Welcome to the World and Music of Dan Roark

Welcome to the world and music of Dan Roark. I have lived here for a while now and it's not a bad place to live, really. Although on some level, it's probably just as well you're only visiting. But hang around as long as you like.

Here you can listen to my songs - and buy them if you wish - read my thoughts in posts on my blog, see my pictures, and find out when and where I am playing. 

You can also hear live versions of my songs on Reverbnation, as well as see videos of live performances. You can also see my videos on, and subscribe to, my YouTube channel


Digital Tip Jar

Fourth/First Saturday Showcase at Angela’s 

The last showcase of 2015 became the first showcase of 2016 as the fourth Saturday Showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk on December 26th was postponed until January 2nd. Buck Morgan and Harry Hewlett, the usual hosts – and sound man in Harry’s case – were otherwise occupied for the holidays. Dan Roark, Showcase Director, […]

The post Fourth/First Saturday Showcase at Angela’s appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

Methods for Eating Texas Nibbles, Chex Mix, or Trash 

DSC07035Most recipes for the mix that I have known are all similar. I think my mom called it Chex mix when I was younger – which makes sense. Cyndy’s mom’s recipe calls it Texas Nibbles. It consists of three kinds of Chex cereal, Cheerios, Kix, pretzel sticks, and mixed nuts. And spices, but you’re on your own there – I’m not allowed to give that away.

Cyndy usually makes two batches each year. The first batch sits on the stove and we all eat on it for days. The second batch gets divvied up and put in plastic bags for each of us.

Pardon my absence there for a bit, I couldn’t write about the mix without going in and having some. Besides, it’s research for the post.
Each year I have observed different people eating the mix. But that’s all I did. This year I decided to name and describe the methods for eating the mix.

The Scoop Method – This is the care-free, take what you get, style of grabbing a bowl and haphazardly scooping up a bowl full. The ratio of ingredients is torn asunder. Then they just randomly eat some until they can just shake some into their mouths. This could actually be hazardous if they don’t keep an eye out for the pretzel sticks.

The Handful Method – This method is similar to the scoop method. However, the handful people pick the pretzel sticks out first to eliminate the hazard. But then they still throw caution to the wind as to the ingredient ratio and funnel it into their mouths.

The Handful But Picky Method – As you would expect it is similar to the handful method. They still eliminate the pretzel stick situation. But then they eat the rest in order of favorite ingredients – all of the Cheerios, then all of the Kix, all of the Chex, and so on, ending with their “best” ingredient.

The Selfish Picky Method – This type stands over the mix and picks out all of their favorite ingredients, leaving the ones they don’t like as much. Such as eating all of the nuts and the pretzels, leaving the rest. Which renders the ratio of ingredients unrepairable for everyone else.

The Handful But Reasonable Method – This is of course my type of eating the mix, which naturally makes the most sense. I too have a few pretzels first to eliminate the hazard, and have a nut or two. Then I get a proper ratio of the rest of the ingredients. I pick out the same number of each cereal each time until I grow weary and dump the rest in my mouth – staying true to the ratio theory.

Sporadically, I will throw caution to the wind and just randomly grab a handful of mix and funnel it gradually into my mouth. Then I try to not think about it and go back to whatever I was doing when I stopped for mix. And that works for a couple of minutes. Inevitably though, I give up, and go back to do the process right to make me feel better.

Most of you have eaten from a snack mix, whether it be a bag of mix from the store, or a homemade mix like I’m referring to. What is your preferred method of eating from a mix? And also, what habits of other people irritate you at a get together or party? Inquiring minds want to know.

Peace be with you.

Texas Nibbles or Trash or… 

DSC07035[Re-posted from last year at this time. This year’s observations will be in a following post.]

It began years ago with the recipe on the Chex cereal boxes. Then everyone’s grandmother added their particular additional ingredients. It took on different identities: nibbles, trash, Texas trash, and others. Cyndy’s mom’s recipe is for Texas Nibbles. Our daughter, Jennifer, fixed several different varieties: no nuts, hot, not hot, really hot – you get the idea.

But the point is that – in any variety – the mix is addicting. It is the one thing left over that you don’t have to do anything for but grab a handful. No cutting a pie, no getting a plate dirty, no digging in the refrigerator. Just grab a handful. And it’s salty.

We give containers of mix to the family for Christmas. We also usually receive a container from Jennifer. Naturally, this year was no different. But some things have changed. We still go to my parents on Christmas. But we don’t have a big meal anymore. Mom is not able to cook and serve the meal any longer. Cyndy and I take the Thanksgiving dinner to them – just dropping off food for them and visiting a short while.

On Christmas day Mom and Dad buy snack trays and deli sandwiches. Cyndy, Conner, Cameron, J.D. and myself – often in more than one car – meet Jennifer, her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Kelley, at the grandparents house. This year, Chris’ daughter, Katherine, was able to join us. Rather than have the meal (usually brunch), we go straight to the gift exchange.

Then we all get our stockings from the grandparents, snack a while, and visit. Visiting is the most important part. It is the part that does not and should not change. The people may change slightly from year to year due to life’s circumstances. But the family fellowship does not change.

Our family is one that gets what they need throughout the year. We give gifts to each other all year. Christmas is not about the gifts. It is about celebrating Christ’s birth. And it is also about family – in all it’s facets.

But the one constant between Christmas and New Year’s in our family is the presence of Texas Nibbles. The mix goes quickly around Christmas and then slows down to a steady rate of consumption. The salty after the sweet. Just grab a little and go kind of thing.

I don’t know what Cyndy and I will be watching tonight while waiting on midnight. But I can tell you what we won’t be watching – the countdowns to midnight. I can, however, tell you one thing for certain. We will be eating Texas Nibbles from the bag I have stashed.

Happy New Year! Peace be with you!

Roy Elkins on Songs from DSA Song Contest 

Roy Elkins was our Grand Prize Judge for the DSA Song Contest. He is Founder/CEO of Broadjam.com. Roy was also our MC for the Song Contest Award Ceremony on Tuesday, December 8. What follows are his comments about the semi-finalist songs and the winning songs. Find the results of the contest here. 2015 Reviews “In […]

The post Roy Elkins on Songs from DSA Song Contest appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

Merry Christmas! 

Merry Christmas! If Santa Claus brings you money for Christmas, treat yourself to a Dallas Songwriters Association cap. You can get yours here. Caps will also be available at the showcase on 1/2/’16 at Angela’s at the Crosswalk. Or pay for it online and pick it up at the showcase. While you are in the […]

The post Merry Christmas! appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

4th Saturday Showcase at Angela’s Postponed Until 1/2/2016 

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Dallas Songwriters Association‘s 4th Saturday showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk, originally scheduled for December 26, will be postponed until Saturday, January 2nd. The line-up will change depending on who will not be able to play on the new date. The new line-up will be posted as soon as […]

The post 4th Saturday Showcase at Angela’s Postponed Until 1/2/2016 appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

DSA Song Contest Awards 

Dan Roark and Roy Elkins

Dan Roark and Roy Elkins

People began to arrive at Sons of Hermann Hall at 6:30 on Tuesday, December 8 for the Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) Song Contest Award Ceremony and Christmas party. Board members Barbe McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Ken Duren, and Dan Roark, with member and SOHH employee, Lisa Byrn, David Lewis (SOHH), and the sound man, Logan Hughes, had arrived early to set up the hall. Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Roy Elkins, CEO of Broadjam.com, pitched in to help Bobby set up the food tables. Board member, James Pappas, owner of Dallas Ice Sculptures, supplied the Christmas tree sculpture for the table.
Christmas Tree Ice Sculpture
The ceremony began promptly at 7 p.m. with a welcome from Barbe McMillen, DSA Founding President Emeritus and an explanation of the song contest process and breakdown of prizes. She then introduced MC Roy Elkins. As mentioned earlier, Roy is founder and ceo of Broadjam.com. He came down from Wisconsin a day early to present a free workshop the night before at Tone Shop Guitars in Addison. The workshop was called Your Music and Your Business. Elkins shared from his experiences in the music business and Broadjam, as well as information from music contacts. More information about the workshop can be found here.

AudienceAfter a few opening comments, Roy introduced Dickey Johnson. Dickey, along with Mary Guthrie and Mary Hestand (Sugar Daddy and the M&Ms), played his winning critique song, Alone with Alone. Then Elkins introduced Dan Roark, Showcase, Workshop, and Lyric Contest Director. Dan gave a short bio of the Americana judge, Kendra Terry, booking manager at Uncle Calvin’s Coffee House. He read the list of semifinalists and announced the winners.

Roark then introduced Katie Riley, with her mother and sister. They played both of Katie’s Dan Roarksemfinal songs, I Believe (Christian), and Dry Bones (Pop/rock). After which, Dan gave a short bio of the Christian/Inspirational judge, Scott Dicken, currently music director at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch. He then read the semifinalists and announced the winners, before introducing Rio King. Rio played his four winning critique songs, Sweet Rolls and Cream, Boogie Woogie Rhythm, Boomer Boogie, and The Old Wrecked Vet.

Roy Elkins stepped back up and introduced Bobby Montgomery, DSA Executive Vice President, and 2014 Songwriter of the year. Bobby gave a short bio of Larry Beaird, owner of Beaird Music Group, and judge of the country category. After reading the semifinalists and announcing the country winners, Montgomery introduced M’Lynn Musgrove. M’Lynn played her two semifinalist songs, Healed, and Preaching to the Choir, both in the singer-songwriter category.

M'Lynn Musgrove

M’Lynn Musgrove

Elkins then introduced Michael Brandenberger, DSA President. Michael gave a bio of the Instrumental judge, Tony Hakim, owner of jazz venue, Kitchen Café, and a positive force in the Dallas-Ft. Worth jazz scene for over 25 years. After reading the semifinalists and announcing the winners, Brandenberger introduced Dori Weavers, who played her winning critique song, Waiting to Breathe. He then read the Love Songs/Easy Listening semi-finalists and announced the winners.

Barbe McMillen came back to the podium to give a bio of the Children’s/Novelty judge, Monty Harper, who has been on the Oklahoma Arts Council Touring Roster since 1995. Barbe read the semifinalists and announced the winners. She then introduced, Jon Storm. Jon played his semifinalist song in the Pop/Rock category, Love Me Now.

Roy Elkins returned to the podium and introduced Harry Hewlett, co-director of the song

Warren Hanson

Warren Hanson

contest this year and director next year. Harry gave a short bio of Pop/Rock judge Kathy Forste, who has worked in television and radio for the past 30 years in various capacities. He read the semifinalists and announced the winners. Then he introduced Warren Hanson, who performed his semifinalist song in the singer-songwriter category, Just Lucky I Guess.

Roy Elkins returned to introduce Michael Waid. Michael performed his singer-songwriter semifinal song, Lost and Found. Roy then introduced Jennifer Marler, who, joined with her husband, Justin, played her semifinalist song, Memories Don’t Burn. Then Elkins called Barbe McMillen back to the podium.

Harry Hewlett, Dori Weaver, and Michael Brandenberger

Harry Hewlett, Dori Weaver, and Michael Brandenberger

Barbe gave a brief bio of singer-songwriter judge, David Card, owner of Poor David’s Pub, one of Dallas’ best listening rooms. David also founded the BW Stevenson Memorial Singer-Songwriter Competition. Then Barbe read the semifinalists and announced the winners. She then announced the winner of the iPod for which each contest entrant received an entry. The winner was Samuel Miller from Chico, California. Miller’s song, Can’t Get Enough, was a semifinalist song in the singer-songwriter category.

McMillen explained the judging process – which can be found on the DSA website – and introduced grand prize judge, Roy Elkins. Roy talked about the song entries and announced the Grand Prize winner. He then introduced Buck Morgan, who played his winning critique song, Jimmy Loves Jesus. Elkins then introduced Bobby Montgomery, who played his winning critique song, Give ‘Em Time, Lord.

Harry Hewlett, Rio King,Barbe McMillen

Harry Hewlett, Rio King,Barbe McMillen

Roy brought Harry Hewlett back to the podium. Harry explained the process for song of the year. Then he gave a short bio of the song of the year judge, Ian Dickson, a singer-songwriter having performed for a number of years. Then Harry announced the Song of the Year winner. Harry made some closing remarks and then Michael Brandenberger started the open mic. A list of semifinalists can be found here and the a list of winners can be found here.

Although time and space did not allow me to elaborate more, all the performances were wonderful and the evening was a huge success.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

DSA Song Contest Awards 

People began to arrive at Sons of Hermann Hall at 6:30 on Tuesday, December 8 for the Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) Song Contest Award Ceremony and Christmas party. Board members Barbe McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Ken Duren, and Dan Roark, with member and SOHH employee, Lisa Byrn, David Lewis (SOHH), and the sound man, Logan Hughes, […]

The post DSA Song Contest Awards appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

Caroling to Sunday School Classes and Birthday Party for Jesus 

Caroling 4A week ago yesterday, I accompanied the children, and my granddaughter Kelley, as they went to the youth and adult Sunday school classes and sang Christmas carols at Christ United Methodist Church. After gathering, and coloring with crayons, the children left the gym and headed upstairs. We gathered in the hall of the youth wing above the gym. The children sang a couple of Christmas carols as the youth and leaders came out of their classrooms to listen and join along.

Then the children went to each adult Sunday school class. After entering each class they sang  one  carol and Caroling 1then filed out singing a second song. Many of the adults sang along. The glow on their faces at times rivaled that on the children’s faces. When the children had visited all of the Sunday schools, they headed for the gym. In the gym, the children sat at tables, colored pictures, and talked as the leaders served Jesus’ birthday cake to each table. They also had water or juice to drink.

As the Sunday school time came to a close and parents began picking up the children, one thing was clear. With seeing St. Nick the morning before, and putting on the Christmas Cafe musical the evening before, going caroling, and celebrating Jesus’ birthday, the children definitely had a good head start on the spirit of Christmas. Their eyes displayed the tired joy of celebration (albeit with sugar rush). And the best part of it? Christmas is yet to come!

Peace be with you.    Birthday party for Jesus

Join my mailing list for the latest news