The Minnesota Songwriter Showcase is an open-mic that has been taking place in St. Paul for approximately 18 years, now at two different places and times. Sunday is 9-midnight at Plum's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, and since we were celebrating our anniversary in the city, we inquired about getting into the lineup. Although the list is usually filled a week in advance, host Nick Hensley had a few openings as of Saturday and was kind enough to fit us in. Each artist does two songs and has the option of including the house backup musicians--in this case Nick Salisbury on bass guitar, Mike Michel on electric guitar, and Ryan Inselman on percussion. After hearing their excellent work with the acts before us, we decided to have them play with us, and it was a blast. “Don't Forget about Me” and “Bluebird, You Missed Me” never sounded so good! Several artists complimented us after our set, and we enjoyed many of the other performers as well--very talented bunch. If it weren't an hour away from home, we'd definitely make it a habit. Check it out sometime if you're in the area on a Sunday night (just not next week, because the Vikings have a night game). Or on Wednesdays head to the Aster Cafe in Minneapolis starting at 7:30 PM.