• 45°

Best Bets: Music with meaning; Songwriters Showcase to be held Friday night

The second Songwriters Showcase will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Austin ArtWorks Center.

According to organizer Scott Jasmin, the first showcase, held on Dec. 13, 2019, was a big hit.

“The people who were there raved about it and since then, I’ve had all of these people buzzing about it; I’m really excited,” he said.

The event consists of a panel of musicians and an emcee. The musicians perform an original song and the emcee asks questions about the song’s origins.

Scott Jasmin

“One of my songs was ‘Love in a Midwestern Town,’ Jasmin said. “It’s a merger between myself and how I met my wife in high school, got married and had kids. In the later part of the song, it talks about her packing his lunch, laying out his clothes and him going to work at the plant, and that’s more about my in-laws. It captures the story of everyday people falling in love. It’s not a Hollywood story. One of my friends who works at Hormel told me after hearing the song, ‘You just wrote a song about my whole life.’”

The last showcase featured five songwriters, including Jasmin, with music ranging from folk to country, jazz to pop and ballads. Sweet Reads owner Lisa Deyo was the emcee, a role she will be assuming again on Friday.

“She does a fantastic job because she takes it seriously and puts a lot of mental energy into coming up with new and interesting questions to pull interesting information as the discussion starts,” Jasmin said of Deyo. “We started with songwriters having discussions with Lisa to the panel having discussions with each other. Then the audience chimed in and it became a big room discussion.”

Sweet Reads is sponsoring the event.

While the songwriters are already set for Friday’s panel, Jasmin said that any experienced performers that wish to be a part of a future panel can email him at autumnrecords@yahoo.com or visit the Songwriters Showcase Facebook page.

“When people come, they know they are not seeing novices, they are seeing experienced songwriters,” Jasmin said. “These are people who have gigs around town and other places, and you can see them at those, but this is a different experience. You get to sit and really listen to the lyrics and then you get to hear about the inspiration. It’s delving into the mind of the storyteller, and that creates a better picture and helps people have a better appreciation of the song. It helps people get to know the songwriter. You’re hearing their original music and you find out it’s coming from their life experiences, which is so meaningful.”

There is a $10 admission fee at the door. A cash bar will be available during the event.

For more information, go to www.austinareaarts.org or call 507-434-0934.


Schedule of Events

Friday

• Defensive Driving Class, noon to 4 p.m. at the Mower County Senior Center. This is the 4-hour refresher course needed every three years to continue the 10 percent discount on your insurance premium. Cost for members is $17, non-members $19. To sign up or for more information, call 507-433-2370.

Saturday

• Paul LeDuc Endangered Animals Art Show, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Tour through an art show inspired by endangered species of animals. Join artists from Rochester on Saturday for a special art program as they talk about their works, their inspiration for completing their artworks, and some information about specific animals included in their art. This program is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by calling the Nature Center at 507-437-7519 or emailing info@hormelnaturecenter.org.

• Kids’ Studio – Stained Glass Watercolor, 10:30 a.m. at the Austin ArtWorks Center. With Kara Page.  Cost $5 per child; geared towards kids ages 5 – 10. To sign up or for more information, go to www.austinareaarts.org or call 507-434-0934.

• Author Visit – Mark Esch, 1 p.m. at Sweet Reads. Meet with former Austin Packers football coach Mark Esch, who follows the culture changes that occurred in the Caledonia Warriors football program from the 80s to the present. For more information, call 507-396-8660.

Sunday

• Riders Pancake Breakfast, 9 a.m. to noon at American Legion post 91. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat pancake feast at the Legion – pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee and juice! Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for kids down to 6, free for kids under 6. All proceeds benefit Legion Riders programs. For more information, call 507-437-1151.

• Paul LeDuc Endangered Animals Art Show, 1-5 p.m. at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Tour through an art show inspired by endangered species of animals. Join artists from Rochester on Saturday for a special art program as they talk about their works, their inspiration for completing their artworks, and some information about specific animals included in their art. This program is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by calling the Nature Center at 507-437-7519 or emailing info@hormelnaturecenter.org.

• Austin Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Beethoven’s Birthday, 2 p.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church. The Austin Symphony Orchestra celebrates the birthday of one of music’s greatest, with the help of the ASO Chorus directed by Sonia Larson, and pianist Horacio Nuguid. Program includes Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, along with the Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest. Tickets $15. For tickets or more information, go to www.austinmnsymphony.org.