As the story goes, the "music in the round" format originated at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe in 1985. They stuck four chairs in the middle of the room, sat down four songwriters and had them take turns singing songs and telling tales. From there, the format expanded and evolved to the extent that anywhere acoustic guitars are strummed, there's probably some sort of songwriters' showcase in the works.

As the story goes, the "music in the round" format originated at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe in 1985. They stuck four chairs in the middle of the room, sat down four songwriters and had them take turns singing songs and telling tales. From there, the format expanded and evolved to the extent that anywhere acoustic guitars are strummed, there's probably some sort of songwriters' showcase in the works.

I've seen a lot of variations on music in the round - I did go to OU, after all - and Jason Quicksall's Cowtown Round is most informal, least pretentious I've encountered. Every Monday at Rumba Cafe, Quicksall gathers some of the city's best music makers.

Quicksall always lends his pleasant folk ditties to the mix. The warm, comfortable compositions set the tone such showcases are known for.

Better still is his enthusiasm for his Columbus contemporaries. Quicksall inspires camaraderie among performers, which makes Cowtown Round feel less like serious business than talented pals kicking it on a Monday.

There's extra incentive to attend this month because Sam Brown is signed up to co-host, performing tunes of his own and backing his fellow musicians on drums.

Brown is best known for an incredible drumming talent that has earned him the finest rock resume of any percussive performer in Columbus. He's kept the beat for Gaunt, New Bomb Turks, The Sun, RJD2, Tim Easton and Anna Ranger, among others.

He's a hell of a songwriter too, as anyone who's heard his band You're So Bossy can attest. And he's among the friendliest and most easygoing personas in the music scene, all of which makes him an ideal fit for a free-flowing series like Cowtown Round, where everything happens on the fly and talented audience members regularly sit in for a song.

This week's installment also included Micah Schnabel of Two Cow Garage. Whimsically plucking tunes from an old notebook, his passionate rasp added bite to Quicksall's cozy folk and Brown's bright-eyed power pop.

Each player's songs were clearly the product of careful craftsmanship, yet they aired them casually and even haphazardly, Brown inventing genius drum parts on the spot.

Watching him wield mallets alongside Schnabel's finger-plucked balladry, I felt privileged to have a window into the inner workings of such talented dudes. It's a privilege anyone can share Mondays at Rumba. Thanks, Quicksall!