Kristina Jacobsen is a singer-songwriter and Honky Tonk Americana performer. She’s got a show coming up this weekend in Albuquerque (with Pyragraph editor Sage Harrington) at the Art of the Song Coffeehouse on Sunday July 24, at 7pm. The show will later be broadcast on the nationally syndicated radio show Art of the Song.
The show we’re putting on at Art of the Song this Sunday will be set up in the songwriter-in-the-round style. It’s my favorite way to perform. Flanked by other amazing songwriters to your right and left, you pick up the energy someone else left off with in their song and then channel that into your own song; you then hand-deliver whatever mood you’ve created with your song to the songwriter on your other side. With a really good in-the-round show, the energy builds and blooms by the time the show is finished.
In a songwriter-in-the-round show, the audience comes with you on the journey, so it’s all the more rewarding from a performance perspective. It’s intimate, allows for lots of response and feedback between songwriters, and makes you feel empowered and safe, because you’re not alone on stage.
I am super excited about the song swap format! Through covering other songwriters’ songs, especially local songwriters, you’re forced to listen to their repertoire in a way you simply might not, otherwise. Also, listening to someone’s musical catalogue with the intent of covering a song is completely different than a casual listen: It requires a much more focused and tuned-in kind of listening where you’re asking yourself, “Can I cover this song?” “Can I connect to the lyric in some way?” “Can I make it my own in a way that feels authentic to my style?”
What’s really potentially powerful about a song swap is to witness artists being truly heard by other songwriters and then hearing these songs reinterpreted through another artist’s style.
A song swap isn’t about mimicking and imitation, it’s about deep listening, re-interpretation and artistic growth.