Copyright Root River Current 2022
Recent Posts >
HomeCulture & CommunitySongwriters in the Round

Songwriters in the Round

By Steve Harris, April 21, 2024

Clay Fulton, Ann Lowe, Luke Hendrickson, and Sarah Peterson kicked off the 2024 songwriters series at the St. Mane Theatre in Lanesboro. (Submitted photo)

Songwriters in the Round


LANESBORO — Explore Nashville and you’ll find music everywhere, much of it floating out of small clubs and cozy, side-street venues where musicians often informally gather to jam, tell stories about their songs, and mostly just celebrate creative gifts of lyric, tune and voice. Thanks to Lanesboro’s Sarah Peterson and a crew of her talented friends, local music lovers have several chances to enjoy that same vibe much closer to home in 2024.

“Songwriters in the Round…An Intimate Evening of Original Music by Area Songwriters” arrived at Lanesboro’s St. Mane Theater in April with the first of three concerts. Peterson herself was joined by three other songwriter/artists for that concert—Clay Fulton, Ann Lowe, and Luke Hendrickson—all delivering original songs and the stories that led to their creation. That combination can add a deep and unique dimension for everyone listening, says Peterson.

It’s based on a Nashville, round-robin format where songwriters share their stories and music in an intimate setting. When a songwriter gets to play their original music and tell the stories behind their songs to an audience that’s listening, a special connection and synergy often takes place. Knowing the ‘why’ of a song can make a difference. That’s what we’re hoping happens here.

Lanesboro musician Ann Lowe was one of the musicians participating in the opening songwriters workshop and performance in April. (Submitted photo)

Sponsored by a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, and in partnership with Lanesboro Arts, “Songwriters in the Round” will present two additional concerts in coming months—June 29th and October 5th.

A special feature of the series is an interactive songwriting workshops offered on the afternoon of each concert. Everyone is welcome, from beginning songwriters to those advanced in the craft. (Older teens and up is the suggested age parameter). The workshops are 1½ hours long, held in the 2nd Floor studio at the St. Mane Theater. The cost is $5.

“We’ll explore the songwriting process,” says Sarah, an active and increasingly successful songwriter in recent years. “We’ll talk about what makes a song strong, how to give our songs muscle!

“We’ll encourage participation and have fun, hands-on stuff. People can bring songs they’re already working on or just come because they’re curious about the songwriting process. No prior experience is required!”


Singer Songwriters

Musicians featured during the series’ opening event on April 27th included:

Ann Lowe (from Lanesboro) is a singer/songwriter and recording artist who has been performing since she was a teenager. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, in a large, music-loving family and got her first guitar when she was 16. Her music has been influenced by artists like Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin and Bonnie Raitt.  Ann also performs with her husband, Andy, in their band, Needy Dog, and has recorded five CDs of original music. Her original song “Emerging” was published by Root River Current in 2023; Ann’s music can also be heard on Spotify


Clay Fulton of Rochester and his band Lost Forty play many music venues in the Midwest. (Submitted photo)

Clay Fulton (from Rochester) is a singer-songwriter whose musical roots lean towards Americana and Roots Rock. Clay also claims the influence of classic folk singers up to more modern Indie Rock. Clay and his band, The Lost Forty, perform locally with acts like Charlie Parr, NUR-D, The Big Wu, Yam Haus, Them Coulee Boys, Kiss The Tiger, The Suburbs and more.


Luke Hendrickson is a full-time working musician from Rochester. (Submitted photo)

 Luke Hendrickson (from Rochester), a full-time working musician and songwriter for seven years, has performed in 40 states, Canada and the  U.K. He has also released two albums and has earned Midwest Country Music Organization award nominations in categories such as “Songwriter of the Year” and “Album of the Year”. Learn more on Luke’s Facebook page.

Sarah Peterson (from Lanesboro) has been writing songs “..since I was a kid,” she says. Five years ago she decided to dive into songwriting. Since then she’s co-written with songwriters from around the world. Her recent successes include having her song on rotation on Sirus XM radio (“If Country Was a Town”) and two songs in rotation on Malaysian stations.  From her home base in Lanesboro she developed her first artist project in 2023, released four singles and a full six-song EP titled ‘Singing to the Angels’. Sarah offers an eclectic blend of acoustic Folk & Americana sounds with bits of country. Sarah music is on Spotify

“We’re very excited to kick off this series,” Sarah says. “Hopefully we’re creating a musical experience that can become an annual event for our region. We welcome everyone to join us!”


Sarah Peterson of Lanesboro is organizing the Songwriting in the Round series. She recently released a six-song EP entitled Singing to the Angels. (Submitted photo)

Confirm details on upcoming workshops, concerts, and tickets for “Songwriters in the Round…An Intimate Evening of Original Music by Area Songwriters” online at Lanesboro Arts.




Steve Harris is a freelance writer from Lanesboro; he can be reached at sharris1962@msn.com or (952) 836-7904.



Root River Current’s coverage of the arts is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

Share With: