Songwriters Acoustic Nights celebrates 10-year anniversary
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 11/08/18 - 01:43 PM | 702 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Normandie Wilson
Normandie Wilson
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Songwriters Acoustic Nights celebrates its 10th anniversary on Nov. 18 with a special concert at Holy Trinity Anglican Church. The concert series was started by Mitch Feingold in 2008 at Swedenborg Hall in Hillcrest, before moving to Ocean Beach in 2016.

“I am surprised how fast time flies,” Feingold said good-naturedly. “It seems like only yesterday that we did our first show.” He notes there is a lot of competition in the local music community, with dozens of events each week. “There are so many great music shows to choose from locally, so Songwriters Acoustic Nights really depends on word of mouth. What motivates me to continue? It gets down to the love of music and the many talented people I get to meet,” he said.

The artists featured in the anniversary show will be multiple SDMA nominee, pianist Normandie Wilson, guitarist Verdell Smith of the group Soul Ablaze, Americana-based troubadour Levi Dean and banjo player Fast Heart Mart, aka Martin Stamper.

“I picked three performers who have played in previous shows, plus someone new to the mix in Normandie Wilson. They represent four individual styles, and are great to work with,” Feingold remarked.

All the artists featured are wonderful performers in their own right, but Wilson is a standout, with songs in the tradition of Burt Bacharach or Dionne Warwick. Anyone who enjoys jazz, lounge classics or ’60s-era soul will enjoy her music.

The night’s musicians will play in round-robin style, offering up songs and the stories behind their creations. “I love song-writers circles because they are focused and offer the full experience of the songwriter,” said Wilson.

“I will be performing some new material from an upcoming release and I’m excited about adapting the tunes for an acoustic audience. There’s something really special about songwriters being in conversation.”

Smith agrees. “I love the musical dialogue between the artists, as well as the intimacy of the show.”

Feingold considers the venue to be one of the best to hear music at in San Diego. “First and foremost, the venue has a great sound,” he continued. While snacks and soft drinks are available in the lobby, this concert series is all about listening without distracting chatter or the clink of drink glasses. With the buildings high ceilings and clear sightlines, it’s perfect for a listener that wants to immerse themselves in an artist’s music.

“It’s a beautiful room,” Feingold said. “The sound is rich and full, it’s just right for acoustic players. I am very fortunate to have several sound techs take turns and volunteer their time. A big thank you to Andrew Nast, Evan Bausch, Scott Samuels and Greg Bartusch for sharing their expertise! Meanwhile, the venue can seat 150 people, is easily accessible and has convenient parking. Also, Father Larry Bausch and his staff help to make it a great venue.”

For his part, Feingold is happy with the concert series making it through its first decade. Although no show is set for December, the 11th season of Songwriters Acoustic Nights kicks off on Jan. 20, bill tba. Feingold’s hopes for the future are modest. “I’d just like to be able to continue the series and grow the audience,” he said. “I guess I’m fortunate to have had quality singer songwriters from Southern California play in this series, and I’m always in search of the new” he said. “Although it’s a lot of work to produce these shows; it’s also a lot of fun!”

Songwriters Acoustic Nights: Sunday, Nov. 18 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 2051 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. 7 p.m. All ages. comedyuc.com/cuc_shows.html
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