Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SongwritersNotes E-News # 134 Sept. 2012

Hello Songwriter,

We really had a great time at the pool party jam and BBQ. Thanks go out to Michael Brandenberger for hosting at his house. Joni and I floated in the pool 'til all hours while the jamming was inside and out by the pool.

Our song contest winners have been announced and prizes distributed. It was very close as evidenced by the comments of our Grand Prize Judge, Roy Elkins.

At the 2nd Tuesday meeting our guest speaker will be Mike Hall from the renowned songwriter venue, Uncle Calvins.

We have a new 1st Thursday Open Mic at Half Price Books on NW Hwy. See #4 below for details.

Our other regular DSA monthly events remain the same, 1st and 3rd Monday SongSwaps and 3rd Thursday Open Mic. For details, see #2 and #4 below.

Wanna be apart of the inner workings or the DSA? We have a board position open. We're looking for a Treasurer.

I was so lucky to escape the Dallas heat in August and go to the Big Sky Songwriting Festival. Many hit songwriters were there as mentors, including our very own Rory Feek. He a facebook posting that I took on Thursday night of Joey + Rory.  They were the best act I've seen a a long time, so very real and enjoying life and what they do. Very heartwarming for me to see. Scroll back through the album to see photos taken at the VIP party of the mentors and other performance and panel photos. I was fortunate to meet a lot of good songwriters who had come to retreat, write and learn. The couple that travelled the longest to get there was Marie and Enrique from Paraguay, South America. Others were from South Beach, FL, Canada, Washington, Northern California and more. Most of the mentors were from Nashville. Reporter John Ritchie from the American Songwriter reported on the festival here in the latest issue:
This was the first annual, so make your plans for next August and COME WITH ME TO BIG SKY!

Help DSA today at no cost to you.
DSA has enrolled in a new program at BBVA Compass Bank. You can help DSA earn money by opening a Compass account and give Dallas Songwriters as your reason or if you already have a Compass account, go to your bank and connect to our program and use your check card.
No checks to write. No direct mail. No telemarketing. In other words, no hassles. The Compass For Your Cause Program allows your members to support your organization, by doing something many of them do virtually every day—use their check card for everyday purchases. And it's easy for them to get started. They simply:

  • Open a BBVA Compass Checking Account*
  • Open a Compass Visa® Check Card*
  • Sign for purchases using the Check Card
That's all there is to it. When they open an account, you earn a royalty of $50. Every time they use their Check Card for qualifying purchases††, you earn additional royalties. So start earning money the easy way with the Compass For Your Cause program. Contact us today to get started.

Check out our pictures on the Dallas Songwriters Facebook. Go on Facebook and LIKE us. New, tell your firends about Dallas Songwriters on Meetup.

QUICK LOOK CALENDAR OF DSA MONTHLY EVENTS - put this in your bookmark.


        2012 Dallas Songwriters Song Contest

Now in its 22nd year, The DSA 2012 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes. You will find Semifinalist  here:


Just Me and You by Macy Medford, Jonathan George, Houston, TX


That Old Shirt by Steve Chizmadia, Peekskill, NY

You'll Be Back by Debra M. Gussin, Jonathan Bluth, LA, CA

1. That Old Shirt by Steve Chizmadia, Peekskill, NY
2. Kids These Days by Andy Hill, Renee Safier and Hardrain, Redondo Beach, CA
3. Find My Way by Chris Alvarado, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

1. Bookstore Blues by Eric Colville, The Selkies, Ipswich, MA
2. Our Gumtree Home by Glen Naylor, Bright, Victoria, Australia
3.  The Monster Masher by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA

1. Blue Room by Keeton Coffman, Sping,TX
2. Is That You? by Debra M. Gussin. Rik Howard, LA, CA
3.  Holy Water by Spencer Clark, Saint Helena, CA 

1. Abilene From Abilene by Kevin Reardon, Riverside, CT
2. Liar by Daniel Sumber, Josh Patton, Brandon Sparks, (Patton Sparks Band), Austin, Tx
3. I Love It When You Call by by Andy Taylor, Alpharetta, GA

1. Dolphins In Love by Gavin R. Potter, Simons Town, S. Africa
2. I Need You by V. Padla Gootee, Arlington, VA
3. The Struggles Within by Diane Lekven, Jordan Perez, Rancho Sante Fe, CA

1. I Like The Way You Look At Me by Belle Schneiderman, NY, NY
2. Believe In Love by Robert Graham, Toronto, Ont, CAN
3. Do U Miss The Heat by Debra M. Gussin, Stacy Hogan, LA, CA

1. Fade To Grey by Chris O'Neil, Heathmont, Victoria, Australia
2. Those Were The Days by Chase Thompson, Pasco, WA
3. Julie by Philip Creamer, Daniel Creamer, Tucker,Cauble, Dallas, TX
HM. So Confused by Nestor Cora, Brooklyn, NY

1. I Am Not James Taylor by  Gordon Lustig, Napa, CA
2. Just Me and You by Macy Medford, Jonathan George, Houston, TX
3. Sing Your Song by Susie McLean, Mississauga, Ontario, CAN
HM  I Gave You Away by Becky Wright, Tahlequah, OK

Grand Prize is a Taylor Guitar signed by Beth Nielsen Chapman. The one she played on Good Morning Texas donated by our Prez, Roger Russell.

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.


2nd Tuesday Meeting, Sept. 11, 
Mike Hall, from Uncle Calvins
Mike Hall wears so many hats these days that he's going to have to grow a bigger head. With Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse, over the course of 13 years of volunteering there, he's literally gone from washing dishes to co-managing the place, moving progressively down the ladder. He oversees the booking process and is there essentially every Friday hosting the shows, signing the checks, and keeping the other volunteers in line (an impossible task, which is the reason for the grey, thinning hair). He's grateful for the able assistance of since-the-beginning-of-time co-Manager Ed Gunsalus, who's primary job is to keep him in line (and have you seen Ed's hair lately?). If that's not enough, he's also the Calvin's webmaster and website designer (with the quality that you'd expect when an engineer designs a website). more on meeting page

6:30 Sign In - Network
7PM : Guest Speaker
8PM: Song Critiques 

See meeting page for more details

Future Programs:
NEW shirts: $15 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $20
OLD shirts: $10 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $15
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
Roger Russell, Jame Pappas coordinating.
We'll be in the Community Room at the back left in the building.

Tino's at Collin Creek Mall- Steve Sullivan, coordinator.
Tinos Mexican Restaurant Collin Creek Mall, Plano, Tx 

3. BEST SONGS of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting
Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year is in the process of being judged for 2012 and will probably be announced in March. 

Gonna Try To Get High by Vern Dailey
Thank God He Broke Your Heart 
by Brook Malouf
Impression From Our Love by Morri Hartgrave
Critique Panel: Steve Weisberg and Casey Graham

Long time DSA member, James Pappas,  is Songwriter of the Year for most wins at the 2nd Tuesday meetings last year. See our Press Room for story.

Congratulations go to Casey Graham, for the winning song, "Tears for Joanna." It was Casey's first song submitted to the 2nd Tuesday Critics. See our Press Room for story.

Our judge was Zane Williams, the amazing singer/songwriter who brought a 2nd Tuesday program earlier this year. Zane somehow crammed in judging and commenting on our 2011 Critique Winners between gigging all around North Texas, trips to Nashville, starring spots on Troubadour, TX, and being a daddy and a husband and a human being. He got his comments back to us somewhere between Texas and Utah, where he is today.

See the website for Zane's comments.

To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our myspace page.
Did you know that A and R reps from labels and music publishers are listening to our Myspace page each month?


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

EVERY 1ST THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
Featured Artist at 8PM - Vicky Williams

 The Well Coffee Shop in downtown Royse City 
 Saturday Sept. 6 Performers - TBA

TEXAS SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND at Sandstone Cellars Winery Showcase & Open Mic in Mason Texas.  
HOURS 6-9PM 211 San Antonio Street, Mason, TX 76856
Shows will be on the 3rd Thursday of each month starting in March.

Guidelines for our stars @ Texas Songwriters in the Round shows:
* All original set of 45 minutes
* A professional commercially released CD with some airplay and press.

We allow any songwriter to come be part of the TSR in the Round, with one star per month! If you'd like to come out and join in as a rounder I can make sure you have a place for the night! To Showcase contact: Jeri Alice
Other area open mics OPEN MICS
5. LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked June 30th SPRING CONTEST or enter online.

2012 SPRING WINNER(deadline was June 30th)


 He Was The Whole World to Me by Dana Young, Anthony, KS
 Just About Us by Mike Brandon, Joplin, MO
 Songs From Home by Matt Stemme, Castiac, CA
 Corner Bar by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ 
The Life We Know and Love by Roy Williams, Woodbridge, ONT, Canada
 So Many Dreams by Dana Young, Anthony, KS
 Salesman by Ryan Eichenwald, Dallas, Tx
 Under The Canopy by Mitchell Kopnick, Janesville, WI
 A Yard Full of Weeds by Dana Young, Anthony, KS 
Nothing Changes Life Like Living by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ



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 or the DSA. We have a board position open. We're looking for a Treasurer.

To view a list of the 2012 Officer and Directors and Committees go to this link:

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.


WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Devin Hill, Wendy Tobias, Song Contest Winners new or renewing: Macy Medford,  Steve Chizmadia, Debra M. Gussin , Renee Safier, Chris Alvarado, Eric Colville, Glen Naylor, Lanny Sherwin, Keeton Coffman , Spencer Clark, Kevin Reardon, Daniel Sumber , Andy Taylor , Gavin Potter, Vanessa Padla, Diane Lekven, Belle Schneiderman, Robert Graham, Chris O'Neill, Chase Thompson, Nestor Cora, Philip Creamer, Gordon Lustig, Susie  McLean, Becky Wright

THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Casey Graham, Helene Cronin, Buz Craft, Madilyn Shaw, Holly Doubet, Julie Jean White, James Pappas, Andrew Boyer, Ross Smith, Morri Hartgraves, Robin Hughes, Will Brown, Kathryn Hallberg, Larry Dodge, Nancy Rynders

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN APRIL: Suzi Moore, Jeremy Ellis, Joanna Endsley, Gary Morse, Daniel Anchondo, Loretta Dunnaway, Robert McHale, Margaret Cuddihee.
EXPIRED IN MAY: Richard Ray Hunt, Annie Cornelius
EXPIRED IN JUNE: Brandon Watson, Paul McNair, Mike Corbin, Keith Thompson, Tom Biles, Kyle Carey, Wyler Delray, Ruben Estevez, John Friday, Ruben Estevez, John Friday, Donna Lisa, Shane Martin, Christal Prout, Shosshana Sperling, John Visconti, Tara Priya, Janine Wilson, Steven Welp, Jan Osborne, Butch Schindel, Joe Daniel
EXPIRED IN JULY: Brook Malouf, Lu Ann Dunley, Ken Luginbyhl, Ryan Galloway
EXPIRED IN AUGUST: Joyce Sanders, Alexander Gorodiscas, Dixon Beasley.
PLEASE RENEW THIS MONTH: Jonathan Harrison, Bobby Montgomery, Bill Honker.

Member News : 
Barbara McMillen's musical premieres in November
Casey Graham's song named song of the year 2011
James Pappas named Songwriters of 2011


Renew your membership online,
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right

(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.)

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.

5 - 9 Music Fest NW, Portland, OR
8-9 West Coast Songwriters Conference, Foot Hills College, Los Altos Hills, Ca
26 - 30 Cutting Edge Music Conference, NOLA

4 - 6 Durango Songwriters Expo, Broomfield Co
4 -7 Filter Culture Collide, LA
12 -14 ACL Fest, Austin 
16 - 20 CMJ Marathon, NYC

9 - 16 Give Me A Break, a Rock Musical at the Art Centre Theater

29 - Jan 1: Way Alt West Fest at Big Sky Resort, Montana

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

9. Featured Articles:
PREZ SEZ: Tune in to DSA President, Roger Russell's, musings and DSA goings on.

Mental Benefits of Music Lessons Echo Years after Practice Ends
By Melissa Healy -- Lapsed musical instrumentalists (and their disappointed parents): Take heart! The child that gets even a few years of formal musical training before quitting those weekly lessons continues to show evidence that his or her brain has been changed in ways that improve mental function, says a new study. [Thanks to Michelle Kay for the link.]


VIDEO: A Brief History of Rock N'Roll in 100 Riffs
By Chicago Music Exchange -- Alex Chadwick plays 100 guitar riffs in chronological order. It is a fun challenge to cover the caption and try to name them all just from the sound.

5 Piano Guys
By Bobby Owsinski -- I just love this video. It's 5 guys and a single piano and shows how dynamics, a great arrangement, and 5 clever and talented guys can make a single instrument sing.
MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on the new blog DSA Music Biz News

[A serious post from a serious musician. It ain't easy being talented! Even harder if what you create for a living is distributed by others without paying you.]
My Ever-Changing Career as a Musician
By Cameron Mizell -- Over the last 10 years the way I make a living has changed dramatically. I've never made a lot of money, but I've been able to make more each year despite the changes in the music industry and economy in general. Here's my method and what I've learned along the way.

Want Long-Term Success? Create Your Band Agreement TODAY
By Jo-Ná A. Williams, Esq. -- The most successful bands have ironed out the details of their band's operations in a band agreement...if you're serious about becoming a legend you need to nail down all the sticky details that could lead to your band's future status as the next "Rolling Stones" or the next "Broke Unknowns."
The Definitive Guide To Facebook For Musicians
By Bryan Kim -- Facebook is the largest marketing channel for most musicians and bands. Surprisingly, it's also the one they know the least about. So in this guide, we're going to breakdown why Facebook is important, how it works, and most importantly, the specific steps you can take to make Facebook work for you and your fans.
Three Things to Do Before Your First Publisher Meeting

Legendary Songwriter Hal David Dies in LA at 91
By Bob Thomas and Christopher Weber -- [Besides having created lyrics that will live from generation to generation until the end of time, Hal was passionate about protecting songwriters' rights and the rights of all creators. -- DK]
ASCAP mourns the untimely passing of one of our most distinguished, accomplished and honored members - composer/arranger/conductor/pianist Marvin Hamlisch. New York City native Hamlisch died in Los Angeles at 68 on August 6th, following a brief illness.



[Music to put you in a dad-busted good mood.]
Ben Powell: In The Footsteps Of Jazz Fiddle Royalty
By Andrea Shea -- The late Stephane Grappelli (performance video) is perhaps the best-known jazz violinist in history...A comparison to Grappelli is one of the highest honors a young, rising violinist can receive. Ben Powell is a 25-year-old, British-born, classically trained violinist who lives just outside Boston, and his new CD has won him comparisons to the violin great.
Bob Paterno's blog Making Music Making Money

Glossary of Terms Used in the Music Industry
Compiled by Mario F. Gonzalez, Esq.


Eight Ways To Compose Music More Effectively
By Marcel Williams -- We've all been there. Struggling to come up with a melody or working out that perfect ending for your song. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of composing music, especially when you are working towards a deadline. This article contains a few suggestions on how to compose more effectively...
Hypertunes Promises Modular Songwriting for iOS
By Andrew Garsetti -- As a musician who is as amateur as they come, I find myself appreciating anything that makes it easy to create a song...As such, you can probably imagine my jubilation at Hypertunes, a new iPhone app designed to let you build songs by manipulating blocks of sound, "the way a painter might sketch out a piece before filling in the details."
The Eagles' "Hotel California" Song Analysis
By Bobby Owsinski -- Jesse B. asked for an analysis of what has become an iconic song, The Eagles "Hotel California." It's the title song from the album of the same name that went on to sell over 16 million and was number 1 around the world.
One Easy Tip to Hit Songwriting from Industry Vet Larry Butler
By Larry Butler -- Larry Butler is a former VP of Artist Relations for Warner Bros. and Reprise Records. While out on a promotional tour with Randy Newman and Mark Knopfler, Butler learned a simple secret to hit songwriting. He shares it in his e-book The Twelve Lessons of Rock 'N' Roll (for Your Career and Your Life). And now we're sharing it with you.
The Secret To A Great Arrangement
By Bobby Owsinski -- Here's a detailed explanation of the arrangement elements and how their interaction is the key to really making an arrangement work.
Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary


10. Song and Talent Contests
See contest details at:
Song, Lyric and Fiddle Contests

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of

11. Songwriting Resources
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 21th 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.