Sunday, December 9, 2012

Songwriter Notes E-News #137 December 2012

Hello Songwriter,

I'm looking forward to celebrating the holidays. It's been a very busy, stressful year. I hope you will come celebrate with DSA at our Christmas Party and Open Mic next Tuesday. Food - Fun - Cash Bar. Details below.

Our directors were elected at the annual membership meeting last month. See a list of your new directors here: Our officers will be elected at the planning meeting in January. 

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.

I wanna think those of you who came out to see my musical, GIVE ME A BREAK. It really means so much to me that you have supported my creative endeavor that took up most of my time in 2012. It was truly an adventure and privilege to work with the cast and crew. See some photos of the show.

The cast album was released on ITunes in November and you can download it HERE:
Missed the show? You can read Buck's review HERE.
Please like us on Facebook and tell your friends about us.

Also the Texas Independent Music Expo was a big success and lots of fun.  Congratulations to the contest winner, Heidi Zetti of Plano, Tx.

Here is a list of DFW Holiday Music Events :

I'll be teaching songwriting classes spring semester at Collin College which are offered in the middle of the day, Tuesday and Thursday, or evenings Monday and Wednesday. We have lots of fun in the class and explore what makes a song popular. Here are the details.
I also, offer these classes online.

I would love to see you in one of my classes, but until then,
Have a great holiday!
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.



Interview with 2012 DSA Song Contest Winner Macy Medford by Roger Russell

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Macy Medford and her mother Stacy.  Macy’s song she cowrote with Jonathan George “Just Me and You” was the grand prize winner for the 2012 DSA Song Contest.  Here is the interview.

Roger:  How old are you?
Macy:  I am 15 years old now.
Roger:  Are you attending high school now?
Macy:  I am a sophomore at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas.
Roger:  What instruments do you play?
Macy:  Guitar and Piano.


     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

    Here the song on ReverbNation

    Check out her website:

    That Old Shirt by Steve Chizmadia, Peekskill, NY

    You'll Be Back by Debra M. Gussin, Jonathan Bluth, LA, CA
    Macy with Grand Prize Taylor Guitar signed by Beth Nielsen Chapman, 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.


    Christmas Party - Open Mic - Food - Door Prizes

    DEC. 11, 6:30 - Location moved for party

    Come out and celebrate the season with fellow members. There will be an open Mic at Tino's Mexican Cafe inside Collin Creek Mall. DSA will provide appetizers. Cash bar.

    See meeting page for more details

    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. 

    Love Gives To All  by Michael Brandenberger
    As the Drifting Rains Encircle by Morri Hartgraves
    Critique Panel: Helene Cronin and Bobby Montgomery

    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


    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 Dec. 31st FALL CONTEST or enter online.

    2012 SUMMER WINNER(deadline was Sept 3o)


    1. The Only Heart You Had Was Mine by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
    2. It's Only Country When It's Real by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
    2. Gimme a Big City by John Thomas Lane, Monument, Co
    3. What Woman Can Make You Do by  Ross Smith, Lewisville, Tx
    HM Your Flight Has Just Been Cancelled by Lenny Soloman, Cambridge, MAS
    HM. I'd Marry You Again (The Anniversary Song) by Bill Hoover, Hendersonville, NV
    HM The Fracking Song  by Lenny Soloman, Cambridge, MAS
    The End of A Dream by Roy Williams, Woodbridge, ONT, CAN
    Back To Work by Landon Ray Lewis, Waco, Tx



    Next Lyric Contest Deadline is June 30th for Spring Lyric Contest
    Entry fee is $10
    Please see lyric contest webpage for details.

    6. MEMBER NEWS -
    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 2013 elected Directors 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: Joseph Jacobs, Gigi CostasDevin 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: Michael Roth, Alex GorodiscasRob McHaleBill HonkerBobby MontgomeryTrevor DahlenCasey Graham

    TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

    EXPIRED IN APRIL: Suzi Moore, Jeremy Ellis, Joanna Endsley, Gary Morse, Daniel Anchondo, Loretta Dunnaway, 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, Shane Martin, Christal Prout, Shosshana Sperling, John Visconti, Tara Priya, Janine Wilson, Steven Welp, Stonewall Towery. 
    EXPIRED IN JULY: Brook Malouf, Lu Ann Dunley, Ken Luginbyhl, Ryan Galloway
    EXPIRED IN AUGUST: Joyce Sanders, Dixon Beasley.
    EXPIRED IN SEPT: Jonathan Harrison
    EXPIRED IN OCT: Morri Hartgraves, Charles Risinger, Liz Basse
    EXPIRED IN DEC: Cheryl Anderson, MiMi Balkey, Donna Scoggins, David Byboth, Shelby Cook, Ross Smith, Lisa Miller, Julie Jean White, Kathern Hallberg, Randy Brown, Joe Milton, Gregg Watts, Mark Sanders, Steve Ritter, JR Byrd
    Member News : 
    Wendy Jill Tobias placed in top ten in songwriting contest
    Barbara McMillen's musical premiered in November. Read Buck's review
    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.

    11   DSA Christmas Party at Tinos in Collin Creek Mall, Plano, Tx
    29 - Jan 1: Way Alt West Fest at Big Sky Resort, Montana
    24 - 27 NAMM Show, Anaheim, CA
    24 -27 ASG Symposium, Austin, Tx
    26 - 29 MIDEM , Cannes, France

    10  - Grammy Awards - 7PM C on CBS
    20 - 24 Folk Alliance, Toronto, CAN

    8-18  SXSW, Music, Film, Interactive, Austin, Tx

    5-7 Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Dallas, Tx
    20 - 22 Dallas International Guitar Show, Market Hall

    17 - 19 WildFlower Festival, Richardson, Tx

    Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues. There's a list of holiday music for this month.

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

    Branch Out With Your Music
    By Allison Sharp -- Making a living in music has always been a challenge, but with digital music being so readily available it's important for you as a musician, artist, or band to branch out with your music. It's not enough to just press up some CD's and throw some tracks on your website and expect to make a decent living. Working as a musician means just that, working!
    Songwriters Groups Speak Out on Internet Radio Bill
    By ASCAP -- In advance of a House Intellectual Property Subcommittee hearing on music licensing reform, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and the NSAI are calling on Congress to address the concerns of songwriters and composers, whom the groups say are being disadvantaged by a misaligned regulatory structure.
    8 Things Indie Musicians Can Learn From Taylor Swift's Red Release
    By Solveig Whittle -- Album sales may be plummeting in the music industry overall, but Taylor Swift's latest album hit the number one position on iTunes' Top Album charts within 36 minutes of its release last month and remained there for the past three weeks...


    Straight from the Dos Equis Commercial pitch rejections...

    The Most Miserable Man in the World.

    Rita Hayworth.... Stayin' Alive
    By et7waage1-- [For all you lovers of redheads.]

    Will We Ever Run Out Of New Music? [VIDEO]
    By Hisham Dahud -- Given all the possibilities for a given song to exist, with all the notes, chords and arrangements at our disposal, will we ever reach a point where we have one day heard it all?
    MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on the new blog DSA Music Biz News

    So You Have A Great Song - Now What? [INFOGRAPHIC]
    By Hisham Dahud -- Well, a lot actually. It takes so much more than simply uploading a digital file of one of your tracks, and then assuming that truly good music will always get discovered and heard. While yes, it does and always has come down to the quality of music, many musicians find it overwhelming the amount of work that goes into building and sustaining an independent music career.


    DAVE BRUBECK | 1920-2012


    Mr. Brubeck, best known for "Take Five," experimented with time signatures and polytonality and explored baroque compositional devices and foreign modes.
    Dave Brubeck, Jazz Legend, Dies at 91
    By Amy Hubbard -- Dave Brubeck, the jazz pianist, composer and bandleader behind the legendary Dave Brubeck Quartet, has died at age 91. [Wikipedia - Dave]

    By Fred Bronson -- Pete Bennett -- the promotion man who famously worked with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, Steven Tyler, Sam Cooke and many others -- died of a heart attack on Thanksgiving Day. Former Rolling Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham, Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein and others shared their memories of Bennett.

    [There is really a lot more to attaining a successful career than bashing a guitar and singing off key!]
    Frank Barcelona: The Only Agent In Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Passes
    By Bruce Houghton -- While not well-known to the general public, Barsalona was a legend in the industry, representing a roster of clients that included Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, U2, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and many others.

    A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online
    By NPR Staff --In the mid-1980s, a record executive and former DJ named Joe Smith saw that a lot of the big-band greats were disappearing: Count Basie, Harry James and others. So he decided to try to start recording interviews with outstanding musicians while they were in their prime. From 1985 to 1987, Smith sat down with many of the popular music figures of the 20th century...This week, the Library of Congress began making those interviews available online.
    Bob Paterno's blog Making Music Making Money

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


    Peter HodgsonInside the Lydian Mode
    It's dreamy, it's mystical ...y'know in movies how whenever something magical or whimsical happens, there's a particular feel...


    How To Play Funk
    By Bobby Owsinski -- Here's a great clip from Herbie Hancock's Rock School series about how to play funk. It features some greats like Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins and Nile Rogers as they show in slow motion how to bring the funk.
    The Power of Diversity: Innovation In A Song
    By Bill Fischer -- The next time someone questions the value of diversity, tell'em to go whistle up a tune; Autumn in New York to be specific. This rather modest "jazz standard" is a microcosm of how diversity adds to the creativity of a society. (Spotify users) (sample)

    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.