Sunday, April 30, 2017


Hello Songwriter, 
    We are still having a great spring in Dallas. May finds Dallas Songwriters at the Dallas International Guitar show and Music Festival May 5-7. 

Look for our booth and come by to say Hi. The Guitar Show is definitely the best entertainment value for the weekend with a great guitar marketplace and 5 stages of the best blues around.

Our Monthly Meeting with guest speaker and song critiques IS NOW THE FIRST THURSDAY at Half Price Books with guest speaker, Rod Phelps (Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert). See # 2 below.

Other regular DSA monthly events are the open mics on the 2nd Wednesday, 3rd Thursdays and 1st Mondaythe 3rd Saturday Showcase at Angela's, and the Song Swap on the 3rd Monday.

So sorry if you missed the Susan Gibson (Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces) Workshop. It was wonderful. We had a good turn out, the workshop was inspirational  and Susan's performance was superb. Sons of Hermann Hall is such a great venue for sound. BTW, thanks to Harry Hewlett for running the sound system and Bobby Montgomery for ramrodding the event. A video of the following performance is on our facebook page. See workshops below for the link.

The Wildflower Songwriting Workshop with Joe Crookston will be on May 19. See workshops below. 

DSA will be hosting the CityLine Stage at the Wildflower Festival. Come by and say hi. DSA members and Wildflower contest finalists will be performing on the stage. 2017 Wildflower Finalists: Hannah Bethel, Tenessee
; Kevin Chambers, Tennessee
; Nathan Evans Fox, Texas; 
Mike Laureanno, Rhode Island
; Heather Mae, Washington, D.C.; 
Tom Meny, Texas
; Emmeline Miles, Texas
; Emily Scott Robinson, Texas; 
Marilyn Rucker, Texas; 
Mike P. Ryan, Virginia. DSA performers: Sugar Daddy and the M&M's, Marcus Belmore, Buck and Harry, Gigi Gostas, Bobby Montgomery, Barbe McMillen, Joe Milton, Cat McGee, John Mason, Allen Larson, Dan Roark

 Congratulations to Marina Rocks, the winner of the BW Stevenson Songwriting Contest. details.

July brings our 2nd Annual Dallas Songwriters Hall of Fame on the 22nd. Inductees include Songwriters Cindy Walker, Freddy King and Sam The Sham, Musician and cultural icon Trini Lopez and composer/arranger Gus Levene. The No Contact Band with Ian Dickson and guest Barbe McMillen will be the featured entertainment performing songs by the inductees, as well as, their own songs.

Did you know we are live streaming on Facebook? Thanks to Harry Hewlett you can view some of our open mics and guest speakers in a live stream on Facebook? See guest our guest speakers, and latest Angela's showcase. Can't make it? Then tune into Facebook/dallassongwriters. Want to be on our facebook streams? Show up and perform.
Next Deadline for the Winter Lyric Contest is March 31st See #5 below.

Thanks to Paul Zander, Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Jon Jaggers, Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse, Rio King, Jared LoStratto and Bill Kapac for their contributions to DSA. Just a reminder that we are a non-profit and your tax deductible donations are always welcome. Follow this link to our donation spot on the website.


Spring 2016 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Fall 2016 Songwriters Notes Hardcopy pdf version



1. ANNUAL SONG CONTEST - Opens in June


  Read the Interview with Grand Prize winner Bill Wren


2016 Winners
2016 Semifinalist
Winner of the Drawing for the IPod -  Jeffery Moore, Baton Rouge, LA  His entry, This Love, #102 was drawn.
Awards Dinner Streamed on Facebook
Photos of the Awards Dinner
Now in its 26th year, The DSA 2016 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes.


GRAND PRIZE  -   A Casio Privia Piano
and a Nashville recording session at Beaird Music Group. 
Beaird Music Group

1st Runner Up
 wins studio time at
River Sounds Recording Resort

2nd Runner up
wins recording time at 

Grand Prize winners receive:
($199.95 Value) 
Includes Artist Website, 1 Yr. Hosting
1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership

Category winners get cash prizes


Read interview with 2015 winner T Edwin Doss and learn about out other Grand Prize Winners❤ 
Did you miss the Awards Dinner? Here's a blow by blow courtesy of Dan Roark

1. Jessie Brown by T. Edwin Doss, Silver Spring, MD
2. Real Love Next Time by Bonnie Warren, Philadelphia, PA
3. Aina Hanu by John Keawe, Kapaau, Hawaii


MC and GRAND PRIZE JUDGE,  ROY ELKINS, left us with extensive comments on the grand prize winners and more.

Hard Copy of Songwriters Notes Spring 2016 issue with 2015 winners 


 WINNER OF THE IPOD – Samuel Miller, Chico, CA


Click here for more info about this contest, and for more information about joining DSA (membership not required to enter contest). Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions. 

2001 - 2007 Winners Compilation CDs available at the DSA store

All winning songs are on a CD Compilation that was given out at the Awards Ceremony. To get any 3 double CD's simply make a quarter note donation to DSA through our online store and send us an email to request which 3 years of Cd's you want us to mail you.


2. DSA MEETINGS - Guest Speaker, Rod Phelps and Song CritiquesTHURSDAY, MAY 4
Compulsory License and Fair Use. How to license to record a cover song on your next album.
Rod discovered Garth Brooks and Maranda Lambert
 The May monthly meeting will be Thursday, May 4 at Half Price Books Community Room in back, just east of Central Expressway in Dallas.
We are pleased to have an attorney and Music VIP as guest speaker.
When Rod was at Baylor he started booking acts like Bob Hope and Brother Dave Gardner. Bob Hope you've heard of, and Bro. Dave had a comedy act that gave rise to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.
      It was this activity that induced his cousin, Sheri Helt, a student at Oklahoma State University, to call him about a singer who was playing the "Strip" in Stillwater, OK. She said that all of the students at OSU really liked this new guy, and suggested that he go hear him.
   He went to a place called Wild Willie's on a Friday night and, walking in, he had some immediate concerns. One, the air was blue from cigarette smoke, and he's a non-smoker. Two, Wild Willie's didn't take credit cards, so he had no idea how he was going to pay for an evening's tab just to listen to some dude who probably wouldn't be any good anyway. Three, the men's room didn't have a commode, it had a bathtub that served as a urinal.
  He listened to the guy and introduced himself afterwards and told him that he was pretty good and he would like to do a demo on him. He found an 8-track facility and the next Friday they did four live sets, two cover and two original. They mixed them on Saturday, and on Sunday he came by the house and he gave him the reel-to-reel demo we had done, a list of his contacts in Nashville, the confirmation number of the hotel he had set up for him to stay in, and a handful of his credit cards.
   He said, "Rod, I'm going to have to use these credit cards because I don't have any money". Rod told him that he had given them to him to use, and all Rod asked was that he (1) go to Nashville, (2) become a star, (3) pay him back when he could, and to (4)  thank him when he won his first Grammy.
   Well sir, Garth Brooks went to Nashville, became a star, paid Rod back when he could, but never thanked him when he won his first Grammy. You can read about this in "Chicken Soup for the Country Soul".
   Rod's nephew, Tye Phelps, who owns the Love and War in Texas restaurants, asked him to listen to a female act playing at the Plano L&W. Rod went to listen to her, and she wasn't all that good. The other act on the bill who did impress me was a young blond from Lindale, Texas. Rod got a couple of demos from her dad, Rick Lambert, and sent them to his contacts in Nashville, mostly label heads. The rest is history.
   Other folks Rod has helped over the years include Chris Cagle (whom Rod hired as nanny because he said he had no money, no job, and no place to live) and Rory Lee Feek (former DSA member of Joey and Rory fame), whom Rod moved to Nashville, along with his two daughters. He had two daughters the same age, and Rod gave Rory the downstairs master bedroom suite. Rory signed with Harlan Howard soon thereafter (one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville history) and Rory went on to become one of the best known Christian songwriters and performers of all time, especially when he joined forces with, and married, Joey.
   Rod also has had the good fortune to work with Larry Weiss ("Rhinestone Cowboy", "Bend Me, Shape Me"); Richard Leigh ("Don't you Make My Brown Eyes Blue", "Greatest Man I Never Knew"); Don Schlitz ("The Gambler"); Tommy Barnes ("Cherokee Outlaw"); Randy Boudreaux ("Goodnight Sweetheart", ""Brokenheartsville", "Alibis", "Who Needs You Baby").
   Rod has helped these local folks you might recognize as DSA writers include David Banning, Dickie Kaiser and Steve Hood.
   By simply hanging around individuals in broadcasting, Rod worked with Howard Cosell, Verne Lundquist (Rod got him his divorce from his first wife and introduced him to his second wife) and Roger Staubach, whom Rod got on the speaking tour.

   Rod was the first attorney Buddy Magazine turned to some 44 years ago.
   This is only a few of many stories Rod has about the music business. His contacts are endless. Rod is an educator and loves to help careers. Come meet Rod Phelps who is doing a series of talks at DSA every other month. He's starting with PROs. Rod will be staying to hear your songs.

The monthly meeting will continue to have the song critique session but the format will be a little different.  Instead of judging a "winning" song each month that is eligible for the "Song of the Year", all songs submitted at the meeting will be entered in the DSA Member Best Songs of the Meeting at the end of the year for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the year. We are considering adding a peoples choice awards.

Each song entry will receive friendly feedback from two music industry professionals, Joe Milton and Barbe McMillen.  Joe has been an LA touring musician, studio musician and songwriter and currently owns Jo Musik, a Dallas area music production company and studio that has done music for film and TV, voiceover and dialogue, plays, live shows, jingles, industrials and videos. Barbe is currently Associate Professor of Songwriting at Collin College and President Emeritus of the DSA.  She is also a voting member of the Recording Academy that votes for the Grammy Awards.  As a recording artist she has recorded five albums. She has written songs in all genres, including a musical called "Give Me Break".

Songs can be on a CD, or emailed to Harry Hewlett at, or performed live, or even mailed in (you don't have to be present) or members can enter online at  Just let him know if you want to get a spot at the meeting because we are limited on time and you must be a member to submit your song(s).  The song entry/critique fee is $10 for each song.  Preferred entry is online, so we can know how much time to allot to critiques, however, don't let that stop you, you can bring a recorded song to the meeting or just sing it at the meeting. Be sure to provide copies of lyrics for the group so they can give friendly feedback too. Good thing is that you can bring your song in for a pro critique and submit your rewritten or updated song at anytime during the year before the cut-off date. This is to encourage members to use the critique sessions during the editing phase of your song. You can have plenty of time for a re-write and re-submit.
Facebook Event page:
Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30

Future Meetings
July 1st - Rod Phelps - Half Price Books
Sept 1 - Rod Phelps

Recordings of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

April 2017 - Speaker Rod Phelps - Performance Rights Organizations Collect Money for Songwriters

March 21 · How to Market Your Songwriting Career with Booking Agent
Richard Pollack

February 3 · All About Publishing with Publisher Gus Wolman
Oct 2016 Barbara McMillen - Polishing Your Final Draft by Applying the Secrets of the Popular Song.

Sept 2016 Joe Milton on Preparing for a Recording Session

1 of 2
2 of 2

Reviews of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

Oct 2015  Tirk Wilder
MONDAY SONG SWAPS for peer critique
Song Swap Workshop
Monthly 7:30-10 PM
Free, Visitors Welcome
Where songwriters perform their songs for peer review. Bring your guitar and a few lyric sheets. This is like an old fashioned guitar pull with comments between songs.

Tino's - Steve Sullivan, Gigi Gostas coordinating.
Tino's Too Mexican Restaurant 2205 Ave K, Plano, Tx  972 881-9226

3. BEST SONGS of the Month - 

JAN - Love Without Money by Bobby Montgomery and Barbe McMillen
         Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
         Your The Best by Michael Brandenberger 
FEB -  
        Caribbean Holiday by David Alan Claer
        Johnny's Place by Bill Kapac
        Mean Woman Grill by Morri Hartgrave
        Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
        Six Gun Sally by Bill Kapac
        Stay (Until The Sunrise) by Steve Valenzuela
        Storm (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
        The Days by Ireland Casteel
        When There Is Nothing (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
        You Made My Day by Michael Brandenberger

       Goodbye by Yulia Petrova
       Gypsy (Girl) King by James Pappas
       House On The Hill by Bill Kapac
       I Found Myself In Austin by Morri Hartgraves
       Island Red by Ricky Gene Wright
       Never by Ireland Casteel

DADDY GET YOUR GUN by James Pappas
MY MOM by Craig Langford
I Don't Need To But I Do by Craig Langford
EL PASO VFW by Morri Hartgraves
WAITING ON MY TIME by Rickey Gene Wright

Here is the list of 2016  winners of the meeting critiques from which the top three were chosen thanks to Judge, Mr. Troll, Poor Davids Pub.
2016 Winners & Finalists

Q&A With Winner, Dori Weaver, Song of the Year 2015 

Songwriter of the Year 2015 - 2016
is Rio King with the most wins at the meeting critiques
To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our Soundcloud page



(Each month DSA hosts 3 workshops at our monthly meetings on the 1st Monday, 3rd Monday and 2nd Tuesday these are ongoing. see item 2 above.)

Wildflower! 2017 Songwriting Workshop Presented by Joe Crookston

Time: Friday, May 19, 2017 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Courtyard by Marriott (Spring Valley and US 75)
Cost: $50 per student (includes one Single Day ticket to the Wildflower! Festival)
*Limited to 30 students
Click here to register

Joe Crookston, songwriter, guitarist, painter, fiddler, and slide player, will lead the 2017 Wildflower! Songwriting Workshop. Named 2016 Folk Alliance International Artist-in-Residence, Joe is a master storyteller and experienced facilitator.

Writing Songs and Lyrics That’ll Give You Goose Bumps
– This workshop is for everyone who breathes! It is for anyone who writes songs or would like to learn more about the creative process. Informative and fun! This seven hour workshop will be an interactive, in-depth look at the writing process and specific ways we can develop the true power of a song. We will explore melody, phrasing, and how to distill a song down its’ most powerful place. Joe will play some of his most covered and requested songs and talk about his creative process and you will share your songs too! Participants will delve into their own unfinished ideas, deepen their ability to craft songs that connect and learn from others. Joe Crookston loves to teach and create a safe atmosphere that also challenges you to be your best. Are you just a beginner at your instrument? – No worries. This workshop is open to all to uncover our most authentic way to write songs with the skills we have. Bring an instrument, a notebook, song ideas, half written songs, and a recorder. Come ready to play, grow, learn, and make beautiful music.
 For more information and to sign up, click on the link below:

How Music REALLY Works July 9-14, 2017
Learn the songwriting techniques of the master songwriters with best-selling author Wayne Chase. Learn how you can use these tools to craft great songs. Includes FREE library, books, music charts & more ($400 value).
Details Here

SongMatrix Retreat August 13-18, 2017
Hands on, in-depth exploration of your original songs using more than 40 specific SongMatrix musical & lyrical techniques. Create brilliant melodies and emotion-evoking lyrics. Includes 1-year post-retreat mentoring with SongMatrix author Wayne Chase.
Details here

Video of Susan Gibson performance at Sons of Hermann on April 22.
April 23
Want to study songwriting but don't want to get out of your PJ's?

* Take a class online through a songwriting workshop yahoo group with Barbara McMillen, associate professor of Songwriting and Music Business at Collin College.

* Check out the songwriter learning community.




HALF PRICE BOOKS OPEN MIC - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST MONDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
If you want peer feedback on a song bring a few lyric sheets

EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by  Craig St.Clair 
In November 2015, DSA celebrated 11 years at Dunn Brothers
see review of

BURGER EDGE - North Dallas
EVERY 2ND WEDNESDAY - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger and rotating guest host.
BURGER"S EDGE inRichardson
3rd Saturday 6:30 -8:30
7529 Campbell Rd. at Coit
This a perfect venue for an open mic because it has a nice stage with a complete sound system. It also has a great food menu if you want to come early to eat or invite friends who can enjoy a very tasty burger or chicken sandwich while they listen to you perform.  
Rotating host. Interested in hosting an open mic? email Michael.

3rd Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 Check out our facebook page where Harry is posting live streaming.
Hosted by Dan Roark
Other area open mics OPEN MICS

6. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked June 30

or by mail 2017 Winter in process of being judged


1. Cufflinks by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
2. Big Enough To Be Small by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
3. Still by Lonnie Jordan, Casar, NC


See Summer winners on the website:

2016 Spring Winners on the website: :

See winners from 2016 and 2015 listed in the DSA 2016 Fall Hardcopy of Songwriters Notes featuring winner, Bill Kapac on front page. This issue was handed out at the Arlington Guitar Show in October.

See Winter 2016 on website:


Next Lyric Contest Deadline is June 30th for Spring Lyric Contest
Entry fee is $10
Please see lyric contest webpage for details.



Wanna get involved? Become a committee member. It's fun! Be apart of the inner workings of the DSA. We have committee positions open. Let us know if you'd like to be on the board. Just show up a our membership meeting.

Directors elected at our Nov 8th Annual Membership Meeting were:
Michael BrandenbergerBobby MontgomeryDicky JohnsonRachel WilhelmDan RoarkBarbe McMillenJoe Milton, Marcus Belmore, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, James Pappas, Ginger Stanoiu, Milani Shaw and Harry Hewlett. New officers were elected at the planning meeting on Jan 7th. 

Newly Elected Officers 2017
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Secretary - Jessica Ewy
Dan Roark - Director of showcases, workshops
Barbe McMillen - Administration, Newsletter
Harry Hewlett - A/R
Milani Shaw - VP of Membership 
Gene Schillaci - Lyric Contest Director
Steve Sullivan and James Pappas - SongSwap Coordinators
Joe Milton, Ken Duren - At Large
Rachel Wilheim - Technology
Marcus Belmore - Executive VP, Webmaster

So long to Ginger Stanoio who has moved to California and thanks for her service. We'll miss her.

If you are not a DSA Member, you missed these tips sent out through our yahoo group:

* Publisher looking for Childrens songs
* Artists/Producers looking for original material for recording artists
* Major Brand X (To be disclosed at a later time) Seeks Independent artist for music campaign.
* Where to get your cd reviewed
* Music related job listing
* Film Licensing Co. seeking instrumental music
* Cheap and free tickets - Free tickets to selected Winspear Opera House events.

Lyricists are invited to co-write with music writers by submitting your lyric through the member yahoo group.
NEW MEMBERS: Have you joined our member only yahoo group where you can talk with the group and get special offers and last minute updates on events? subscribe:

                   PATRON SAINTS: PAUL ZANDER
Patron Sponsor L3: Bobby Montgomery, Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker
Patron Sponsor L1: Cliff MonroeSuzi MorseJon JaggersRio King
Patron Sponsor: Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Ricky E Wright, Bianca Rodreguez, Stephen Valenzuela, Yulia Petrova
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Gene Schlacci, Jackie Schwartz, Aaron Shook, Ron Young, Rachel Wilheim, Julia Pauletti, Terry Bloss, Jeff Stachowshi, Raquel Linderman, Victoria Bouton, David Claerr, Jon Jaggers, Don Wall, Joe Milton, Harry Hewlett, Rio King, Morri Hartgraves, Barbara McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Randy Wallace, Ken Golden, Bill Honker

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN MAY: Ted Pearce, Mark Evans, Tamara Stamps, Ray Baker, Timothy McGarity 
EXPIRED IN JUNE: John Thomas Lane
EXPIRED IN JULYMichael Franceus, Tom Prasado Rao, Crystal Taylor, Bill Sibley
EXPIRED IN AUGYanna Zovich, Minnie Murray, Warren Hanson

EXPIRED IN OCTDenise Rosier, Katie Hardyman, Charlie Hill, Darren Rozell, M'Lynn Musgrove, Stephen McKinnell, Jenni Peal, Jay Gallagher, Rick Webster
EXPIRED IN DEC: Michael Brandenberger, Buck Morgan, Ross Vick, Anthony Groom, Kathryn Taylor, David Morales, Ashley Sichler, Brad Davis, Scott White
EXPIRED IN JAN: Jeff Moxcey, Robin Carr, Andrew Plan, Cousin Don Brown, Tony Ramey, Lucia Comnes, Gracie Lott, James  Bennett, Rob Cariddi, Tyler Hook, Sarah Ashley, Christopher Hart, John Keawe, Katie Riley, Marc Tilson, Mathew Stemme, Patrice Luce Chapman, Clark McAlister, Ginger Stanoiu
EXPIRED IN FEBTrevor Dahlen, Anthony Castillo, Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts
EXPIRED IN MARCH: Carol Shaw, Ken Duran
EXPIRED IN APRIL: Helene Cronin, John Mason, Kathy Adams, Jim Collins
TIME TO RENEW: Daniel LaToof
  Renew your membership online.
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right
Or paste this link in your browser:


8. EVENTS Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, and showcases.


1 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
4 DSA Monthly Meeting at Half Price Books - Attorney Rod Phelps
5-7 Dallas International Guitar Show (visit DSA at our booth)
11 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
13 - Joe Ely - Full band, Texas Tunes Series @ MCL Grand Lewisville, 8pm
15 DSA Song Swap at Tino's Too
16 - Music Biz 2017, Nashville  
18 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
19 - 21 Wildflower Festival, Richardson, TX
20 DSA Showcase at Angelas

1 DSA Monthly Meeting at Half Price Books 
5 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
8 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge 
10 - John Ford Coley - solo  (Texas Tunes Series) 8pm
               He also gets a star on Denton's Arts Walk of Fame at noon that day!
15 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
15 DSA Song Swap at Tino's Too
17 DSA Showcase at Angelas

9 - Ronny Cox (Black Box Series) 6:30pm
22- DSA Hall of Fame Dinner and performance at Sons of Hermann Hall
and soon to be announced...
August 26 - Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros w/Susan Gibson
            (Texas Tunes Series Encore) 8pm

Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.

Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues.


9. Featured Articles:

By Daniel Adrian Sanchez
On Thursday, the RIAA released an overview of the music industry's 2016 performance. Music streaming outperformed both physical sales and digital downloads combined. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and their competitors accounted for 51.4% of all US revenue. Digital downloads accounted for 24.1%, and physical sales 21.8%. Retail revenues grew 11.4% to $7.7 billion. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Casey van Wensem

By Joe Pacheco
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States, affecting 1 in every 68 kids born and continues to get more and more common. In fact, the prevalence of autism in young children has increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 to 2010. Although Autism is not curable, many believe treatments such as music therapy can help patients adapt and increase skill development. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Publishing Company Seeking Multi-Genre Songwriters
At this year’s ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo, Defend Music Publishing let it be known that the company is on the lookout for writers who have the ability to create songs from across all genres. Defend Music is a regular presence on the Billboard 200 album sales charts, and they have had copyrights in No. 1 albums including Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail and Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 2. In addition, their clients are the recipients of Grammys, including the 2016 Record of the Year for “Uptown Funk.”

By Justin Wiseman
I'm not saying anything that everybody doesn't already know — being in an independent band is not always a gravy train of free pizza and PBR in hip rock 'n roll clubs in the artsy parts of towns. Most of our career has been a serious hustle. One encouraging thing about being in a band these days is that there are many different ways to make money. ... But you have to do it at a pretty high level to make it all work.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Justin M. Jacobson, Esq
A "personal manager," usually referred to as the artist's "manager," is one of the most important individuals in an artist's career.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Kevin Cornell
We will continue from our prior installment on “The Artist & Manager Relationship.” We will now explore some additional contract clauses included in most management agreements as well as a few negotiation tactics for these clauses. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Harry Shearer
A little over three decades ago, "This Is Spinal Tap" perfectly parodied hard-rock excess with a pint-sized Stonehenge, amps that go "one louder" and the unforgettable phrase "Hello Cleveland." The mockumentary ... was written by its stars, comedians Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, and director-actor Rob Reiner. ... Now, Shearer has penned an op-ed for Rolling Stone explaining the importance of fairly compensating creators and shining a light on what he sees as inequities in the film and music industries. It's a lawsuit, he says, with implications that could extend well beyond Spinal Tap.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Rolling Stone
From multiple Black Albums to a real amplifier that goes "one louder," we find the facts that came from the fiction.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Brian Reitz
Starting out as an independent artist is a huge challenge, and positioning yourself for success requires careful planning. Here we look at five marketing and general business tactics that can help guide DIY artists in the right direction.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Angela Mastrogiacomo
Most musicians want their music heard, and hiring a publicist can be a great way of getting the word out. Unfortunately, publicists are also expensive, and not always affordable on a DIY budget. Here we walk through a five-step guide on how to be your own PR agent.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Valerie Veteto
Music supervisor Liza Richardson’s, highlight reel includes music-heavy TV shows like “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood,” and “Narcos.” But for nearly a decade before starting to soundtrack TV’s airwaves, Richardson became well known on the radio dial as a DJ with Los Angeles’ influential NPR affiliate KCRW. It’s a position she holds to this day, 25 years later, with a Saturday night show playing under-the-radar indie rock, disco punk, and throwback soul. … We spoke to Richardson about the oft-unseen nuts and bolts of music supervision. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Satish Reginald
It's 1970, and you're in a record store stroking through never-ending crates of records lining every aisle. An album's artwork possesses the ability to either grab consumers' attention or cause them to continue skimming. Artwork could drastically impact sales, ... But in today's digital domains, the function of album artwork itself differs. ...  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

If you worked 48 hours a day non-stop and had a clue as to what you were doing you might be able handle all of these tasks yourself ... Problem is you might not have time to make music.
By David Andrew Wiebe

By Joe Pacheco

By Jimmy L. Webb
Technology has changed the recording industry but the thrill that comes from the first time you hear your song performed start to finish never goes away. For me, I have been lucky enough to experience that thrill at least once with none other than the legendary Wrecking Crew behind me. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

For those of us who lived through it, this is a painful but well done rehash of history ... For those of you who weren't around for the Napster and Michael Robertson years (some 18 years ago) this is a pretty good primer for how we got to where we are today.
By Casey van Wensem
Most audio engineers will tell you that there's a right way and a wrong way to record music, and if you're going into the studio to make an album, it's worth taking the time to do things right. Not every great album, however, was recorded using the "right" methods. In fact, some of the greatest albums of all time were recorded in ways that would seem totally wrong to most experienced audiophiles. Here are some of the best examples of albums that used the wrong techniques to get the right sounds.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Peter Kirn
Anyone who's ever had a voice instructor has been treated to long attempted explanations of what's going on in the physical mechanisms associated with singing. But even though that's inside your mouth and throat, it can be tough to visualize. This Web simulator is doubly interesting. One, it demonstrates how synthesized vocal sounds can mimic the real thing. But two, and maybe more interesting, it gives you a sense of how each physical component in your body impacts the sound of singing.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Enough A1 sludge ... cleanse your soul with ...

Huart and Vanston Talk Production and Songwriting in Video
Producer CJ Vanston (Spinal Tap, Toto, Ringo Starr) has teamed up with producer-engineer and Warren Huart (Aerosmith, Ace Frehley, the Fray) to release an informative video through Huart’s YouTube series Produce Like A Pro. In this interview, Vanston tells viewers how he worked his way up in the industry and points out the skills he believes are essential to be successful. He elaborates on his approach to composing and record production as well as provides tips on how to work with bands and artists to produce the best records possible.

By Tim Hansen
When you're composing music, you kind of have to split yourself into a bunch of different personas. There's "you, the artist" who contributes all the emotive content; "you, the craftsperson," who gets anally retentive over just how you're going to translate the emotive content in such a way that another human being can interpret it with their instrument; and "you, who just writes stuff down." That last "you" is not particularly glamorous, but sometimes, especially in the early stages of a piece, that "you" is the "you" who has to drive the bus. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By The SongCat Team
Most if not all songwriters and music composers want to create songs that touch listeners in a particular way. While there is no specific formula for composing a song to evoke a specific emotion every time, it is safe to say that some music creators have mastered this aspect of making music. So, how can you do the same when there is no clear formula to follow?  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Agence France-Presse
Streaming is making it quicker not only to play music. A new study finds that pop songs themselves are getting faster as listeners' attention spans diminish.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Forensic musicologists are key witnesses in court cases related to the plagiarism aspect of copyright infringement. This article explains what they do.
By Peter Robinson
Ed Sheeran has reached a £16m settlement over his song Photograph in the latest claim over pop plagiarism. So are songwriters out of ideas? Time to call in the musicologists. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Thanks to Etan Rosenbloom for the link.
I simply couldn't have gotten through my life without the intro to "Satisfaction!"
By Misti Crane
While lengthy, dramatic intros used to be commonplace in the power pop ballads of a few decades ago, a recent study has revealed that the hits of today have significantly more truncated, something for which consumers shortened attention spans are likely to blame.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary

Great web tool for lyric writing
10. Song and Talent Contests

 DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest
Next deadline - June 30th
Lonestar Songcrafters is having a performing songwriter contest every Sunday at the Texas Muscians Museum in Irving. 

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of

11. Songwriting Resources -  Now accepting book reviews

Links to websites about songwriting, performance, music industry.

DSA Book Store - reviews, links, lists of recommended reading, and what's in the DSA Library.

12. Archives of Past Programs and Activities


Did you know???  DSA held two song contests for active military and the CDs of the winning songs, Songs From the Soul of Service Vols. 1 and 2 are available.
Tribute to our fallen soldiers from DFW at our Podomatic site:
You Know Me Tribute to Fallen
Read the latest story about this years winners

View past showcase performances and workshops on Crossroads Youtube.

DSA depends on your support.

Giving Rocks! While it never hurts to remind you that DSA is a non-profit organization (and so your contributions are tax-deductible) -  this year it means so much more. We're proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a non-profit. DSA has been an organized songwriter group since 1985 and became a non-profit in 1990.

Your gift
 enables us to meet our mission.

Our programs created to meet our mission goals are: a monthly newsletter, workshops, critique sessions, showcases, contests, networking opportunities and community service.
If you like what we do, and want to help us keep doing it, please make a contribution today. Gifts of all sizes are meaningful and appreciated.
Donations are welcome year round. 
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know. Follow me on Twitter @barbemcmillen. Give me a tweet.

  Barbara McMillen, Editor
  Songwriter Notes
  Founding President Emeritus,
  Online Songwriting Workshops and Classes