Sunday, October 11, 2015


Hello Songwriter,

October is a fun packed month of showcases and workshops. I've already been to the State Fair. It was a lot of fun and the weather was perfect. Ran into DSA member Ian Dickson playing in the theater at the Hall of State. There is a Big Music exhibit this year with the history of Texas musicians and lots of live music scheduled in two venues there. You got to see it! That building is my fav, anyway. It's a most beautiful Art Deco building with historic murals in all of the rooms. 

We have two special showcases this month. On October 17th DSA members will perform at 2pm at the Farmers Branch Library, and on October 23rd we are back by demand at Poor David's Pub for our fundraiser. Please show up and support your members who are showcasing.

There are a number of workshop opportunities this month. (See #7) Not to be missed is the workshop with Nashville producer Larry Beaird on Oct 24th. Register before the 17th for a $5 discount. One attendee will win recording time with Larry in Nashville. So mark your calendar with these special events.

  Our Second Tuesday Meeting will feature TV theme composer, Tirk Wilder. This will be very interesting! Critiques will follow. See #2 below.

Drop by the DSA booth at the Arlington Guitar Show. We love this show. It's a great place to find your dream guitar. 

 Our regular DSA monthly events remain the same 1st and 3rd Monday SongSwaps and 1st and 3rd Thursdays and last Monday Open Mic.  For details, see #2 and #4 below. Some of us like to visit the Poor Davids Pub (hosted by Mr Troll) or Angela's (hosted by JT) Open Mic every Monday.

I'm halfway through the fall semester and knee deep in grading papers. I have some real talent in my classes, so it's fun to show up and lecture. 

See you at one of our many events. 




We're in the judging process 

                 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.



  October 13th: Tirk Wilder Song Critiques
Tirk Wilder

Tirk Wilder, who wrote the theme song “In The Rangers Eyes” for the hit TV show, Walker Texas Ranger, will be DSA's featured speaker via SKYPE. Tirk will talk about song crafting by critiquing songs submitted by DSA members.

We will have our regular song critique after the featured presentation. 

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

September 2015
Boomer Boogie  by Rio King

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


DSA at Farmers Branch  Manske Library, Saturday, October 17th, 2-4pm
2 Dan Roark
2:30 Raquel Lindemann
3 Michael Brandenberger
3:30 Sugar Daddy and the MMs

Friday, October 23 at 8:00pm
Poor David's Pub 1313 S. Lamar St. Dallas, TX 
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 8 with Dan Roark and Friends, Randy Brown and Pine Curtain (pictured) at 9, and Safety Meeting at 10. An open mic will follow. There will be door prizes drawn during the evening. Each person who pays their donation in advance using the link above will receive two tickets. Those who pay at the door will receive one ticket.
It's going to be a great show and evening - come join the fun!

Saturday Night at the Angela's at the Crosswalk in Downtown Plano
                Featured artist each month followed by open mic.
OCT 24
7:30 host Harry Hewlett
7:50 1st feature Helene Cronin 
8:35 1st 20 John Mason 
8:55 2nd 20 Cat McGee 
9:15 2nd feature Steve Sullivan
10:00 3rd 20 James Pappas*
10:20 4th 20 Bryan Adam Joyner
10:40 5th 20 Raquel Lindemann

NOV 28
7:30 host Buck Morgan
7:50 1st feature Barbe McMillen 
8:35 1st 20 Rachel Wilhelm
8:55 2nd 20 Dan Roark
9:15 2nd feature Brando
10:00 3rd 20 Michael Franceus*
10:20 4th 20 Aaron Shook 
10:40 5th 20 Mark Evans*


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 Dec 31st

or by mail


DOWN by Don Coyne, Los Angeles, CA
GIMME A BIG CITY by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
CORN BREAD by Don Wall, Dallas, 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 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: Tirk Wilder, Stephen McKinnell, Tommy Thomas, M'Lynn Musgrove, Joseph Brinkley, Adrianna Braddom, Darren Rozell

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
EXPIRED IN SEPTEMBER: Dru Richmond, Kenneth Golden, Marcus Belmore
TIME TO RENEW THIS MONTH: Randy Sauer, Denise Rosier, Katie Hardyman, Charlie Hill, T. Edwin Doss, Nitanee Paris, Rick Webster, Jay Gallagher, Jenni Peal, Raquel Nguyen, Morri Hartgraves

 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.)

Workshop, "Arranging the Hit" by Larry Beaird

SATURDAY, October 24, Noon to 4PM at Kitchen Cafe in far North Dallas.

Register early!  After Oct 17 the cost goes up $10, from $35 to $45.

 DSA members receive a $5 discount by signing in and registering on the website.

To register for the Larry Beaird workshop please go to Home - Dallas Songwriters Association  

For more details about the workshop you can go to:

This will be a good one that you won't want to miss.  As part of the workshop Larry will also be reviewing the first 5 songs that are pre-submitted to him.  Also, don't forget to register for the demo session to be given away, valued at $625.

Kevin Welch's Master Class with Walt Wilkins
The Kevin Welch Songwriting Workshop is a beautiful weekend retreat that will inspire and support you in your creative, musical efforts. Come join us in the beautiful Texas hill country, just an hour south of Austin. We'll show you a weekend of writing, playing, listening and re-writing. We love what we do so much that we can guarantee you will walk away feeling newly inspired in the art of songwriting. Plus, you'll have a whole new set of amazing friends with whom you can collaborate on future writing. We've hosted over 100 writers of all ages and stages and they continue to come back again and again!  Guest teacher October 2-4 will be Walt Wilkins.  CLICK HERE for more information and to register!  

Jenni Finlay Hosts Free Music Seminar Series This Fall
Central Texas, Listen Up: Jenni Finlay will host a series of FREE music seminars this fall, once a month at Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street, San Marcos, TX). Workshops are Wednesdays at 6:30pm. The series is sponsored by the Cheatham Street Music Foundation.  If you can't make it in person, be sure to tune in via Concert Window (all donations benefit The Cheatham Street Music Foundation). Check out our Fall calendar:

October 7 -  Legal Mumbo Jumbo: Legal Issues in the Music Business (with John "Missoula Slim" Gilliam)
November 4 - Tips and Tricks to Successfully Using Social Media, Fan Sourcing and Music Streaming  (with Jill McGuckin and Matt The Electrician) 
December 2 - Write it Off: Accounting tips for the Self-Employed Musician

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts present "TALA DALLAS WEEK" for artists

Hello, I'm emailing to let you know that Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA) will be offering free business seminars for artists on October 13, 14, and 15 in downtown Dallas. 
If you're not familiar with TALA, our signature program provides artists across Texas the opportunity to consult with an attorney about their specific business and legal issues. We offer this service year round. 
We also offer educational seminars and workshops on business topics related to the arts.  Our events in October in Dallas include a legal clinic where artists can spend up to 30 minutes with an attorney one-on-one getting their legal questions answered. We are also offering workshops on copyright for all art disciplines and digital royalties for musicians.  
We are trying to get the word out about our Dallas programs.  Would you please share our information with any artists that could benefit from our services?  I've included a flyer for the events and you can find more information at
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or for more information about TALA.

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.


1 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
5 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
7-11 A3C Conference, Atlanta, GA
Austin City Limits Fest, Austin, Tx
13 DSA Second Tuesday Workshop
13 - 17 CMJ Marathon, NYC
15 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
15 DSA Member,Tony Ramey at Love and War in Plano, TX
16 DSA Member, Ian Dickson, at Uncle Calvin's
17 DSA Showcase at Farmers Branch Library
17 - 18 Guitar Show, Arlington Convention Center
19 Song Swap at Tino's Two
23 DSA Showcase at Poor Davids
24 DSA Workshop, Arranging the Hits with Larry Beaird at Kitchen Cafe
25 DSA Showcase at Angela's at the Crosswalk in Plano
26 DSA Open Mic at Kitchen Cafe
28 ASCAP Rhythm and Soul at SAE, LA

3 - 4 GameSoundCon5, LA, CA
       Video Game Music and Sound Design Conference
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.


9. Featured Articles:

by Clive Young
The Foo Fighters’ summer tour put the “leg” in “legendary” this year—and that was before it even started. During a June 12 concert in Gothenburg, Sweden, band leader Dave Grohl fell off the stage, and though he finished out the show in a chair while being attended to by a medic, it turned out he’d broken his leg, requiring a half-dozen metal pins to be surgically inserted. Despite this, the band’s 43-date North American tour kicked off on schedule July 4 and is currently blazing a trail through stadiums and arenas with Grohl seated atop a giant, track-mounted throne at centerstage that props up the singer’s leg and keeps him off his feet.

The Return of The Cassette Tape: National Audio Company Still Makes 10 Million Audiocassettes Per Year
By Nicole Arce -- In 2015, the National Audio Company (NAC) remains as the last audiocassette manufacturing company in existence, and it intends to keep its existence for a good long while. Judging from the fact that the Springfield, Missouri-based company sold millions of cassettes in 2014-the best year it ever had in its 46-year history, the future appears to be wide open to accommodate retro tapes and smartphones with music players together.

Four Small Towns With Big Music Scenes
By Peter Getty -- For those who find giant cities like Austin and L.A. to be a little too much, here are four approachable urban locales where the music scene is disproportionately large and vibrant when compared to the size of the town itself.

5 Ways To Check If Your Music Is Actually Good Enough To Release.
By Alex Cowles -- As it has become increasingly easy for artists to churn out music, it has also become harder to make said music stand out as anything other than mediocre. Here are some tips for how to make sure your work is truly release ready and that it will be noticed and appreciated by potential fans.

Hit Records You Didn't Realize Were Cover Songs
DYI Musician – [Personal addition to this list: Frank Sinatra's recording of my song, "That's Life" is a cover recording. Mr. Sinatra heard O.C. Smith's recording of the song on the radio in his car, pulled over, called his daughter Nancy and said, "Find me the publisher of that song, I want to record it, -- DK]

Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Friends Write A Musical Toast To Decadence
NPR -- Named for a crew of hard-drinking '70s rock stars, The Hollywood Vampires is one of music's stranger supergroups.

MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on  DSA Music Biz News

Now You Know Everything About Licensing Music In Films
Via Digital Music News -- This is the sixth installment of an 11-part series on music industry agreements by attorney and legal author Steve Gordon...In this installment, we will discuss two different forms of agreement: composer deals for the creation of music to be used throughout a movie, and an agreement for the recording and licensing of a previously written but unreleased single song for a film.
How To Monetize Your Music On YouTube
By Jon Ostrow -- YouTube has undeniably become one of the most important tools with which artists engage both preexisting and potential fans, but in order to effectively monetize this engagement, a certain procedure must be followed.

Why You Still Should Register A "Copyrighted" Work
By Justin M. Jacobson -- While many creatives in the entertainment industry believe (and are partly correct) that a work is copyrighted as soon as it is fixed in a tangible medium it still pays, often literally, to formally register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office, particularly where legal issues are concerned.
Get Your Metadata Right
By Bobby Owsinski -- One of the major reasons why artists often don't get paid is because of missing metadata from their songs. Proper metadata will give your song a better shot at being placed as well.

TOURING: How to pre-plan and manage your band’s tour finances: 

SOCIAL MEDIA: Taylor Swift’s former manager shows you how exactly you should be using social media: 

BUSINESS: Let’s have an honest talk about the indie artist hustle: 

PROMOTION: How to release a quality music video as an independent artist: 

LEGAL: The evolution of music copyright law and how it affects creators: 

MARKETING: How to use Instagram to build an engaged fan base: 


Video: Dueling Pianos
Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino.
[Thanks to Willa Hubert for this kick ass link.]

Rita Hayworth and the Bee Gee's!!!!
VIDEO: Rita Hayworth Is Stayin' Alive
[This has been around for a while ... but, if you haven't seen it, it's a load of fun. Thanks to Larry Ray for the link.]


How To Be A Successful Performing Artist In The New Millennium
By Larry Butler -- "If you can't deliver your song with just an acoustic guitar and one microphone under one light bulb, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, then you're not a performer and it's not a song." – David Lee Roth

Guide To Improving Home Studio Acoustics [INFOGRAPHIC]
By Jeremy Luscombe -- It takes more than a random arrangement of recording equipment in a granny flat to create a studio that will actually sound good ...


Sound Design — Writing for Sound with Randy Thom
Skywalker Sound's Director of Sound Design Randy Thom discusses with Dolby Institute's Glenn Kiser how writers and directors can use sound as a tool to tell their stories... [Thanks to Etan Rosenbloom for the link.]

Alda Allows You To Digitally Compose Music With Nothing More Than A Text Editor
By Russell Thomas -- Meet Alda. Created by Dave Yarwood, it's a program designed to make composing music easier. How? Well, finding music composition software like the GUI-based Sibelius too distracting, Yarwood decided to look for a solution and found that solution in text.

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