John Engerman / Songwriter
"John Engerman uses his piano and rugged voice to meld a cheeky, intriguing acoustic sound. On 'Maquette,' Engerman's swinging blues on 'Pieces of Sarah' make a big impression for the Seattle native."
Mark Bialczak, music critic
The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY)
Sunday, April 22, 2007
For thirty years, John has been writing songs for music theatre and cabaret shows. He started writing pop songs in high school. But his father was a theatrical promoter, and John developed a love for theatre music as well. Following college, he met the actors and writers working at the Empty Space Theatre in Seattle, Washington, and began working on shows with them. With playwrights Phil Shallat, Rex McDowell, Robert Wright, Greg Palmer and Sid Fleischman he’s penned several mainstage shows. He’s also written dozens of songs for cabaret shows, starting with The Fabulous Sateens, then for several shows featuring his actor/singer wife Jayne Muirhead. As arranger and music director, he has created two Sirens of Swing revues, plus shows based on the lives of Duke Ellington, Nat Cole and Rosemary Clooney. His latest songwriting effort is “Vino! The Musical,” a cabaret show designed for wine festivals and events (vinothemusical.com).
Up until recently, he left the performing of his songs to the fabulous singers and actors he’s had the good luck to work with. But after hearing John sing his own songs in a bar in Syracuse, NY, Hondo Mesa producer Dennis Kinsey convinced him that he should record an album singing his own material. “Maquette” is the product of that first effort to record his tunes – tunes that were all intended for live stage performance, but somehow seemed worth capturing digitally. To keep the focus on the songwriting, we decided to keep the production essentially spare, luxuriating in the sound of a grand piano, with a few touches of spot color.