Songwriters’ Mecca

Regional talent flocks to Timothy’s at The Quarrier Diner in Charleston every Tuesday night to show what they’re made of.


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Photographed by Rafael Barker

If you take a stroll through downtown Charleston you might notice something about the storefronts. One might be filled with contemporary paintings, while another bursts with the colors of the rainbow as art supplies encourage the creative to stop by. Just as an original art scene is thriving here, so is another art form—thanks to Songwriter Stage. “There are a lot of places for painters; we thought there was a lack of this for songwriters,” says Mike Arcuri, co-host of Songwriter Stage at Timothy’s beneath the well-known Quarrier Diner.

Roger Rabalais, the other host of Songwriter Stage, started the venture at The Daily Cup in South Charleston. By invitation only, singers and songwriters would perform once a month for the public as part of a format they use called “in the round,” a style that’s very popular in Nashville and that continues today at the new location. Each night features new and unique talent from three singer-songwriters from the region. While you might expect each to play separately, they don’t. Instead, the three musicians jam, playing off of one another to create a unique sound.

The Songwriter Stage now calls Timothy’s below the Quarrier Diner its home. “It was my aspiration to find somewhere that could duplicate the ambience of the Blue Bird Café in Nashville,” a spot also known for it’s “in the round” performances, Roger says. Timothy’s seems to fill that role. “The diner is the ideal venue for this type of thing,” Mike says. The area’s eclectic music scene also continues to be tapped into. “It’s amazing how much musical talent is in the area,” Mike says, adding that those talents continue to be heard on Songwriter Stage, and the ability to play with others weekly gives them an opportunity that isn’t prevalent in the area.

The performers who play on any given night are diverse. “There are so many different influences people have,” Mike says. One night there might be an indie songwriter sharing the stage with someone who plays pop or Americana. The diversity of music at Songwriter Stage keeps audiences coming back—they never know when they might discover a new favorite artist.

Songwriter Stage is every Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. at Timothy’s. To find out more, artists can contact Roger Rabalais at 304.984.3325 or CUlaterallygator@aol.com or Mike Arcuri at 304.342.3793 or wveagle100@yahoo.com. 

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