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June 2024
Vol. 23, No. 9

Listen Local

Song Circles Make the World Go ‘Round.

by Cathryn BeeksAugust 2023

 Whiskey and Burlap at Listen Local’s AnomaR song circle – photo by Tim Connelly

Whether you call it a Jam, a Guitar Pull or a Song Circle, there’s just something special about sitting around with a group of musicians playing and singing along with each other. Talking about songwriting, sharing techniques and ideas, inspiring one another. There is a freedom to being unplugged. You can play along as quietly as you like, or you can bang away. Playing with strangers increases the chance of that magical musical moment when the guy with the accordion plays a perfect solo on your song. And when you’re playing your song, eyes closed as you dig in, and you hear those beautiful harmonies coming in from all directions *sigh* it can make you levitate. There’s a lack of pressure in a song circle. It’s not a gig, it’s a get together. The circle feels intimate and private even if folks outside the circle are listening. You’re with your brethren playing, sharing, singing. You’re with incredible seasoned songwriters and a few folks who are performing in public for the first time, all in the same circle. It’s safe. It’s joyful. It’s your turn! There are many ways to circle or pull or jam, but I wanted to share information about (and give you a standing invitation to) Listen Local’s Song Circles.

  1. Our circles take place a few times a month in Ramona. The last Sunday of the month at Old Julian Vineyards and Winery from 1pm to 5pm and the first Tuesday of the month at Pamo Winery from 5pm to 8pm where there is usually a potluck for the musicians to enjoy. There is no cost to participate in our circles. ALL genres and skill levels are welcomed. You can join or leave the circle at any time you please, space permitting. Squeeze on in but be mindful of folk’s personal space. 🙂
  2. Bring your own unplugged instrument and just as importantly, you should bring your own comfy pickin’ chair. You don’t want to bang your guitar on the arms of a random chair and you want to leave those chairs for your fans and the guests of the venue so they can sit and enjoy the show.
  3. The circle rotates clockwise. When the circles comes to you, you can play any song you like. We love originals but covers are fun too. Before you begin your song, you can tell the circle the chords and/or share charts/lyrics. *You can also just invite people to figure it out on their own and play along. You can also respectfully ask that no one play along. Maybe you’d just like feedback on a new song? You’re also welcome to simply sing or play along with others and you can pass when the circle comes to you. *If you are figuring out someone’s song, we love it when you noodle or sing quietly until you got it, then bring it on!
  4.  We welcome keyboards but cannot guarantee there will be a place to plug in. If there is access to power and the venue is ok with you using it, you may need to bring your own extension cord, etc.
  5. Percussion instruments are welcomed but we love it when you play them at an appropriate volume as they can really carry and drown out the unplugged stringed instruments which makes it hard for folks in the circle to hear each other. For that same reason, drums are not encouraged. Feel free to bring what you have, though, and we’ll let you know if it’s too much. Thank you for understanding.

So, that’s it! Please join us the first Tuesday and the last Sunday of every month and join our Facebook Group Listen Local’s Song Circle | Facebook

Check out this Wineumentary I made about Old Julian Vineyards and Winery, the location of our last Sunday of the month song circle and maker’s market from 1pm to 4pm.

I know this summer has been a hot one but as it begins to cool down just remember that no matter what the temperature is, song circles are heating up in Ramona and YOU’RE invited. Please message me with any question you might have, and we’ll see you in the ’round.


This month’s podcast features music by those performing in the San Diego area in August. After the audio calendar there are songs and messages from makers all over the globe. Please send me your original song and intro message so I can play you on September’s show. Get all the details at Thanks for listening and thank you to our subscribers for making the show possible. 


Listen Local Lounge at Satellite Episode 17 is now playing!

This month’s Listen Local Lounge at Satellite features Sande Lollis and Justin James Rodriquez singing, playing and chatting. You can listen now and if you subscribe for as little as $2 a month at you’ll get instant access to private videos of these performances while you help us make more shows. Thank you and enjoy!

Don’t miss episodes of Listen Local Lounge at Satellite every Wednesday at 8pm on!



August 1 – Hosting the Song Circle Potluck at Pamo! Join us on the patio at Pamo from 5 to 8 for an unplugged song circle and potluck social. Details here!



August 7 Hosting Dealer’s Choice Monday’s at Reds, Whites & Brews in Ramona. We’re paying tribute to Canada’s Civic Holiday by playing songs by Canadian musicians and one of your own songs. Sign up at 5:30, the fun goes 6pm to 9pm. Get all the details here! 


August 18 – Hosting Open Mic at Smoking Cannon Brewery in Ramona. Sign up from 5:30 to 6, the show is from 6 to 9pm. Bring the entire family, a picnic or order delicious Mexican food and dine in.


August 26 – Vino and Vinyl at Teri’s Common Grounds Café. Get all the info at



August 27 – SIP, SHOP & SING at Old Julian Winery! – Join us from 1pm to 5pm for an old time unplugged song circle and maker’s market at this beautiful winery in Ramona. Artists and makers visit or contact for info




Ok, sweet people. That’s the goods for this month. PLEASE save the date! October 7th we’ll be celebrating 20 years of Listen Local up here in Ramona. Stay tuned for details, coming soooon! Please holler at me if you have questions about anything or ideas for the show! Thank you for your support, xo Cathryn

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