“On the Road & In the Round: Songwriters & Story Tellers” with Thom Schuyler, Craig Bickhardt, Jack Sundrud, and Jack Murray was held at Godfrey Daniels on Friday, March 24th. The men have been coming to Bethlehem for over five years to play together. The camaraderie and rapport between the musicians were infectious as they shared stories of their lives between songs with the crowd. From tales of their new grandchildren inspiring songs to corny “Roman” jokes about a Roman soldier who walked into a bar and asked for fives drinks by holding up a peace sign to discussions of how each man worked with those present on stage as well as with others to write their music, the four under the bright stage lights kept the atmosphere upbeat and entertaining.
Craig Bickhardt shared how living the past few months with his grandchildren had been after his daughter moved in. “I feel like I’ve been writing music since they moved in just for relief,” the songwriter joked to sympathetic chuckles from the crowd, “I can’t remember the last time I slept, and I wrote this to describe the wonderfulness of living with them – I call it ‘Holes.’”
Godfrey Daniels provides an intimate setting for musicians to share their work with a listening audience, away from distractions often associated with live music in a typical bar scene. The effect is one of comfortable give and take from performer and crowd alike. Laughter and chuckling were heard all around as Schuyler, Bickhardt, Sundrud and Murray joked among themselves about successes and difficulties to be had in life and the music industry.
The music itself was relatable and charming, reminiscent of the past, present, and future. It sounded like childhood in its familiarity, but also that of a new friend in its originality and novelty. Each artist was talented in his own way, complemented by his counterparts as each member of the round chimed in to add his own touch to each other’s songs. The chemistry between the four made the experience of the audience that much better, and that much more memorable. Here’s to hoping that Schuyler, Bickhardt, Sundrud, and Murray grace Bethlehem with their presence again soon.
Feature image by On The Road & In The Round.