7:30 p.m., May 17, 2013
Songwriters' Showcase IX brings Phoenix favorite Jerry Riopelle to the stage along with two singer/songwriters who have performed professionally for years and have participated in the city’s In the Spotlight series and a newcomer to the local scene who thrilled audiences at Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night.
Blaine Long was born in West Virginia and raised in Arizona. He was a high school dropout who had to learn the hard way, from serving up fast food to digging ditches and performing odd jobs. He was raised with a strict Christian upbringing and became unsatisfied with the normal conventions of daily life. So, he discovered guitar, singing and especially songwriting. Long fronted an original Tempe-based rock band for most of the 90s. When the band broke up, he continued as a solo artist and began playing at coffee shops and bars, moving to Boulder, Colo., San Diego, Los Angeles and wherever music would take him. He eventually returned and has stayed in Arizona, playing his original songs for a living. Long has released an album per year for the last five years and shows no sign of stopping. Today, his music is marked by warm and soulful vocals and a powerful rhythmic acoustic guitar style. On most nights, whether in Arizona or on tour, Long can be found working on his craft in front of a live audience. Listen to Blane's music.
Roxie Whipple is a singer/songwriter from Mesa. From the time she could talk, she admired classic artists such as Journey, Styx, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and Phil Collins. Today, her biggest influences are Onerepublic, Adele, Two Door Cinema Club, Alex Clare and Mikky Ekko. Whenever she listened to music it always moved her to do something more with her life. She did not know if she would become a writer, movie director, musician or painter, but she knew she had to create something that moved people. So, deciding between her options, she attended Arizona State University as a painting major. Upon becoming sidelined by medical issues, she took the opportunity to spend more time with her guitar. She soon started performing covers for her roommates and friends. With their support, she began writing her own songs and performing them at open mic nights and at her own shows. She currently is working on her first CD and hopes to have it released within the coming months. Listen to Roxie's music.
Marconias was born in Southern California where he listened to his parent's music collection, receiving inspiration from the popular artists on the radio and television. His early musical influences were the Beatles, Neil Young and the Eagles, and he now listens to Patty Larkin, Loudon Wainwright, Steve Earl and the like. Marconias took up the guitar as a teenager and began learning songs, making them his own. Marconias is an avid bluegrass mandolin player and jams regularly at meet-ups and sessions, rattling the walls. He plays numerous folk festivals, promoting his songs and supporting other artists and the music he knows and loves. He is a regular player in the band "The Usual Suspects." Marconias lives in Tempe and is a favorite among local Phoenix musicians. Listen to Marconias' music.