Annie Benjamin, from her website.

Poor David’s Pub on a regular basis puts on songwriting contest in which $1000s in prizes are up for grabs. It draws some amazing performers/songwriters (I have a father-in-law who’s made it to the finals several times, thus I have witnessed a couple, and I have been blown away by some of the amazing artists).

Annie Benjamin, a Lake Highlands resident, is quite well known around Dallas for her regular appearances at clubs, restaurants and parties. We wrote about her in 2007:

The Lake Highlands resident uses her singing and songwriting to promote social activism and encourage others to make the world a better place.

“I put things in my songs to make people think about how they treat each other,” she says. “I think it works because music speaks to us on a different level.”

A lot of her songs have just a general theme of being nice to others, while some discuss more serious issues. One she often sings is a parody of “Puff, the Magic Dragon” called “Poof, the Ozone Layer,” written by a friend.

“I think if you can approach a sensitive issue in a funny way, people respond better,” she says. “It doesn’t make them angry; it makes them laugh.”

… Benjamin’s music has a unique sound that falls somewhere between country and pop. She compares the style to such ’60s-era acts as Buffalo Springfield and The Birds.

Her winning tune “Texas Star” is about, you guessed it, “the magic spinning wheel/high above the world in a gondola made of steel” — that is, the State Fair’s ferris wheel.

Not only is the song catchy, but also it’s educational.

Like did you know the Texas Star is 12 stories, and that it was built for the sesquasentennial of the State Fair of Texas?

Here’s Benjamin performing the song at the Bath House Cultural Center in 2014.

Check out Benjamin’s upcoming shows and available albums here.