Wednesday, February 4, 2009

DSA E-News #92 Febuary 2009

Hello Songwriter,

Did you know if you are a semifinalist in the song contest you can showcase at the March Crossroads Showcase? We will be celebrating the contest winners. see below how to contact DSA President, Steve Sullivan.


Here is winning songs in a series of three podcasts at:


or direct link:

Semifinalist are invited to showcase at the Saturday, March 7th Crossroads Showcase at the Varisity Grill.

Please contact Steve Sullivan, sullarch at , to reserve your time. Live instruments only, no singing to tracks.


Our Concert is scheduled for the Memorial Day Weekend in the Dallas area.

Also, look for a podcast of the winners as soon as we have the last song produced for the CD.

Thanks to our judges : Lawrence Gelburd, Blake Milton, Sir Earl Toon, Barbara Farkas, Mark Menza, Steve Weingart & Mitch Paliga.
Thanks to our screeners: Mary Dawson, Ducado Vega, Trade-off, Mathew JC, Michael Gott, and Greg Dugan
Song are currently being produced for the new CD.
Read the latest story about this years winners



DSA Monthly Guest Speaker & Song Critiques
- Every Second Tuesday, except Aug.

At the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak, Dallas

The next meeting is Tuesday, FEB 10.


Critiques will follow.

Planned 2008 Speakers
MAR - Reagan Redfern - Promoting Your Songs Online (How to set up a Myspace page)
APR - Brad Dale from Dallas Audio Post , Preparing For A Recording Session
MAY - Co-writing Roundtables ( We did this last year and you asked for it again)
JUN - Beyond Open Mics - panel of local venue owners on how to get a paying gig

Have any suggestions? What kind of programs would you like?


DSA T-SHIRTS $10 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $15


Songwriting, Song Swap Workshop
FIRST MONDAY – Feb 3, 7-9
White Rock Coffee in East Dallas.



OPEN MIC EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

SONGWRITERS CONNECTING TO SENIORS - nothing currently scheduled
“In Their Own Words” Songwriters playing their own songs

Steve Sullivan's CROSSROADS SHOWCASE Every First Saturday
Varsity Grill, Plano, TX NW corner of Coit & Spring Creek
and the 2nd Thursday at the Filling Station, Preston Rd in N. Dallas


Summer 2008 Lyric Contest Winners

1. The Last Line by Mike Parrish, LaGrange, GA
2. Handy Heart by Kenna Zishka, Austin, Tx
3. Cheer On Our Country's Behalf by Genell Kelso
HM Strut My Country by Agnes "Gretta" Buntain, Cecilia, KY

Please see the lyric blog for winning lyrics and critiques.

Summer Contest Winners still to be announced.

Next Lyric Contest Deadline Extended to- March 15th, 2009 for Winter Lyric Contest
( Yes, we are catching up)
Entry fee is $10
Please see lyric contest webpage for details.
The following 2009 directors were elected at the annual membership meeting on November 11, 2008. The offcers were elected by the board of directors at the annual planning board meeting on January 24, 2009.

2009 Officer & Direxctors
Steve Sullivan - President,
Steve Morgan - Vice President, ( Public Relations )
Paul Penrod - Vice President of Membership
Sherrie Davis - Vice President of Programs
Bob Paterno - Secretary
John Davis - Treasurer, ( Webmaster)

Board Members at Large
Barbara McMillen - Founding President Emeritus, Administration, Newsletter Editor
Nancy Rynders - Lyric Contest Director
William Brown - Military Song Contest Director
Don Ashley - DSA store manager
Cliff Munroe - Showcases
Vern Dailey - Media Publicity, Monthly Meeting Programs
Anna Terry - Marketing
Rick Yentsch - Public relations, song contest
vacant -

The following may or may not be directors. You do not have to be a director or a member to be a committee member

Committee Members
Workshop Committee - chair - No one - this could be you
Annie Benjamin - Cordinator Song Swap Workshop
James Pappas - Song Swap Workshop committee
Genell Kelso - Librarian, workshops
Ray Phillips - Monthly Meeting Critiques

Showcase Committee - chair Cliff Munroe
Rick Yentz
Craig St. Clair
Paul Zander

Public Relations Committee- chair - Buck Morgan
Anna Terry - Marketing

SSS Committee - chair, Will Brown
Barbara McMillen
Lisa Lazo
Jose Volante
Mike Dawson

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Steve Anderson, Ryan Galloway & Warren Lett

THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: John Metz, Vern Dailey, Morri Hartgraves, Paul Penrod, Reagan Redfern, Nancy Rynders, Michael Roth

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

OCT: Judith de los Santos, Tony Burroughs, Michael Hart, Adam Donmoyer, Rich Ellis, Danny Everitt, Mathew Marsh, Brad Price, William LLoyd.
NOV: Robert Couch, Joni Ringo, Donna Aylor, Jenna Drey, Mike Hyden, Richard Kirwin, Will Brown, Elizabeth KirchgatterAl Scroggins, Ian Dickson, Will Livingston, Clif Munroe, Jan Seides, Steve Smith, Alisha Jackson, Sharon Pisors, David Carter, Tim Dawson, Terry Fann, Jason Heald, Brad Henske, Forrest Lawson, Phillip Marcus, Linda Moroziuk, Paul Reaney, Walter Sargent, Andy Taylor, John T Wilson,
DEC: Jeff Sharp, Craig St Clair, Lisa Mickelson, Steve Morgan, Bil Basinski, Genell Kelso, Steve Hill, Ross Vick, Jeri Asernault
JAN: Mary Dawson, Jeff Moxcey, Beverly Houston, Kathy Davidson, Drew Harakal, Sidney Miller, Ann Abercrombie, Kay Seamayer
FEB: Carol Shaw, Jennifer Carson, James Pappas, Jason Winford & Bill Amos

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 we have a workshop at our monthly meeting on the 1st Monday and 2nd Tuesday.)


FIRST MONDAY SONG SWAP at White Rock Coffee for peer critiques

DSA will be giving a Saturday workshop at a college in the spring.

Current workshops:


8. Events -

Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, & showcases. Click on the link #8 to the right or copy and paste this link in your browser.

9. Featured Articles:

GRAMMY NOMINEES FOR SONG OF THE YEAR Who do you think will win? Weigh in below in the comments. You can hear these songs on or

Song Of The Year
A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if
it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names
appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John
Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West, songwriters (Estelle
Featuring Kanye West)
Track from: Shine

Adele Adkins & Eg White, songwriters (Adele)
Track from: 19

Jason Mraz, songwriter (Jason Mraz)
Track from: We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.

Sara Bareilles, songwriter (Sara Bareilles)
Track from: Little Voice

Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris
Martin, songwriters (Coldplay)
Track from: Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends


Is A Craze That Is Sweeping The Globe This is a good read for ideas in promoting your music


Twenty Ways Artists Can Increase Bookings in 2009 
  1.)  Answer your phone whenever possible.  If you are unavailable, a prospective client moves on to the next entertainer on their list and if they may miss out on a booking opportunity. 
2.)  It is perfectly fine if your home number is your business number.  However, ask  your children not to answer the phone unless they see that the incoming call is a family member or friend.  Also be sure that your partner/roommate/spouse is comfortable and skilled in taking a phone message on your behalf, if not, it is best to let the machine take the message.  Remember that everyone that answers your phone represents you and how you are represented may determine if you will be hired. 
3.)  Your message should simply state that the caller has reached Carolyn Michaels of The Jazz Trio and that you will return their phone call as soon as possible.  You should not clutter your answering machine message with information about others that live with you...your friends and family will know that they have also reached the home of John, Mary and Brian. 
4.)  Refrain from asking callers to leave an event date, how many people are to be expected, etc.  This is perceived as "screening" and in general clients find it off-putting.  One of the biggest mistakes that entertainers make is assuming that because they are being called the client has already made up his or her mind to hire them.  They haven't.  A phone call is merely an inquiry, often used as a chance to interview or audition the personality of the artist.  Once you receive an inquiry phone call, your job is to make the caller feel comfortable with you so that they will want to share your artistry with their clients, friends and family.  
5.)  Do not under any circumstances have a mechanical "canned" message or a curt "You have reached 708-123-4567."  You are selling yourself and first impressions count so make sure that your telephone message makes an excellent first impression.
6.)  Return all calls within 24 hours.  In this day and age there is no excuse not to.
7.)  Pick an e-mail address that is simple and professional. Resist the temptation to go with something like
8.)  Don't make people fill out forms in order to send you an e-mail.  For every person that does...I can pretty much guarantee that ten have decided it isn't worth the time and they will surf over to the next artist.  Why would you risk losing even one potential client with this practice?
9.)  If you do have a website you must have a professional website.  When I see that an artist wants to send me to MySpace or Facebook I move on.  And so do hundreds of other producers and booking agents.
10.)  If you decide to have a website, you must have a private website. "Free" websites are not really free.   They make their money by allowing marketing firms to assault your visitors with pop up ads and then allowing them to attach tracking cookies.  Both of these practices slow down a computer immediately and if a client notices, they will not stick around to further explore your site and you will lose a potential job. 
11.) Take control of your career and design a website that reflects you and your life's work.  Gone are the days when you had to pay a web designer thousands of dollars to design and maintain a site for you.  Most hosting sites now have "Do it Yourself Website Builders" that allow almost anyone to design and build a professional looking website in just a few hours.  And it is very inexpensive. can set you up for less than $150.00 a year.  Still not sure that you are up to this? Hire a teenager that has a Facebook or MySpace page to build your new website and show you how to edit and maintain it. It really is this easy...I promise.
12.)  Be careful not to design a website that needs special downloads in order for clients to view it.  Many people will not download anything from an unfamiliar site and they will have no choice but to move on to an artist that has a more accessible site.
13.)  Some sites are very impressive but who will see it if the download takes so long that people get impatient and move on to the next artist? 
14.)  Be careful about charging travel fees.  Most people are put off by them and it is best to skip them or roll them into the performance fee.  For many clients, a high travel fee is a deal breaker.
15.)  Work with clients in regards to pricing.  Only you can decide if you will let a $300.00 gig slip by because a client can only pay $250.00.  Remember, every time you perform you really are being given an opportunity to audition for future bookings.  If you take the gig at a $50.00 reduction and then perform in front of 50 people then you will have auditioned for 50 people that you now do not have to send promotional materials to.  It could be worth it in the long run. 
16.)  Don't put all your eggs into one basket in regards to advertising.  Many artists would be surprised how many people find the internet too expansive, instead preferring the traditional route of catalogs, magazines and newspapers.  Not everyone likes surfing the internet. 
17.)  Time your mailings carefully.  It doesn't pay to send anything around the holidays or during the summer vacation season.  Also consider addressing mailings to, for instance, The Principal rather than Mr. Jones.  If Mr. Jones has left his position, a secretary may return the mail to you.  Only send mailings to specific persons if you are sure that they are still holding that position.
18.)  Do follow-ups.  They really can bring in those clients that are still on the fence.  Follow-ups also are reminders to people that have very busy schedules and perhaps wanted to get back to you but haven't had the chance.
19.)  Even if you do not get the booking, be gracious and send a thank you for considering me message offering any assistance or services for future needs.  This is a very elegant way to extend a business relationship and after receiving a message of this kind, clients that "got away" will be much more likely to refer you to their associates, family and friends.
20.)  Above all remember that you have serious competition for every entertainment dollar that your community has to spend.  Make every contact that they have with you count.   
Thanks to Patricia Fleming, Publisher, for this article. Get listed in her directory.

A rare PRINTED DIRECTORY exclusively designed for Professional Artists, Entertainers and Event Specialists


10. Song Contests

BW Stevenson Singer Songwriter Contest : Deadline March 31
Wildflower Singer Songwriter Song Contest
Broadjam Keyboard Contest
John Lennon Song Contest
USA Songwriting Contest


11. Songwriting Resources

Here's the spot to find links to the songwriting communtiy for your educational development. I'll be building this blog over the next few months, so let me know with your comments, who should be added to the links.

Jeff Moxey's book on How To Get Your Songs Recorded

Link to Guitar World featuring articles and lessons

12. Best Songs of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting


Vern Dailey- ???

To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our myspace page.

Did you know that A&R reps from labels and music publishers are listening to our Myspace page each month?


Thanks for reading this far. I have added new Resources & Best Songs pages to the newsletter. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Happy Valentines Day

Barbara McMillen, Editor
Songwriter Notes
Founding President Emeritus, DSA