For nine consecutive years, Cleveland-based singer-songwriter Brent Kirby hosted 10X3, a singer-songwriter night at Brother’s Lounge. When the pandemic forced the club to close in 2019, Kirby’s long-running event came to an end.
Now, Kirby has just announced that his 10x3 showcase will return in August at the Bop Stop at the Music Settlement
on the first and third Wednesdays of the month . The event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m., and the first one is slated for Aug. 3.
The concept of the 10x3 is a pre-arranged line up with 10 songwriters/bands performing three songs each, two of the them required to be original and the third can be the artist’s choice.
Once music venues started opening up again, Kirby had some hesitation in continuing the showcase, and the wine bar at Brother's Lounge was no longer an option.
“I wasn’t comfortable having an open mic scenario with performers sharing the stage and mics at such a quick pace, so I decided I would wait before I considered doing the 10x3 again,” he says in a press release.
A big part of the 10x3 is moving ten acts through the stage quickly to keep the momentum of the show. In order to do that, a full PA and backline of guitar and bass amps, drums and piano is required. The Bop Stop, with its full professional backline, Steinway grand piano, listening room vibe, great sight lines and central location offered Kirby the ideal setting for a newly revamped version of the showcase.
“I have great friends at the the Music Settlement organization that I’ve worked with before, including [Bop Stop director] Gabe Pollack, who is a super supportive fan of the 10x3, and it seemed like the most natural place to present the showcase,” says Kirby.
Kirby has adjusted the frequency of the 10x3 performances from weekly to twice a month, on the first and third Wednesdays. All time slots at the 10x3 are pre-arranged. Kirby believes that limiting the number of time slots a month will raise the bar for the performance quality of songwriters and bands and create a tighter focus and attention for the audience.
Kirby says he'll continue to develop theme nights, either as a way of celebrating a particular artist or taking on specific songwriting prompts, will continue.
“I have lots of ideas for themes, and I’m definitely going to lean harder into encouraging songwriters to create more,” Kirby says, “because I think it’s a challenging thing to do, and the songs [the performers] end up writing and sharing with their audience are fantastic and unique.”
Pollack expects the partnership to have a positive effect on the Cleveland music scene.
"The mission of the 10x3 is to strengthen Cleveland's music community, encourage collaboration, and showcase original music, which aligns perfectly with the goals of Bop Stop,” Pollack says. “I also want as many musicians and music fans as possible to experience the venue, and this is a great way to build awareness for Bop Stop and Cleveland talent. Because Bop Stop is a listening room, I think the vibe is going to be perfect."
Admission to the events is free. If you want to perform at the 10x3, please email [email protected]
or visit brentkirby.com/bk10x3
to request a time slot.