Indiana Daily Student

Local musicians perform their original work at Cosmic Songwriter’s Club

<p>Cosmic Songwriter’s Club, a diverse and inclusive organization, hosts musicians performing original material and brings songwriters together. Their fourth event is at 7 p.m. March 2 at The Orbit Room.</p>

Cosmic Songwriter’s Club, a diverse and inclusive organization, hosts musicians performing original material and brings songwriters together. Their fourth event is at 7 p.m. March 2 at The Orbit Room.

Cosmic Songwriter’s Club, a diverse and inclusive organization, features local musicians performing original material and brings songwriters together. Their fourth event is at 7 p.m. on March 2 at The Orbit Room.

Co-founders Pablo Fuentes and Shaun McDermott are both songwriters and guitar players. They formed aspects of the club from their own experiences playing in venues such as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tenn. 

Fuentes, who also goes by the stage name Oso Blues, plays blues with folk and country influences. McDermott plays a mix of Americana, blues, folk, rock and fingerstyle guitar. McDermott often performs with Jim Stowers, a local musician, in their duo act, the Monon Troubadours. 

The event is held at The Orbit Room usually on the first Wednesday of every month, Fuentes said. Although the event’s performers most often play guitar, they said they welcome every genre. Fuentes and McDermott want the event to be a beacon for artists to share their music with an appreciative audience. 

“We feel there’s incredible constructive positive energy of music here in Bloomington,” Fuentes said. “We want to help express that energy through events like the Cosmic Songwriter’s Club.”

Individual musicians and duos can apply on the Cosmic Songwriter's Club website. For each event, Fuentes and McDermott will pair a musician or duo with another artist.

At each event, multiple pairs of artists perform for about 30 minutes each. The musicians take turns performing three songs each and giving each other feedback. Songwriters are able to explain the meaning behind their songs. 

“Pablo and I both have aspirations to enable Cosmic Songwriter to support songwriters and the songwriting process to facilitate collaboration,” McDermott said.

Fuentes and McDermott also write new songs to perform each month. They said unlike an open mic, this event involves a listening environment. The audience is able to experience the performances and connect with the musicians as they explain the meaning behind their artwork. 

They want to bring different parts of the Bloomington community together, Fuentes said. They want to work with the Jacobs School of Music, music fans and poets. They said they also hope to expand and include songwriters from areas outside of Bloomington.

“This is an opportunity to practice a craft and connect with other people who care about that,” Fuentes said.

McDermott said they want to make Bloomington a live music destination for the whole state. 

Fuentes and McDermott hope to showcase artists at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in the fall and work with IU’s Arts and Humanities Council in the spring. Fuentes said Mike McAfee, Visit Bloomington executive director, wants to expand the organization into a festival for songwriters. 

Local musician Devin Brown performed three original songs at the January event. He grew up with songwriters in his family and started expressing himself through songwriting as a teenager, Brown said. 

Brown’s set consisted of “Takers,” a song about victimization, “Shawnee Hills,” a memoir about a place he used to live and “Only the Devil Will Know,” a song about the gumption involved with moonshining in the mountains.

He said the coordination of Cosmic Songwriter’s Club allows for a welcoming experience where artists can connect with their audience. 

“They've picked a good formula for getting people to feel like they’re a part of something together,” Brown said.

The Orbit Room is open to people 21 years old and older. Masks are required in addition to either a COVID-19 vaccination record or a negative COVID-19 test.

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