South Shore music lovers have a chance to attend a debut live music event this Wednesday, when Jeff Connor and Sean Hodges sit down together to perform for a first-ever Songwriters Showcase.
The show is the brainchild of Connor, Hodges, and local drummer Jon Gardner, who has worked to organize and promote the event.
“Hodgey and I have each done a few songwriter showcases throughout our days, but it’s been awhile,” Connor said.
“We’ve never seen anything like that in Tahoe so we were just talking about how cool it would be to do it a couple times a year and build up the original music. There’s plenty of music in Tahoe but not a whole lot of original-music focus. We brought it up a while ago and Jon Gardner actually just made it happen, did the work, set it up and contacted the people, made the poster and now we’re off and running.”
The showcase will be at The Loft in Heavenly Village, from 9 to 11 p.m., with local musician Adam Bergoch serving as host for the evening. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
The creators hope the event will be the first in a series of shows featuring the craft of the many local songwriters that populate South Shore’s music scene. If all goes well, they intend to hold similar showcases featuring two artists and a host once every few months in South Lake Tahoe as well as on the North Shore.
“We have a wealth of talented songwriters in South Lake but not really a forum for them to share their music,” Gardner said. “We also have a lot of people that are trying to go see live music, so we have all the necessary pieces. We just need a place to put them all together, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Gardner also wants the audience to have an opportunity to hear the background behind tunes that they may have heard many times at local performances.
“Give me context, tell me the exact story, so it feeds a little bit of background to the songs that you already know,” he said.
The two performers will alternate tunes, introducing each song to the crowd in an intimate show-and-tell style atmosphere. South Shore saw an Evening with Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen in 2018, and the format makes for a refreshing change from traditional concert performances.
“It’ll be a little bit of backstory on a song, or whatever inspiration or story we want to tell, back and forth swapping songs,” Connor said. “Back and forth, one each, and then play a few together to finish out the night.”
One song Connor is looking forward to rolling out is “Virtual Valerie.”
“It’s a song I wrote in college, and I never play it but it’s just a funny song,” he said. “This is the perfect opportunity to play it when you have a crowd that’s going to listen.”
— Josh Sweigert