need to guts it up and share it with a bit of arranging. Here’s the general structure it will take:

I will offer a narrative from my life and follow it with a song that the experience led to or vice versa. This won’t be a stage read of something from my book and then me saying “And here’s the tune I wrote about it.” That would be too easy. It will be more in the moment, as if I’m relating it directly to you, the individual, in the here and now, for the first painful or glorious time. Then the music will convey a completion of the story or add the depth of emotion that words may not quite express without melody. Or vice versa...the song will begin the story, the spoken word will complete it. In some cases, it may remain open ended, because the story isn't over. Whatever the case, It will be you and I alone in a room while I relate the intimate details of my struggles, my victories, my loves and losses with all my heart to you, my close friend…in a room of 80 people with lights and sound and a two drink minimum per set. I’ll be just inches above the floor on a small stage within arms reach of the audience, and I’m spilling my guts, cheering openly the great moments, wishing you could've been there, and bringing us closer than ever in this world. From this, I hope you will find some more of what I’m talking about…that we are all deeply connected through music and that the songs are our stories.

This will take place on Sunday, March 5th, 2017 at 7pm at Davenport’s Piano Bar And Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, Chicago. The ticket price is $15. It will be only for 21 and over, house rules. I hope to also have copies of the latest edition of my book with new additions and the latest edits and maybe a new CD available. There's no promise on these, but here's hoping. The music for the show will include new and old songs, all written by me, for you, for and about, us.

Mark your calendar. March 5th, 2017.

Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret

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