Janet Croteau loves writing songs. She sees it as a form of therapy that is healing to both the people expressing themselves and those listening. She is currently in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist after all.
“I really feel like art is a great way to connect with the self and it’s super therapeutic. I think people hunger to be more real. Songwriting is such a cool way for the individual to self-express,” Croteau says. “It’s mesmerizing to hear somebody exposing the essence of who they are through a song.”
She’s been finding different ways to express herself for years (poetry, comedy, performance art) and discovered songwriting about six years ago. At first, she assumed it would be too hard for her, but once she attended a songwriting workshop at Esalen in Big Sur, the songs started flowing out of her by the second day. She’s since written more than 100 songs and just recently released her full-length album Wild Heart this past July.
“I really believe that everybody is an artist, and that songwriting isn’t some exclusive thing that you can only do if you play the guitar for 20 years,” Croteau says.
Her passion for getting people to experience songwriting is driving her new bi-monthly songwriting salon that is premiering at Michael’s on Main on Oct. 24. This particular show is called “Women Who (Folking) Rock,” and it showcases women songwriters who can write a mean song on their acoustic guitars. Every other month, the theme will change, though she’ll likely come back to this one again.
“Songwriting is a lost art form,” she says. “I think people are missing out on this incredible vehicle for self-expression that we have in our community.”
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, Michael’s on Main, 2591 S. Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777.