Evenings with the Songwriter 2023
Special to the LPR
Lockhart) Historic Dr. Eugene Clark Library begins its acclaimed series Evenings with the Songwriter 2023 season with Greg Whitfield on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. Hosted and produced by Lockhart songwriter Fletcher Clark, now in its 11th season, the monthly series is free to the public.
Austin singer songwriter/guitarist Greg Whitfield has a long history as sideman for performers and recording artists Kevin Fowler, Walt Wilkins, Bonnie Bishop, George Ensle, Pauline Reese, Wake Eastman, Devon Heath, Autumn, Byrd and Street, and Fred Fuller. In addition to being a fixture in the Austin studio recording scene, Greg’s songwriting has garnered deserved accolades – his song ‘You Don’t Laugh Anymore’ won the prize for best inspirational song and his song ‘I’m Yours’ took top honors in 2009’s Austin Songwriters Group Song Competition. His debut CD ‘GW’ combined rich vocals, layered guitars and a skilled rhythm section (Mike Rieman on bass, Ken Johnson on drums, Artie Passes on steel guitar, and Jack Gaskin on fiddle). His ‘Live Set’ CD, recorded at KUT-FM’s studios featured many of the same players and a wealth of newer material. His ‘Alphasongs’ CD for children has sold thousands of copies and is used by primary teachers in classrooms throughout the country.
In 2010 Whitfield released ‘Live at Lakewood Bar and Grill’, a collection of new songs recorded in Dallas at that legendary Dallas venue, and in November 2014 came the release of his long-awaited studio project ‘Welcome Home’. No stranger to the live stage, Greg has performed at Live Aid, Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic, Austin City Limits Festival, and has shared the stage as guitarist for Walt Wilkins, Tina Wilkins, Kevin Fowler, Ryan James, Bonnie Bishop, George Ensle, Pauline Reese, Rusty Weir, and Ray Price.
“I have been an admirer of Greg Whitfield for many years,” Fletcher said, “first as sideman to my old songwriter friend George Ensle. Later I came to know Greg’s great work as singer songwriter in his own right. He will bring both perspectives to our exploration of the art and craft of songwriting.”
After Fletcher Clark moved to Lockhart from Austin in 2008, this veteran Texas musician and songwriter began Evenings with the Songwriter in 2010 to introduce the community to songwriters and their music with a depth that could not be experienced in clubs. Celebrated guests in the past have included Tish Hinojosa, Shake Russell, Don Sanders, Vince Bell, Susan Gibson, Butch Hancock, Christine Albert, Eric Taylor, Dana Cooper, Ken Gaines, Shelley King, Rex Foster, Walt Wilkins, Bianca DeLeon, local favorites Stoney Gabel and Talia Bryce, and scores more. The 2023 season will continue with Judy Painter in February and Michael Hearne in March, the remainder of the season’s line-up to be announced soon.
Guest artists leave refreshed from the attentive audience and the warmth of the acoustics and ambiance of the Lyceum of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library (the oldest continually operating library building in Texas). They often note that the setting and the experience are unlike any other in their careers. Library Director Bertha Martinez and the dedicated staff make this possible on the last Tuesdays of the month (except December), free to the public. Local support comes from Old Settlers Music Festival and LockhartArea Music Association.