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Songcraft: Travis McNamara, Pamela Machala, Finn O’Sullivan, Ryan Dart @ Roots Music Project

April 2 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm MDT

Songwriter Christopher Morse and Producer Ian Steele team up to bring you Songcraft: Songwriter Showcase. A deep dive with storytellers.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the Boulder Arts Commission, an agency of the Boulder City Council.


Songwriters are the architects of sonic emotion, crafting universes in three-minute masterpieces. They wield metaphors like paintbrushes, infuse stories with heartbeats, and turn silence into a canvas of resonance. In the grand amphitheater of musical creation, songwriters stand as the virtuoso architects, building bridges between hearts and harmonies, reminding us that life’s cadence is most vividly felt when painted with the ink of their genius. With the Songcraft Series, Christopher Morse and Ian Steele will bring local songwriters to Roots Music Project to share their craft and stories.

This month features:

Travis McNamara

Created during the unprecedented isolation of the pandemic – and recorded solo in a 375 sq. ft carriage house – MOON CALENDAR is the lush and adventurous debut release of multi-instrumentalist Travis McNamara. When eight months of touring with his Telluride-winning band Trout Steak Revival was wiped out overnight, he turned to recording, taking his folk writing into much wider electric and electronic territory. No fewer than 15 instruments show up across its tracks; all played by McNamara himself. Inspired by the sounds of Adrianne Lenker, Bon Iver, The Books, and Denver’s own Nat Tate, he pursued a new way of writing, creating, and self-recording. In a moving pastiche of layered recordings, McNamara speaks directly to and about the people he loves and gives us an intimate window into the life of a Denver experimental songwriter.

Pamela Machala

Singer, songwriter, and pianist Pamela Machala (“MOCK-uh-luh”) writes “pop music for deeper listening” ( BolderBeat ) with influences ranging from jazz and soul to musical theater and folk. Signatures of Pamela’s songwriting include sprightly hooks, subtly complex chord changes, feelgood funky grooves, boldly vulnerable lyrics, and a distinctive blend of melancholy, hope, and goofiness. Her genre-blending sound is both modern and reminiscent of 70’s favorites like Carole King and James Taylor.

Based in Colorado’s Front Range for most of the past decade, Pamela grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in a family of classical musicians. When asked about how she started playing music, Pamela recalls, “It’s like that joke where two fish are swimming along and an older fish asks them how the water is. One fish turns to the other and says, ‘what the hell is water?’ In my family, music was always around and part of everyday life.” This lifelong commitment to practice is on display in her ease at the piano and on stage, giving her audiences a sense of safety.

Finn O’Sullivan

Finn O’Sullivan got her start performing Taylor Swift concerts in her bedroom while her parents were out. She grew up in a small house with sparkly lights and solstice parties and full moon walks and go-to-sleep guitar serenades and left of center everything. And music was at the heart of all of it. She played piano early and she sang songs in the bathtub and she picked up a guitar when she was twelve and, as Taylor Swift herself once said, “just like clockwork, the dominoes cascaded in a line.”
Former Rolling Stone managing editor John Dioso calls O’Sullivan “the lovechild of Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift,” and that marriage of songstress genius comes out in her lyricism and in her fearlessness in exploring not only the depths of feeling, but also some serious badassery.

Ryan Dart

Ryan Dart’s music encompasses the worlds that he lives in. You can’t sing about needing rain, unless you really know what it means to need rain. As a grandson of the dust bowl and a steward of the land, Dart’s unique blend of modern knowledge and continual search for forgotten truths has led to this most recent collection, Edge of the Wild. Dart sings scenes from underneath a Roman Colosseum to frame standout lines like, “Trying to tell myself the truth / Looking for the same in you” or longing for a return to the road with the album’s opening track “Ready for the Road”. Dart showcases his significant lyrical evolution since his first release a decade ago with pandemic- and quarantine-inspired tracks like “Loves Gone Outta Style” and “Right or Wrong.”

Doors 6:00pm.
Show 7-9:30pm

Free Show, Suggested donation of $5-$15. (No one will be turned away)
Full bar on premises; Plenty of free parking; Lyft and Uber friendly!


Roots Music Project is a non-profit local music incubator based in Boulder, Colorado. We believe in the power of music to make the world a better place. All music starts locally. We empower artists, fans, and venues to connect and create a thriving and inspiring local music scene.

4747 Pearl St, Ste V3A Boulder, CO 80301


Roots Music Project
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