Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase

by Rod Deacey. 0 Comments

CRAIG CUMMINGS is a Baltimore urban cowboy, who sings loudly and clearly enough to give people pause in Nashville and Austin…  I always list him as Craig “THE VOICE” Cummings, not simply because of his powerful pipes, but because his songs are going somewhere and saying something – he gives a voice to the guy driving back to his hometown, or going to kick back at the beach, or missing home and his wife in a hotel room far away. Small topics, you might think, but not really – the stuff of life! That’s why his songs seem so comfortable and familiar – a little country, part Americana, a touch of folk – all driven by Craig’s big old Gibson, sometimes booming, sometimes a gentle strum behind thoughtful lyrics. He has good CDs, too!

Craig often comes to play a few songs for us at Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase in Frederick MD on Monday nights – this coming Monday, September 16, we get to hear a full set of his well-written songs, excellently performed! Why not come out and give him a listen?


I’ve got my notebook

I’ve got my Gibson

And a t-shirt that’s tattered and worn

A sandwich, some whiskey

And two cups of coffee

Couldn’t ask for anything more…

(from “Country Style” by Craig Cummings)


The Moonlight Piano Prelude on September 16 at 7:30 pm is by a visitor from across the river, JIM MOON, playing solo instead of with his band Moon Music. Jim lives in Hamilton VA and drives to play for us every month. He sings and plays everything from Scott Joplin ragtime to rock classics, and has been known to take requests! Like some other pianists who play for us, (Rockin’ Ray Jozwiak springs to mind), Jim sits down and begins to play our embryonic grand as soon as he walks in the door, which may be as early as 7 pm, so we always get an extended prelude when Mr. Moon is scheduled!

Three-song cameos this week are from BASSWOOD, the innovative duo of Will Brandenburg and Sheridan Webb, who get better every time we hear them, JEFF BALL with guitarist GREG DILLON, and our favorite blues-based songwriter, who plays the best harmonica in a rack on the East Coast, TOM DEWS (and his guitar work is none too shabby, either!). We will have poetry from JOHN HOLLY and ROD DEACEY, and sets from TODD C. WALKER and ROD DEACEY, plus percussion and train-whistles from RON GOAD and maybe some cajón from WALT WAGNER.

We just had another splendid evening while the Redskins were losing (but not by much – another 5 minutes and they would have won!), listening to the incredible Texan CARY COOPER with great additional musical additions from BRAD YODER from Pittsburgh, who effortlessly switched from guitar to saxophone to xylophone, often within the same song! KIPYN MARTIN from the Shenandoah Valley was another stand-out cameo performer; she will be back to feature early in 2014, as will BRAD YODER, whose solo spot was musically challenging, with one song that changed time signatures (on purpose) so many times that RON GOAD was almost confused… Luckily he has had a lot of practice playing with me, so he was able to keep up. I should add that my changes tend to be accidental…


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