Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase

by Rod Deacey. 0 Comments

On Monday, September 9 at Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase, we welcome back an old friend from WestSide café days, almost 10 years ago, when I used to put on the Dreamsicles, the husband and wife duo of Tom Prasada-Rao and Cary Cooper…

Last summer, CARY COOPER dropped by out of the blue from her home in Dallas, TX, for a Monday Showcase, gave us a great three-song set and left with a promise to return and feature this year – and this coming Monday is the night! In case you haven’t heard of Cary, here’s a list of songwriting awards that most songwriters would be extremely happy to have on their résumés:

Winner – Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition (2004)

2nd Place – Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase (2012)

3rd Place – Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Competition (2012)

Finalist – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase (2004 & 2012)

Finalist – Sisters Folk Festival Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest (2009 & 2010)

Finalist – Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Competition (2013)

Cary writes whimsical, hook-laden songs which seem happy and sometimes even frivolous, but which have underlying truths and depths of emotion that can catch you by surprise! She took up the ukulele in 2010, and the instrument gave her a batch of songs that became her 2011 CD “Pink Umbrella.” This year sees another great CD, her fourth, called “Zuzu’s Petals.” She has a really good website, too, with lots of photos, lyrics, songs, videos, etc. Check it out!

Cary will be bringing at least part of her touring band, the Jiffy Pops, with her to Brewer’s Alley, upright bass-player Jason Rafalak and xylophone player and saxophonist Brad Yoder from Pittsburgh. Brad is also a singer-songwriter in his own right, and will play a three-song set as part of the cameo players for the evening.

As well as writing excellent songs, Cary is a terrific performer – you won’t see a better show this year! Don’t miss her!


I’m one step further from perfect

But I’m one step closer to fine

When I forget about perfect

I shine I shine I shine

I shine I shine I shine

(from Cary’s song Jolo Jones on “Zuzu’s Petals”)


The Piano Prelude for the Showcase starts at 7:30 pm every Monday and this week will be played by the beautiful and talented COLETTE ROHAN, who presents an eclectic mix of old show tunes, film themes, Beatle tunes and gospel songs… She specializes in singing in an extremely high voice, producing an ethereal, haunting sound that has audience members looking up at the ceiling to see if angels are landing… Dogs will often come in from the street just to listen… :>)

Three-song cameos this week, besides Cary Cooper’s sideman BRAD YODER previously mentioned include the welcome return of KIPYN MARTIN from the Shenandoah Valley, WV and AMANDA and RICK WILKINS Poems will be read by JOHN HOLLY and ROD DEACEY, and percussion will be by RON GOAD, WALT WAGNER and TOMY WRIGHT; Tomy will also play a three-song set after the feature, as will TODD C. WALKER. I may squeeze in a couple of songs if there is time. I just wrote six new ones in a rush that caught me off-guard – I haven’t had time to learn all the words yet!

More later, as news comes in. Just as an aside, we had an unexpected visitor last Monday, Labor Day, in the shape of Austin songwriter PATTERSON BARRETT, who dropped by to play later in the evening. Patterson will probably be back to feature again in 2014, once he can get his tours sorted out.

I am booking features for 2014 right now, and I’ll post firm bookings as soon as dates are confirmed.

In January, we start the year with Aca-Perco, the duo of songwriter Jennie Avila and drummer and potter Stephen Wright on January 6, country blues guitarist and Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch instructor Marjorie Thompson on January 13, area faves Chatham Street on January 2o and D.C.’s own Ruthie and the Wranglers on January 27.

Rod Deacey

Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase


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