Sunday, March 8, 2015


Hello Songwriter,

Your directors are working hard planning some educational events for you. We've a couple of workshops planned this spring, along with some showcase ops for Wildflower and Arts Week.

Our Second Tuesday Meeting will feature guest speaker, Annie Howe from the local radio station, KNONAnnie, who has been involved with the station for many years, will enlighten us on the ins and out radio airplay. See #2 below.

The worshop and performance with The Waymores at the MCM Grand in Lewisville was absolutely the best!  Don Henry, Sally Barris and Tom Kimmell each took time to introduce themselves, talk about their background and present an important element of songwriting, demonstrating an example from one of their own songs. After the introductions, the group began commenting on songs presented live by each registrant. Everyone was able to learn from the comments. 

I was sad not to be able to take in Folk Alliance in Kansas City, however, I did try to tune into KC Cafe Radio without success. Apparently, the live showcase stream was so popular that the servers could not handle all the hits. Hopefully, they will try again next year with more success. 

I'm headed down to SXSW next week for one day only, Thursday. Anyone up for commuting together? I have a number of things scheduled for the day, but most important is the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy's Membership Meeting. It's very inconvenient that SXSW is not aligned with Spring Break this year. Sure limits my ability to take in the week, because of teaching duties at Collin College.

BW Stevenson Song Contest at Poor David's is calling for entries, deadline April 15th. See #10 below.
We are back in the swing of the Second and fourth Sat. Showcases at Angela's. See below for the March line up.

 Our regular DSA monthly events remain the same 1st and 3rd Monday SongSwaps and 1st and 3rd Thursday Open Mic. For details, see #2 and #4 below. Some of us like to visit the Poor Davids Pub Open Mic every Monday.

Thanks to our new Lyric Contest Director Dan Roark and DSA Prez Michael Brandenberger, we are caught up with the lyric contest announcement. See the most recent announcements below in #5. Next quarterly deadline is March 31st.

Spring is coming. My irish eyes are smiling. Don't forget to wear green this month!


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

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


1. ANNUAL SONG CONTEST - Winners Announced - See the complete list on our contest page. 


“Lucia Comnes is a singer, songwriter, fiddler & guitarist with a ‘singular voice’ (SF Chronicle) and ‘a powerful imagination’ (C. Poling) whose atmospheric roots music crosses genres of Americana, folk, Celtic, bluegrass & alternative.”
Drawing from the past but refreshingly contemporary, Lucia demonstrates that she isn't afraid of taking chances. Her crystal clear voice with a hint of mystery was decried by the San Francisco Chronicle as "singular…. embedded with soul and spirit."  Her fiddling is powerful and full of emotional expression. All these talents and imagination have conbined to create the grand prize winning song, "No Hiding Place." Her... more.......

WINNER of IPOD: Maxin Senin, Lakewood, CA

On December 9th, at Sons of Hermann Halls, we announced our song contest winners. Our grand prize winner was Lucia Comnes; Second place was local girl, Gracie Lott, and James Bennett took third place. See the press release about the grand prize winners here:  See the complete list of winners on our song contest page: Our Christmas Party and Awards Dinner was so much fun.  details here: 

                 2014 Dallas Songwriters Song Contest
Now in its 24th year, The DSA 2014 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 Bieard 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

Listen to the winners on Soundcloud at:


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.

  KNON DJ, Annie Litt, talks about the eclectic radio station, her show and how you can get your songs played on air.

Action Anni Howe is the Monday morning DJ on KNON, 89.3 FM  from 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM  in Dallas, hosting the Action-Packed Monday Morning Blend show.  The show has been on the air for 72 weeks.  Having served as President on the Community Advisory Board, and as Chairman of the PSA Committee for the station,  Anni has been involved with the station since 1988, a witness to the inner-workings of community radio in many different capacities, volunteering and co-hosting with Ranger Rita on her Texas Folk, and Magic Time Warp shows.  Anni's recorded music has been featured on KNON and she has performed her songs live on the air.

Anni works as a graphic designer and electronic pre-press technician at Texas Envelope and Curtis Business Products, and also does free-lance work for the printing industry and private enterprises.  In her free-time she enjoys sky-diving, SCUBA-diving, yoga, reading, cooking, and spending time with her dogs and friends and family.

Anni is a songwriter and performer, who plays several instruments (poorly), including harmonica, guitar, bass, fiddle, keyboard, and vocals, and has released a CD containing her own original material, as well as performing on recordings of other artist's songs.  She has worked with a number of producers in professional studios, as well as experimenting with recording and producing her own music in her home studio.  Anni has experience producing Public Service Announcements for KNON, including researching and writing copy, and producing the vocal and music tracks for on-air play.

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
April 14 – Jim Collins , Country performer, songwriter -
May 12 – Ray Baker  - publisher, producer, jazz sax player
June 9 – Hal Ketchum - tentative
July 14 – Barbe
August 11 – No Meeting
September 8 – Open
October 13 - OPEN - 

November 10 - Annual Membership Meeting - ken looking for speaker
December 8 - Christmas Party and Awards Dinner

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
 Jame Pappas coordinating.
We'll be in the Community Room at the back left in the building.

Tino's - Steve Sullivan, coordinator.
Tino's Too Mexican Restaurant 2205 Ave K, Plano, Tx  972 881-9226

3. BEST SONGS of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting

Feb 2015
Alone With Alone by Dickey Johnson

We announced the winners of our second Tuesday Meeting Critiques at the Awards Ceremony on December 9th. See details here: 

Honky Tonk Shrink by Rio King 

You never know what will come of a question.  We provided Dallas Song of the Year winner Rio King with a list of questions, and he responded with this fascinating conversation.

Please, feel free to eavesdrop.

Buck, this really IS an honor and I'm having a blast already with Song of the Year acclaim!  


Bobby Montgomery 


John Wayne had it. So did Clint Eastwood. That solid feeling that let’s you know you can count on them.

While Bobby Montgomery, the recently named Dallas Songwriter of the year, may not have Hollywood girth and brawn, he makes up for it in character.

He more than fills the Duke’s boots when you need someone you can count on.

When Bobby found the Dallas Songwriters, he found a home.  He knew there was something valuable here, and things of value need to be cared for. More.....

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



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

HALF PRICE BOOKS - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
Featured Artist at 8PM


Saturday Night at the Angela's at the Crosswalk in Downtown Plano

                Featured artist each month followed by open mic.
2nd Saturday Night   March. 14 - Gigi Gostas, Ian Dickson
4th Saturday Night, March 28  -John Mason, Carrie McCall
April 11:   Mary Guthrie, Dickey Johnson, Bobby Montgomery, Barbe McMillen
May 9:  LaToya Cooper, Helene Cronin



TEXAS SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND at Sandstone Cellars Winery Showcase and 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 .

Every 2nd Tuesday 7-9 PM @ Fuel Coffee House 106 Main St, Llano, Texas

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. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked MARCH 31st

Enter onine
or by mail

We are still moving our webste. This will probably be the last Lyric Contest post on the old site. Please use the new site for online entries.

Thanks to new Lyric Contest Director Dan Roark and DSA Prez Michael Brandenberger for getting us caught up with the quarterly contests. Here are the semifinalist. The winners are posted on the old WEBSITE.


Angels Down the Road by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
Peace Is Not So Far Away by by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
I Hope You Don’t Mind by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Last Bull, Last Ride by Robert Marshall, Akron, OH
Write Me a Love Song by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Corn Bread by Don Wall, Dallas, Tx

Bounce by John Hyden, Ralston, NE
The Road of Life by Catherine Pitman, Tualatin, OR
Stuff by   mail in
Angels Down The Road by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
Three Toed Wolf by Rio King, Plano, TX
Hide N Watch by Rio King, Plano, 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 or the DSA. We have committee positions open.

Officers Elected at the Planning Meeting on January 10, 2015
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - Executive VP, VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Rachel Wilhelm - Tech
Buck Morgan - Showcases/ Open Mics, Workshops
Dan Roark - Lyric Contest Director
Barbe McMillen - Communications, Administration, Newsletter
Joe Milton, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren and James Pappas - At Large

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.
Patron Sponsor L3: Bobby Montgomery, Harry Hewlett, Latoya Cooper, Kent Poynor, Ken Duren, Terry Bloss, Martha Myre, Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker, Morri Hartgraves, Steve Sullivan, James Pappas
Patron Sponsor L1: Ann Cornelius, Suzi Morse
Patron Sponsor: Bill Kapac, Mary Guthrie, Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts, John Martinez

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN SEPT: Ted Alvarez, Mary Matthews, Marcus Belmore, Patrick Beck, Marcy Carter.
EXPIRED IN OCT: Eddie Lott, Cal Scott, Brian Kalinec, Stephen McWhirter, Arek Religa, Kate Diaz, Maureen Fichten, Brent Benton
EXPIRED IN NOV: BC Cornish, Jasmine Dia, Richard Hopson
EXPIRED IN DEC: Scott White, Brad Davis, Ashley Sichler, Davi Morales
EXPIRED IN JAN: Grady Yates, Terry Fansler, Ray Phillips, Bill Kapac, Tim Spitzer, Brian Joyner, Cliff Monroe, Troll Mallow, Brit Morgan, Skip Spoonts, Mark Bone, Aaron Rose, Laura Bertwell, Jordy Searcy, Cousin Don Brown, Erin McGee, Bob Fisk, Richard Hunt

EXPIRED IN FEB: Jonathan Malone, Jesse Anderson, Wayne Dobry, Anthony Castillo, Daniel Zagotta
TIME TO RENEW THIS MONTH: Julia Pauletti, Jeff Rodgers, Ken Duren, Carol Shaw, Craig Langford, Johnny Cromer
A Members Page off the Dallas Songwriters homepage has a list of members and a url link. Please check the page and email me your link if it is not included.

Member News : 

Read performance reviews here:


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.)

Coming in May
May 15th: Wildflower Songwriters School with Cliff Eberhardt 

May 20, 21st : Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Stephony Smith and Phil Barton  
Workshop (location TBA on Wed night, 20th) and Performance on 21st at Poor Davids Pub presented by DSA and Dallas Business Council For The Arts
Coming later this year - Larry Beaird

• SoundEmerge Master Series - Ralph Murphy hosts award winning songwriters.
Register and view online.

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.


14  Willis Alan Ramsey and Special Guest Alison Ramsey
       at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX
 17-22 SXSW Music Conference, Austin
24-28 Winter Music Conference, Miami, FL

3 - 5  Deep Ellum Festival, Dallas, TX
10 - 18 Art Week all over Dallas
18   Tom Faulkner  at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX

13-17  SERFA - South East Regional Folk Alliance, Montreat, NC
15 - 17 Wildflower Festival, Richardson Tx 
23    Max Baca and Los TexManiacs at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX

 13    Colin Gilmore and Nicolette Good at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX

26 - 28 Thunder Mountain, Ozark, AR - Zane Williams appearing along with Carrie Underwood and many others

Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.
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:

by Steve Harvey
With the release by the U.S. Copyright Office of its 245-page study, "Copyright and the Music Marketplace," the lines are being drawn in the battle over compensation for music rightsholders in the digital age. The U.S. Copyright Office’s study examines the aging music licensing framework in light of the creation of and invest in music in this century. It makes a number of recommendations that “would bring both clarity and relief to songwriters, artists, publishers, record labels, and digital delivery services,” according to a statement.

By Dixie Somers

'Blurred Lines' Trial Reveals Robin Thicke, Pharrell Made Over $5 Million From Disputed Song
By Eriq Gardner -- As the "Blurred Lines" trial resumed, jurors got an inside peak at the financial success of the song credited to Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I.. ... Few things are more closely-guarded in the song business than financial profitability,

["Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand."]
Stevie Wonder on Duke Ellington
By Scott Timberg -- There's been a lot of talk about Mr. Wonder lately, largely because of the recent concerts. It reminds me of what may be my favorite Stevie song, from a record my parents had when I was a kid and which I pretty much wore out. Cool that he is tipping his hat to another piano player. [For a good time, click here and savor a little Stevie.]

NPR -- More than 15 years ago, Roebuck "Pops" Staples started recording his final album with his daughters, Mavis, Cleotha and Yvonne of the gospel-R&B family act The Staple Singers. Pops was ailing, but his voice was strong. In time he became too weak to finish the album, and one day he called Mavis to his sickbed and asked her to play him a rough recording. She left him alone with the music, and when she came back, he smiled and told her, "Mavis, don't lose this." She didn't.

MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on  DSA Music Biz News

[Here's an important look at 'fair use.']

Kienitz v Sconnie Nation: Fair Use and Necessity
By Terry Hart -- ... in its historical application—as a privilege for the incorporation of expression from an existing work into a new work—courts should look at necessity. Whether necessity is an essential element of fair use is a separate question, but at the very least, it should play a key role in any fair use inquiry to ensure that the doctrine remains consistent with copyright's ultimate goals.
All You Need To Know About The Copyright Office's 202-Page Music Licensing Report
By Marc D. Ostrow, Esq. -- Anyone with an interest in the music business should read the full report – or at least the 11-page executive summary. But in case even that's too much, here's all you need to know, complete with analysis, in little more than half the length of the executive summary:
Grammys Bring Songwriter Digital-Royalties Row To The Fore
By Stuart Dredge -- After a glitzy night in Los Angeles for the Grammys awards, we can say that it wasn't just stars who upped their profile – the issue of songwriter royalties has more prominence than ever...


Clark Terry, Ebullient Jazz Trumpeter, Has Died
By Felix Contreras -- Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry has died. The musician's ebullient personality reached a nationwide audience as a member of NBC's Tonight Show band, and the sound of his expressive trumpet inspired younger musicians for nearly eight decades. The 94-year-old musician died Saturday.
Lesley Gore: 9 Things You Didn't Know
By Alice Vincent -- Lesley Gore, who died on Monday, sang You Don't Own Me and It's My Party before she was 18


[All Songs Considered]
Love Songs You Love To Love
By Robin Hilton, Bob Boilen -- In honor of Valentine's Day, we asked our listeners to name their ideal romantic song. After receiving over a thousand replies, we tallied the results, listened, swooned (and sometimes scratched our heads).
16 Songs That Sound As Much (Or More) Alike Than Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" And Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down"
By Joshua Alston, David Anthony, A.A. Dowd, Kyle Fowle, Alex McCown, Josh Modell, Noel Murray, Sean O'Neal, Katie Rife, Evan Rytlewski, and Mike Vago


VIDEO: Paul Williams: Songwriters Deserve to be Paid
[WATCH THIS...or I will come over to your house and let you beat me up! – DK]
MAX MARTIN body of work

Your gonna love this Zane Williams video


The Psychology Of Being Great
By Steve Rennie-- Success in the music business starts with the right attitude and knowing how to "get out of your own way." Renowned sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella discusses how he helps athletes and performers do just that.
By Sophia Nguyen -- Visualizations like Stephen Malinowski's Music Animation Machine version of Debussy's Arabesque no. 1 for piano solo can lead to new insights into musical compositions. An array of recently developed digital tools, used by musicians and laypeople alike, suggests new possibilities for researchers keen to map aural realms by visual means.


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 - March 31st

Song, Lyric and Fiddle Contests

BW Stevenson Song Contest at Poor David's is calling for entries, deadline April 15th. Details at

 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition
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 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. 
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, DSADSA Online Store
  Online Songwriting Workshops and Classes