Madison Songwriters Guild

Changing the world one musician at a time!


New Event! Songwriter Showcase/Showdown

You could call it Austin City Limits meets American Idol.  In Aprile, we launched a new monthly event that combines a performer showcase with a revival of MSG’s popular Song Showdown into one songwriter extravaganza.  John Duggleby hosts at the Bourbon Street Grille, 6308 Metropolitan Lane in Monona. Two artists will be featured guests each month.

Following their performances will be the Song Showdown, a chance for MSG members to perform an original song in judged competition for prizes and the opportunity to return for a runoff of monthly Showdown winners at the beginning of next year.  The Showdown is open only to MSG members, but anyone can join on the spot.

This new event will typically be held the first Wednesday of each month at the Bourbon Street Grille, a friendly restaurant/bar with great N’awlins-style food.  Keep an eye on this website for the monthly announcement of the schedule and performers. For now, a free-will donation will be taken to compensate the performers.  Preference for future featured artist slots will be given to MSG members.  To throw your instrument (gently) into the ring or for any questions contact

Tune Up Your Songwriting!

On the second Wednesday of each month, a different guest presenter will give practical advice and feedback for songwriters at this interactive event held at the Willy St. Co-op East. As part of the workshop, you are invited to bring a recording of a favorite tune from your collection to use as an example of what makes a good song. A CD player will be available.

The workshop starts with a 5:30 potluck/meet and greet followed by the 6:30 workshop and discussion. Admission is a suggested $5-10 donation.

Willy St. Co-op East is located at 1221 Williamson St. in Madison. Out of consideration for Co-op shoppers, please park on the street. There also will be some time to share original songs or jam at the end of the workshop, so feel free to bring your instrument.

Questions? Contact Rich Baumann.

Song Critique

Held on the third Wednesday of every month at Noodles & Co., 3600 University Avenue at 7:00 p.m., the critique is a great way for songwriters to network and get feedback on new material. Songwriters should bring 10 copies of lyric/chord sheets and either a recording of the song or an instrument to play it on. If you need a guitar, there is usually one available. While new or in-progress songs are preferred, writers are welcome even if you don’t have a song to present. Cost is free for MSG members and $5.00 for non-members.

Songwriters in the Round (SIR)

Songwriters in the Round typically takes place on the fourth Wednesday of every month (with the exception of November/December) at The Brink Lounge, 701 E. Washington Ave in Madison. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and the cover charge is just $5.00. Join us to hear tons of original music in this listener-friendly atmosphere!

MSG on Red Dragon TV Internet radio

Host Sam Spindler plays music from independent artists covering a wide variety of genres including Madison Songwriters Guild members on this weekly program called Escape to Music, now appearing on The show runs on Mondays, from 7-9 p.m. CST and again on Tuesdays from 8-10 a.m. CST. Check it out now!

Red Dragon TV wants on-air talent! They need rotating hosts for their weekly open mic and feature artists for their Friday night program, “Red Dragon Concert Stage.” For more details about the open mic or the Friday night show, contact Ari John Whitewolf at

Recording Workshops

MSG teams up with Randy’s Recording to offer songwriters and performers the opportunity to get into the studio and record a quality demo at an award-winning local studio. Recording seminars offer real experience and information on how to become a more effective recording artist, as well as straightforward critiques about your recorded song’s impact on your listeners by producer Randy Green and host Rich Baumann. These are offered every few months, so stay tuned!

Songwriting Workshops

Madison Songwriters Guild is hosting our 3rd annual Songwriters Retreat from June 22-24th, 2012. This year’s retreat will be hosted by Dan Hazlett, a producer, sound engineer, playwright, musician, singer, songwriter and businessman. Dan has achieved notoriety in events and songwriting contests nationwide, and has worked with some truly top notch musicians. Cost will be $289 with some scholarships available. Contact for more information.

In addition to the monthly “Tune Up Your Songwriting” workshop, MSG schedules special events including workshops, retreats and seminars from time to time to help songwriters get the most out of their writing. July, 2011’s retreat with folk icon Tret Fure was called “The Joy of Self Expression” and garnered rave reviews from attendees who created new songs and new friends.

Check the Madison Songwriters Guild home page frequently for updates on these events. The workshops give songwriters a chance opportunity to grow our skills by learning from well-known and successful songwriters. Most workshops involve putting the skills to practical use during the workshop by writing songs.