Set list, 6/13/2023 3Dots Downtown 

Intro: Erica Quinn

  1. Morning Sky (at this point I have already departed from the set list)
  2. Skies Over Clare
  3. It Took Hands
  4. November Sky (at this point, I noticed Katie was REALLY listening and responding)
  5. Bluebird (Thank you, Hannah, for “you should be at the Bluebird” comment
  6. Get Off My Lawn
  7. Boattail Riviera
  8. The Fire's Still Burning (Joe B. request) 
  9. Benediction, by John Flynn. One verse by Jim Colbert

And at 7:58, the skies opened, the rains fell, and our basement lightly flooded. 

New for 2023- Songwriter Sundays with Jim Colbert  

I'll close out the year with the return of my popular Beginning Songwriting Workshop and hosting a Songwriter's Showcase as part of First Night State College. But I'm tired of banging my head against a wall trying to get shows at some of our local-ish venues, so I'll be playing more out of town gigs again than in the past couple years. I'm excited about my new Songwriter Sundays with Jim Colbert the last Sunday of each month at Tempest Studios, 140 Kelly Alley in State College. These will be either true unplugged, or at most me and my small Orange amp for a bit of boost. I plan to include a lot of back catalog material, works in progress, and covers that I seldom get to play outside of my music room these days. 2:00 pm, probably play for an hour +, depending who shows up. Free admission, but donations to Tempest Studios to cover the utilities would be gratefully accepted. Should be fun!

Post-pandemic airplay!  

Came home tonight to find out my song "Boattail Riviera" will be played on Jon Stein's Singer Songwriter Showcase Sunday evening. The show will air Sunday 9pm (est) on 

The show also air Thursday 7/8 and Friday 7/9 at 10pm(est) on 

Re: Sunday - In the event you hear car races and they run run well over 9pm(est) (which sometimes happens ) the show will air Monday night 9pm(est) But Jon doesn’t anticipate races to be an issue. Many thanks, Mr. Stein! 

(In the State College area? Maybe I'll play this one live during the open mic part of Tuesdays on the Terrace at 3 Dots Downtown.) 

End of summer 2018 

I'm embarrassed to see I haven't had an entry here in literally years! It's not like nothing has happened... wrapping up summer with doing a bit of fall booking - will be heading to Pittsburgh to open for Friction Farm in October, up to Connecticut for some showcases at NERFA, King Street Coffeehouse's new digs in Sunbury in April for starters, and nailed down some music brunches on my "home stage" at Webster's Bookstore Café for next year... going to be full length solo shows, maybe even trotting out some songs in dadgad tuning for the first time in a long, long time. 

Since I last posted, I've sold the Sullivan guitar; she was a beauty but I just wasn't playing her enough. Been doing most of my gigs on the small body Taylor 12-fret, but will be mixing it up with the Lowden as well, especially for alternate tunings. 

And what's new with you? 

Short Run live CD now available 

I have a newly remastered, very limited quantity of my 5 Live EP available again. The disc consists of (mostly) live soundboard recordings. While intended primarily for booking and presenters to get a feel of what I do live, I'm thinking if you're on this page, you might like it too. Tracks include:

Boattail Riviera

I don't know how to watch you walk away

The Fire's Still Burning (Centralia)

Always Loved the Falling

It Took Hands

plus two bonus studio cuts: Skies Over Clare and Clemente

To order, send me an e-mail for more info if you would like to send a check, or do PayPal $10 postpaid. Think about it! When these are gone, they're gone. Professionally-printed packaging, but each disc is signed and numbered.

Poetry collection now available! 

I'm proud to say my first collection of poetry is now available for sale! Defiantly Blue Sky is full color throughout, and includes photographs by my friend Laura Waldhier as well as some of my own. 64 pages, I have been told it is nicely designed... I'm a little biased so I won't comment there. Order a copy today at

Rose Garden Coffeehouse Songwriting Competition 

I'm happy to say I'm a finalist in the 2010 Rose Garden Coffeehouse songwriting competition. Given some of my favorite songwriters have been here, too -- Jud Caswell, Joe Crookston, Jenny Goodspeed, Dave Potts -- I can say with all sincerity I'm just happy to have made it this far. I've heard nothing but good things about the Rose Garden from people who have played or been audience there, and I'm very much looking forward to the experience. The songs I entered were Boattail Riviera and Clemente, both recorded at Frigo Studios. Clemente will make it to the CD; I'll be revisiting Boattail for it - this was pretty much a recording done solely to enter the contest. So if you're in the vicinity of Mansfield, MA on May 15, come out and listen! April Verch is the headliner that night, so I can guarantee it's going to be an evening of great music!

Recording, blogs, comments 

I've decided updates on the recording project will be better served in the Blog section here, rather than news. So look for future updates there. I also turned on "allow comments" there, so please feel free to share your thoughts on anything I've posted. I've also posted two new song clips on the music page, Clemente, and a different take on IDKHTWYWA (please don't make me write it out...)

Hope some of you can make it over to Elk Creek on Sunday, for our Songwriters in the Round with Brad Yoder, Hannah Bingman, KJ and myself. Should be a lot of fun!

New guitar 

Finally made it down to Pittsburgh to Acoustic Music works, with the intention of checking out short scale Bourgeois guitars. After about 3 hours of trying everything from Breedloves to Collings, picked up a used 2005 Sullivan SMSA-T that I instantly fell in love with. Cedar top, rosewood back and sounds, and a near-perfect neck for my size and shape hands. I have no idea how Jim Sullivan pulls this amount of sound out of a relatively small-body guitar... I'll need to get a pickup installed, but man, for now, I am just enjoying playing this baby.

I can't say enough about the impression AMW left on me, by the way. Well worth your drive from, well, anywhere! Steve is knowledgable, patient and a fan of good folk and acoustic music. And besides, any friend of Scott Ainslie's is a friend of mine!

Example ListBaby Widget

Example ListBaby Widget

Audio tracks

What's next?


Storytelling through Song with Joe Pillot and Jim Colbert

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Tempest Studios , 140 Kelly Alley, State College

Come join us for an acoustic performance and the stories behind the songs with two of Central PA's finest acoustic "song tellers." Free admission. Presented by Tempest Productions as part of the 2024 Central PA Theatre & Dance Fest. Special thanks to Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.


CommonWealth: Songs Inspired by the Keystone State with Jim Colbert

 — (EDT, UTC-04) — (EDT, UTC-04)

Tempest Studios , 140 Kelly Alley, State College

I've found inspiration in the people, places and events here in my home state for decades now. Join me for an unplugged set of songs inspired by the Keystone State. Expect coal mines, rivers, meth trailers, lost loves, floods and more! Part of Tempest Productions' Central PA Theatre & Dance Fest. Admission free, but donations to Tempest graciously accepted.


Hobby Horse Derby at Calvary Harvest Fields

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Cavary Harvest Fields , Boalsburg

It's like a scaled-down Kentucky Derby with stick horses and no alcohol or gambling. But there will be music!

The event invites teams of up to four to compete in various equine events outside and will also feature an art sale and light refreshments in the large lobby at Calvary. Spectators are welcome to join in the fun (tickets will be $15 at the door). I'll be playing in the auction area, probably several half hour sets.