PHOENIXVILLE - Singer/songwriter Deirdre Flint will be making her third appearance at the Steel City Coffee House this Friday, June 11, at 9 p.m.
A former area native, Flint grew up in Valley Forge and attended Holy Family School (then known as St. Ann School). Flint said she gets a major thrill performing in Phoenixville.
"The atmosphere is great and there is a real feeling of space there. It doesn't feel crowded at all," said Flint. "(Co-owners) Karin and Lance Leet are terrific and everyone loves to play there. It's a great place to go for the suburbanites who don't want to travel to the city. The sound system is excellent. I'll be doing two full sets, just me and my guitar."
Flint will be performing songs from both of her CD releases, 1999's "The Shuffleboard Queens" and 2002's "Then Again."
She spoke Tuesday about a few of the songs she'll be singing from "The Shuffleboard Queens."
"With 'Introduction to Belly Dancing,' I was taking guitar lessons in the beginning and was learning chord progression," said Flint. "What I was playing sounded Middle Eastern and so that's how I came up with that idea.
"The song 'King Of The Rollerama,' I tend to write a lot of my songs about adolescence. I used to spend a lot of my Saturdays at the old Kimberton Roller Rink, and it was about a crush I used to have on the rink guard.
"The title song, 'Shuffleboard Queens,' is something I hope to never turn into one, but would love to move to Florida someday."
While she doesn't perform any cover songs in her sets, Flint did confess that she's written several song parodies.
"I wrote a song parody to 'The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald', and I actually glorified it," said Flint. "It's about Lawrence Walters, the man who tied a bunch of helium balloons to a lounge chair and floated into restricted air space at a Los Angeles airport."
Upon graduating from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., with an English degree, Flint said she originally thought she'd go into advertising.
"My parents told me that teaching was in the cards for me," said Flint. "I did a year of volunteer work with The Claretian Volunteers (a Catholic work group), and they gave me a job as a teacher's aide. I grew to like it so I knew then to pursue it."
Flint went on to earn a Masters Degree in Teaching at the University of Penn, and began teaching elementary school. She got her start in music when she began writing songs for her fifth-grade class.
"I was teaching and I used the guitar as a teaching aid," said Flint. "I picked up the guitar in 1992 and started learning three-chord songs and things began growing. At first, I wanted someone to sing these songs I'd written, but no one would, so I decided to sing them myself. My group of fifth-graders liked to sing, so I began writing American History songs for them to sing and learn at the same time."
When she was younger, Flint said she listened to a lot of Broadway musicals.
"I grew up listening to Cole Porter and George Gershwin," said Flint. "They both tell a story in their songs, and that's what I try to do now. I didn't listen to folk music back then. I knew of Peter, Paul and Mary, but preferred to listen to ABBA and the Bee Gees. Now, I'm inspired by Lyle Lovett, Louden Wainwright, Randy Newman and Star Williams."
As far as her songwriting goes, Flint said her music is mostly humor and real life experiences, whether they be her own or those she hangs out with.
"It's basically about what friends and myself are talking about while drinking coffee, and taking that and writing funny songs," said Flint. "I haven't been single the entire time, and yet I still sing these songs. I find it difficult to write anything new or unique about romance. I try to pick other topics that'll be of more interest to people."
Tickets for the Deirdre Flint performance at the Steel City Coffee House, 203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, are available for $10 each. For more information, contact Steel City Coffee House at 610-933-4043. For more information on Deirdre Flint, visit her Web site at www.deirdreflint.com.