Performing Songwriters


Below are listed performing songwriters from most recent back to 1994.

Maurice Tani 2011-2020

One of the best country performing songwriters today Tani writes songs both lyrically deep and musically engaging.  Joined by Mike Anderson on bass.  Musicianship and cutting edge lyrics place this performer outside the mainstream.  Creating a unique sound from the roots of country, blues and rock this is entertainment at its best.  Tani has also performed with Jenn Courtney in his group 77 El Deora, with the fabulous pianist Randy Craig.

Ira Marlowe SongWriter Night 2018, 2019
Bay Area songwriters share an evening. Pictured below:

Heartfelt lyrics, excellent guitar playing.  Joyful, thoughtful and entertaining!  Come be amazed at the talent in our community.

Caren Armstrong 1995(x4), 1996-2016

Caren is an award-winning songwriter who has recorded several albums and has a slew of prestigious performances to her credit. One of the most dynamic, musically accomplished performing songwriters today Caren brings her inimitable wit, charm and heart to her truly original songs. With impressive guitar chops and an authentic, folky voice, Caren Armstrong has all the components of a great folk artist.
Co-performers include: John Haley-Walker, Christopher Smith, Richard Berman, John Smith, Brian Joseph, Caroline Aiken, Steve Emerson, Michael McNevin, Carol Denney, Carlos Olmeda, Jim Nunnally, Dix Bruce
Live CD recorded at Strings 1995.

Caren hosted and produced Celebrating Songwriters at Strings monthly from 1996-2006.  Below (in PDF form) is a list of the performing songwriters she brought to Strings.  Many went on to have their own shows at Strings.  Celebrating Songwriters

John Lester & Paul Tiernan 2014, 2016

Lester and Tiernan engage the listener with thoughtful music with a rhythmic edge!  Original songwriting at its best!

Steve Seskin 1995(x2), 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000 (x2), 2001, 2003-2011, 2016

Songs written from the heart and mind of one of the Bay Area’s most gifted and entertaining performing songwriters.

Mclaughlin/Espeth/McCarthy/  2001-2005, 2014, 2015 
Two terrific performing songwriters Megan McLaughlin and Christie McCarthy accompanied by the talented Patty Espeseth on cello.  This trio really rocks!  Heartfelt lyrics, excellent guitar playing.  Joyful, thoughtful and entertaining!  With Erica Lucket (2003, 2004), With Judith-Kate Friedman (2002)
Mclaughlin with Steve Packenham (1995

Doug Blumer 2000(x2), 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011-2013

One of our favorite performing songwriters.  Great guitar playing, terrific vocals. Doug has also performed with his groups The Westerlies and Bohemian Highway. Blumer also joins many other songwriters on the stage of Strings.

Craig Carothers 1996-1997, 1999, 2000-2013


Drawing by Chris Peterson
Terrific songwriting, biting humor.  One of the great troubadors of our time. With Emil Borgir (2000), With Doug Blumer (1999)  With Steve Seskin (1997, 1998, 2001-2003)

Carol Denney 1997-2003, 2005, 2007-2009, 2011-2012

Carol Denney’s songs are lyrically engaging, truly original with musicianship to match.  Biting humor.
Carol performed with many outstanding Bay Area performing songwriters including Megan McLaughlin (2001, 2008), Melody Walker (2008), Christy McCarthy (1999, 2008), Caren Armstrong (2009), Marc LeMaire, Larry Hanks, Eric Von Radics, Skip Henderson (2007), Anthony Smith (2005), O.V. Michaels, Van Rozay (2003), Jimmy Bruno, John Palme (2002)  Doug Blumer & Don Conoscenti (2000).  With David Maloney (1998) With Frank Buffum (1997)

KellyJoe Phelps & Corinne West 2011

Singing, writing and harmonies at their best.  A truly exciting duo.

Danny Schmidt 2011

Performing songwriter Schmitt from Texas delivers brilliant, poetic songs on the human condition accompanied by dazzling guitar playing.

The Waymores 2010

Don Henry, Sally Barris and Tom Kimmel are Waymore!  A special show featuring three of the nation’s top touring performing songwriters. Direct from Nashville. The Waymores

Paul Geremia 2007

One of the greatest living blues guitarists and singers. Truly a national treasure.

Ray Bonneville 2007

Bonneville creates his own powerful and unique version of the blues. A legend in his own time.

Nate Cooper / Cas Lucas 2006

Two performing songwriters on the cutting edge of contemporary Americana. Exciting, expressive and full of energy. Excellent musicianship.

Larry Hanks (2006)

Dana Hubbard/John Haley Walker/ Christopher Smith 2005

Three of our best performing songwriters.

Shawn Mullins 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005

A great songwriter and performer.  Sean also performed with the group: The Devil makes Three: Sean Mullins, Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, Cooper McBean.  
We are honored to have Sean Mullins on the stage of Strings.  With Mathew Kahler (2001), with Rob Sherman (1998.) With Caren Armstrong (1997)

Chuck Brodsky/Greg Tannen 2003, 2004
National touring performing songwriters engage the audience with humor, wit and musicality. With Kenny Cahn (2003)

Kym Tuvim/Dana Hubbard/Christopher Smith 2004

Very best nationally performing songwriters.

Storyhill 2004

Erica Luckett, Chris Cunningham, John Hermanson
Beautiful harmonies and exciting playing.  Musical storytelling at its best.

John Lester 2004

Accompanying himself on the stand up bass Lester has a unique voice.

Michael McNevin 1995, 1999, 2003

Songwriting story teller McNevin takes you on a musical journey. With A.J. Roach (2003) With Steve Seskin (1999) With Caren Armstrong (1995)

John Haley Walker 1996, 2003

with Joe New, Kim Tuvim
Dynamite performing songwriter Haley-Walker performs. Also with Glenn McPhearson and Megan McLaughlin (1996)

Brian Joseph/Kathryn Mostow 2001-2003

Master troubadour Joseph has lyrics, musicianship and an infectious optimism.  Mostow from Seattle brings a voice of honey. With Doug Blumer (2002) With Erica Luckett and Nick Randolph (2001)

Steve Seskin/Craig Carothers 1997, 1998, 2001-2003
Two of our favorite songwriters share an evening not to be missed!

Forest Sun Band 2003

Thomas Greene, Matt Cunitz, Daniel Schacht
Contemporary Californian country-rock.

Kyler & Adrianne 2002

From North Carolina and Boston these touring songwriters perform with the group The Mammals

Heartsongs 2002

Barbara Chamberlain, Wendy Demos, Oona
Performing on the same bill as Xenophilia this Canadian songwriters promise an outstanding evening.

James Lee Stanley 2001, 2002

On tour we welcome Stanley back.  Performing here with Christopher Smith, one of our favorite songwriters. With John Haley Walker (2001)

Caroline Aiken 2000, 2002

Performing here with Caren Armstrong.  A powerful songwriter with voice and musicianship.

Jeff Pehrson/Dave Grossman (Box Set) 1997-2002

National touring songwriters unite for a concert at Strings. With Doug Blumer (2001)

Terri Hendrix 2001 (2x), 2002

High energy supremely talented songwriter Hendrix from Texas makes performs accompanied by Lloyd Maines.

Jason Mraz/Dani Carroll/Toca Rivera 2000, 2001

An exciting trio with great lyrics, vocals and musicianship with hot Latin influence. With Danny Santos and Wes Green (2001) With Carlos Olmeda (2000)

Capitol Sunrays 2001

Cindy Kaimenson, Jeremy Lindsay, Michelle McGrath
Great songs and soul soothing music

Chuck Steed 1996, 2001(x2)

CD Release Party for Strings’ singer songwriter compilation “Live Oak”.  The largest performing songwriter evening in Strings’ history.  Also with Michael McNevin,

Caroline Aiken/John Lester 2001
Two dynamite performing songwriters.

Don Conoscenti/Hand to Mouth 2001
Music on the cutting edge of contemporary songwriting 

Forest Sun/Bob Hillman 2001
New and refreshing glimpse into the contemporary songwriting scene.

Jack & The Tall Guy 1999, 2000
Grant Gibbs, Dave Hickman
Songwriting and entertainment at its best.  With Chuck Steed  (1999)

Independent Girls 2000

Kym Tuvim, Marjorie Richards, Anne Heaton, Edie Carey, Bari Koral
The nation’s largest network of independent female musicians celebrate their new release from indie girl.

Forest Sun/Christopher Williams 2000
Beautiful songs performed by their creators.

Mark Growden/ Peter Whitehead 1999

Slightly off center combination of songs with unusual instrumentation and humor.

Folk Monty 1998, 1999
Evan Brubaker, Jonathan Kingham, Christopher Williams
Songwriters who met on the tour circuit.  A performance greater than the sum of its parts.

Noe Venable/Lori B/David Sobel 1999
San Franciso songwriters with original performing styles.

Lorin Rowan Trio 1997-1999

Lorin Rowan, Jeremy Cohen, Doug Harmon
A broad palette of world music, calypso, reggae, American folk, bluegrass and classical.  Performing with Alex Call and Caren Armstrong (1998)

McLaughlin/Peter Lamson/Dave Nachmanoff 1998
Local acoustic songwriters.  High-spirited and engaging

Bob Cheevers 1998

Cheever from Nashville performs with friends who are some of the top Bay Area songwriters. With Chuck Steed.

Annie Gallup/Karry Walker 1998
Nationally touring Gallup teams with with Karry Walker for an evening of exciting singing, lyrics and musicianship.

Lori B/Joe Paquin 1997

Lori B’s music is bred-in-the-bone folk.  A solo artist she shares the evening with Joe Paquin the beloved songwriter for the Sundogs.  Lori B also with Mark Growden and Pat Nugent (1997)

Leslie Ellis/ Peter Lamson 1997

Creative spark plug of Lost Borders Ellis performs upbeat folk rock.  Lamson has a unique blend of country blues and Caribbean groove.

April Cope 1996-1997

Darol Anger, Derek Jones, Aaron Johnston, Tony Elman, Chad Clouse
Cope performs with an all-star band.(1997) Also with Peter Cope, Peter Grant and Dave Jess 

Hali Hammer & Chet Gardiner 1994-1997

East Bay favorites perform originals and folk.

Herd of Unheard of 1996
Chuck Steed, Kenny Peters, Scott Steed
Original songs performed by accomplished musicians.

Judith Kate Friedman 1995-1996

Songwriter Friedman teams up with the talents of Dylan Schorer and Tom Droxhan. Also with MukLuck: Jonathan Gill, Steve Winkle, Jodi

One Voice 1995
Bonnie McLane, Kristina VanAmburgh 

John Haley Walker/Steve Packenham 1995

Dynamite performing songwriter Haley-Walker performs with Packenham.  Complementary but different styles for a mellow evening.

Girls Night Out 1995
Carol-Joy Harris, Maggie Catfish, Donna Turer
A trio of singers with tight harmonies and a creamy vocal blend.

Pipes 1994
Kenny Peters, Connie Moomey, Chuck Steed
An incredible trio with original songs and acoustic artistry.