Steel Bridge Songfest Reactions
Message from pAt mAcdonald (Creative Director of Steel Bridge Songfest and Construction Zone):
I want to thank everyone who has participated in Steel Bridge Songfest! Thank you SO MUCH to all the volunteers, the music lovers, and most of all, the musicians who gave us such great songs and performances! The ecstatic public reaction has done my heart good, but the unsolicited testimonials received from songwriter/musician participants makes me want to abandon all selfish pursuits and surrender myself to a life of loving servitude to mankind! i hope you'll (they'll) forgive me for sharing a few snippets from letters I’ve received.
"I fell in love with Sturgeon Bay! I think i met more creative people there that one week than in all the time I’ve been in L.A.! Now if only i could get more of you to MOVE here... !!!"
-Jane Wiedlin of the GoGo's (Los Angeles, CA)
"...so i returned from SBSFIII in Wisconsin Sunday night, and am still floating about 20 feet above ground from the experience! I thought last year was amazing, but this year actually managed to surpass it!... the new batch of writers this year was truly incredible, btw!...kudos to them for doing an amazing job writing sooo many great songs!)"
-Craig Greenberg (NYC)
"i took so much from the experience in sturgeon bay and am still living with the ideas and things that bloomed in my head while i was there. thank you for the opportunity and for not thinking i am an amateur joke hah. you humbled me and so did all the great musicians there. hopefully we'll cross paths again soon. be good. cheers"
-Geri X. (St. Petersburg, FL)
"Thanks for the best week of my life (so far)... To spend a week with such a talented group of artists was inspiring and motivating." -David Cox
"Thanks to you and everyone else involved with the festivities this year. SBSF is such a wonderful thing for the Door County. As I've said, we would like to be a part of this for years to come. Please keep us in the loop."
-Josh Gregory (Dark Horse Project)
"For two days I have been trying to write a letter to you but I am completely unable to find the words to express how profoundly meaningful this past week was... There is simply no way to find the words to express how this past week has changed my life; no way to tell you how something that had been lying latent in me was finally reawakened..... Thanks to you and to everyone who made the week what it was. So many giving so selflessly of their time, hours and days on end, with endless patience, in good humor, with openness, in the spirit of creativity.... what a special group of people, how wonderful it was to be part of that community, what an honor."
-melaniejane (Milwaukee, WI)
"I thought it would be hard to top last year's group, but some of the songs turned out this year blew me away. Jane Wiedlin seemed to be such a wonderful influence on the writers, and I hope she can stay involved with the event in years to come. I'm a novice songwriter, and I was so inspired by the things to come out of the construction zone. Although I haven't shared any of my songs with anyone so far, seeing the amazing products of the past week has given me motivation to keep working. Thanks for everything."
"Last week was a brutally fantastic time... I’d never written a song collaboratively from ground-up like that, and it was a very educational experience... it was like good sex. hard-earned, but fun. in a lot of ways it killed me, but i learned to simplify and serve the song rather than myself. i learned a lot about music and being a musician from everyone who was there... I'm honored to have spent the week with all of you. If you find yourself heading back through WI and swing through Madison, let me know. I have a queen-sized futon that's quite crashable."
-Burr Settles (Madison, WI)
"I don’t know where to begin...THANK YOU. thank you for changing my life in the best way possible...The Steel Bridge Songfest haunts me, and i will never be the same (i hope i hope). I now have an extended family."
-Liv Mueller (The Darkhorse Project)
"Thank *you*, also, for everything you did for SBSF2. That was one of the most inspirational things I've ever been a part of. The atmosphere and music were so great. It was terrific to see the sense of community among the musicians that you brought together--especially those songwriters from the Holiday Motel."
-Lloyd "Reid" Cole (Milwaukee, WI)
"I had the best 3 days of my life at the Songfest"
-Josh (Dark Horse Project)
"STEEL BRIDGE WAS F****N AWESOME ... i want to thank you again for the whole experience of Steel Bridge -I’ve never been to any festival, seminar, or camp as cool as the steel bridge festival.
"Hey Pat just wanted to take a sec and thank you for inviting us to steel bridge. we had an unbelievable time. hope we can do it again."
-Sleeper Car (Chicago, IL)
"I just wanted to be among the many extending thanks to you and your sister for the great festival. It was really heart warming to see all that great talent descend upon Sturge. Please please please consider us to play again next year."
-Josh Gregory of Little Marsh Overflow (Madison, WI)
"I really appreciate the fact that you asked us to help out with the Steel Bridge SongFest 2, and my drummer, Brian, and his wife Connie had a great time, as I did as well , of course. ... I had a great time playing for the crowd at Pooh's, I had a very receptive response and we have some video that my drummer captured of it. I even had multiple offers to play other gigs! Wicked! Thanks again for the opportunity to help me get some exposure and also help out a great cause! Cheers!"
-D'Wendt of Cobalt Fur (Milwaukee, WI)
"thanks again for having us for the sbsf II we had a lot of fun and hope you'll consider us for next year as well. I’m gonna go take a nap now, just got home. thanks"
-High on Stress (Minneapolis, MN)
"I had the time of my life and then some last week Pat ... How and the hell do you describe what happened unless you got a taste of it. Man!"
-Bruce Reaves of Bye Bye Johnny (South Bend, IN)
"Thanks again to you and your family (who by the way, were so nice and accommodating to my family) for one of the best weekends of my life. Can't wait till next year."
-Jeremy Reaves (son of Bruce) (Mishawaka, IN)
''thank you' does not even begin to express my heartfelt gratitude for the gift you, your friends and of course your beautiful sister have given this area. I met so many great folks, had so much fun..."
"wanted to thank you again for having me at SBSF 2! it really was an incredible experience!.. "life-changing" seems to be what most who participated have said, and i can't disagree!..:)"
-Craig Greenberg (NYC)
"geeeeeeeez! can it really be over with? what an extraordinarily magical week it was. loved loved loved working with mo! and dan! thank you! thank you! thank you!"
-Layne (San Diego, CA)
"On behalf of all in Forty Piece Choir, we sincerely want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts to be involved in such an amazing event Pat! We had a blast and enjoyed every moment in Sturgeon bay! Over the course of our stay from Friday through Sunday, we managed to play 4 times (two sets at the Nautical Inn on Friday, the main open air performance, and the Red Room on late Saturday night). It seemed that everyone at the festival we met wanted to hear more than just a few songs, so at any given opportunity we ran with it. We sincerely hope that you will have us out again for next years Steel Bridge Song Fest and at any other opportunity we can make to play a club (hopefully doing a show with YOU Pat!). Scott and Irene were more than accommodating at the Firefly / Viking Cottages and we felt consumed by the lake front beauty. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"?
-Dan Dominiak & Forty Piece Choir (Chicago, IL)
After everyone returned home, a flood of emails went out, each offering their homes, couches, whatever to the folks they met at Steel Bridge Songfest... a true family is created here that carries on into the rest of the world! A few examples…
single air mattress in the east village of nyc available for gypsy? travelers. plus breakfast.? i miss all of you."
-Jonathan Spottiswoode (UK)
“If you're heading this way, I would love to make you an omelette. Cheers,”
- Right On John (Portland, OR)
three couches one futon in Austin. And I'm a good cook!"
-Mark Addison (Austin, TX)
“I'll see your 3 couches and an air mattress and raise you one pool table, a 3-string banjo, and the possibility to wrestle a hungry black bear. Going once, going twice...”
– Don DiLego (NYC)
“Hi there fine folks. I had more fun than I deserved, and I feel fine about that. thanks for a most memorable and inspirational time. let me know when you are in San Francisco and I’ll hook you up however I can. see you out there... “
– Eric McFadden - P-FUNK, STOCKHOLM SYNDROM, ERIC BURDON & the ANIMALS, EMT... (San Francisco, CA)
“Hey Gang, Well GROUP, Steel Bridge was frickin' amazing. Pat can sure pick 'em-not a stinker in the Bunch(except for yours truly, of course...) It was a pleasure meeting and working with all of you and I hope for continued involvement in this baby. If, in any of your travels, you require a place to crash, I have a house in San Francisco and a pad in Mendocino Co.-do not hesitate to Ring........xoxo”
- Gary R. Wertz (San Francisco, CA)
“it was truly fantastic getting to know you all last week (even if i was only there for part of the week this year, as within little time i felt like an included member of the group)!! Def. give a shout whenever you're passing through NYC.. (i can offer you the true NYC experience of being mugged and run over by a messenger bike, within minutes of each other!...;-)....) take care..”
-Craig Greenberg (NYC)
and on and on...
it is always a truly magical week, thanks to everyone involved.