Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Music and originality shine at Port Cape Songwriter’s Night

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Port Cape was filled with music and emotions Tuesday night as Bruce Zimmerman hosted Songwriter’s Night.

Zimmerman started Songwriter’s Night so he could teach others and provide a venue for aspiring artists to perform music.

“I wanted to try to inspire people to write as well,” Zimmerman said. “It inspires me and helps me think of new songs to sing each week.”

Zimmerman started off the night singing his song “I’m Coming Home,” on the acoustic guitar, followed by two other original songs.

One songwriter was Patricia (Pat) Silman. She has been singing for Songwriter’s Night for five years. She was excited that she didn’t have to play an instrument as Zimmerman accompanies her when she performs.

“Inspiration helps me write, for example, my song ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,’” Silman said. “It’s all about those who have served in the military. My grandchildren inspired me to write this song.”

Silman continued, “My favorite line in this song is the last line of the final verse. I asked my grandchildren what their favorite color was, and they shouted ‘camouflage.’”

Silman performed “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” and it was well received. This tribute to those in service and to those who have served was written straight from the heart.

Silman’s good friend Ashley Usray is an advocate for sharing music and also performs at Port Cape. Usray started performing there three years ago.

“Sharing music is very important,” Usray said. “Local music is even better than Top 40 in my opinion. It’s much more personal, considering it’s about the lives of people who live in Southeast Missouri.”

Usray shared a song about her grandfather, who was 103 years old when he passed. She wrote the song before he died to show her love and respect for him.

Cape Girardeau native Kimberly Louie came to support her friend Zach Priester, as well as watch all the talent the other performers possessed. She has known about Songwriter’s Night for quite a long time.

“There’s something about music that can capture something that words can’t,” Louie said. “There’s so much emotion involved that can’t just be said, like that one quote by Shakespeare: ‘When words fail, music speaks.’”

Songwriters are allowed to sign up once at the venue each week and play in order of the list, with the only condition being that there are no covers of songs as the night is exclusively for those who write original songs. The songs do not have to be memorized for them to be performed.

Performances will be every Tuesday night at Port Cape from 8 to 11 p.m. It is preferred that anyone who is a songwriter in the crowd should be prepared to sing.

According to Plato, “Music gives a soul to the universe, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Port Cape was filled with soul, imagination and life.