Posts Tagged ‘Songwriting’

Work What Your Mama Gave Ya

In Best Practices, Music Business, nashville, Songwriting on April 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

momInteresting title for what you are about to read… We are taught very basic skills from birth:

  1. Say please and thank you
  2. Mind your manners, be polite
  3. Always be on time
  4. Respect your elders
  5. Encourage your friends

These life skills and guiding principals, along with many others I am sure, are instilled in us as children.  However somewhere between childhood and “know-it-all adulthood” people forget the simple graces of social interaction and begin to think that these rules don’t apply and that they can do it better. Read the rest of this entry »

One As Beautiful As You

In Hear this, Lyrics, Music, See this, Songwriting on April 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

vangogh_self_portraitGrowing up in high school I ran with the crowd that thought it was cool to listen to retro music.  Artists like James Taylor, Janis Joplin, and Don McLean.  Listening to this music takes me back to a time when I thought about life and all its possibilities.  The poetic lyrics allowed my mind to dive in to search for the story they are telling between the lines.

I remember Mr. Phillips, teacher from my Gifted and Talented class from grade 7 – 12.  He is one of the champions of my life.  He was so inspirational.  Learning and self-discovery “turned him on” and he gave that passion to us.  Whether is was a movie, a book, a poem, a song lyric, he always challenged us to go deeper.  “What else could it mean?”  In a literal world full of rules, regulations, and black & white answers, that class helped my mind break free of the obvious answers in life. Read the rest of this entry »

Nashville Songwriters Association International: Join the club

In Best Practices, Co-writing, Lyrics, Melody, Music, Music Business, nashville, NSAI, People that Rock, Songwriting, Try this, You HAVE to on June 8, 2011 at 8:15 am

“No man or woman is an island.  To exist just for yourself is meaningless.  You can achieve the most satisfaction when you feel related to some greater purpose in life, something greater than yourself,” Denis Waitley.

Back in 1967 a group of Nashville songwriters thought it would be a good idea to band together and form a songwriter’s association.  This organization of like-minded writers would come together to protect the rights, interests and dreams of songwriters.  They took Denis Waitley’s comments to heart and formed Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Today, NSAI is in it’s 44th year, and it is stronger than ever!  Acting as the unofficial “Chamber of Commerce” for Music Row, it is a buzzing hive of activity.  Read the rest of this entry »

The House That Built Me

In Favorite Song, Hear this, Live Music Venue, Lyrics, Melody, Music, nashville, People that Rock, Perspective, Recommended Music Venue, Singing, Songwriting, You HAVE to on March 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

Living in Nashville you have the rare privilege to fly in and out of music venues to experience the genius, heart, and extraordinary talent of local songwriters and artists.  Last night was no different.  In the Loft at Mad Donna’s in East Nashville, a crowd of music aficianados packed the nooks and crannys to hear the music and lyrics of Tom Douglas, Natalie Hemby, Bruce Robison and Lori McKenna.  In between poetic lines and soulful melodies, the crowd was drawn in my the transparent delivery of these brave artists and found themselves tucked in the music. Read the rest of this entry »

And the Oscar Goes To…

In Academy Awards, awards, Hear this, Lyrics, Melody, Music, Singing, Songwriting, Try this, You HAVE to on March 4, 2010 at 6:00 am

All this week the nominees for Best Original Song have been featured here on the blog.  The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers.

So why talk about it here – what does it have to do with Nashville or music? Read the rest of this entry »

Italian Nine or French Thirty-Six

In Academy Awards, awards, Hear this, Lyrics, Melody, Music, Songwriting, You HAVE to on March 3, 2010 at 9:55 am

Movie Poster from Nine (2009)

Over 2000 miles away, Hollywood is the American Film capital.  Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word “Hollywood” is often used as a metonymy  of American cinema.  Just as actors and actresses complete their mecca when they end up at movie studio gates, so to do songwriters flock to the streets of Nashville and attempt to fulfill their life’s purpose when writing music.  With these two cities being so far apart in purpose and location, what joins them?  Read the rest of this entry »

The Odds Are In His Favor

In Hear this, Life Around Me, Music, Singing, Songwriting, You HAVE to on March 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm

With the Oscars less than a week away, how can music lovers look forward to the awards?  Songs tell stories and most people who love a good song, enjoy a good movie.  More specifically though, there are a few categories that cater to the musical mind.  One of those is Best Original Song.  This year the odds are in favor for Randy Newman.

Randy monopolizes the 5 slot list with two entries

Time’s Not Afraid To Fly: Inspiration

In Favorite Song, Hear this, Lyrics, Music, People that Rock, Perspective, Songwriting, You HAVE to on January 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Being that this is the final entry in a three part series of blogs, it is only fair to reveal the source of Time’s Not Afraid To Fly.  Last summer I had the honor of being accepted to attend Skip Ewing’s Horse and Writer event in Wyoming.  This week-long event connected me with some of best undiscovered musical talent of Nashville.  One of the other invited songwriters was Jeffrey East.  Jeffrey is one of those passionately, musical souls you meet along the way that you are definitely better for knowing.  As I was listening to Time on his youtube channel, I realized that was it the beginning of my first blog for 2010.

The song starts out like this… Read the rest of this entry »

Love, Grace and Gratitude

In Music, Music History, People that Rock, Ponder this, Try this, You HAVE to on November 23, 2009 at 5:00 am

Do you make an effort to show gratitude on a daily basis?  Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, Prof. Robert Emmons says this, “Gratitude is a positive emotion that has traditionally been the realm of humanists and philosophers, and only recently the subject of a more scientific approach.  We study gratitude not as a merely academic discipline, but as a practical framework to better functioning in life by taking control of happiness levels and practicing the skill of emotional self-regulation.”  If you haven’t started already, in this Thanksgiving holiday season begin to take stock in your life for all the reasons you have to be grateful.

However, sometimes it is difficult to stop and think of all the things we do have when we live in a culture that focuses on “more” rather than “enough.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Embrace Kritikos

In Best Practices, Lyrics, Melody, Music Advocate, Music Business, Perspective, Songwriting, You HAVE to on November 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm


Art is personal.  Creativity comes from the soul and in-turn the creator gets very possessive of their ideas.  Musical artists have intense ownership over their craft.  Like a mother bear to its cub they go to great lengths to protect their work.  This of course is understandable.  The time it takes to develop ideas, write from the heart, and “get real” in your lyrics is emotionally, mentally, and at times physically draining.  Something that takes that much out of a person would and should mean a great deal to them. Read the rest of this entry »

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