Saturday, November 4, 2017


Hello Songwriter,
Our Annual Membership Meeting and Elections will be on Monday, Nov 6 at Half Price Books. Come on out and vote for your board of directors. Attorney Rod Phelps will talk on Additional Sources of Income for Songwriters. We're gonna open up the room for an open mic after the Membership meeting. Will have some munchies there so come hungry.

Thanks to Paul Zander, Jon Jaggers, Bobby Montgomery, Ginger Stanoia, and Kristi Myers for their contributions to our fall fundraiser. There is still time to donate. Go to this link:

We had a lot of fun performing at the State Fair at the Gulf Coast Grill located in front of the lagoon near the promenade leading to the Cotton Bowl entrance. The deck at the GCGrill was a very relaxing place to be. It had the feeling of being on the coast with a deck looking over the lagoon. Big thanks goes out to Bobby Montgomery for organizing the event and performing an hour set. Here's what he had to say, " 'Our State Fair is a great State Fair.' Dallas Songwriters Association was well represented thanks to the time and talent of Barbe McMillen, Michael Brandenberger, Aaron Shook, Ireland, and James Pappas and yours truly. We had 3 hour sets on Saturday afternoon at the Gulf Coast Grill thanks to our sponsors Lance French and Clint at Concession Staffing Services. Our staging area was at ground level and so close to the crowd of passersby that we could almost reach out and touch them. Ocassionally, they would stop and listen a song or two, and sometimes sing along with a familiar tune. A great time was had by all and DSA is on the roster for State Fair in the future." - Bobby Montgomery, Program Director

Our booth at the Arlington Guitar Show was a big success with the help of ramrod Bobby Montgomery and his rovers, Dan Roark, Harry Hewlett,Phillip Casteel, Michael Brandenberger and Ken Duren. Here's what Bobby had to say about the show. " We had a very good show this year with many visitors to the booth showing interest in our organization by requesting to be on our monthly newsletter list. We had a prime location in the hall just outside of the main entry that allows for heavy foot traffic yet some distance from the sounds of many guitars being given a test run. Many thanks to the DSA volunteers and our sponsor, Ruth Brinkman, at the Three Amigos Arlington Guitar Show." Our drawing from the sign up sheet at the show, rendered new member Jack Simmons.

Our Awards Banquet will be on December 8th. DSA Song Contest Semi finalist and Best Songs of the Meeting Finalist will be invited to perform.

Other regular DSA monthly events are the open mics on the 2nd Wednesday, 3rd Thursdays and 1st and 3rd Monday. The Song Swap on the 3rd Monday has been moved from Tino's to Burger Edge 6:30 - 8:30. It's now called Writers Workshop and Open Mic.

Spring Lyric Contest winners announced in #6 below.

The MCL Grand in Lewisville, Sunday, November 19 at 7pm will host a group of 6 singer-songwriters that you won't want to miss. Walt Wilkins, Susan Gibson ('Wide Open Spaces' sung by the Dixie Chicks), Drew Kennedy, Brandy Zdan, Kelley Mickwee and Josh Grider will be performing in the round at the Black Box Songwriter Concert Series. This intimate venue allows you to get up close and personal. This group of 6 are doing a quick tour before heading up to Red River in January for the 7th annual Red River Songwriter Festival. Last time they performed it was a complete sellout so get your tickets early! Tickets are $15 and available at or at the MCL Grand during normal business hours.
 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 Ireland, Paul Zander, Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Jon Jaggers, Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse, Rio King, Jared LoStratto, Ginger Stanoia, and Krisyi Myers and Bill Kapac for their contributions to DSA this year. 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 2017 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Spring 2016 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Fall 2016 Songwriters Notes Hardcopy pdf version


1. ANNUAL SONG CONTEST - CLOSED - Semifinalists announced on Nov 7 AWARDS DINNER - DEC 8

More info on the DSA website 

Now in its 27th year, The DSA 2017 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes. 8 categories.

GRAND PRIZE  -   A Casio Privia Piano

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 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.


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 - Annual Membership Meeting and Elections, TUESDAY, NOV 7th

Guest Speaker, Rod Phelps and Open Mic
Rod will speak on Tapping Additional Sources of Income
Rod discovered Garth Brooks and Maranda Lambert
The November monthly meeting will be Tuesday, Nov 7th 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. We will also elect our Board of Directors for 2018. Light munchies will be provided. If you are a member but cannot attend, please send your proxy to someone attending.

Following the speaker will be an open mic.

Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30

Future Meetings
Friday, DEC 8th: Awards Dinner at Sons of Hermann Hall, Dallas, TX, 7PM

Recordings of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

June 2017 - Speaker Kathy Baldwin - Publishing

May 4, 2017 - Speaker Rod Phelps - Compulsory License and Fair Use: How to include a cover song on your album

April 6, 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

3. BEST SONGS of the Month - 
Who will become the Songwriter of the Year and what song will be the Song of the Year? Soon we will have the semifinalist announced and will let you know.
Love Without Money by Bobby Montgomery and Barbe McMillen
Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
Your The Best by Michael Brandenberger

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

GOING BACK TO TEXAS by Rickey Gene Wright
DREAMING WITH YOU by Ireland (Casteel)
OUTTA TOUCH by Ron Young

SANDBOX by Charles Leftwich
THAT GIRL by Ireland (Casteel)
ONE MORE OUTCAST by Morri Hartgraves
HOW COULD I by Ron Young
MAN IN THE MOON by Carol Shaw
BIG THICKET by Ricky Gene Wright

If I Fell In Love With You by James Pappas
Where I am by Randy Overton
Santa Claus Old St Nick by Mike Mullins
When An Angel She Should Be by Ron Young
Six Eggs by Harry Hewlett
Hands Of Time by Craig Langford
Yellow Rose by Charlie Sheldon (Charles Leftwitch)
Wedding Song by Alexi Tapp 

 IT GETS BETTER by Al Lumbreras
WEEP by Dori Weaver 
GARBAGE MAN by Harry Hewlett 
LATIN CABBY by Alexis Tapp 
ONLY ONCE by Ireland 
TAKE ME HOME by Serges Himbaza 
WHEN YOU'RE IN LIVE by James Pappas
HAD ENOUGH IF YOU by Douglas Loyd

Addiction by Ireland
America the Free by Barbe McMillen
 Bet you Can’t Guess By Alexis Tapp
 Corn Bread by Don Wall
 Hard To Handle by Don Wall
 Lord Have Mercy by Carol Shaw
 You Got This by Allen Larson
 Cricket Symphony by James Pappas 
 Coffee Song by Phillip Casteel
 Christmas Time In Texas by Craig Langford
 Hands of Time By Craig Langford

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 a workshop at our monthly meeting 

14th Annual Songcrafting Seminar at the Bluebird Cafe
Friday, January 26th - Sunday, January 28th 2017

Two full days of lectures, workshops, critiques, performances, and a publisher presentation at the Bluebird Cafe, Nashville. The seminar features lots of lectures by Steve Seskin (writer of seven #1 records), and special guests each day one of Nashville's most sought-after songwriters, Chris Wallin, and other guests TBA.
For more information or to arrange a one-on-one session with Steve, contact Phil at or 615-298-5981.

Austin Songwriting Workshop
Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd
Cost:  $85 per day or $150 for both days
Some instruction and a weekend of songwriting/co-writing. Payments can be made via PayPal to or by check (to be cashed after the workshop) made out to Steve Seskin and sent to:
Joe Strouse c/o Steve Seskin Austin Songwriting Workshop
PO Box 80444
, Austin, TX

Tolleson Songwriting Workshop

Saturday, December 9th and Sunday, December 10th
Cost:  $90 per day or $160 for both days
Location: Tolleson, AZ (near Phoenix)
Steve will be covering many topics during the two days as well as doing some critiques of the participants' songs. Click here for a list of the topics he will cover.

Darrell Scott Songwriting Retreat

February 9-11, 2018

Join us for 3 days in the beautiful Texas Hill Country for an immersive songwriting experience led by 3-time Grammy nominee Darrell Scott. All experience levels welcome.  
Grammy Nomination – “Long Time Gone” Dixie Chicks 2003
Americana 2007 Song of the Year – “Hank Williams’ Ghost”
ASCAP Songwriter of the Year 2002
Songs recorded by: Dixie Chicks, Keb Mo, Faith Hill, Guy Clark, Sam Bush, Maura O’Connell, Kathy Mattea, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw …

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.




Moved to Tuesday, Nov 7 this month - 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  Harry Hewlett
In November 2017, DSA will celebrate 13 years at Dunn Brothers
see review of

BURGER EDGE - Richardson
EVERY 2ND WEDNESDAY - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger and rotating guest host.
7529 Campbell Rd. at Coit

Other area open mics OPEN MICS

6. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked December 31

or by mail   

Thanks to Lyric Contest Director, Gene Schillaci


 "Letting Go" by Myra Litton, London, UK 
"Cheap Motel" by Michael R. J Roth, Gregory Thoroman, Arlington, VA 
"That Girl"  by Ireland, Grapevine, Tx
 "Two Ribbons"  by Robert Bowen, Bishopville, SC



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.



Bradley Banning's single, "Don't Mess With Texas", was added to the playlist at 99.5 The Wolf as of this week.  It is in regular daily rotation and will hopefully get a great listener response each time it is played so they will play it more often.  When you hear it please call in and let them know that you like it. This is pretty exciting accomplishment because they don't play independent artists unless they are really big (Aaron Watson, Cody Johnson, Pat Green, Kevin Fowler, etc...). If you're not following him on social media, please do and let him know when you hear it! Also, please let all your friends and family know to listen.

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, Jessica Ewy, Rod Phelps, Milani Shaw and Harry Hewlett. New officers were elected at the planning meeting on Jan 7th. 

 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/
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 Stanoiwho 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 Sponsor L3: Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker, John Stone
Patron Sponsor L1: Cliff MonroeSuzi Morse Rio King, Ginger Stanoio
Patron Sponsor: Mimi Balkey, Kristi Myers

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Christine Winburn, Claude Webb, Serges Himbaza, Luzleigh Kleinbrink, Doc Parker, Wayne Willingham, Michael Mullins, Bob Sullivan, Rockin Robert Tomerlin, Bradley Banning, Ricky E Wright, Bianca Rodreguez, Stephen Valenzuela, Yulia PetrovaJeff Stachowski, Charles Barrale, Jessica Ewy, Claude Webb, Kevin Brennan, Matt brent, Stephanie Sammons, Charles Leftwich, John Nelson, Rob Case
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Minnie Murray, Morri Hartgraves, Bobby Monrgomery, Morri Hartgraves, Ken Golden, Stephen Houpt, Randy Saauer, Scott Mendenhall, Alexander Brinkley, Rick Babb, Phillip Wildman, Hayley McDaniel, Dori Weaver, Allen Larsen, Mary Guthrie, Gigi Gostas, John Mason, David Banning, Alexis Tapp, Ginger Stanoiu, 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, Carol Shaw, Rob Case, Cat McGee, Ian Dickson, Don Wall, Ken Duran, Malini Shah, Bill Sibley

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN DEC: 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
EXPIRED IN FEB: Trevor Dahlen, Anthony Castillo, Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts
EXPIRED IN APRIL: Helene Cronin, Kathy Adams, Jim Collins
EXPIRED IN JUNE: Robin Dossey, Joe Austin, Wayne Talley, Loralee Pearman, Lynn McCracken
EXPIRED IN JULY: Bill Nash, Bill Cox
EXPIRED IN AUGUST: Yanna Zovich, Warren Hanson
EXPIRED IN SEPT: Adrianna Braddon Patrick Deasey
EXPIRED IN OCT: Charles Carter, Raquel Linderman, Roger Kaye
TIME TO RENEW: Ryan Galloway

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.



7 DSA Annual Membership Meeting and Elections at Half Price Books
8 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
8 CMA Awards on ABC 7C 
16 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
19 Black Box Songwriter Concert Series MCL Grand Lewisville with Walt Wilkins, Susan Gibson ('Wide Open Spaces' sung by the Dixie Chicks), Drew Kennedy, Brandy Zdan, Kelley Mickwee and Josh Grider

DSA Free Workshop and Open Mic at Half Price Books
8 DSA DSA SC Awards Dinner at Sons of Hermann Hall
13 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge 
21 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
See Texas Music Office events calendar
Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.
See house concerts and coffee houses here:


9. Featured Articles:

While working with Howard Girao to develop my own new website (coming soon) I decided to drop into the Songwriters Hall of Fame website to take a look at their Jerome Kern presentation. (I was caretaker of Kern's entire musical output for 18 years as COO of the Welk Music Group). I have visited the site numerous times through the years but what I found this time was a specular, fresh, new and exciting offering. Click the headline above for a wonderful experience while learning about the greatest songwriters of all time.

By Andy Hermann

By Tom Hallman
As a newborn, Sam McKenney had a normal life for five weeks. And then something went wrong. Experts warned he'd spend his life isolated from the world. He struggled in school. He withdrew. In those dark moments, when his parents stepped up to the fine line separating hope from despair, they feared they'd lose this beautiful child they so loved. And then a children's song, one we've heard hundreds of times, allowed the boy to find within the very thing they'd thought he'd lost. ... Himself. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Melanie
It’s no secret that in order to appear professional, your own website with your own .com address is essential. So what ingredients make for a great musician website exactly? Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Stuart Dredge
Spotify has moved to formalize the process by which major and independent labels pitch for slots in the Browse section of its service, with a quota-based system applying to global and local playlists.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Chris Robley
Spotify used to only display data on songs if they had more than 1000 streams. They’ve changed that. You can now view streaming stats on your top 200 songs, and you can segment that data using a time filter. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Justin
Crowdfunding can seem very intimidating on first glance, but keeping some simple tips in mind when you plan your campaign will help make you successful in the end. Here are some do's and don'ts for crowdfunding your own album.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Joyce Kettering
As the music industry struggles with payment levels from YouTube and once reliable income from touring feels about to experience a tragedy driven downturn, an important source of income is often overlooked: licensing to music libraries. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

News leak! 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees will be Bruce Chanel, Gary Nicholson, Delbert McClinton. and Jerry Williams . Stay tune for more.

The Academic
Filmed in a single take, live on Facebook, The Academic perform a 'live looped' version of their latest single, "Bear Claws". To execute the performance the band rearranged each instrument on "Bear Claws" to fit Facebook Live's delay, with each loop getting more complex, adding instruments, rhythms, and melodies. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif
Thanks to Sarah Finegold for the link.
Recording Revolution
Mixing is a complex art form and it can make or break a good recording. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif
Personal observation: Many great recordings have been ruined when re-mixed for stereo or re-mixed for digital. Many times the problems that were actually 'fixed' in the original mix come through loud and clear in the re-mixes done by engineers not there at the time of the original recording

By Alexander Hume
If you want to release music in any format, a lot of musicians and producers will probably tell you to get your music ready for release by having them 'mastered' in a professional studio. However, mastering your own music can be done!  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Rick Goetz
Paul Adams is a partner at THREEE, a management company that manages the careers of a select group of highly-talented producers, mixers, songwriters, and composers. ... Paul explains the work he does in the music business and talks about how artist development, recording and producers' roles have changed during the past 20 years. He also shares advice for engineers and producers looking to grow their careers.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Sam Friedman
The art of mixing in many ways is an art of balancing — you're weighing different frequencies, audio levels, sound placements, etc. Many times when trying to balance too many things at once, things begin to fall apart.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Evan Zwisler
You and your band have been playing out for a year or so, and you've started to get great responses from your audiences. Now, it's time to take your show to the next level. Continue Reading 


By Liam Duncan
There's no question that a great chorus makes or breaks a pop song. In fact, it's even possible to write a hit song with a chorus so good, that the mediocre verses don't matter. ... That said, verses are an incredibly important songwriting tool, and these days there is less and less room for lackluster verses.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif


By Ian Temple
Huh? Let's take a closer look. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif
Thanks to Etan Rosenbloom for the link.
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 - September 30th
Lonestar Songcrafters is having a performing songwriter contest every Sunday at the Texas Muscians Museum in Irving. 

DSA Song Contest CLOSED  

Important FOLK ALLIANCE Regional Deadlines | July - Sept 2017

SWRFA | Southeast Regional Folk Alliance
Official Showcase Deadline July 15 | Apply Here
September 27 - October 1
Austin, TX | Register Here

NERFA | Northeast Regional Folk Alliance
Semi-Formal Showcase Deadline July 16 | Apply Here
November 9 - 12
Stamford, CT | Register Here

FAR-WEST | Folk Alliance Region - West
Summer Special ends August 31
October 5 - 8
Bellevue, WA | Register Here

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of

11. Songwriting Resources -  Now accepting book reviews

6 Best Music Business Books (and Music Marketing Books) Worth Buying 
By David Andrew Wiebe 
OK list with one unforgivable omission: Music Money and Success (The Insiders Guide to Making Money in the Music Business) by Jeffrey Brebec and Todd Brabec. This book covers it all, but leans heavily to the songwriter side. If you are a songwriter and you don't have this book in your library – shame on you. 

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 Worksho