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Songwriter Round w/ Jay Nash, Joey Ryan, Javier Dunn & Sara Bareilles @ Hotel Cafe, 1/5/09

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Sara Bareilles

Songwriter Round is a semi-regular gathering of singer-songwriters, hosted by local Jay Nash (MySpace), that's usually held at the Room 5 Lounge above Amalfi on Fairfax. But Monday's edition was moved to the newly-expanded stage at the Hotel Cafe (MySpace) in Hollywood to accomodate peers Joey Ryan (MySpace), Javier Dunn (MySpace), and special guest Sara Bareilles (MySpace), who was advertised as the anagram "Lara Sarables."

In such an intimate setting, Songwriter Rounds have allowed the artists to perform material that's usually not heard on a regular basis, and this edition was no different, with Bareilles performing "Undertow" and the newly-written "Anchors Aweigh". In addition, the evening featured unique collaborations, which included Dunn and Bareilles' stripped-down cover of Huey Lewis' "Heart and Soul", and a group rendition, with Counting Crows' David Immerglück on mandolin, of the Crows' "Sullivan Street".

"How great is it that there's a place for singer-songwriters?" exclaimed Bareilles early in the evening. Indeed, it has been memorable to see artists like her and Gary Jules return to their "old school" roots in recent weeks. And that includes Katy Perry (MySpace), who is scheduled to perform an acoustic set there next Tuesday in advance of her sold-out show at The Wiltern on the 31st.

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As for upcoming local shows, Nash's are on January 14th at the Hotel Cafe and February 4th at Saint Rocke (MySpace) in Hermosa Beach, and Dunn opens for Bareilles on March 11th at the Hotel Cafe.

Special thanks to Jay Nash, Joey Ryan, Javier Dunn, Sara Bareilles, and the Hotel Cafe.