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The Songwriter Series is a monthly singer/songwriter showcase presented on Tuesday nights at 8 pm, in the Temple Lounge at Donaleigh’s in downtown Barrie. Based on the Guitar Pull format the series features three guest artists every month.  These terrific artists represent a mix of various genres and each show is a unique night of great music! The Songwriter Series is co-hosted by music journalist/ promoter Chas. Hay and veteran singer/ songwriter Brett Caswell, who together curate the series.

Each evening offers a unique opportunity to witness veteran and newer singer-songwriters interact in a ‘songwriter’s circle’ or ‘guitar pull’ where they often accompany one another as they take turns swapping songs, stories, and personal recollections.



Chas. Hay

Chas. is a music industry veteran who is a concert promoter, television producer, artist manager, and music journalist. His music television work has been featured on many networks including CMT, CBC, CTV, Bravo, and CMC Australia and has earned him six Canadian Country Music Awards. He created, produced, and hosted the international music series’ Inside Country, Roots n’ Roll, and Country Couples as well as the documentaries Blue Rodeo: The Scenes In Between and King For A Day.

Over the past two decades Hay has emerged as one of North America’s foremost authorities on country and roots music, having interviewed more than 200 country, blues, folk, Americana, rock, jazz, and roots artists. His list of interview subjects include B.B. King, the Dixie Chicks, Waylon Jennings, Ron Wood, Keith Urban, Shania Twain, Buddy Guy, Pete Townshend, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Mel Torme, Shawn Colvin, The Black Crowes, Guru, Kenny Chesney, Ron Sexsmith, Allen Toussaint, and Mike D.

Hay promotes and produces live concerts throughout Ontario including his original music series Inside The Music featuring concerts with world-class music artists. As part of each evening Hay conducts an onstage interview with the performer. Artists he has presented include Randy Bachman, Colin James, Bahamas, Natalie MacMaster, Ron Sexsmith, and Jesse Cook. Hay has resided in Barrie for more than twenty years with his wife Sam, and their three children, Dylan, Alex, and Gillian.

Brett Caswell

Straight from the heart of suburban southern Ontario comes Brett Caswell, a singer songwriter who has set his sights on breaking your heart, making you smile, while taking you on a roller coaster ride through the depths of his soul. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Caswell has drawn upon his innumerable influences to find his own voice, and constantly create exciting, and original material.

Caswell’s song-writing, coupled with the energy of his live performances have earned him a large and enthusiastic following.

He is set to produce, and record his 3rd album which will be a piano driven mix of rock, pop, soul, and blues. The record will be released in the near future.