Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Songwriters Notes e-news #199 June 2018

Hello Songwriter,

We had a busy month of May and I give details below. June is slowing down a bit, but our song contest will open this month. We are having a problem with the e-commerce on our website, but hope that it is fixed soon. It's closing in on the big exit from Texas. It's getting hot. 

Our first Mondays are changing. Instead of an open mic, we are having a guitar pull and new song workshop. A great way to get peer feedback on your developing songs. Bring a guitar or not. You can pull one from Harry. Bring a recording of your songs, we can listen to them from your phone. I attended last Monday night and we discussed recording our projects, vocalists and studios that we have used in the past, played examples of our songs, the process of distribution with CDBaby, splitting publishing on a song and gave feedback on four songs that Brent Hurst had written. Brent heard about us on It was a lot of fun and Anna Bean was there, too. 

Our monthly meeting features guest speaker, Tod Cotham of Fifty50studios onThursday June 7th at Half Price Books. See details below under Monthly Meeting. 

Other regular DSA monthly event is the open mic  on the 3rd Thursday at Dunn Brothers.   3rd Thursdays.

I'm headed to Madison, Wisconsin to speak at the Between The Wave Music Conference and Festival. It's gonna be a lot of fun and a great place to make new friends. I'll be doing a presentation on Music Therapy: The Power of Music over Body and Mind. I was invited by our partner and Song Contest Sponsor, Roy Elkins, CEO of Broadjam. Broadjam is a great platform to host your songs.  Between The Waves, is the 15th -16th.  

Wow the Dallas International Guitar Show,, was the 1st weekend in May at Market Hall. Our booth was busy and we handed out a lot of newsletters and made a bunch of new friends. As always, there was a lot a great talent on the stages and neat instruments to buy. Ask Michael and Allen about the buying. They both found gems. Thanks to guitar great, Jimmy Wallace, for granting us booth space. We had a drawing for a free membership from the list of visitors to our booth and the winner was Steve Brown.

The third weekend in May, DSA was on the Dallas Songwriters City Line Stage at the Wildflower Festival. Finalists from the Wildflower Performing Songwriter Contest and DSA Members performed on the stage and you can tune in on facebook to the performance videos.  The winners of the Wildflower Performing Songwriting Contest were Eric Bettencourt, Kristen Grainger, Brian Pounds. The Michael Terry Peoples Choice winner was Kyke Donovan. To see the rest of the finalists or learn more about the contest go to this link:

The Texas Musician's Museum has temporarily closed and will be relocating. We will keep you posted. 

I still plan to put up a wrap up on the Hall of Fame, so check back. 

A hardcopy of the newsletter with 2017 contest winners named was distributed at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Wildflower Festival and Dallas Guitar Show. You can find a link to a pdf version at the top of the side bar to the right. 

Thanks to Paul Zander, Jon Jaggers, Bobby Montgomery, Ginger Stanoia, Kenneth Shoemaker, and Kristi Myers for their recent contributions to our fall fundraiser. Other contributors include Ireland, Jon Jaggers, Bill Kapac, Rio King, Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse, and Jared LoStrato. There is still time to donate. Go to this link:

 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 past Angela's showcases. Can't make it? Then tune into Facebook/dallassongwriters. Want to be on our facebook streams? Show up and perform.



DSA SONG CONTEST - 2018 contest opens soon - next day or so. 

Mike P Ryan playing his
grand prize Casio  Privia  keyboard
Mike talks about songwriting, Texas and Louisiana lullabies

  Our Awards Banquet was held on Friday December 8, 2017 at the historic Sons of Hermann Hall celebrating with top songs of the year performed by first rate talent. Some of our DSA Song Contest Semi finalists and Best Songs of the Meeting Finalists performed, including local artists Loralai Milton, Ireland, Megan SullivanDon WallAl Lumbreras, Allen Larson and Virginia native, Mike Ryan. 
Here is a recap in pictures in case you were unable to  attend. Thanks to Gene Schillaci for taking these photos at the awards.

Here is a pdf of the program hard copy handed out at the event.

See the 2017 song contest winners here:…inners-announced/


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


Thursday, June 7th: Tod Cotham is guest speaker @ Half Price Books, 6:30

He will be bringing one his my engineers, Josh Franklin with him and they'll be talking about the role of recording studios in the modern music industry and the benefits of studio recording vs. home recording.
They'll discuss the audio engineer training courses they offer and open up a general Q&A about anything you might be curious about.

About the studio
Fifty50studios is the product of a college friendship, an ephemeral indie-rock band, and a mutual aversion to grown-up jobs, whose point of origin can ultimately be traced back to a 2011 “bassist wanted” craigslist posting. Said posting ultimately led studio co-founder Todd to join the upstart Arlington band, Early Morning Creatures, where he’d meet his eventual business partner and studio collaborator, Will Carmack.
The band experienced some mild success in their short-lived jaunt across the DFW music scene that culminated in their decision to begin work on a debut EP in Carmack’s small, but inviting home studio. At the time, Will was far more confident in his incontrovertible abilities as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter than as an audio engineer, so the search for a capable engineer and producer to steer the ship started and ended with Cotham’s long-time friend and freelance engineer, Aaron Carpenter.
Despite the EP having no real commercial success, it made apparent the unique personal and musical chemistry between its collaborators and demonstrated Carpenter’s undeniable skill and creativity behind the board. Within weeks of the EP’s completion, plans were in motion for Cotham to leave his corporate events job and Carpenter to relocate permanently to DFW, all with the ultimate goal of reviving the positive energy and productivity of the EMC sessions in a permanent, professional studio in Dallas, TX.
With Carpenter leading the way in the control room, and Cotham cutting through the red tape and developing the brand, fifty50studios was open for business within a year and profitable within only 16 months. And upon completing his graduate studies in Scotland, Carmack returned to join the team rounding out the ownership.
The studio currently employs a team of talented engineers, boasts a full-service in-house video production and photography team, and has serviced over 1000 clients ranging from local up-and-comers to stadium-packing Grammy winners. With the continued goal of offering real artists an affordable opportunity to bring a truly professional version of their work to life, the team at fifty50studios looks forward to many more years of helping their talented clients navigate this ever-changing industry and keep the music flowing.


Location: Half Price Books/Northwest Highway in Dallas
6:00 pm: Doors Open/Networking and visiting
7:00 pm: Program followed by song critiques for members only

Pay online for critique.

Down the Line:
July 5 - Alan Rody 
Aug  4 - Member Pool Party and Jam
Sept 6 - Bruce Chanel
Oct 4 - Barbara McMillen on performance contracts
Nov 1 - Annual Membership Meeting and Elections
Dec 1 - DSA Christmas Party and Awards Banquet.
BEST SONGS of the Meeting 
winners were announced at the Awards Dinner. Contest for 2018 is in full swing. Bring your songs to the meeting for review, no need to have a recording, you can play them live, then use the benefit of the critique to rewrite if need be, or record and then turn in your songs in fall for the judge. 
2017 Song of the Year - Lucky Man by Craig Langford, Dallas, Tx
2017 Winner Songwriter of the Year - Craig Langford
See the Best Songs of the Meeting and Songwriter of the Year



Between the Line Songwriting Conference, Madison, WI 

As the Midwest's premier event geared toward independent musicians and anyone interested in music creation, collaboration, performance, production, distribution, publishing, or licensing, Between The Waves Conference and Festival brings together musicians, educators, and music industry leaders for an immersive experience built on inspiration, instruction, networking, and support.

Participate in engaging conference sessions on all facets of music and the music business presented by knowledgeable, experienced industry professionals covering practical topics relevant to working musicians such as songwriting, music technology, marketing, creative arts law, revenue streams, and business matters.

Coming in July 
27-29 Jim Brickman Bootcamp For Songwriters, Cleveland, IL 
Scholarships to this summer’s Brickman Bootcamp are available to aspiring songwriters between the ages of 16 and 25 years old.
Presented by the Grammy-nominated songwriter and performer Jim Brickman, Brickman Bootcamp is a weekend songwriting intensive including an opening night concert, two days of songwriting workshops and a closing performance opportunity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
 Jim is pleased to offer complimentary tuition (an $800 value) to scholarship recipients. Travel and lodging not included.




EVERY 1ST MONDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm hosted by Harry Hewlett
Open mic has changed to an old fashion guitar pull and new song workshop. Bring you guitar of pull one from Harry. Play your recorded songs from your phone. 
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 celebrated 13 years at Dunn Brothers
see review of

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:


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


4 - DSA Guitar Pull and New Song Workshop at Half Price Books
7 Monthly Meeting  and Critiques with Todd at 50Fifty Studios
5-8 - MIDEM, Cannes, France Register Here
8-10 Pagosa Folk'n Bluegrass, Pagosa Sprins, CO Purchase Tickets Here
14 - Americans For The Arts, Denver, CO   Register Here
14-18 Folk Fest Dur Le Canal, Montreal CAN More Info Here
15 -16  Between the Waves, Madison, WI 
15-17 Branford Festival on the Green, Brandford, CT More Info Here
15-17 Live Oak Music Festival, Santa Barbara, CA Purchase Tickets Here
16-17 Clearwater Festival, Croton-on-Hudson, NY  Purchase Tickets Here
16 - Texas Tunes is the Quebe Sisters
21 - DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
21-24 Telluride Bluegrass, Lyins, CO Purchase Tickets Here
29-July 1 Festival Chants De Vielles, Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Purchase Tickets Here

2 - DSA Guitar Pull and New Song Workshop at Half Price Books
5 -  Monthly Meeting  and Critiques with Alan Rody at Half Price Books
5-8 Winnepeg Folk Festival, Winnepeg, Manitoba, CAN Purchase Tickets Here
13-15 Blissfest, Petoskey, MI  Purchase Tickets Here
19 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
25-28 - National Storytelling Conference, Kansas City, MO
27-29 RockyGrass, Lyons, CO  Purchase Tickets Here
29 Huntington Folk Festival, Huntington, NY Purchase Tickets Here 

3-5 RHYTHMS ON THE RIO, South Fork, CO
4-6 CANMORE FOLK FESTIVAL, Canmore, Alberta, CAN

4-  DSA Pool Party and Jam
6 - DSA Guitar Pull and New Song Workshop at Half Price Books
7 - Monthly Meeting  and Critiques NO MEETING - POOL PARTY on the 4th
16 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
17-19 BEAR CREEK FOLK FESTIVAL, Grand Prairie, Alberta, CAN

3 - DSA Guitar Pull and New Song Workshop at Half Price Books
6 -  Monthly Meeting  and Critiques with Bruce Chanel at Half Price Books
20-  DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers

1 - DSA Guitar Pull and New Song Workshop at Half Price Books
4 -  Monthly Meeting  and Critiques at Half Price Books
18 -  DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers

1 -  Monthly Meeting  and Critiques - Annual Membership Meeting and Elections at Half Price Books
4 - DSA Guitar Pull and New Song Workshop at Half Price Books
15 -  DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers

3 - DSA Guitar Pull and New Song Workshop at Half Price Books
8 -  DSA Awards Banquet and Christmas party at Sons of Hermann Hall
20-  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:

DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked June 30th
or by mail   

Thanks to Lyric Contest Co- Director, Alexis Tapp

ll be posting the Winter 2018 Winners next day or so.


“Skin Diving” by Martin Robley, Ballajura, Australia
“All the Time” by Phil Casteel, Grapevine, TX
“Thinkin and Drivin” by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, Va
“Why Can’t I” by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX



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 6th 2017 Annual Membership Meeting were:
Michael BrandenbergerBobby Montgomery, Phillip CasteelBarbe McMillenJoe Milton, Marcus Belmore, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, James Pappas, Jessica Ewy, Rod Phelps,Gene Schillaci and Harry Hewlett. New officers were elected at the planning meeting on Jan 6th. 

 Officers 2018
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - VP Programs
Phil Casteel - Treasurer
Jessica Ewy - Secretary
Alexis Tapp - VP Membership, Lyric Contest Director
Barbe McMillen - Administration, Newsletter
Harry Hewlett - A/
Gene Schillaci - Lyric Contest Director, Webmaster
Steve Sullivan, James Pappas, Joe Milton, Ken Duren - At Large
Marcus Belmore - Executive VP,  Technology

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

* Publisher looking for 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 KingGinger Stanoio
Patron Sponsor: Mimi BalkeyKristi Myers

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Donette Murphy, Alejandro Dominguez, Jack Simmons, Steve Brown, Terry JenningsTodd Catham, Jack Allday, Josh Goode, Ryan Mahoney, Steve Ledford, Lance French, Melissa Standifird, Douglas Lloyd, Mitch Horner, Kerry Maddox, Brandon Elliott, 

THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Suzi Morse, Ricky Gene Wright, Cat McGee, Aaron Shook, Ken Duren, Raquel Linderman, Phillip Wildman, Greg Waits, Randy Wallace, Ryan Galloway, Phillip Casteel, Joseph Lopez, Don Wall, David Claerr, Stephen Valenzuela, Gene Schillachi, Ricky Gene Wright, Aaron Shook, Jacquelyn Schwartz

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

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, Roger Kaye
EXPIRED IN NOV: All renewed -Thanks
EXPIRED IN DEC: All renewed -Thanks
EXPIRED IN JAN: Conrad Shwartz, Chris Sjostrom, Lauren Paley, Pam Oliver, Yulia Petrova, Bonnie Warren, Don Coyne 
EXPIRED IN FEB: Bianca Rodrequez, Trevor Dahlen
EXPIRED IN MARCH: Al Lumbreras, Jessica Ewy, Charles Barrale, Jeff Stachowesky, Victoria Bouton, Julia Pauletti, David Byboth
EXPIRED IN APRIL: Aubrey and Audie Teeter, Claude Webb
EXPIRED IN MAY: Rob Case, Dan Roark, Dickey Johnson, Kevin Brennan, Matt Brent, Stephanie Sammons, Charles Leftwich, John Nelson.
TIME TO RENEW: Brad Banning, Davis Banning, Allen Larson, Bill Honker, Robert Tomberlin, Malini Shaw, Marcus Belmore.

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:


Featured Articles:

Where Great Songs Come From
By Josh Martin (Live for Live Music)
ASCAP 'I Create Music' EXPO explores where great songs come from. Continue Reading  

Now There's Another Free Competitor to CD Baby, Tunecore, and Distrokid
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Amuse is a reimagined record label that just raised $15.5 million in Series A financing. And they're offering every single artist free distribution — plus analytics. Continue Reading

10 Famous Song Titles That Never Appear Lyrically in the Song
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Guitars Are Getting More Popular. So Why Do We Think They're Dying?
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With music consumption habits changing so much in recent years and showing no signs of stopping, the techniques for promoting must also adapt. Here we look at the importance of diversifying how to promote your music Continue Reading  

New Feature On Youtube Provides Additional Credit Information For More Than One Million Songs 
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The Copyright Extension That Isn't 
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Nielsen's Gracenote Uses Artificial Intelligence to Classify 90 Million Songs by Style 
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Understanding Your Music On Spotify: The Game Plan (Video Series) 
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Spotify wants you to know how to get the most out of your music on their platform. The better you do, the better they do. So they've launched a series of video tutorials with usage-cases to show you creative ways of spiffing up your discography, analyzing data, and more. Continue Reading  

Copyright Office Fees 
By the US Copyright Office, Library of Congress 
The US Copyright Office has proposed a new fee schedule, with fees for registration and other services increasing nearly across the board. Read the details here. Continue Reading  

Use of "Sound-Alike" Music In Advertising ? Key Legal Issues 
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Using "sound-alike" music in advertising can be cheaper than licensing the real thing, but it's important to be aware of the legal risks. Continue Reading  

Common Cover Art Mistakes That Will Get Your Music Removed From Streaming Services 
By Chris Robley (DIY Musician) 
Cover art guidelines for your singles and albums.  Continue Reading 

How Your Favorite Songs Get On TV 
By Danny Ross (Forbes) 
From cable to Facebook to your watch, original programming is popping up in every direction — and it needs music. But what does that mean for bands?  Continue Reading  

You Can Now Tip London Buskers Without Handing Over Cash 
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The Essential Elements Of An Artist Or Band Online Press Kit 
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It's amazing that so many ... artists and bands as well as companies don't have a proper "Press" section on their website that contains all the information that a journalist or blogger might need when writing a story.  Continue Reading  

Want Decent Band Photos? Don't Do This 
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Copyright Term: When Does a Work Enter the Public Domain? 

Tips for Getting Your Solo Music Career Started 
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What Is a Retail Marketing Plan? 
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When pitching to accounts like Apple, Spotify, Amazon, and more (they) would love to hear about the big picture plan labels have for an artist, but they are arguably even more interested to see a detailed retail marketing plan for a new release. ... In fact, our retail partners insist on it when considering placement and positioning on their platform.  Continue Reading  

What is Music Licensing and Why is it Important for my Career as an Artist? 
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Music licensing can be a very fruitful revenue stream for musicians. Here's what you need to know. Continue Reading  

Join Music Starts Here your GPS for the Music Community. 

The 3 Reasons Why New Music Is Released On Friday
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VIDEO: Toolbox Music 
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Four Editing Tricks To Make Your Songs More Playlist-Friendly 
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Swan Songs: Music For Your Final Exit 
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What Makes A Jazz Standard? 
By Audie Cornish (NPR) 
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A look at how hit songs seem to be sounding more and more alike. 
By Andrew Thompson and Matt Daniels (The Pudding) 

Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary

Great web tool for lyric writing
 Song and Talent Contests

 DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest
Next deadline - March 31

Best Songs of the Meeting - for DSA Members only - submit at the monthly meeting.

DSA Song Contest OPENS JUNE 1  

FAI's Regional and International Events & Deadlines

FARM | Folk Alliance Region Midwest
Official Showcase applications due June 10
October 25 - 28, 2018
Grand Rapids, Michigan
*Look for FAI staff at this event!

NERFA | Northeast Regional Folk Alliance
Semi-Formal Showcase applications due July 9
November 8-11, 2018
Stamford, Connecticut
*Look for FAI staff at this event!

SWRFA | Southwest Regional Folk Alliance
Official Showcase application due July 15
September 26 - 30, 2018
Austin, Texas
*Look for FAI staff at this event!

Official Showcase application due August 15
February 13 - 17, 2019
Montréal, Québec, Canada

FAR-West | Folk Alliance Region West
Summer Registration Rate ends August 31
October 11 - 14, 2018
Woodland Hills, California
*Look for FAI staff at this event!

SERFA | Southeast Regional Folk Alliance
More Info Here
May 15 - 19, 2019
Chattanooga, Tennessee
*Look for FAI staff at this event!

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of