Evenings with Songwriter in Lockhart
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Songwriter Series Features Paula Held
(Lockhart) The historic Dr. Eugene Clark Library continues its series, Evenings with the Songwriter, with guest Paula Held, Tuesday, July 30, 7:00pm. Hosted by Fletcher Clark now in its third season, the Library series occurs on the last Tuesday of each month. Focusing on songwriting as a literary form, guests present their songs and discuss them and their careers from the perspective of their art and craft. The Evenings are available to the public free of charge, thanks to the able Library staff and support from Friends of the Song sponsors Patti Payne & Todd Blomerth and Donaly & Clare Brice.
Paula Held's musicality is both in her blood and background. The daughter of a music professor and composer father and a mother who sang, she was immersed in music from her birth. Her earliest memories include Vivaldi, Sinatra, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hart, Gershwin, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Carmen McRae, and after tuning in to pop radio as a teen, The Beatles, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. Paula studied piano and violin as a child and later the concert harp.
Taking up guitar and beginning to write in college, Paula's first gigs were at coffeehouses around the Florida Gulf Coast. Friends and listeners persuaded her to take her music further and relocate to a music center. On an exploratory road trip she landed in Austin at the end of the summer of 2004 and ended up at the nearby Kerrville Wine & Music Festival in the Texas Hill Country. "I walked around with this big grin on my face for three days. I was awed. I feel that same sense of awe living in Austin. The bar being that high, it makes you work."
The new locale also induced a change in her songwriting, bringing new dimensions to her craft. "I just started saying no to writing confessional songs and started to let language be the driving force for my songs and write outside the box," Held explains. "I'm a lover of the way words sound together, the language itself and the musicality of language and how it works within a melody. And I brought all that into my songwriting."
Having made the rounds at some of the better listening rooms – The Blue Bird in Nashville, The Bugle Boy in La Grange, The Cactus Cafe in Austin – and many of the best songwriter festivals, she took her songs into the studio with Austin producer Stephen Doster. The result was her CD DRIVE, about which critics noted “...her songs are beautiful, the melody lines fine, her voice flexible and sultry.”
Lockhart's Dr. Eugene Clark Library is the oldest continually operating library building in Texas. Clark credits the library lyceum’s acoustics and ambiance for the appeal of the Evenings series, “…that, and the fact that folks have on their library manners and are really listening.” The Evenings format is loosely derived from the cable TV program Inside the Actor's Studio: songwriters share their songs and discuss variously specific songs, career experiences and milestones, influences, background, methodology, etc. Previous guests have included Hank & Shaidri Alrich, Rose Kimball & Judy Painter, Bill McNeal, Tommy Elskes, Don Sanders, Craig Toungate, Elizabeth Wills, George Ensle, Adam Carroll, Purly Gates, Shake Russell, Michael Hearne, W.C. Jameson, Ken Gaines, Danny Santos, Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Bianca DeLeon, and Dana Cooper. Scheduled for later in 2013 are Mark Viator & Susan Maxey, Butch Morgan, Karen Abrahams, and Bob Livingston.
“I had the pleasure of being Paula's sideman for some particularly intimate gigs,” said Clark, “and it was refreshing to have material with such a rich melodic and harmonic vocabulary, with poetry of comparable depth. This is my opportunity to learn more about her creative process.”
Additional information available at PaulaHeld.com and EveningsWithSongwriter.com.
PO Box 82
Lockhart, TX 78644