Saturday, April 11, 2015


Hello Songwriter,

Arts Week in Dallas has started! April 10th - 18th

4/11 - DSA Showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk: features Mary Guthrie, Dickey Johnson, Bobby Montgomery and Barbe McMillen

4/14 - DSA Monthly Meeting - Guest speaker: Jim Collins

4/15 - DSA Arts Week Showcase/Fundraiser at Poor David’s Pub, 7pm

7:00 p.m. - Dan Roark (host)
7:40 p.m. - Raquel Wynne
8:20 - Sugar Daddy and the M & M's
9:00 - Bobby Montgomery
9:40 - Rio King

10:20 - To be determined - contact me -
11:00 - 11:45 - Allen Larson, Dan Roark, others, jam.
There will be raffle drawings held for several items. [If you have any items for the drawings, please let me know - gift cards and so forth.] There will a suggested donation for entry. There’s a possibility that Mayor Rawlings of Dallas may stop by. We need everyone to come. We will have DSA items available for donations. We will also have a table for those of us that have cds to sell - those who are not playing are still welcome to bring their cds. The performers will help man the tables when they are not on stage, but we need others to help us out. Let’s all make it a big success so it can be an annual event! 

4/16 - 3rd Thurs. Open Mic at Dunn Brothers 

4/18 DSA Booth at ArtsPark in Northpark
ArtsPark will be held from 1-5 p.m. I will be at the booth the entire time. I need one person each hour so we have two people running the booth at all times. We were not contacted early enough to have stage time - that will be corrected for next year. We are, however, being given a location where we can play at the booth. We will do half hour slots - all acoustic. Hopefully you can help with the booth before or after your slot.
There will be arts patrons there who support the arts and are looking for ways to support the arts and have a tax deduction at the same time. Let’s show them that DSA is a good way for them to do that.

Our Second Tuesday Meeting will feature guest speaker, Jim Collins, country singer and songwriter extraordinaire with many hits under his belt. See #2 below.

We've a workshop planned with Liz Rose, Lori McKenna and Friends for May 2Oth and they will perform in the round on May 21st at Poor Davids Pub. Sponsored by DSA and Dallas Business Council For The Arts. Did you know that Liz won a Grammy in 2010 and has written 20 hits with Taylor Swift?  See details below in #7.

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. 

 Because SXSW was not aligned with Spring Break this year, it was a day trip for me. I managed to do most of the items on my list. The main event was the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy's soiree on the lawn of the Four Seasons, my old stomping grounds. The tricky part this year was finding a place to park. I did by accident, and I'm not telling you my new secret. It was close to the river and Rainey street which was convenient to my first stop the Culture Collide party. I tried to get in the Spotify House with no luck There were hundreds of others trying. All with special passes like me! How special is that! I sailed the river on the ASCAP boat which was also sponsored by Billboard this year. Hit a few showcases, including Hays Carll at Threadgills and met up with old friends from LA, NY, Gernany and UK that are part of the reason I go to Austin. Fast and fun.

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. Yours truly is playing this Saturday night. I will be playing the song Rio, Brittni and I wrote at the DSA meeting a couple of months ago. See below for the April 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.

Have a great April. Get out and enjoy it! It will get hot too soon.

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. 


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.

  APRIL 14: Country singer / songwriter, Jim Collins, talks about songwriting, performing and the biz. He will also critique songs.

Between 1985 and 1998, Collins released three studio albums. He also charted seven singles on Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. His highest charting single, "The Next Step," peaked at No. 55 in 1997.As a songwriter, Collins has had more than fifty of his songs cut, including singles by Kenny Chesney ("She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy", "The Good Stuff", "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven"), Chad Brock ("Yes!"), Jason Aldean ("Big Green Tractor"), and Gretchen Wilson ("I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today").[1] "The Good Stuff" was Billboard's Number One country single of 2002. More about Jim at:

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
May 12 – Ray Baker  - publisher, producer, jazz sax player
June 9 – Hal Ketchum - tentative
July 14 – Bill Nash
August 11 – No Meeting 

TBA Summer Picnic and Jam
September 8 – Co- Writes
October 13 - Turk Wilder

November 10 - Annual Membership Meeting
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

March 2015
Boogie Woogie Rhythm by Rio King

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 
April 11:   Mary Guthrie, Dickey Johnson, Bobby Montgomery, Barbe McMillen
4th Saturday Night,     April 25th Rachel Wilhelm - Shane
May 9:  LaToya Cooper, Helene Cronin 
May 23: Michael Brandenberger



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 June 30th

Enter onine
or by mail

We are still moving our website. 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, Suzi Morse
Patron Sponsor L1: Ann Cornelius
Patron Sponsor: Bill Kapac, Mary Guthrie, Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Timmy York, Phoenix Murphy Rose, and Elizabeth Tipton

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, Bob Fisk, Richard Hunt

EXPIRED IN FEB: Jonathan Malone, Jesse Anderson, Wayne Dobry, Anthony Castillo, Daniel Zagotta
EXPIRED IN MARCH: Julia Pauletti, Jeff Rodgers, Ken Duren, Carol Shaw, Craig Langford, Johnny Cromer
TIME TO RENEW THIS MONTH:Tom Thomas, Helene Cronin, David Wysong, Gary White, Kerry McCall, Randy Overton, Kent Poynor, John Mason
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  

May 20th -Songwriting Workshop and Critiques (location TBA on Wed night, 20th)  6:30 - 9:30
$30 ($5 discount for DSA members) pre-registration required for song submission for critique. Will have a registration site up soon. Check the website in a few days.

Each songwriter will 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 will comment on songs presented live by each registrant. The critiques are first come first serve by pre-registration only. Everyone will be able to learn from the comments.

Liz Rose has co-written twenty of Swift's officially-released songs and singles, including "White Horse," "Teardrops on My Guitar" and "You Belong with Me," which won her and Swift a Grammy Award in 2010.  Liz and Lori McKenna co-wrote Little Big Town's latest single release, "Girl Crush".
Liz founded Liz Rose Music and is currently signing songwriters. The roster includes Texas's Walt Wilkins.

Performance on 21st at Poor Davids Pub 6-9   $10 ($6 for DSA and BCFA members)
Presented by DSA and Dallas Business Council For The Arts
*You must be at least 18 years of age or be accompanied by an adult to attend this event.*

Don’t miss your chance to grab a seat as we bring a little taste of Nashville to Dallas. Business Council for the Arts and Dallas Songwriters Association invite you to attend a unique opportunity to see songwriters at work. Hosted at the world famous Poor David’s Pub, join Grammy and CMA award winning songwriter Liz Rose as well as songwriters Phil Barton, Lori McKenna and Stephony Smith as they grant you a first hand, inside peek at the world of songwriting. The Songwriter’s Round is a Nashville tradition where three to four songwriters join each other on stage to showcase their work. Much like the southern custom of a “Guitar Pull”, the Songwriter’s Round invites you into the songwriting world and on to the songwriters’ back porch as they delve into their old and new favorites. Light noshes will be served.  

Coming later this year - Larry Beaird

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.

3 - 5  Deep Ellum Festival, Dallas, TX
10 - 18 Art Week all over Dallas
11 Sugar Daddy and M&Ms, Bobby Montgomery and Barbe McMillen at Angela's
14 DSA Meeting at CCC with Jim Collins
15 DSA Showcase at Poor Davids
18 DSA at Arts Park 
18   Tom Faulkner  at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX
25 Rachel Wilhelm and Shane at Angela's 

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
29-31 Dallas Guitar Show

 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:

Jury Finds Pharrell, Thicke Copied For 'Blurred Lines' Song
By Anthony McCartney -- A jury says singers Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied a Marvin Gaye song to create "Blurred Lines" and awarded $7.3 million to Gaye's family [Thanks to Michelle Kay for the link.]

The Future of Music has taken a stand against payola—the practice of record companies secretly paying broadcasters to air their music on the radio. Payola is bad for musicians, and bad for music fans. It makes it next to impossible for artists without the backing of a giant label to have a fair shot at getting played on commercial stations. Right now, it’s only legal to pay a radio station for airplay if the payment is disclosed on the air, at the time a paid-for song is played.
But now, big broadcasters like iHeartMedia (Clear Channel), Entercom, and Cumulus want to change that.  They’ve asked the FCC to waive the disclosure requirement, effectively legitimizing payola. You can help! Visit their campaign site at 
Read ASCAP CEO Beth Matthews' testimony to Congress on need for change to music licensing system

Today, ASCAP CEO Beth Matthews testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. Representing ASCAP's 525,000 members, Matthews spoke of the need to reform the ASCAP consent decree that governs how songwriters are paid.

Blurred Lines In The Difference Between Copyright In A Song and In A Recording
By Marc D. Ostrow -- There's been a blizzard of articles regarding the jury decision finding that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' 2013 megahit, "Blurred Lines," infringed upon Marvin Gaye's song, "Got to Give It Up..." While most of my musician friends were pleased with the decision and the jury's $7.3 million award, my copyright law colleagues and I are somewhat skeptical that it will upheld on appeal.
MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on  DSA Music Biz News

This Artist Is Making over $25,000 Per Song
By Ari Herstand -- Last Tuesday, Amanda Palmer launched her Patreon...[which] breaks all the 'music business' rules we have come to know (and love?). But the thing is, this new, crazy model, is working [Thanks to Erik Philbrook.]
Breaking Rock Acts in the Digital Age
By Rick Goetz -- Rose Slanic is the General Manager of Eleven Seven Label Group, a full-service physical, digital and mobile independent record label operating with global sales, distribution and comprehensive marketing capabilities…Rose spoke to me about her career in the rock music industry and how she has seen the marketplace evolve since her career began. She also discussed how rock-focused labels like Eleven Seven are building careers and how artists can get their music heard in the current market.
A&R In a Digital Age
By Alex Aguilar –- [S]treaming services such as Spotify and YouTube are fragmenting the music market and leaving their own digital trace, which is then used to identify suitable talent. As well, the focus of modern music marketing is not just paying consumers but consumer brands that are looking to match music to suit their own ends.
Sony Music's Adriana Palma Shares Proven Content Marketing Tips
By Leah Betancourt -- Researching, keeping on top of digital trends, tools and strategies and knowing your audience prove to be key as part of the content marketing process.


Requiem for a Secret Love
Lesley Gore remembered by her friend and producer, Blake Morgan

Mastering Engineer Doug Sax, April 26, 1936 – April 2, 2015
Mix magazine is saddened by the April 2, 2015 passing of Grammy Award–winning mastering engineer Doug Sax of The Mastering Lab in Ojai, California, a mentor and friend to audio engineers, producers and musicians for more than four decades, whose discography includes Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Jackson Browne, Diana Krall, and George Strait, to name a very few.
Legendary mastering engineer Doug Sax of The Mastering Lab in Ojai, CA, passed away on April 2, succumbing to cancer just three weeks short of his 79th birthday.

Veteran Music Publishing Exec Al Kohn Dies at 96
By Ed Christman -- Al Kohn, a big band music arranger, a music publishing executive and an author, has died of natural causes in Encino, Calif. He was 96. Kohn, who grew up in the Bronx, had a successful career as a big band arranger for such musical giants as Irving Berlin and Paul Whiteman before embarking as a successful music publishing career, which culminated in is co-authoring the book, "Kohn on Music Licensing," which he wrote with his son Bob Kohn
Spotify playlist Joni Mitchell Songs:

Classic Track: Dave Clark Five, 'Glad All Over'
Whenever the term "British Invasion" is bandied about, most of us think of those four cheeky lads from Liverpool. But there were more sounds coming out of the UK in those early days than just the Mersey Sound; there was also the Tottenham Sound, represented by The Dave Clark Five. The group's first U.S. hit, "Glad All Over," knocked The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" out of the top spot in England, and the group quickly gained a huge following both there and in the States.
Stuart Grundy traces the career of singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson

Katie Boeck + Emily Elbert + Melissa Polinar: DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALRIGHT (Dylan Cover)

Warehouse: Songs and Stories (Full Session) | Music 2014 | SXSW
[License required. That’s a good thing.]
How Covering the Right Song at the Right Time Can Catapult Your Music Career
By Dave Kusek
[Hitting the road with the band? Might as well make the most of it.]
How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landmarks
By Tracy Staedter
The Wrecking Crew
[A] fun and moving tribute to the 60's and 70's secret west coast star-making machine – comprised of incredible musicians who became known as "The Wrecking Crew' because many believed they would wreck the music business - is in theaters now. Don't miss it if you can.
'Highly Talented' Is the Bare Minimum (Tips from the Independent Producer)
By Jamie Hill -- My friend was frustrated. He's highly talented, and his songwriting has been getting really strong, and his performances are becoming highly compelling. And yet he feels like nothing's really clicking for him, like he's spinning his wheels, like he can't get traction for his career. And: I hear this all the time. The basic line of reasoning is "I'm super talented; so when are things going to start happening for me?"

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