Telling a Story from Stage

Songwriters are known for weaving together stories in song. This is expected; it is the art of what they do. Not every musician tells a story from stage – but I find myself transfixed completely, with those that can and do.

Last week I attended a live performance of Ben Mulwana‘s, at The High Noon Saloon in Madison. He played some music as a soloist, then his band joined in to round things out.

Every time I’ve heard him perform, I’m just enamored. His songs are well-written and powerful, but Ben’s stage presence and introductions of the songs make the show that much more captivating. He often ties in stories of his childhood in Uganda, life growing up later in the U.S., and the differences between the two places.

As an audience member, especially in a listening room-type environment, it’s such a pleasure to be treated to some “behind-the-scenes” feeling moments – that tell us how the songs were inspired and/or written. But what really keeps our attention throughout is when there is a true storyline that the songs assist in making – and a climax to the narrative at hand.

Sam Ness and his band opened up the evening, another solid Wisconsin singer-songwriter who is strong with engaging with an audience.

There are so many ways musicians can be storytellers… Through the many facets of their albums, through their songs, promotional content, and of course live shows. It doesn’t go unnoticed, wherever it happens. Keep up the creativity!

~Always Listening




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