by Andi Bricklin
A few years ago I attended a New Year’s Eve show at the Painted Bride that featured the Philadelphia area band 4 Way Street. At the time the band held five singer-songwriters that teamed up and would perform each other’s songs to a combined fan base. At this show, Amos Lee made a guest appearance and performed a goose bump inducing version of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going on”. When the performance was over, songwriter Jim Boggia made the statement, “Thank God one of us made it.” This is a testament to the type of community that exists within these singer-songwriter circles.
Fast-forward and we have the brainchild of DC area singer-songwriter Justin Trawick, The 9 Songwriter Series. “In 2008 it started as a side project so that we could attract more people and play better venues,” says Trawick. This concept has really kicked up the idea of an “in the round” show. Each artist in “The 9” performs twice throughout the evening, and most of the artists are multi-instrumentalists so they are able to back each other up and collaborate on stage. The show becomes an engaging evening of spontaneous storytelling, and excellent musicianship that the crowd really gets into.
“27 songs by 9 artists” is the promise from “The 9”. With a few regulars there are always three-four “local guys” that participate in the series, and the order of artists is decided at sound check. There is no pretense in The 9 Songwriter Series, just mutual respect for each other’s artistry and musicianship, and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.
Original and local music at it’s finest, The 9 Songwriter Series performs along much of the northeasten markets including DC, NY, Boston, and yes, Philadelphia! On June 1st, 2014 you’ll find Justin Trawick at the World Café Live along with Jason Ager, Max Seidman, Teri Rambo, Paul Keen, Christie Lenee, Curtis McMurtry, Paul Pfau, and Paige Allbritton! The event takes place upstairs, it’s all ages and only $10 a ticket. That’s about $1.11 an artist or .37 cents a song! Don’t you think it’s about time you got out, discovered some great live music, and maybe even make a new friend?