Ben Arthur’s SongWriter Podcast returns for Season 2

Literary/music podcast series SongWriter has returned for Season 2 and will be distributed by the American Songwriter Podcast Network. 

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SongWriter is the brainchild of songwriter Ben Arthur and features collaborations between literary greats and songwriters. The podcast format features the writer reading a story or an excerpt, followed by an interview, and the performance of an “answer song” penned by the songwriter. Arthur serves as host. 

Season 2 will feature a diverse and prolific list of writers, poets and songwriters including works by Joyce Carol Oates, Soman Chainani, Dodai Stewart, Deborah Copaken, Michael Ian Black, Drew Holcomb, James Lindsey, Cave Twins, Sarah Jaffe, and more.

The podcast is bi-monthly with 14 episodes planned for this season. 

“I keep being surprised by how the conversations with songwriters and authors turn out to be my favorite parts of the show,” Arthur says of Season 2. “I love learning how artists I admire shape — and are shaped by — their stories.”

Arthur announced that the final episode will feature the winner of a songwriting contest. 

“As some of you may have noticed on the episode listing, the last show of season 2 will feature a story by the comedian and actor Michael Ian Black, but I haven’t listed who will write the song in response,” Arthur explains. “This project is about inspiration and it’s an exploration and a celebration of the creative community. And since I want to expand and diversify the range of artists the show features, I wanted to invite songwriters and poets and authors to write a response to any piece featured on SongWriter and send it to me ([email protected]) or just tag me on social media ( I’ll pick one of you to write a response to Michael’s story, and if there are enough of us I will organize a live online show, a kind of creative open mic night to feature some of the best work.”  

The first episode features Malachy McCourt and Louise Cairns and is out today. 

McCourt is an actor, writer and politician. He is also the brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist Frank McCourt, who wrote Angela’s Ashes about their childhood in Ireland. Malachy tells a powerful story about a walk he took with his father shortly before he abandoned their family, and a magic well they explore. 

“I love Malachy’s story, love hearing his charming Irish accent telling it, and had such an interesting and illuminating conversation with songwriter Louise Cairns,” Arthur says.

Cairns, a Scottish songwriter, responds with a song about parenting called “Baby Rocks”.

“I had this idea of a crib, a creaking kind of wooden crib rocking backwards and forwards throughout the song and somebody creeping away,” she says.

Check out the first episode below or head over to the American Songwriter Podcast Network. Episode 2 will be released on June 23 and features Soman Chainani and folk group Cave Twins. 

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