Connect with us
July 2024
Vol. 23, No. 10

Listen Local

The Game Everybody Wins

by Cathryn BeeksJuly 2023

It was a long time ago so these memories are fuzzy and may not be 100% accurate but sometime around 2003 I was invited over to Jeff Berkley’s place in Normal Heights to participate in a songwriting thing he called The Game. It was an exercise that he’d been doing on the road with Steve Poltz who had been doing it on the road with Bob Schneider who started The Game in the first place. Basically, you get a prompt word or phrase and then you write a song inspired by said word or phrase. So, I’m in the living room with legends Calman Hart, Marcia Claire, Shawn Rohlf and a few others and Jeff gives us the titles Divine Intervention and 2 Beer Buzz and off we wrote. I wrote a song to 2 Beer Buzz and after that I was hooked on The Game. Sometimes, the sheer vastness of potential subject matter can be daunting enough to discourage songwriting, so being given a prompt was magic for me.

With Jeff’s blessing I began hosting The Game as a Listen Local event, the first one was held at The Honey Bee Hive on December 4, 2004. Since then, Listen Local’s GAME has happened every other month or so and a decade ago we got a boost when The San Diego Singer/Songwriter Meetup Group lead by Cliff Keller started attending The Game. Our events went from a dozen folks to 30 or more songwriters sharing their creations. It’s been almost 20 years of game songs and collaborations that birthed new bands and hundreds upon thousands of songs on people’s albums with the same title. *sigh* It’s a beautiful thing.

During the pandemic, The Game went virtual and we started a FB group where people could post their songs via audio or video. We also invited story tellers, poets, actors, sculptors, dancers and any and all creatives to participate, all inspired by our titles. The Game is a phenomenon, and it just keeps giving. Below is a conversation I had with Steve Poltz back in 2014 about The Game and here are tons of videos on youtube from our game events. Click it and don’t miss the next Game happening on July 15th at 3pm at Cliff and Karin’s in Cardiff by the Sea, you must RSVP so get all the info here. Hope to see you there!  xo Cathryn Beeks



This month’s podcast features July’s Audio Calendar with music by those performing in the San Diego area in July. Stick around for music and messages from makers all over the globe at the end of the show. Thanks for listening and thank you to our subscribers for making the show possible.

Listen Local Lounge at Satellite SEASON 2 is now playing! 

Join me as I head into Jeff Berkley’s amazing studio in Kearny Mesa to hang out with our city’s brightest stars! They play songs, we chat about stuff, Jeff presses record. The latest Episode 16 with Ashley E. Norton and Aaron Markland of Seawall Prophet is now playing and you can listen to ALL the episodes here. 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!


July 11th – 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!

July 15th THE GAME a songwriter’s get together. Write a song inspired by either prompt then show up to play it! Private residence, you must RSVP! Limited to just 30 guests so don’t delay! Get all the details here: 

July 16th – Medium High at Ramona Ranch Winery! Covers and originals, harmonies and funky grooves! Join us for the wine, the music and the view! Get details here.

July 29th – Vino and Vinyl at Teri’s Common Grounds Café. Get all the info at

July 30th – 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




Thus concludes July! Please send me your original song and intro message so I can play you on August’s Listen Local Show. Get all the details at

Thank you for your support, xo Cathryn



Continue Reading