Songwriters in the Round

Date(s) - Wed. Aug. 16, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


1st & 3rd Wednesdays at ROOTED Cafe at 7 PM

In this social-media era, what is the one thing that is in high demand? The one thing you can’t order up like a package from Jeff Bezos or an Uber? The answer is simply this: surprise.

At Songwriters in the Round at the Center for Arts at the Armory you are almost guaranteed to hear a songwriter you have never heard of perform music that stirs your soul. Someone who begins the night as a perfect stranger to you will suddenly offer you a key to an emotional problem that you had not solved because you did not know it existed. There is no way to predict which song or songs will hit you in your heart, but it will happen.

But the magic won’t happen if you stay home and watch TV. Remember, the café offers all kinds of food and beverage for you to enjoy. It’s air conditioned (not something to take for granted in these dog days of summer). And all that is asked of you is to contribute some cash (commensurate with your means and your enjoyment of the evening) to make it worth the performers’ while.

You wont want to miss this night. Sam Bergquist is a gritty country/blues performer who cut his teeth as a Boston busker. Emily Haviland is a fiddle-playing roots musician with a background in music therapy. Didi Stewart has written for film, TV and theater following the tremendous success of her 90s rock band Girls Night Out. Paul Hansen finds original combinations on the guitar fretboard that propel his joyful yet cynical songs.

No cover, suggested donation $10

Four songwriters take the stage, seated in a comfortable semi-circle. They take turns playing songs, occasionally joining in with each other on harmony vocals or guitar licks. The format encourages conversation between the writers, which gives the audience an opportunity to hear these creative people talk as if in their own living rooms. Inspired by the “guitar pulls” of the legendary Bluebird Café in Nashville.

You might hear a young up-and-coming pro, an established mid-career performer and mentor, and a cherished elder of the scene — all sharing music. The growing relationships will warm your heart and enrich your soul. Come every week as the lineup shifts and new friends are made.

Hosted by Somerville singer/songwriter David Thorne Scott. Held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Donations welcome.

Part of the ROOTED Armory Café Series. Café menu is available here. Beer and wine also available!

Our songwriters this week
Sam Bergquist is a guitar playing, singer/songwriter from Boston. He began his musical journey by performing frequently in Boston subways, and later released his first of two solo LP’s, appropriately titled, “Songs From the Red Line.” For fifteen years, Bergquist was frontman for Loose Change, a gritty country/blues band that played frequent gigs at some of the area’s most iconic clubs, including Johnny D’s Uptown Lounge, and the original House of Blues. Bergquist grew up listening to the great singer songwriters of the day, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell to name a few. Throw in contemporary voices Andrew Bird and Anais Mitchell, and you have a feel for his inspirations. Lyrically, Bergquist’s music delves into matters of the heart, head, and social conscience. “I like to fill in the cracks, find life’s unexplored details.”  In February, 2023, Bergquist released a solo EP, “Wiser Then.”
A two-time winner of the Boston Music Award for Best Female Vocalist, Didi Stewart has been a longtime fixture on the Boston music scene. Her first original rock band, Didi Stewart and the Amplifiers, recorded the album BEGIN HERE for Kirshner/Epic Records. Her second band, Girls’ Night Out, was one of the top-grossing acts in New England and was named “Best Unsigned Band” by Musician Magazine. A prolific composer for film and TV, Stewart’s songs have been featured on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, MELROSE PLACE, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, DARK SKIES, ANY DAY NOW, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, and THE BEAST. Two albums of original songs, the pop/rock excursion DEVIOUS ANGEL and the topical NO LOVE SONGS were released in 2017 and 2018. More recently, Stewart’s original musical OUR OWN HEROES was workshopped by the New Works Ensemble and is heading toward a full production this fall.
Basketball player turned guitarist, turned philosophy major, turned songwriter Paul Hansen has been playing on the Boston scene since 2005. Along with multiple national tours, mostly DIY, Paul’s band, The Grownup Noise, has had several songs featured on MTV and popular Netflix shows and various independent films. The Onion A.V. Club says that Paul’s songwriting contains “lines of love and the changing seasons coming out as gently and colorful as the music itself”. Or this from The Boston Globe: “One of Boston’s most promising outfits…a sense of sincerity, wonder, and poetry beats at the heart of skewed folk-pop songs”. Paul has a true love for song and his favorite style of music changes on a daily basis.
Emily Haviland has been a part of the Greater Boston music scene for nearly a decade. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music with concentrations in fiddle performance and music therapy, she studied everything from music and how it can alter the brain, all the way to American Roots and its rocky history. In recent years, Emily has become known for her fiddling and background-vocal support of local folk acts like Kaiti Jones. But with her latest solo project, her powerhouse voice and interesting melodies will come as a pleasant surprise to listeners. She’s shared the stage with some of the great contemporaries like Darol Anger, the late Emy Phelps, Bruce Molsky, Aoife O’Donovan, Margo Price, Twisted Pine, Kaiti Jones, and has been showcased on records released by Alisa Amador, Kaiti Jones, and others.

The mission of Arts at the Armory is to provide an inclusive and accessible venue for arts, cultural and community events, exhibitions, markets, classes and more.