Fri. March 25 + Sat. March 26: 1st Annual Songwriters Festival showcases diversity of Windsor voices

Posted: March 22, 2011 by Windsor Zene in Live Performances, Previews
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This weekend, The MiLL Tavern (3199 Sandwich St.) will host the 1st Annual Windsor Songwriter’s Festival, a two day event featuring local singer/songwriters sharing their voice and their words, in an intimate setting. From the press release:

The 1st Annual Windsor Songwriter’s Festival is hosted by the Windsor Regional Writers Group of the Songwriters Association of Canada, and in partnership with the Songwriters Association of Canada and with the The Mill Tavern in Old Sandwich Town. The event will feature local songwriters, performing Nashville style, in the round for two shows/night, Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26. A total of seventeen songwriters will perform over both nights. Several of the songwriters in the Windsor Regional Writers Group have received local, national and international awards for their songwriting and several of the songwriters’ record and play their songs with local bands that they are part of. The songs that will be presented encompass many genres, and some cross genres of music from rock, folk, country, jazz and blues.

The Festival itself is free, but donations will be accepted at the door. There are two showcases per evening and, as the press release mentions, it is being done “Nashville-style”. This means that the performers will all be on-stage together in a round, taking turns singing their songs (several of them will be showcasing songs for an upcoming collaborative piece Songs of 1812, a project of the Windsor Regional Writers Group to produce original songs to commemorate the upcoming bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Here’s a list of performers for each group.


8PM Performers: Phil Poli, Karen Morand, David & Sharon Light and Sue Ferguson

10PM Performers: Peter Boyer (Same Latitude As Rome), Glen MacNeil (ReGael, Celtic Cross), Linda Girard and Adam Gilchrist (Cloverjoy, Caught In The Moss, The Butterfield Gateway).


8PM Performers: Cotton Rayne, Brett Service, Marty Lowman and Alec Lauziere.

10PM Performers: Ron Beer, BJ Laub, Deni-gan and Jeremy Coulter (StereoGoesStellar).

Here are some video samples from some of the composers:

Peter Boyer leads one of Windsor’s premiere folk bands, Same Latitude As Rome. His musical blood also resulted in his three daughters – Anneke, Christine and Heather – forming one of Windsor’s most popular bands at the turn of the 2000’s, Anneke’s Star. Here’s Peter performing one of his award winning songs, “The Faerie Queen”. Peter is one of the performers playing during the Friday night 10pm round.

BJ Laub is another voice who tackles various formats. Here’s a video of him covering the Ween song, “Buenos Tardes Amigos” (with guest guitar from another Festival performer, Glen MacNeil). BJ is performing during the 10pm round on Saturday.

Speaking of Glen MacNeil, this transplanted Cape Bretoner has made Windsor his home and songwriting his mission. He leads the Windsor Regional Writer’s Group each month, helping and assisting local songwriters (some veterans, some there for the first time) in honing their words and their dreams. He currently plays in ReGael and previously played in one of Windsor’s most celebrated Celtic bands, Celtic Cross. Here’s a video of Glen performing “Chase Your Dreams”, a song he co-wrote (and co-performs here) with former Celtic Cross bandmate Brian VanderPryt, that was chosen as the official theme song for the Canadian Summer Special Olympics. Glen is performing as part of the Friday night 10pm round.

Adam Gilchrist has been a member of some of Windsor’s most popular indie pop bands over the last decade, stemming back to bands like The Butterfield Gateway, Caught In The Moss and The Golden Hands Before God… before taking a sabbatical from the local music scene. He took some time away to hone his own songwriting and has now returned with a new outfit, Cloverjoy. Adam will be taking part in Friday night’s 10pm round. Here’s a clip showcasing his new sound.

Marty Lowman is a late bloomer on the scene, but he’s making up for lost time, producing his own CDs and playing around on a multitude of stages. His sound ranges from Tom Petty to Leonard Cohen (with a hint of Bruce Cockburn thrown in) for an enjoyable listening experience. Marty is playing in Saturday 8pm round.


Alec Lauziere (known in some circles simply as Alec L) is another rising voice on the singer/songwriter circuit, and he’s part of the Saturday 8pm round. His original tune “Old Man Wyandotte” will be available as a free download on next month’s Free March Windsor Music Sampler right here on the Windsor Zene. In the meantime, here’s a video of Alec covering “Meditation” by the band Ours.


Deni-gan needs no introduction to Windsor Zene readers. She’s been one of our favourite new voices on the scene of late, discussing her shows at Taloola and Milk in recent months, as well as being on the FREE March Windsor Music Sampler (coming soon, right here on the Windsor Zene). Deni-gan (also known as Danielle Haslip) will ber performing as part of Saturday’s 10pm round. Here’s another video, just to give you a taste of what to expect.


Jeremy Coulter has had a monumental amount of success with his indie pop band StereoGoesStellar, playing on stages across Canada, to fans everywhere. Probably the only songwriter listed who plays on the keyboard rather than the guitar, this will be a real treat to see Jeremy stripped down to such an intimate level. He’ll be performing as part of the Saturday 10pm round.


Regardless of what you enjoy, this is a one of a kind festival for Windsor. A chance to watch a diverse array of singer/songwriters of varying levels of notoriety and expertise, mingling together and celebrating in the simple joy of song. It doesn’t get much more intimate than that.

1st Annual Songwriters Festival, The MiLL Tavern (3199 Sandwich St.), Friday March 25 (8pm show, 10pm show) and Saturday March 26 (8pm show, 10pm show), no cover, but donations accepted

  1. Dave Light says:

    Thanks for the excellent coverage! It’s much appreciated! Come on out Friday evening! I’m biased, but the 8 pm show is gonna kick a great many butts!

  2. Agatha Sarafianos says:

    We love you for promoting the talent in Windsor, Jamie. Your words are inspiring. A big and resounding THANK YOU.

    • Agatha Sarafianos says:

      Your words are motivational, inspiring and gosh darn bang on. BiLL and I thank you for the support and promotion to the talent that grace our lives. And you’re cute, too.

  3. Heather Roberts says:

    The Songwriters Festival was an awsome time, it is great to see all the talent we have in this city.
    Thanks for your promotion of this and other events. I really enjoy checking out your website.

  4. […] we have the second night of live acoustics at The Mill’s 1st Annual Windsor Songwriters Festival. Tonight will see performances from Cotton Rayne, Brett Service, Marty Lowman and Alec Lauziere […]

  5. […] The Moss, The Butterfield Gateway) among others. For more info see our related article on the event HERE. Catch Tony Coates plays as he plays a solo gig at the Taloola Cafe this evening continuing his […]

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