Katrina’s $1,000 Singer-Songwriter Challenge II – Week 1

Cape Anne’s Gloucester is known for being America’s oldest sea port.  Recently the area has received attention due to the fame of the movie Manchester by the Sea.  Add Katrina’s Bar & Grill to Gloucester claims to fame as a must visit spot for music.  Katrina’s kicked off the second edition of it’s $1,000 Singer Songwriter Challenge with a bang.  This challenge is an 8-week performance event open to all musicians. This weekly event will select a finalist at the end of each night for 7 weeks. On the 8th week, all of the weekly finalists come together and perform for a piece of the $1,000 cash prize.

Last year, this weekly event, hosted by Chris Langathianos, showcased an extremely talented group of musicians.  This year’s edition contains a stellar group of performers also.

At some points it felt like we were in the presence of the likes of Joan Biaz and Judy Collins, combined. You have to believe that many in the audience found themselves in awe of what they witnessed last night. No wonder the word goosebumps was mentioned so many times. – Joanne Silva

Tonight’s showcase of performers included acts from all over New England.  These artists included:

These performers played before a panel of judges.  After each performance the, judges provided feedback to the performer with praise and suggestions for improvement. This week’s judges were: singer and song-writer Annie Brobst, Susan Coviello and returning judge singer, song-writer and musician Brian Alex.

Artists were judged in the following categories with a maximum score of 45 points from each judge.

  • Instrument Performance (up to 10 points),
  • Vocal Performance (up to 10 points),
  • Song Selections (up to 5 points),
  • Audience Engagement or Story-Telling (up to 5 points)
  • Original song bonus ( 5 points)
  • Original Song Lyrics (up to 5 points)
  • Original Song Arrangement (up to 5 points)

The combined judge’s scores would give a maximum overall score of 135 points for a “perfect” performance of amazing original music.

Third place went to The Only Humans a trio with fun and energetic music and strange, awkward yet great lyrics.  Their sound reminded many people in the audience of The Water Boys and Bare Naked Ladies.  A major stand out in the group was the hype man on violin who took the energy level of the group even higher.

The night ended with a first for the $1,000 Singer Songwriter Challenge with a tie for first place.  Tonight the judges selected two acts as winners for the week.  Prateek Poddar and Jakals will head on to the week 8 finals of the $1,000 Singer Songwriter Challenge.

Prateek Poddar is a singer-songwriter from Weston, Massachusetts who mixes country, blues, and folk to create a sound all his own. He has been playing one instrument or another since the age of four and it shows up in his great command of the guitar.  Every one of his songs from his set focused on broken hearts, stalled love affairs or love gone wrong.  These songs included: “Emma” a song he wrote when he was 19 and hopelessly in love; “When You Were Loved” which is a reminder to hold on tight to the ones that you love; and “Love Song” which was about a girl he was in love with but too scared to tell her.

Prateek Poddar “Love Song”

Jakals are a Boston-based, indie-folk band fronted by Katie Solomon (vocals) and Jack Lewis (guitar).    performed three original songs: “Like a Doll” which is one of the first songs they ever wrote together. It is about feeling powerless to escape something; Katie wrote the lyrics for “A Billboard of the Horizon” after she went on a walk one day a couple months ago and was watching all the people looking down at their phones as they were walking and she felt this really terrifying sense of disconnection all around her; and “Homesick” which was written as a way for Katie to understand this deep sense of hypocrisy she felt. The song is about seeing the insanity of our society and feeling angry.

Jakals “A Billboard of the Horizon”

Stop by Katrina’s in Gloucester every Tuesday night between now and June 20th to hear more great artists in the $1,000 Singer Songwriter Challenge.  Find out what this awesome coastal town has to offer.  Stay tuned to Libro Musica for more information on tonight’s winners.

Visit the Libro Musica Live! YouTube channel for more great music from emerging artists like the ones at this week’s $1,000 SInger Songwriter Challenge.