John Forster is the leading musical satirist of our time. His acerbic wit and sense of melodic invention have made him the heir apparent to the almost lost art of satirical songwriting practiced by Randy Newman, Shel Silverstein, and, most notably, Tom Lehrer. As Lehrer himself stated, "I would say that he is head-and-shoulders above the competition. Except there is no competition."
John Forster grew up in Philadelphia, and spent extended periods of his childhood living with his family in Europe. At age 7, the Episcopalian choirboy discovered Tom Lehrer's classic 10-inch debut album, Songs by Tom Lehrer. He began writing and performing his own unique brand of musical theater and satire as an undergraduate at Harvard, where he wrote for the Hasty Pudding, and founded the longrunning revue The Proposition, which launched the career of Saturday Night Live's Jane Curtin, among others. Forster has also been strongly influenced by composers like Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, and he has enjoyed great success in the musical theater. His book musicals include Into the Light on Broadway, The Dream Team at Goodspeed Opera House, and the widely produced Eleanor. He has provided songs for the Off-Broadway hits Upstairs at O'Neal's and Pretzels (in which he also performed), as well as Let Freedom Sing at the Kennedy Center and a host of other revues. He also provided songs for the perennial How to Eat Like a Child. He recently wrote the book and lyrics for a musical version of Freaky Friday, with music by its original author, Mary Rodgers.
John is also one of the most in-demand composers and producers in children's music. His work is well known to kids and their parents from the many award-winning albums he has written and produced for Tom Chapin (on Sony), as well as multi-platinum music videos and albums he has written and produced for the Olsen Twins (on BMG and Warner Vision) and Rosenshontz (Lightyear/BMG). His critically acclaimed first solo album, Entering Marion (Philo 11 64), was released in 1994 and won a NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors) Award. His latest recording for Philo is his 1997 release, Helium (Philo 1214). With wicked send-ups of the O.J. Simpson trial, the Drug War, and the breakup of the Soviet Union, it proves that as long as John Forster is on the job, there will still be a place for wit and intelligence in popular songwriting. Perhaps his inspiration Tom Lehrer put it best -- "You don't need me anymore, you've got John Forster to kick around."
is an award-winning songwriter from Northern Virginia with a
jazz-influenced sound. Writing often in the folk tradition of the work
song, his modern-day versions pull their images from the daily
grind, and offer thoughtful, and often hopeful views of everyday
life. Jerry has performed extensively in the Baltimore-Washington
area, appearing with the acclaimed guitarist Al Petteway, and
a host of singer-songwriters, including Tom Prasada-Rao, Susan
Graham-White, Rachel Bissex, James Mee, and many others. Nominated
for three Washington Area Music Awards in 1997, including Best Male
Vocalist in Contemporary Folk, Jerry's voice and guitar are becoming well
known in the Mid-Atlantic region. Jerry released his first
full-length recording, Skylight in the spring of 1997.
Folksinger/songwriter David Rovics writes and collects songs. His nearly inexhaustible repertoire ranges from topical ballads and soothing love songs, to protest songs designed to rouse revolutionary fervor in the soul of a couch potato.
During his extensive travels in America and Europe, David has collected a vast library of material from well-known, little known, and unknown songwriters. He reinvigorates traditional ballads, and puts his own unique stamp on the songs of such immortals as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Jim Page, Christy Moore, and Phil Ochs, to whom he has often been compared.
David's own songwriting runs the gamut from a ballad about Shay's Rebellion to a talking blues recipe for good espresso. Other topics include bicycle-riding and Star Trek.
On his most recent recording, Make It So (1996, CD & cassette), David presents nineteen songs which represent a fine blend of folk from the traditional to the contemporary, and several in between.
David has performed throughout North America in folk clubs, coffeehouses, pubs, union halls, festivals, and sidewalks as a solo performer. He has also toured extensively with various ensembles; as a member of Chris Chandler's band, Avoiding Godot, as Robert Hoyt's accompanist and opening act, and as a member of the Chicago-based band, Aunt Betsy.
David's recordings have been aired by radio stations across the US as well as in Ireland. His songwriting has been commended by noted colleagues including Pete Seeger, and his songs have been published recently in Sing Out! magazine.
Bob GramannAlso take a look at Bob Gramann's Web page that contains information about performing at Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase
122 Laurel Avenue
Fredericksburg VA 22408
Atlantic Community College Singer-Songwriter Showcase Songwriters Showcase
Send rants/rave to above mentioned Ackermann at firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM the fortune list ...
Marriage is like vitamins: We supplement each other's minimum daily requirements. -K Mohnke