New Carmel collaboration is giving a venue for local songwriters to be discovered

CARMEL, Ind. -- There are plenty of places in Indy to take in a live cover band, but songwriters say it’s hard to find a place to showcase their original work.  A local artist is collaborating with a Carmel worship group to give the Circle City a taste of Nashville.

The venue is called the Writer's Room.  Local songwriter Marc Imboden came up with the idea after playing with national songwriters in Nashville.  His colleagues on stage write songs for some of country music's biggest stars.

“I know Reba McEntire is one," Imboden said of his stage mates.

In Indy, Imboden says venues for original artists are scarce.  His songwriting pals from Nashville were coming to town, and it gave him the idea to start his own venue for songwriters--a place where local songwriters can be discovered.

"When you do it in front of an audience, you can tell right away if it’s sticking or not," Imboden said.

The Gathering worship group began supplying the location and initial audience for the venue, but attendance quickly began rising.

“Within three concerts to have already hit capacity is a pretty cool thing," said pastor Sam Howard.

Imboden says often songwriters are picked up on YouTube now, possibly never seeing a live audience.

The venue will host its fourth concert on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Gathering in Carmel. Imboden will be playing at his own spot for the first time.