Saturday, September 5, 2015


     Hello Songwriter,
 It's still hot here in Texas, in the 90's. I'm ready for some cool weather and a little rain! We have some big events planned for this fall. A number of DSA members have signed on to showcase at a number of venues around DFW. On September 18th there is a sold out show at First Baptist Church of Duncanville, October 17th DSA members perform at 2pm at the Farmers Branch Library,and on October 28th we are back by demand at Poor David's Pub. 

There are a number of workshop opportunities this month. Jason Blume, Danny O'Flaherity, and the SW Folk Alliance in Austin. (See #7) We are also planning a workshop with Nashville producer Larry Bieard on Oct 28th. So mark your calendar with these special events.

  Our Second Tuesday Meeting will feature our famous co-write workshop. I got a chance to write with Rio King at the last co-writes. I'm playing our song at open mics now. This is so much fun! See #2 below.

We are now only doing fourth Sat. Showcases at Angela's. See # 4 below for the line up in Sept.

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

OK.  School has started and it's a race to the finish of the fall semester. Whoo - hoo!!




Our song contest is underway, thanks to our sponsors . 

                 2015 Dallas Songwriters Song Contest
Now in its 25th year, The DSA 2015 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.



  SEPTEMBER 8th: Co-writes For Very Busy People

Co-writes are back by popular demand. We will divide into small groups to complete a writing assignment. This is our most fun meetings, so don't miss this one.

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
October 13 - Turk Wilder, wrote theme song for Walker Texas Ranger
November 10 - Annual Membership Meeting - Ron Sowell, producer, NPR Mountain Stage
December 8 - Christmas Party and Awards Dinner
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

July 2015
Jimmy Loved Jesus by Buck Morgan

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




EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by  Craig St.Clair 

HALF PRICE BOOKS OPEN MIC THIS MONTH- NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist Harry Hewlett in July, Bobby Montgomery in August
EVERY 1ST THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
Featured Artist at 8PM

KITCHEN CAFE' - North Dallas
EVERY LAST MONDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger


Saturday Night at the Angela's at the Crosswalk in Downtown Plano
                Featured artist each month followed by open mic.
SEP 26
7:30 host Buck/Harry
7:50 1st feature Rio King
8:35 1st 20 Mark Evans
8:55 2nd 20 Bobby Dallas
9:15 2nd feature Marcus Belmore
10:00 3rd 20 Rachel Wilhelm
10:20 4th 20 Barbe McMillen
10:40 5th 20 Allen Larson


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 1st Thursday 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 Sept 30th

or by mail


Clocks Turn Slowly by Erin Bertran
The Road of Life by Catherine Pitman
Down by Don Coyne
The One by Angela Thornton
Her Love Burns by Erin Bertran
The Voice by John Friday

Bounce by John Hyden, Ralston, NE

Angels Down the Road by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO


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 of 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
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 GuthrieMimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Warren Hamilton, Bill Nash, Ynana Zovich

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN JAN: Grady Yates, Terry Fansler, Ray Phillips, Tim Spitzer, Brian Joyner, 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, Craig Langford, Johnny Cromer
EXPIRED IN APRIL:Tom Thomas, David Wysong, Gary White, Kerry McCall, Randy Overton, Kent Poynor
EXPIRED IN MAY: Ann Cornelius, Julie Jean White, Aaron Shook, Mathew Cords.
EXPIRED IN JUNE: Joanna Endsley, LaToya Cooper
EXPIRED IN JULY: Jay Gerwertz, Stephanie Stewart, John Knoblauch
EXPIRED IN AUGUST: Sandra Foster Brown, Glen Naylor
TIME TO RENEW THIS MONTH: Dru Richmond, Harry Hewlett, Kenneth Golden, Marcus Belmore

 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.)

Danny O'Flaherty in Murphy Texas 
Saturday - Sunday, September 12 - 13 


Thursday, September 17th; 8 – 9 PM (CST)  *

How to Write GREAT Songsand Earn a Living Doing It

FREE ONLINE lecture by hit songwriter JASON BLUME (50 million album sales; 4 top-10s in the past two years…) Jason is the author of 6 Steps to Songwriting Success and teaches master classes throughout the world
For additional info go and click on “Song School/Webinars
To register go to : 
*If you are unable to view it "live" contact for a link to watch the recording afterwards. Please do not sign up for the live event if you plan to watch it later.

The 16th Annual Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Conference, Austin, Texas, at the Holiday Inn, Austin-Midtown, on Sept 23 - 27, 2015. Open mics, Official Showcases and In Room showcases, seminars and panels during the day on Friday and Saturday which address many facets of the music business - booking and tour planning, agents and managers, music law, the internet, getting airplay, studio know how, song sharing and discussion, wellness while on the road and looking for alternate ways to get our music to the world – such as in schools and films. We eat meals together and form wonderful new relationships and renew old ones. And we are certain to have FUN! Artists, managers, agents, venue operators as well as folks who come to listen enthusiastically are all encouraged to attend.
$195 by Sept 15
$225 after Sept 15 (Includes 2 lunches, 2 dinners, cocktail party, Sunday Brunch)

September 26, LA Mix Sound for Film Announces Program and Panels

Coming in October - Larry Beaird from Nashville

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.


4 - 6 Bedford Blues and BBQ, Bedford, TX
12  Irish Music workshop with Danny O'Flaherity, Murphy, TX
     2 Day Workshop at the North Texas School of Irish Music
17  Free online workshop with Jason Blume,
23 - 27 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, Conference Austin, Tx 

 9 Austin City Limits Fest, Austin, Tx
13 - 17 CMJ Marathon, NYC
15 Tony Ramey at Love and War in Plano, TX
17 & 18 Guitar Show, Arlington Convention Center

10 DSA Annual Membership Meeting and Elections

8 DSA Christmas Party
Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.
Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues.

JAN 2015
16-17 Texas Music Conference


9. Featured Articles:

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Quit Your Day Job for Music
By Tyler Allen -- [A tip of the hat to the Sonicbids Blog for consistently producing valuable articles vital to understanding what is needed to advance a creative career. – DK]
BBC Forced To Ban Songs By Neil Young, Journey, The Doors And Bonnie Raitt Due To Copyright Infringement
By Kanchan Woods – Neil Young, Journey, The Doors, and Bonnie Raitt have withdrawn from the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and do not wish to accept MCPS' licensing agreements any longer. [Thanks to Alex Shapiro for the link.]
Music on TV: An Exclusive Inside Look at 'The Blacklist' Soundtrack
By Jason Evans -- Any fan of "The Blacklist" will tell you how important the music is to the success of the show. The producers seem to find the perfect songs to fit so many crucial moments .... Beyond that, certain songs have influenced some of creator and executive producer Jon Bokenkamp's storytelling choices – and even character names.
[For Alzheimer's patients, music can be good medicine]
The Healing Power of Music
By Mary Ellen Geist -- New research is confirming and expanding an idea long held by those who work with dementia patients: Music can not only improve the mood of people with neurological diseases, it can boost cognitive skills and reduce the need for antipsychotic drugs. [Thanks to Michelle Kay for the link.]
[A show-biz essential.]
4 Ways To Attract Good Luck Into Your Life
By Andrea Mann -- We may believe that good fortune has nothing to do with us and everything to do with fate, but the reality is that your thoughts and attitude create the luck in your life. … “Luck is not something that happens to you, it’s something you create,” says Professor Richard Wiseman.
Why Does Music Give Us Chills?
By David Shariatmadari

MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on  DSA Music Biz News
[This is an advertorial for CD Baby, but it provides some good info.]
A Guide To Apple Music For The Independent Musician
By Andre Calilhanna -- Apple Music is live and streaming, and our partners at CD Baby have provided a lot of information to help you navigate the newest – and potentially biggest – kid on the block.
No, You Don't Own Your Arrangement Of That Hit Song
By Marc D. Ostrow-- A guitarist contacted me recently. He creates arrangements of popular songs and puts the PDFs of the music for sale on his website...He was quite surprised and disappointed when I told him that what he was doing was flat-out illegal. So many well-meaning musicians still either don't know about, or don't understand the concept of, derivative works.
'Happy Birthday' Lawsuit: 'Smoking Gun' Emerges in Bid to Free World's Most Popular Song
By Eriq Gardner -- On the eve of a judge's ruling, attorneys find key evidence tucked away in the files of the opposing side. They rush to court with word of their bombshell discovery. If this sounds like the third act of a Hollywood movie, it very well might become one

It All Starts With A Song: 10 Different Kinds Of Singles That Can Help You Reach More Fans
By Chris Robley -- We've talked a lot about singles before on this blog, from the reasons why artists should be releasing new music more often, to building an effective promotional campaign around the launch of your single. What we haven't talked about much are all different kinds of singles you could be recording and releasing in order to build your music career. So here's a list... [If you didn't write the song and/or own the rights, you need a license.]
A Tribute To Another Unsung Hero Of The Music Business - The Artist Bio Writer - Fact Or Fiction?
By Larry Butler -- During my 20-year stint at Warner Bros. Records, I provided the extra set of eyes to many of the artist bio's before they were unleashed on an unsuspecting industry and public. Usually I would get a chortle from reading them because I would already be privy to the real story and would be impressed with the ways in which the writers in the Publicity Department had reconstructed those facts into flowery prose.
Sync Licensing Explained: Read This Before Signing With A Music Library
By Jennifer Newman Sharpe, Esq. -- If you're an independent artist, it's very likely that you have been approached to sign a licensing agreement with a music library...Before signing with any kind of music library, here are 6 big points you should consider:
11 Free Marketing Tools Every Musician Needs
By Cheryl B. Engelhardt -- Here are 11 free online tools for creating branding assets and managing your marketing efforts that every musician should know about!
8 Ways to Get People to Share Your Song
By Brianna DeMayo -- Does promotion often feel like pulling teeth? Has it been hard for you to get people to share your music? If so, continue reading. We're about to clear things up for you. [Hope the next article is "8 Ways to Get People to Stop Sharing and Start Paying For Your
What Is a Mechanical License, Why do I Need One and Where do I Get It?
HFA -- If you are manufacturing and distributing copies of a song that you do not own or control, (including but not limited to "Cover" records) you need to obtain a mechanical license. This is required by the U.S. Copyright Act, regardless of whether or not you are selling the copies that you make.
The Importance Of Creating A Paper Trail When Submitting Your Work
By Wallace Collins -- When pitching a project, whether a TV program or game show concept, a video game idea, a proposal for a book or magazine article or circulating a demo of your song, it is a good idea to file a copyright registration on it before making it public. It is also important to create a paper trail in order to keep track of where and to whom your work is submitted. In the event that you someday decide that someone stole your work or "infringed" your copyright you will need to prove two things in order to win a copyright infringement lawsuit: (1) access to your work and (2) substantial similarity between your work and the allegedly infringing work


Producer Jerry Weintraub Dies at 77
By Duane Byrge -- A steely, hard-charging personality, he was wildly successful in a wide-ranging entertainment career that spanned more than 50 years. ... Before his success as a motion picture producer, Weintraub was a force in the management and musical fields. Weintraub spent more than two decades promoting concerts and some of the top musical acts in the world: Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, the Beach Boys, the Pointer Sisters and John Denver, among them.
[Jim was one of the nicest human beings in the history of human beings.]
Jim Foglesong In Memoriam: Nashville Pays Tribute To Legendary Music Exec, Country Music Hall of Famer
By Phyllis Stark -- For all his successes in the music industry, veteran record executive Jim Foglesong is being remembered most by industry peers and artists this week for his warmth, his leadership, his professional ethics and his gentlemanly approach to a sometimes uncivil business. Foglesong died Tuesday at a Nashville hospital following a brief illness. He was 90 years old.
Billy Sherrill, Country Producer Behind George Jones, Tammy Wynette & More, Dies at 78
By Chuck Dauphin -- Billy Sherrill -- the iconic Nashville record producer and executive whose style of production ushered in a sound described as "Countrypolitan" -- has died following a short illness. ... Sherrill's production credits read like a "who's who" of music ...


[Fun to hear about it from the people who made it happen.]
VIDEO: Steve Cropper
NAMM Oral History Interviews -- Steve Cropper became an integral part of the Stax Studio sound in Memphis as guitarist, songwriter and producer. He was a member of the studio's house band, the Mar-Keys as well as Brook T. Jones' MGs and recorded hundreds of sides for a wide range of artists. Steve famously played guitar on Otis Redding's last recording and his biggest hit, "(Sitting on the) Dock of the Bay" in 1967.
Full Takes or Section by Section: Which Vocal Recording Approach is Better?
By Belinda Huang -- [I prefer the word by word method which was the case with my favorite recording artist of all time: Fabian. DK]
6 Things All Great Studio Musicians Have in Common
By Bobby Owsinski -- When people think of studio musicians they immediately think of great technique, but there are a number of other traits that you'll find common in all successful players who make their living in the studio. [One way or the other you have GOT to (pay to) see this movie: The Wrecking Crew.]


Writing Music for Mainstream with Grammy Award Winner Glen Ballard
Renman Music & Business -- Six-Time Grammy Award winner Glen Ballard is one of popular music's most accomplished producers and songwriters, whose records have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide...In this clip, Glen talks about whether or not you should have what's mainstream in mind when you write a song.

A Survival Guide to Cowriting Songs
By Judy Stakee,-- In my years of experience in the music industry, I have come across many writers who would benefit from collaborating, but who strongly resisted it. Fear, pride, selfishness and distrust are all obstacles that stand in the way of a writer being willing to cowrite. However, I strongly believe that collaboration can be crucial to your career.
Make Your Lyrics Shine
By Mylène Besançon -- Lyrics are a critical piece of songwriting, and the process of writing these lyrics can be one of the most difficult tasks that any songwriter will encounter. Like any other art form, songwriting is a powerful way to communicate with an audience and evoke emotion or convey a message. However, only some songwriters manage to accomplish this task. So how do you make your lyrics shine?

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 - Sept 30th

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