If you’re participating in the Yosemite Songwriting Retreat, this is where you can share a little about yourself, meet your fellow songwriters and find out where you rank alphabetically. To be added to this page, please complete the form below. If you’d like to include a photo, please send it to Adam at ajcburns@gmail.com

67183458_10214692602889624_3479999403362615296_nCharles Absher


I am a retired civil engineer who loves to write and play music. I first heard about the retreat at the Eliza Gilkyson songwriting retreat in August 2018 where Gail was also instructing. If not for Covid, I might have attended in person this year. Looking forward to the virtual version!

lisa and rachel small sizeLisa A Burns


Lisa Burns has been playing and singing for as long as she can remember. She took up the guitar at age 12 but when she started studying upright bass in 1994 she found her true calling. Lisa has studied bass with Jim Edwards, Cindy Browne, Seward McCain, Dan Robbins and Jim Kerwin.

Lisa has been a finalist for Northern California Bluegrass Society’s Bass Player of the year each year since the award was instituted. She has won the award 5 out of 10 years: 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2019.

GrantGrant Elgaard


I live in Powell River, Canada and I bought a guitar for my 60th birthday. Since then things have gotten out of hand and now I’m in too deep to stop. I play different genres but I try to stick to the folk music tradition of writing about real life events, both big and small. I have one album out called “Better Late Than Never”. The pinnacle of my career so far is when Mary Gauthier made a point of telling me how much she enjoyed one of my songs.


Dan Gross


Lifelong Californian from Bakersfield to the Bay Area, I’ve sung and performed since the age of seven. I embrace live music, musical theater, and informal jamming. Mostly I play banjos; fortunately other instruments find their way into my hands and consciousness. Songwriting began with my first experience at Yosemite Songwriting Retreat in 2014. The friendships and musical connections have expanded exponentially since. Retired from Silicon Valley mechanical product design, I’m en route to a new home in Mariposa, California.

imageDavid Hansen

My day job is still interfering with my life. I live in Benicia California and write a song or two now and then. Can’t wait to share mine and hear yours!

dianehubka_2363Diane Hubka


Bio (100 words or fewer): Singer/guitarist, Diane Hubka is getting back to her musical “folk” roots, diving deep into the rich Americana melting pot, creating her own interpretations of songs by John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Johnny Cash. Growing up in the panhandle of Western Maryland, this Blue-Ridge Mountain-bred artist learned violin, trombone and guitar from an early age. After studying jazz guitar in college, she developed a passion for singing jazz that would lead her live and perform in New York, and later Los Angeles. Diane has six internationally acclaimed CD’s, and has performed throughout the US as well as Turkey and Japan. Award-winning vocalist Susie Glaze says “Diane’s jazz ‘chops’ are being gracefully integrated into the folk and Americana genre with grand results!”

Brian Lawley


Brian is a songwriter, vocalist and guitar player who lives in Los Gatos, CA. He started playing guitar and writing songs when he was fifteen years old. His primary styles are acoustic rock and folk, with some pop and country interlaced. In 2019 Brian cashed out from being a CEO and Author for 20 years to focus on writing, performing and recording music. His first CD is due out in the Fall or 2020 – sign up for his mailing list to be notified when it becomes available.

Anne PhalenAnne Phalen


Bio (100 words or fewer): Hello! I live in Seattle and have been writing songs for about 6 years. For most of my adult life I have been a physician and mother. Discovering that I love songwriting and singing has given me the greatest unexpected pleasure. Before the pandemic I would play with music friends for the public. I have always wanted to go to Yosemite National Park. I am excited to join this group of songwriters virtually this time. Maybe next time in person.

imageMaree Reedman

Watch Maree on YouTube

Becoming a songwriter was the culmination of over ten years of creative writing, six years of ukulele, and my yoga teacher who said if I’m writing poems I need to be writing songs. What a lady. My first influence is Bruce Springsteen and my latest is Townes Van Zandt. And there are hundreds in between. I find it hard to not just cover other people’s songs because I love them. My biggest obstacle is finding the courage to perform. I’m a sensitive introvert and could easily be a shut-in if I didn’t want to share my music so much.

118143966_10224272129096899_7669609351383341750_nGeorge Thompson


Hello, my name is Coyote George, as my friends like to call me. First and foremost I am a professional gardener and a very active artisan bread baker. I live in the town of Sonoma California. I am the host of Coyote Road Radio on KSVY radio in Sonoma for 16 years. I am married to my lovely wife Janice who is an herbalist and book-keeper. I am the proud father of two sons in their twenties. My wife has two daughters in their thirties. I travel as often as I can to my favorite wilderness spots where I chill out in the wilderness. Oh yeah, I play the banjo and like to make up songs.

Al Zagofsky


I was born in New York City, spent my adult life in Allentown and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, and currently live in Sacramento. I retired as a project engineer and freelance journalist. I’ve been playing basic guitar since the 60s, plus I noodle around with piano, harmonica, native flute, and baritone ukulele. Two years ago, I took a class in protest songs and started writing protest songs. Since then, I wrote well dozens of songs and will be teaching a songwriting class at Sac State Renaissance Society. My other hobbies are kayaking and biking,