I’m in a continuous dialogue with writers and artists literally across the world in the importance of “building teams” in their approach to music. Too many feel that the industry, publisher, producers, labels, agents, managers, etc. will come in and set everything right, so they will be able to “do what they do…” Not exactly, We now ALL have to do more than we ever had, and that means you have to BUILD teams.
We see it all the time. Someone posts on Facebook or Social media the big news that they are “HEADED TO NASHVILLE” and very excited for their trip. And of course everyone wishes them luck, “Always Knew you’d make it” messages…” pretty much the same all the time. And it IS GREAT! An opportunity to see a VIBRANT city, on the move, tons of exciting things happening, and a lot of people just like themselves, all sharing music, performing, being a part of a CULTURAL MOVEMENT!!!
After passing the 55 year mark as an active songwriter who truly hasn't done anything else since i was 17, it really isn't about SONGWRITING anymore,.what comes out of me has morphed into a different art form rather then the usual crafted three minute song,..
I think I have hit a zone with my recent post about playing the BLUEBIRD and so I thought I would put a post on JUST that. For over thirty five years, everyone who has anything to do with songwriting and performing, and specifically Nashville songwriting and performing, have in their sights a goal to "PLAY THE BLUEBIRD CAFE'."
I am involved with and go to a LOT of shows with newer or less experienced writers and artists, who get up on stage, ramble on insesstantly, never seem to make a point and their SONGS do the same thing. When you are PART OF A SHOW, you have to keep that in mind .
Particularly, when you are in the middle of the week, where people have to get to work, have to be somewhere the next day, tourists from out of town who want the "Nashville experience" but not a non-ending diatribe about things that really don't have anything to do with anything.
I talk a lot about different subjects here, but since I am getting to doing my workshops next week, thought I review my overall approach and let some people start thinking about it. As always, anything I write is meant to share and pass on. Some people cut and paste it and that is fine. Anything to give people a little help on their musical journey.
"Hey man, can I give you a CD?" is the cry from every new person (and quite a few old hands) coming to this and any other town where there are "outsiders" trying to approach "Insiders" (I use that term laughingly, but it is the perception), at any show, festival, interview, conversation, etc.. Everyone wants to give a CD, business card, phone number, web site, to SOMEONE ELSE.
And the answer is....MAYBE!!!!!!
A friend of mine, Stephen Hatfield asked a great question in response to my post yesterday:
". I wondered, do you think writing with an artist affords some freedom from traditional songwriting "rules" because your co-writing artist is going to sing it, and that artist may really like something that might not "necessarily" be how you would write to pitch to other Singers??? "
This is for the people who consider themselves primarily "writers' as opposed to "Artist/Writers." In other words, people who are writing for other people to do their songs. There was a time when this was very prevalent, there were “Songwriters” and then “Artists. This blurred in the 60’s with the advent of groups like the BEATLES, who wrote all their own material (except quite a few of existing hit songs, which at that time were STANDARDS.) With the 70’s singer/songwriter era, with James Taylor, Carol King, Harry Chapin, most artists WERE THE WRITERS.
The art of the song can best be described as "DREAMING AWAKE". It usually is preceded by what I call "stalking" the Muse.
In my case I get this uncontrollable desire to connect with the Spirit of creativity, to compose something, write something meaningful. Coupled with desire and intent a magical thing happens much in the same way a grain of sand irritates the oyster causing the creature to create a perfect pearl.
Nashville Ear awards the Best of the Best honor to the songwriter that we feel stood out with exceptional songwriting and performances. Please join us in congratulating this years award winner Chris Gantry.