Dave Landeo estimates he’s played over 4,000 shows since he was in a fraternity band at the University of Tennessee in the early 1990s. He’s been a solo acoustic performer for 26 years now, and while he regularly performs covers of popular songs, he always includes original music in his shows.
“It’s like tending my own garden. I’m always learning, always trying to develop my songwriter’s craft.”
He now lives in Charleston, South Carolina, but will return to East Tennessee on Feb. 29 to headline Farragut’s second annual Songwriters Showcase. He’ll be joined on the stage with fellow songwriters J. Luke and Jason Ellis. They’re old friends who played together back when Landeo was still in Knoxville.
The 7 p.m. performance will have a songwriter-in-the-round format, with musicians taking turns performing original music and talking about the creative process. They’ll join in on each other’s songs, and Landeo hopes the three can co-write a song via video chat before the event that they can perform together.
Writing original music is kind of a battle, he says. All songs use the same eight notes, and it’s easy to inadvertently borrow chord progressions from other songs. Landeo likes to start the composition process on his guitar and add interesting rhythms to help create an original sound.
Lyrics can also be a challenge. Rhyming is desirable, but a song shouldn’t sound like a nursery rhyme.
“Lyrics are important because they help you connect with the audience. It brings them into your living room,” he says. “Songwriting is very personal. It’s like painting or making pottery.”
Even though he’s moved out of state, Landeo frequently returns to the Knoxville area to perform. He played at Mamajam Production’s Lawn Chair Concert Series in Founders Park last August. He loved the outdoor venue and that artists played all original music.
“It was a wonderful experience. I was very impressed.”
Although he hasn’t seen it yet, he’s looking forward to performing at the new Farragut Community Center, located at 239 Jamestowne Blvd. The showcase will be held in the Assembly Hall, a beautiful new venue with excellent acoustics. All seating is at tables, and Farragut eatery Water Into Wine will offer food and drink items for sale.
“I’m excited to share stories and songs, and I encourage everyone to take a break from their busy lives and come on out and have a good time,” Landeo says.
Farragut Tourism Coordinator Karen Tindal, who created the Songwriters Showcase last year, says the new venue will allow the audience to listen to performers better than they could last year, when the event was held in a pub.
“This will be a true celebration of the craft of songwriting. I’m looking forward to people being able to sit back and relax while listening to these talented performers.”
Individual seats for the Songwriters Showcase are $7.50 each, and tables of 10 are available for $65. Purchase tickets online here.
Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut Insider.