VACAVILLE — Their songs spoke of motherhood, Santa and lost loves.
Dreams of stardom weren’t in their eyes. The performers at Vacaville’s Singer-Songwriters’ competition just wanted to share a part of their life.
Stay-at-home-mom Loraine Meek, 26, discovered the guitar about seven years ago at a worship music conference.
“I picked it up and wrote a song. I loved the sound of it. I fell in love with it,” said the Fairfield resident.
With a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old, her time to write songs is pretty limited. But she makes time, because it’s her passion, Meek said.
She also writes lullabies for her children.
“Right Here” was the song she performed at one of the local venues for the competition, Gaslighters Theater. The lyrics told the story of living life and feeling you haven’t really made progress, but also realizing success wasn’t that far away.
“I try to write positive things,” Meek said.
At this point in life, she said music can just be a passion.
“My goal is to have people like it, to give them a positive perspective,” she said.
Eric Facteau, 21, won the first week of competition and returned to perform at the Gaslighters Theater as a guest. “Echoes” was the tune that swayed the judges. The song is about “being lost in your own mind, not knowing what makes you feel that way,” Facteau said.
The pianist also sings with the Solano Choral Society and admitted he was somewhat apprehensive about performing by himself in front of others. He said it went well, although he wondered, was “anyone going to like what I wrote?”
Music has become a “constant go-to,” in his life, Facteau said. Like many songwriters, his lyrics tell the story of what is, or has, happened in his life.
He dreams of a career in music so he can share with others. At this point he doesn’t have a Plan B because he said, “that would be a cop-out.”
This is the fourth year businesses in downtown Vacaville have organized the event. For the first three years, it took place Tuesday evenings. It’s now on Wednesdays. Contestants are not grouped by age, as in the past.
Packed venues have become routine, said Judy St. George of the Downtown Vacaville Business Improvement District. “People come out to watch,” she said.
People such as Bev Morrison, who came with a friend to scout entertainment for Vacaville’s Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society fundraiser.
“I grew up with music. It’s nice to hear local talent,” she said.
Morrison doesn’t have a budget for entertainment, so she chooses some of the singer-songwriter hopefuls to perform and showcase their work in front of more people.
The competition runs for six weeks and is hosted each week by different venues and musicians who warm up the crowd before the competition starts.
Ron George and Eddie Ka’anoi made their debut Wednesday as a duo, singing some original tunes as well as cover tunes from Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison.
George is the man behind Vacaville’s annual “Christmas in My Homtown” variety show. Ka’anoi wrote, and performs, “Christmas in Vacaville.”
Two winners are chosen each week to compete in the finals March 20 at the Opera House in Vacaville. Judges had a difficult time choosing just two winners on the second week of competition, so they sent three contestants to the finals.
Soloists, duos and trios are welcome. Acoustic instruments are allowed. Gaslighters Theater offers a piano.
A variety of talents, from rapping to a capella, have been showcased.
“We welcome everyone. We see such an array of talent,” St. George said.
More information on the event can be found at www.downtownvacaville.com.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.