Showcase XII


Bring Your Own Band

Showcase XII: Bring Your Own Band
7:30 p.m., Nov. 21, 2014

Past Songwriters' Showcase performers return to the stage with their own bands. Tom & Priscilla Bertling, Bob McCarroll, Jason Messer, Robby Roberson, Cali Rodi and Amanda Soares showcase new tunes and update audiences on where music has taken them since their Songwriters' Showcase appearances.


Cali Rodi and The Monte Carlos
(Songwriters' Showcase II)
With Billy Cioffi, lead guitar; Shea Marshall, keyboards; Olivier Zahm, bass; Adam Esrick, rhythm guitar, and Emerson Laffey, drums
Cali Rodi, who was featured in the Showcase series back when she was just 15 years old, now lives in Nashville, Tenn., pursuing her musical dreams full time. Rodi was raised in Cave Creek, where she landed her first gig at age 12 at the Buffalo Chip Saloon. Rodi brings her country roots to Music City, mixing in rock and pop influences that include Keith Urban, Michelle Branch and Paramore. She has co-written with hit makers Rachel Proctor, Lori McKenna and Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet and continues to craft her style of relatable storytelling coupled with lefty guitar. Now guided by Taylor Swift’s former manager, Rick Barker, Rodi’s work ethic is matched only by her heart; she is a musical ambassador for the TJ Martell Foundation and its fight against cancer and is a frequent performer across the country for the PGA Tour’s “Operation Shower” where she shares her original song “Dodging Bullets” for military families.

Robby-Roberson150The Robby Roberson Quartet
(Songwriters' Showcase III)

With Ed Garnero,bass/background vocals; Michael Mulryan, violin; and Jim Banister, percussion/background vocals

The Robby Roberson Quartet (RRQ) dynamically delivers musical stories of fact, fiction, joy and sorrow, all set against a backdrop of the various acoustic stringed and percussive instruments. The RRQ features Roberson on guitars, mandolin, banjo, harmonica and vocals; Eddie Garnero on electric and standup basses and vocals; Michael Mulryan on violin; and Jim Banister on percussion and vocals. Roberson’s songwriting and vocal style establish an organic, Americana music style that is enhanced by diverse and dynamic rhythms and grooves. The Quartet believes that the instrumentation is not only a means of accompaniment, but is an equal interconnected partner woven like a fabric through the lyrical journey of the songs. The Quartet is from the Tempe/Phoenix area and performs regularly at venues, festivals and benefits throughout the state.

Messer-Square-PhotoshoppedJason Messer and Goetta
(Songwriters' Showcase IV)
With Jason Weidman, percussion; Steve B. Drinkin', bass
Jason Messer
stands out among the wealth of singer-songwriters in the Tempe music scene. His blend of guitar mastery, introspective lyrics and warm baritone engage and entertain; his wide smile invites listeners to come closer. Jason draws inspiration from musicians who put songwriting at the forefront. Among them are Neil Young, The Doors and Radiohead. His musicianship is as eclectic as his influences, shifting from three-chord songs to layers of rhythms and harmonies employing loop pedals. Besides playing with Goetta, Jason has collaborated with many local acts and Musicians. Most recently, he was the guitarist for Andrew Duncan Brown and The Dirty Rascals.  Messer is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to Arizona in 1998, drawn by memories of childhood trips and other inexplicable forces.

Swingin' SymphonetteBob McCarroll and His Swingin' Symphonette
(Songwriters' Showcase V)
With: Pete Pancrazi, Musical Director & Guitar; Jerry Donato, Sax; Greg Varlotta, Trumpet; Todd Chuba, drums; Nick Manson, piano; and Sean Brogan, Bass
Bob McCarroll has a passion for composing songs in the style of The Great American Songbook - from upbeat jazzy swinging tunes to soft and tender ballads. McCarroll started playing guitar at the impressionable age of 10 - being inspired by hearing his first jazz band at a local hotel in his home town of Dunoon, Scotland. To date, McCarroll has released six jazz CDs, his latest being These Few Moments. Dan Cohen, of Muse’s Muse called McCarroll’s last CD, Now & Then, “A sparkly cocktail of listening pleasure.” Sarah Bowden, wrote in Sound On Sound Magazine, “…Bob’s vocals emulate the very best of Bublé-style swing jazz vocals… .” McCarroll performs at numerous venues throughout the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. In Songwriters’ Showcase XII, McCarroll will be accompanied by a stellar six-piece band, featuring some of the best musicians jazz has to offer.

 Tom and Priscilla BertlingTom Bertling with Smootmahooty
(Songwriters' Showcase VIII)
With Ryan Bowman, drums; Steve Hinders, Bass; Greg Ahmann, electric guitar; Brid Dower and Priscilla Bertling, vocals.
Tom Bertling
(Smootmahooty) is a fulltime working musician. He has been playing around Phoenix and Northern Arizona for the last 30 years. Bertling is number 8 of 12 children and was raised in Delphos, Ohio. His earliest musical influences were listening to his grandmother play guitar and sing songs from the 1920s and 1930s. With an appreciation for all kinds of musical styles, Bertlings' original music cannot be categorized. He writes a little bit of everything and calls it "Mutt Music. "As a result, he has five CDs of original music mixed and mastered by Grammy Award-winning producer Billy Williams. Bertling says that Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night has provided him a great place to showcase his original music, but, more importantly, it has provided a sense of community that singer/songwriters do not normally experience.

Amanda-SoaresAmanda Soares and Grupo Liberdade
(Songwriters' Showcase XI)

With Emmerson Laffey, Felix Sainz, Marcos Crego, Joe Goglia, Porangui Carvalho McGrew, Mike De La Torre, Samuel Peña and Sonja Branch
Brazilian singer-songwriter Amanda Soares hails from the land of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Caetano Veloso and has been surrounded by music her entire life. While most of her music is in the style of modern MPB (Música Popular Brasileira), she combines diverse influences into her repertoire – from the vast harmonic vocabulary of bossa nova to propulsive Afro-Brazilian rhythms like samba reggae and baião. Now living in Arizona, Soares has set herself apart through her unique interpretation of Brazil’s extraordinary variety of musical styles, combining her poetic Portuguese lyrics into a repertoire of original tunes purposefully designed to make her feel like she is closer to home. Fortunately, that feeling translates to the audience; her naturally fluid style is reminiscent of the barzinhos and cafes of Copacabana as she transports listeners to other times and places, if only as long as the music lasts. Joined by Grupo Liberdade, Arizona’s own “desert batucada,” Soares’ return to Songwriter’s Showcase promises to bring the Earth- and booty-shakin' sounds of Brazil to move the body and soul, to empower and inspire.