Savannah Songwriters Series kicks off new year with a showcase of four diverse songwriters

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Jan. 4, at 6 – 7:30 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 

1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission.  Free parking.  
All ages.  Non-smoking

The Savannah Songwriters Series kicks of a new year with a great showcase of songwriting talent. Rick Williamson, who had a career writing in Nashville for such artists as Kenny Chesney, makes his SSS debut. He’s joined by Dean Johanesen, who is returning for his second SSS showcase, along with Savannah’s Kyrsten Paige Roseman  and Tybee Island’s Thomas Oliver.

Rick Williamson was born and raised in Augusta. In 1986 he and his wife moved to Nashville so he could pursue a songwriting career that included stints at major publishing houses, writing with such legendary writers as Hall of Fame songwriter Whitey Shafer, Phil Vassar, Tony Joe White and George McCorkle, founding member of the Marshall Tucker Band.

Rick Williamson

Rick Williamson

Artists who have recorded Rick’s songs include The Kentucky Headhunters, Kenny Chesney and Engelbert Humperdink.

After some 27 years in Nashville, Rick and his wife decided to return to his roots and bought a home on Isle of Hope.

This is Rick’s Savannah Songwriters Series debut.

St. Petesburg-Fla.-based Dean Johanesen wowed the SSS audience his first showcase in June 2103 with his story-telling, gypsy jazz style of music littered with the most unusual characters.

Dean Johanesen

Dean Johanesen

At that time, he was touring behind his first solo CD, “A Time and A Place.”

Since then, he performed throughout the Southeast and as far west as Austin’s SXSW. Appearances have also included the Mississippi Songwriter Festival and the Smoky Mountain Songwriter.

A current passion for gypsy jazz music in the vein of Django Reinhardt has put Dean on a musical path that focuses on new stories of old times. Real characters from the ’20s and ’30s, circus performers, the sideshow and Prohibition, all placed in a backdrop of gypsy swing.

These will play out in his “concept record” currently being recorded at Zen Recording Studios in the St. Petersburg area with engineer and producer Steve Connelly who has worked with Roger McGuinn of the Birds. The new record is due for release some time in mid 2015.

You can find Dean’s music on Pandora, Rhapsody and I-Tunes.

Savannah’s Kyrsten Paige Roseman shares the stage with her sister Kourtney in the indie soul duo, The Rosies, who have made a splash in Savannah.

Kyrsten Paige Roseman

Kyrsten Paige Roseman

They have opened for Loretta Lynn at the Johnny Mercer Theater and a song from their E.P Spectrum, “Game of the Wicked,” was selected as a theme song in the San Francisco Independent Film, “Writers Cramp.”

Word is that The Rosies will have a new CD out early in 2015.

Tybee Island songwriter Thomas Oliver released his third CD, “The Edge of America,” in 2013.  Red Line Roots said, “…in a world of people trying to make country music and falling short, [Thomas Oliver] soars high above the competition.”

He will be releasing a four-song EP early in 2015.

His Lazaretto Creek Band plays a mixture of country blues and Americana classics along with his originals.

Thomas is a producer of the Savannah Songwriters Series, which showcases original music the first Sunday at Johnny Harris’ restaurant in Savannah.

Local songwriters who would like to be considered for a SSS showcase, should email links to their music to


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