The Songwriters Circle was founded by David Hakan and Dave Lizor of Kansas City, in October of 1992. We wanted to find a way to bring the magic and support for songwriting that we experienced at the Kerrville, TX Folk Festival to Kansas City. We started with a monthly performance night where songwriters would sing their own songs campfire style to a coffeehouse audience, at a coffeehouse called Whistler’s Mother above Whistler’s Books in Westport.
At first it was hard to get singer/songwriters to come and perform for nothing. Some nights it was just Dave and David singing. Then as performers like Martha Haehl and Woody Bauer started joining us, they found that the audience really was listening to the lyrics in their songs. We quickly began to grow and many nights we outnumbered the audience in the small coffeehouse.
We wanted to bring artists together to share material that was new or still in the works to get feedback on each other’s writing and encouragement for the hard task of rewriting and reworking songs. What we didn’t expect at first was that we could build an audience that LIKED to listen to songs they had never heard before (instead of covers). David Hakan believes that our unique style of performance was largely responsible for the success we had in building and keeping our audience.