Songwriters in the Round

Date(s) - Wed. Sep. 20, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Four songwriters, trading songs and swapping stories. And you have a front row seat.

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.

free, suggested donation $10

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. Rene Pfister creates one-person shows that are funny and poignant. And your host David Thorne Scott is back after a brief respite with a new song.

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

Summer is about turning outward. Short sleeves invite in the sun and the breeze. There are long days where you can check in with friends — even that immunocompromised friend who can only socialize outside. But now fall is beginning and the weather is getting cooler. Birds are flying south and we begin to turn inward, toward the heart. That journey is not always easy. There is no clear map to the destination. But music — specifically, songs written by others on that same journey — can help show the way. At Songwriters in the Round at the Center for Arts at the Armory you can begin your trip inward among fellow searchers.

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.

Songwriters in the Round

Our songwriters this week

As a community builder, teacher and songwriter Rene Pfister has worked with kids and families for over 30 years creating original musicals. He is Co-founder director of the company Make your life a Musical, an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and Artistic Director of The Berklee Theatre Arts Collaborative (BTAC) where he combines his love of teaching and musical theater to help students around the world create. He has taught internationally in Argentina, Europe, China, India, and Africa and started the Broadway Around the World program at Berklee. Since 2018, Pfister has performed a series of his one-person shows including What I Learned From All My Ex-Boyfriends… If Anything! and What I Learned From Years of Therapy.. If Anything! Pfister is currently working on his new book “Make your life a musical” about his work creating musicals in community and “I talk to myself” a series of comic essays about life as an LGBTQ artist in these crazy times.

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.”

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.

David Thorne Scott is a singer and songwriter in jazz and Americana styles. A 20-year resident of Somerville, he organized Songwriters in the Round to foster a creative, dynamic music scene for his adopted home city. He believes that music can bring a community together like nothing else. “At a time of great conflict in our country – when words often fail us – music has the power to bridge divides… David Thorne Scott explores the intersection of Jazz and Americana, city and country, instrumentation and lyrics to create lush compositions and covers that are unifying, and healing, in their beauty.” – Laurie Fanell, Eponymous Review

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.