Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Hey all!

Hope everything is going according to plan this week.

This one's gonna be short and way late.

This post is going to be another short one, just some thoughts that occurred to me after having been to a publisher pitch session this last week.

If you're in Nashville, you probably should try to make it to Jason Blume's free workshops at BMI. They're free, you just might learn something, and every month there is a publisher pitch.

This week I went to one of his publisher pitches. It was interesting. The publisher was Nathan Nicholson. He was honest and up front and told us that he was looking for contemporary country songs for male singers. He also told us that he probably wasn't going  to take anything with him unless it was BETTER than what was currently on the radio. He listened to every song, most of the time saying things like, "I just don't think I could get it recorded." Or "Not that it's a bad song, I just think I'd have a hard time getting it cut."

Sometimes there would be a really great song, but not "contemporary enough." In other words, maybe the song would sound like it was from the early  90's and therefore be out of place in today's contemporary country market. And then I started thinking: everybody that I like, and I'm talking about Guy Clark, James McMurtry, Lyle Lovett, Hayes Carll, Dylan, John Prine, Joni Mitchell--I don't think any of them would be able to get a publishing deal today.

So here's what I arrived at: I think everyone comes to this point in their songwriting development where they have to either take the fork in the road that heads to Commercial writing, for money, for the business of it....or take the other fork...that leads to Art...and truth....

So which one are you? Which fork are you going to take?

Sorry this is so late, but hey, there's some life that's gotta happen in the midst of all this.

This Week

Jeff Black
Hayes Carll

....yeah I realize it's a false dichotomy. You can probably do both...but it seems like all the songwriters I admire have chosen to eschew the commercial game for something more transcendent.

write somethin' will ya?

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