Blogs
2017 Visit to Nashville was nothing if not ridiculous!

It always blows me away, who you might just casually get to meet or see performing in Nashville during any visit at any time of the year. 2017 the Music Business Association "MusicBiz Conference" was on during my trip in May and while I opted out of the Conference which would have wiped out my whole week, I did choose to go along to the Showcase on the Monday night. I new Alice Cooper Group would be performing and while that was the absolute highlight in the small gathering, it wasn't far from being topped by the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to the family of Glen Campbell. Glen's daughter Ashley performed "Remembering" the song she wrote when she found out her father had alzheimers. Ashley was accompanied by two of her bothers and Campbell's wife Kimberly explained what the award would mean to Campbell. Later in the week at the Listening Room I got to hear the winner of Season 7 of The Voice America and later in the evening we ran into each other at The Blue Room and spent half an hour talking about his career.

2016 - Gotta Love The Commodore Bar and Grille

After several visits to Nashville, playing the various Open Mics, Debi Campbell was kind enough to invite me into her family of writers, so Commodore Bar and Grille on a Sunday night has been a regular point of call on subsequent visits to Nashville. The Writers Rounds comprise three to four writers known to Debi and she lovingly introduces each one for their three songs, played in a round. Debi is an icon as far as Writers Nights go and I always meet and play alongside some amazingly talented writers.

2015 - It's Time To Write

After 18 months off from writing, May 2015 provided the opportunity for a writing challenge - 7 songs in 7 days. It just so happened that I was in Honolulu for a radio conference, so I took an additional week off, bought a Adam Levine (parlour size) guitar for $30 on Craigslist and a set of strings and I was off and running. Actually wrote 8 songs in 7 days and two of those when critiqued, had me listed as a writer to watch with Nashville Songwriters Association. I hadn't put myself in the position where I was forced to write to a timeline before and it was nice to find out that the muse does in fact come. 3 of the songs made it onto "Guys Chasing Girls" recorded in Nashville in October 2015.

2014 - How About Some Covers?

With two originals projects in the can, it seemed a good time to focus on some amazing covers to add to my repertoire and it seemed like a good idea to record some backing tracks for eight of those songs. I went back into the studio with John Foster and Bob McGilpin in Nashville and we laid down tacks for songs like; Fixing A Hole, It's Probably Me, Let Me Be There, Mad World and Sunny Afternoon. Along with backing tracks for the Sunset EP and The Hen House Project it provides the opportunity for me to perform with a full band, or do my solo thing.

2013 - Was last year a fluke?

Having finally recorded a project in Nashville in August 2012, thoughts go to whether or not the process could be replicated? The first challenge was to write some songs for recording. Fortunately the muse was kind and more than a dozen new songs were on the table for consideration six months later. Demo's were next and by May 2013 we were ready to begin work on "The Hen House Project". Deadlines certainly do their bit to make the songwriter productive.

2012 - Recording in Nashville

August 2012 at the suggestion of Richard Helm from NSAI I hooked up with John Foster (former Beach Boy) and Bob McGilpin II (former rock / disco act and now producer) for the recording of what would become the seven song "Sunset" EP. My demo's, recorded in Logic via my Apogee One were shipped to Bob on "wetransfer". We had four days recording backing vocals, guitars, bass, keys, synth and other supporting instruments. It blew me away how quickly John and Bob worked and how complementary to my style and sound their interpretation was. John played the hell out of whatever instrument he was on. I cannot recommend highly enough the whole Nashville recording experience. Working with pro's who do this stuff every day of the week, makes a huge difference. Thanks so much guys for your creativity, passion and style. Also thanks to Brian Foraker at Autumnwood Mastering who took care of Mastering the final recordings.

2011 - Reminder to self! Try all the points of view

I've been to close to a dozen seminars with Pat Pattison. Often I have had the chance to present a song and Pat has worked through suggestions on things I might consider to improve the song. On two occasions I have been caught short, limiting my song by not choosing the most powerful point of view. Pat would say try them all before settling on one. Pat I've learnt my lesson! From now on I'll be happy to try them all. Knowing that the real power of the song comes from the right point of view.

2010 - NSAI Writer Mentoring Sessions

I have found the Nashville Songwriters Association one on one Writer Mentoring Sessions to be invaluable. In fact I doubt I would have taken the writing and subsequent recording so seriously without these sessions. I was happy with how I was progressing as a writer, but I lacked confidence in my singing and vocal style. In particular RC Bannon at NSAI encouraged me to write and record for me. RC said he'd "pay money to hear me sing". Those few words have gone a long way. Thanks to RC, Bart, Shawn, Debi, Trent and Trish at NSAI.

2008 - Songwriting Organisations, Seminars & Song Camp

Heeding the call to get serious about my music and writing I joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International at the end of 2007 and went to their Song Camp 101 in February 2008. The Apra Song Summit followed in Sydney in April, the first Australian Songwriters Conference in June and Pat Pattison and Steve Seskin's sessions in Sydney in July. At $150 U.S. the NSAI Membership is great value. Members get a $100 discount on Song Camps, access to the NSAI Video Library and a song critique is available each month (12 per year).

2007 - There's no experience like The Opry

Working in radio I appreciate strong production values. The production at The Grand Ole Opry, the spirit of the presentation and the performances totally blew me away. For any visitor to Nashville, the experience won't be complete without a visit to The Opry at Opry Mills and anything associated with The Opry or other performances at the Ryman Auditorium.

2006 - Nashville is one cool town!

First visit. Lots of music on Broadway. I will be back!