Singer Songwriter Storytelling Showcase
August 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$11 – $16
Americana/folk singer-songwriter, Andy Sydow is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist whose lyrics paint a picture of poetic realism, the Colorado native tours constantly both solo and with a backing band. Throughout the course of a show he’s known to croon an audience with acoustic guitar ballads, sing a few numbers on his lap steel, and even sit down at the keys to show off his surprising boogie-woogie piano chops.
Andy has had the chance to open for acts such as Chuck Prophet, Brett Dennen, and Anders Osborne. He was also named a finalist in the 2021 International Songwriting Competition, the 2021 Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk Songwriting Competition, and the Fall 2020 Durango Songwriters Expo Song Competition.
Though still clinging on to his 20s (barely), Sydow has toured internationally, composed and arranged music for big bands and orchestras, and received accolades from LA Music Critic and No Depression. On top of that, 2021 will see the release of a dozen or so tracks Sydow produced for other artists, including Lauren Frihauf and Payge Turner (The Voice, Season 19).
When he’s not touring, writing, or recording, Sydow spends time talking to other creatives and music industry professionals on his podcast, Middle Class Rock Star. The program comes out every Thursday on all streaming platforms, as well as 26 FM stations around Colorado (via Chris K’s Colorado Playlist). MCRS has played host to the likes of: Mickey Raphael (harmonica, Willie Nelson), Andy Frasco, Dango Rose (Elephant Revival), Jeremy Lawton (Big Head Todd & The Monsters), Phil Cook, and Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon).
Sydow will release a new three song EP just a few days before performing at Focal Point.
At the age of 15, Anthony went to an 18+ Equity audition for “Anything Goes” at The Muny in St Louis, MO and booked the gig. That experience absolutely sets the tone for the years to follow. He once crashed an agent-only audition for Cirque Du Soleil with a smiley face drawn on paper as a headshot and booked that gig! It was this sheer will to perform that also landed him his first touring contract in 2001.
Russo left high school just before the start of his senior year and joined the 6th National Tour of Tap Dogs. In addition to his performance credits, Anthony produces tap dance education programs throughout North America under his touring company, @TapTheMap.
In 2013, Russo was awarded Outstanding Young Missourian by The Missouri Junior Chamber Of Commerce for his contributions to dance education nationwide. His touring company, “Tap The Map”, received an acknowledgement from The Missouri House Of Representatives for facilitating over $75,000 in scholarships to students around the US and Canada.
When Russo started touring in 2001, he bought his first guitar. He was influenced and taught by fellow performers on the road and carved a lot of his songs in hotels and tour buses around the world. His music is a direct reflection of his extensive touring (18+ years) and life on the road.
Russo has two new singles in production featuring lead guitar legend, Brent Mason, scheduled for release later in 2021.
Nick sings about stray dogs, river boats and his family’s Southern Missouri homestead with the kind of passion most artists reserve for songs about love and heartbreak. That’s because Gusman’s songs are about love – and identity and freedom and other big ideas – wrapped in lyrics about things he encounters in his daily life.
Music and performing are in Gusman’s blood. His grandfather played country music in the then-rowdy bars of the South Broadway strip in South City. Nick grew up in a working class south St. Louis neighborhood and at age 18, picked up his grandfather’s 1943 Martin 000-18 guitar and began writing songs and now plays in some of those same, newly popular venues!
In addition to regularly playing Midwestern venues with his band “The Coyotes”, he’s toured throughout the U.S. opening for established and rising artists such as Chris Knight and Charlie Crockett. He recorded his first album, “Dear Hard Times,” in 2018 and has been in the studio recording a 10 song album scheduled to be released soon.
Nick and his band are gearing up for a September Alaskan tour and then Europe in November.
Karen is a singer/songwriter living in the American midwest. She was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska where she was introduced to roots music at a young age through her father’s involvement in a local bluegrass band. She first picked up her dad’s Martin acoustic when she was thirteen years old. Since then songwriting became a means of channeling the stories of everyday life and encounters with others along the way.
Rooted in the Americana tradition, Choi’s music explores the common human experience from a rich lyrical perspective. Over the last few years, Karen has supported acts such as Son Volt, The Quebe Sisters, Wade Bowen and the late Pegi Young.
“Lost County” is Karen Choi’s third studio release. It was recorded and mixed in St. Louis, Missouri by Tim Gebauer and produced by Tim Gebauer with Nick Dahlquist and Karen Choi. This new body of work leans into the stylistic freedom that the Americana genre has to offer, rich with harmonies, multiple varieties of organ, piano and guitar.