The Stories Behind the Songs
A member of the American Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, John Oates’ passion for song writing was the inspiration for his new music series : “ THE STORIES BEHIND THE SONGS”, presented by the Wheeler Opera House and Jazz Aspen.

The idea for the show was born when John was invited to do a seminar at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston. That experience led to the development of his solo concert performances that have garnered rave reviews and become a “can’t miss show” for fans around the world.

He explains, “I realized that although people were very familiar with many of the songs that I have written over the years ...they had no idea about who or what was the inspiration behind them. In addition, people always seem fascinated and curious about the songwriter’s creative process.”

Taking a page from the classic “Nashville” style songwriters circle; a format in which the writers participate in sharing the stage and taking turns performing their material “ in the round”; John had the idea to host and produce this style show in his home town of Aspen Colorado. He chose the acoustically pristine and beautiful Historic Wheeler Opera House as the perfect venue for the series.

This intimate, insightful and very humorous show gives the audience a glimpse into the art and craft of the song writing process in its purest form. John explains, “Songwriters by nature are an interesting, engaging and quirky group of creative people...they absorb, refract and reflect the world, then filter it though their own emotional experiences and articulate it in the form of a song. ”
The Stories Behind the Songs

Without a band onstage and with a minimalist production, both the performers and the audience can focus on the essential elements of the song itself. The intimate, acoustic setting allows the audience to become part of the show.

John says, “ I enjoy when I can see peoples faces, their reaction gives us cues as to what they like or want to between songs we talk to each other, they talk to us...we dissolve the barrier between the listener and the stage and give them a glimpse into the world of the songwriter”.

The series kicked off during the winter of 2008 with three shows. John invited some of his favorite writers to perform along side him for the initial season. The first show, headlined by the Grammy nominated, ethereal voiced Patty Griffin and supported by roots rocker Scott Miller was a smash success. This was followed by a second show featuring another Grammy nominated artist, the effervescent Tift Merritt with fan favorite, Scotty Emerick. The final show introduced the latest country music superstar, Jimmy Wayne along with song writing legend Bob Regan.

“The Stories Behind the Songs “ will continue next winter and expand into a five part series at the Wheeler Opera House. A concert tour is being planned for this fall as well.
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