If you go
What: Songwriters in the Round, featuring Mark Sanders, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: First String Music,
1880 Loggers Lane
Cost: $15 in advance or at the door
- Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Steamboat Springs The music of Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Mark Sanders has floated through the airwaves around the world. But their voices rarely are heard, except through the carefully crafted songs they write for other artists to sing.
On Tuesday at First String Music, Sanders, a part-time Steamboat Springs resident, Clark and McAnally will perform in an intimate, social setting and sing the songs they’ve written. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $15.
“We’re exporting the Nashville product that’s called ‘in the round,’” Sanders said in his coarse voice with a hint of Tennessee twang. “Except we’ll just be in a line. We just take turns playing songs we’ve written.”
For Sanders, that might mean his No. 1 hit, “I Hope You Dance,” which propelled a young Lee Ann Womack to country stardom in 2000.
Or it could mean any one of his 14 No. 1 hits, or other cuts recorded by the likes of Tracy Byrd, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, George Strait and Faith Hill.
As a writing team, Sanders, Clark and McAnally recently wrote two songs together, and one, called “The Day She Got Divorced,” was recorded by Reba McIntire on her new album, “All the Woman I Am.”
Clark and McAnally wrote other songs on that album and have cut tracks with leading country stars.
The writing process is a social one when three people are involved, and that vibe won’t be lost on the stage at First String, store and recording studio owner Steve Boynton said.
“Sometimes they play together and there’s lots of joking,” Boynton said about the
“in the round” format. “This is less of a concert, and they tend to be more interactive with some playful banter.”
He said hearing the songs stripped down to acoustic versions and sung by their authors is a unique experience.
“When you hear something unadorned, the way the writers wrote it, you can have much more appreciation for the song,” Boynton said. “Sometimes, you lose track of what the song actually sounds like.”
Unadorned also is how Boynton would describe the small, intimate venue at First String Music.
“It’s nice having a place that the soul purpose is just sitting and listening to music,” he said.
Sometimes, appreciation for the sound gets lost in bar banter, drinking and other nightlife activities.
When Clark, Sanders and McAnally take the stage, it will be all about the music.
“And it just so happens that this room sounds really good,” Boynton said.
The space holds about 70 people, and Boynton plans to host several more concerts there in the future.
On Tuesday, it will be more than a concert venue; it will be a school in which the audience is the student.
“It’s like an education, hearing the song from the songwriter,” Sanders said. “You understand so much more about where it came from.
“I saw Lee Ann (Womack) recently, and she said, ‘You sing it better than I do.’ It’s just that hearing where it came from expands the song.”
Sanders said the songs won’t sound like polished radio tunes when they drift across the room Tuesday night. It won’t be boisterous country as most people know it. But it will come from the hearts of three songwriters with different roots.
“It’s not just what you would consider country music,” Sanders said. “There’s not going to be any cowboy hats or anything.”