4 x 4 Singer Songwriter Showcase is Back!
4 x4 was revived by Alan Watt from producing them back in 2015. Four singers on one stage. I remember back then seeing so many great talents that are still playing today. It consists of four singer/songwriters from top local bands on the stage of this cool little listening room, The Lost Church, in Santa Rosa. One by one, they played their hearts out for the packed audience. These singer songwriters all have their own bands as well as having a strong solo catalogue of music. This evening started with Megan McLaughlin from the band, The Musers, then Doug Blumer from the band Bohemian Highway, Nicole Sutton from LuvPlanet and last but certainly not least, Sebastian St. James from The Highway Poets.
They entered one at a time being introduced by another local musician and MC for the night, Alan Watt. Each artist sang one song and when they finished the next performer comes onstage to join, plays a song, then its repeated throughout the evening with all four sitting onstage whilst the other performs, all singing one at a time.
The audience gets to know about the songwriter both from Alans' introduction and the artist themselves, talking about the song they will be playing. Some good examples of getting to know the artist was during the second round Sebastian St. James told the story about how he came to write the song he'll be playing next. It was during the pandemic. He and his wife found they were expecting another baby. Then 2 years later, still in the pandemic, the baby, Amelia started walking. She didn't want help from her dad, so of course, he did what we all do, write a song about the moment! Ha! And he did it so well. Doug Blumer then introduced the song he was about to sing and told us about when his father in law, Hal was interested in finding a partner. The song described what Hal was looking for in a partner, and Hal found that partner and made her his wife. They were together for 20+ years. All the songs had a story and the story tellers were all there describing to the audience what they were about to hear first hand. Nicole Sutton also prefaced her next song about leaving a relationship by telling the audience that when her husband, Mark walked by and heard the new song she was writing he exclaimed "I hope thats NOT about me!!!" The stories prior to the songs being sung worked seamlessly. It felt intimate and personal. And the sound was brilliant. The story telling songwriters on that stage couldn't have been better. One of the personal highlights for me was a song from Megan McLaughlin. Her second song of the night was upbeat and right on for the times. It was about women. Women have babies, women create art, women are amazing etc. And also includes the horrific overturning of Roe v Wade. Megans songwriting is usually narrating something happening in the world. A couple years ago, I remember she wrote an amazing song about Covid and sheltering in place. The song about women from tonights performance, she sang with gusto and was upbeat. The entire audience was clapping to the music. It was passionate and pertinent! And ever so timely. I asked Megan about the song after she performed it and she promised it'll be her next single, as it should be. It was truly fantastic!
To wrap this up, I'd highly suggest attending a 4 x 4 show at The Lost Church, because I know you'll like what you hear. They're informative, interesting and where else can you go to hear such highly talented singer songwriters talking about their lives and how their songs were created. Super cool event and I'm glad it's made a comeback! Thanks to Alan Watt and Josh Windmiller for putting this show on once again.