Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Songwriters Notes E-News #180 OCTOBER 2016

Hello Songwriter,

Our fall fundraising drive has kicked off.We need your tax deductible donations to keep DSA running. Here is the President's letter to DSA.

"Dallas Songwriter Association Members and friends,
Fall is almost here and so is our annual fundraising drive!  Basically our funds come from dues and song contest fees, but those sources can fluctuate greatly.  We need your help keep the DSA a viable non-profit association that benefits our members and the community.  Your tax deductible donation will help the DSA keep alive all of the following, which makes us one of the busiest musical associations in the country.
• Educational programs and music industry speakers at regular monthly meeting.
• Song critiques by industry experts for your songs at each monthly meeting.
• Songwriting feedback sessions at Song Swap workshops twice a month.
• Worldwide lyric contests four time a year.

• Worldwide song contest once a year featuring 8 song categories and industry judges.
• Open mics for anyone to perform original songs 3 times a month, including the Kitchen CafĂ©, Dunn Brothers and Half Price Books
• Saturday night showcases for members at least once a month
• Performance opportunities for members at the Wildflower Festival and Poor David's Pub,
• Workshop opportunities with great song writers like the Girls From Nashville (Liz Rose, Allyssa McHeala, Ashley Ray, Heather Morgan) and musi c industry experts like Larry Beaird
• Monthly on-line newsletter with music industry information and help for songwriters
• A DSA website that enables members to having e their own page on the website to share their music and activities.
With $25 you will receive a DSA T-shirt, with $50 you will get a great DSA cap, and for $75 you get the DSA cap, T-shirt, and 2 DSA cuzzies.  For donations of $100 or more you will get the gift premiums plus recognition in the DSA newsletter every month as a special contributor to the DSA.
To donate, just go to the DSA website at Home - Dallas Songwriters Association and click on the donation link.
Many thanks. ... Michael BrandenbergerPresidentDallas Songwriters Association  


On Oct 7 - 8 the #1 vocal coach in LA Steven Memel Vocal Workshop is giving a workshop at Alchemy Music Academy in Richardson. Private lessons are also available on Sunday. See #7 Workshops below.

Our guest speaker for this month's 2nd Tuesday Meeting is moi. I will talk about the song evaluation process we use for our critique session. I will tell you the secrets of a popular song and how to polish your song before spending your hard earned cash on a recording session. Also, bring your songs in for critique or submit via the website if you can't be there.

The Spring and Summer Lyric Contest are currently being judged. Our next deadline is Dec. 31st See #5 below.

DSA will have a booth at the Arlington Guitar Show October 16 -17. Come out and shop for a new axe. Don't forget to visit our booth.

DSA now has 9 regular monthly events. We've added Burger Edge open mic on 2nd Thursday starting in November. Our regular DSA monthly events are 1st and 3rd Monday SongSwaps and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Thursdays and last Monday Open Mic, 4th Saturday Showcase at Angela's, and our 2nd Tuesday Workshop and Critiques. For details, see #2 and #4 below. Some of us like to visit the Poor Davids Pub (hosted by Mr Troll) or Angela's Open Mic every Monday.

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? Can't make it? Then tune in to Facebook/dallassongwriters. Want to be on our facebook streams? Show up and perform.

For a complete calendar list see #8 Events below.

Thanks to Paul Zander, Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Jon Jaggers,  Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse 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.




Enter on DSA website 

Enter on Broadjam  

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.



  Oct. 11th: Barbara McMillen -
 Polishing Your Final Draft by Applying the Secrets of the Popular Song

Barbara McMillen is the founder of the Dallas Songwriters Association and currently Professor of Songwriting at Collin College in Plano, Tx. She has written for film and television, had her songs recorded by numerous artists, and performed professionally in a number of genres over the years. She is also a music therapist. So come on out for a little song therapy. More about Barbara at

Meadows Conference Center
2900 Live Oak
Free to Members | $5 for visitors
Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30
Song Critiques follow – Members only may enter for $10

Future Meetings
Nov. 8 - Dr Will Brown
Dec. 13 Awards Dinner


Recordings of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

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 Workshops
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.

FIRST MONDAY in East Dallas - 
Half Price Books, 5803 E Northwest Hwy Dallas, TX 75231-6519 (214) 379-8000
 Jame Pappas, Gigi Gostas coordinating.
We'll be in the Community Room at the back left in the building.

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 2nd Tuesday Meeting

Harry Hewlett, Dori Weaver, Michael Brandenberger
Harry Hewlett, Dori Weaver, Michael Brandenberger
January - Time to Leave by Beth Murphy
February - My Pickup Truck by Charles Carter

March - Last Chance to Dance in Texas by Rio King
April - I'm Singing My Heart Out In Dallas Tonight by Charles Carter 
May - Dallas by Charles Carter
June - none
July - none
Aug - no meeting
Sept - Play Me Sump'm Like Dat - Rio King 

2015 Winner - Waiting to Breathe by Dori Weaver   
2. Jimmy Loves Jesus by Buck Morgan
3. Give 'Em Time Lord by Bobby Montgomery

Here is the list of winners of the meeting critiques from which the top three were chosen thanks to Judge, Ian Dickson, former DSA Director and Wildflower Contest winner.

Q&A With Winner, Dori Weaver 

Songwriter of the Year 2015 
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




HALF PRICE BOOKS OPEN MIC - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30

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

KITCHEN CAFE' - North Dallas
EVERY LAST MONDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger

BURGER EDGE - North Dallas
EVERY 2ND THURSDAY - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger
The DSA is happy to announce a new performing opportunity!  There is now an open mic scheduled for the 2nd Thursday of every month at Burger Edge in Dallas.  The first one is scheduled for November 10 and will start a little earlier than usual.  The time will be from6:30 to 8:30.  It is open to DSA members as well as non-members.  
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.  
We also plan to have a rotating host so if you are interested in hosting an open mic, let me know.
Burger Edge is located in the Coit Rd/Campbell Rd area (near Marshall's), the address is 7529 Campbell Rd, Dallas, TX.

4th Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 Check out our facebook page where Harry is posting live streaming.
Hosted by Buck and Harry

Oct 22
7:30 Buck ’n’ Harry
8:00 Michael Franceus
8:30 Sugar Daddy and the M&Ms
9:30 Gregory Waits
10:00 Marcus Belmore
10:30 Allen Larson

Other area open mics OPEN MICS

5. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked DEC 31

or by mail
FENCES Bill Kapac, Williamstown, PA



See comments 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 11th Annual Membership Meeting were:
Michael BrandenbergerBobby MontgomeryDicky JohnsonRachel WilhelmDan RoarkBarbe McMillenJoe Milton, Stephen McKinnell, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, James Pappas and Harry Hewlett. Welcome new board members Ginger, Marcus, and Charles

Current Officers
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - Executive VP, VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Secretary - Ginger Stanoiu
Dan Roark - Lyric Contest Director, showcases, workshops
Barbe McMillen - Communications, Administration, Newsletter
Harry Hewlett - A/R
VACANCY - VP of Membership 
Steve Sullivan and James Pappas - SongSwap Coordinators
Joe Milton, Ken Duren - At Large
Rachel Wilheim - Technology
Marcus Belmore - Webmaster

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
Patron Sponsor L1: Cliff MonroeSuzi MorseJon Jaggers
Patron Sponsor: Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Scott Mendenhall, Patrick Deasey, Stephen HouptHaley McDaniel, Joe Austin, Robin Dossey, Ginger Stanoiu
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Suzi Morse, Adriana Braddom, Ken Golden, Alexandra Brinkley, Marcus Belmore, JR Rosenberg, Michelle Boulden, Allen Larsen, John Mason, Mary Guthrie, Dorinda Weaver, Cousin Don Brown, Alexis Tap, Bill Honker, Gigi Gosta, Ken Duren, Lynn McCrackin
TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN NOV: Richard Pickett, Lisa Byrn, Steve Wilson 
EXPIRED IN DEC: Kathryn Taylor
EXPIRED IN JAN: Terry Bloss, Bill Kapac, Matt Nestor, Ben Neumann, Al Hovden, Rob Lutzwig, Maxim Senin, Stephen Blackwell, Rene Safier, Kyle Vincent, Stacy Hogan, Jacquelyn Christina, Will Kincaid, John Martinez
EXPIRED IN FEBAnthony Castillo, Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts
EXPIRED IN MARCHPete Miller, Tippy Balady, Phoenix Rose, Tim York
EXPIRED IN APRIL: Phillip Wildman, Shane Andrews
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, Waren Hanson

EXPIRED IN SEPT:  Rick Babb, Tom Thomas, Harry Hewlett
TIME TO RENEW: Denise Rosier, Katie Hardyman, Charlie Hill, Raquel Nguyen, Morri Hartgraves, Charles Carter, Darren Rozell, M'Lynn Musgrove, Stephen McKinnell, Jenni Peal, Jay Gallagher, Rick Webster
  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:



(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.)

Oct 7 -8
Steven Memel Vocal Workshop, Richardson Tx
The #1 vocal coach in Los Angeles is coming to town 
Alchemy Music | 500 North Coit #500 | Richardson, TX 75080 | 214.727.023

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the creator of “The Science of Switching On” a break through method for Voice Technique and Performance.
Steven Memel is an internationally acclaimed voice and performance coach, based in Los Angeles, CA. as well as an award-winning actor and director. He has aided in building the careers of some of the most talented and successful people in the world of entertainment. Private lessons available on Sunday. For more info email Briana.
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.

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


Sept 30 - Oct 23 State Fair of Texas Dallas 
1 Video Fest 29's Ernie Kovak Awards with Michael Nesmith at the Kessler
3 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
5 - 9 A3C, Atlanta, GA
6 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
6 - 8 37th Annual Festival Chicano Miller Outdoor Theater
7 -8 Steven Memel Vocal Workshop, Richardson Tx 
8 (10am - 6pm) San Antonio Record Show New Braunfels Civic Center
9 - 6:30pm - Drew Kennedy - Black Box Songwriter Concert Series, MCL Grand Lewisville
11 DSA Second Tuesday Meeting 
15- 16 Arlington Guitar Show
17 Song Swap at Tinos
19 Power On Music Conference, TxA&M Corpus Christi Campus -free
20 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
22 DSA Showcase at Angelas
22 (10am - 6pm) Dallas Record Show Richardson Civic Center 
25 Evenings with the Songwriter Lockhart, TX 
31 DSA Open Mic at Kitchen Cafe

3 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
7 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
8 DSA Second Tuesday Meeting
21 Song Swap at Tinos
17 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
19 - 6:30pm - Walt Wilkins, Susan Gibson, Drew Kennedy, Josh Grider, Kelly Mickwee & Brandy Zdan - Black Box Special Edition! MCL Grand Lewisville
26 DSA Showcase at Angelas 
28 DSA Open Mic at Kitchen Cafe

1 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
5 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
8 - 9 Blue Rock Christmas with Amy Speace and Billy Crockett, Wimbersly
11 - 6:30pm - Bill Ward & Tom Prasada Rau - Black Box Songwriter Concert Series MCL Grand Lewisville
13 DSA Awards Dinner
19 Song Swap at Tinos
15 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
24 DSA Showcase at Angelas 
26 DSA Open Mic at Kitchen Cafe

2 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
6 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
10 DSA Second Tuesday Meeting
13 - 17 ASG Songwriters Seminar - Austin, Tx
14 - 8pm - Radney Foster - Texas Tunes Concert Series MCL Grand Lewisville
16 Song Swap at Tinos
18 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
28 DSA Showcase at Angelas 
30 DSA Open Mic at Kitchen Cafe

Down the line in Lewisville
Saturday April 8, 2017 - Terri Hendrix/Lloyd Maines Songwriting Workshop 
Sunday, April 9, 2017 - 6:30pm - Terri and Lloyd - Black Box Songwriter Concert Series 
May 17 - Joe Ely - Black Box Songwriter Concert Series 

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:

Anthony Cerullo
The brain is a complex organ – the most complex, in fact. As important and complex as it may be, though, most people go throughout their day without giving their brains a second thought. Instead, they sit and ponder, often in confusion. Perhaps you as a musician are one of these people .... Depending on your relationship with your mind, certain skills can either flourish or remain blocked off. Continue Reading 


Eric Bernsen's hot today with 2 great pieces of advice.
By Eric Bernsen

By Paul Resnikoff

By Bobby Owsinski
Although the value of a review in printed publications has greatly diminished, bloggers remain a valuable resource for getting your music into the public eye. Here we look at useful tips for capturing the attention of these modern day taste-makers. Continue Reading 

By Zachary Crockett

By Anthony Cerullo
Your artistic vision becomes a vessel for delivering musical creativity to the world. Whether it's concerts, records, merchandise, or anything else, musicians should use these tools to build a following of fans who understand the creativity being put out and accept it happily.  Continue Reading 

By Liam Duncan
"It's all about who you know" is a clichĂ© repeated so often that we simply tune it out. But the fact is, it's true. And it's not just who you know – it's also what kind of relationships you have. There are artists who have been very successful simply because they're great "hangs."  Continue Reading 

By Liam Duncan
Have you ever been told that your artist name sucks? Do you find yourself having to tell people over and over again what your name is? Or do people frequently misspell it? Have you thought about changing your name? I say do it. I've put together a breakdown of what you need to do to streamline the process.  Continue Reading 

By Amy Sciarretto
Looking like a pro musician isn't always about the clothing on your back, either. You can present yourself as a professional musician in these five easy ways.  Continue Reading 



By Jordan Darville
Mike Yung has been busking around New York City for over two decades, ever since a CBS Records deal fell through in 1980. Over two and a half decades later, a video of Yung singing "Unchained Melody" went viral on Twitter, and he was asked to perform the song last night on The Late Late Show With James Corden. After the performance, Corden is more giddy than usual and bandleader Reggie Watts is in tears; watch above to see why ... Continue Reading 

By Big Geek Daddy

I love it when Paul Simon finds the groove ... which he does often ... ain't nothing better. Continue Reading 


By Bobby Owsinski
At the heart of every music production is its basic building block—the song. ... Music history is littered with artists, bands, and records that had everything going for them except the most important thing: the songs. Continue Reading 

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 - Dec 31

DSA Song Contest Closed 

2016 NewSong Contest Entry Deadline Nears
October 15 is the online submissions deadline for the 2016 NewSong Contest. Now in its 15th year, the competition showcases emerging performing...

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 online at:
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