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#832398 - 07/22/10 10:23 AM My First Nashville Trip!  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Crozet, VA
Ahhh, what a great experience. I have a lot to write about, but I have a 4-hour web training session coming up here at 9am and I guess I should make sure everything works (ha, ha). I'll just set the stage here with my last Thursday experience. Instead of re-writing it (the fish in the story always gets bigger and bigger), I'll just copy my songramp post here.

I'll be going over the tour day by day -- but feel free to interrupt and ask any specific questions about the tour or Nashville. If I don't know the answer, I'll find it out.

Kevin

Note: I was supposed to meet everyone at the Commodore Lounge to watch a writer's night, so I was hurrying to get there on time!

******* Start Thursday Nashville Trip summary *********************

Hello there, I am in Nashville!!!

I had a little setback on the way here. I was on I-40 out of Knoxville when I had a killer idea (I hope) for a song for the saturday write-up. I pulled over into a rest area to jot down a few lines so I wouldn't forget (not write the song, just some ideas). As I was getting up to leave, the picnic table was a total one piece stone structure -- so I tripped over the part connecting the bench to the table. Cooler went flying, pens and paper, too. As I was falling through time and space, I said "Kevin (that's me), I'm glad you brought the Motrin".

I managed to scrape an elbow, one knee and put a nice gash on my leg. (All in all a fairly good trade -- who woulda thunk that songwriting was such as dangerous endeavor). Of course, my travel first aid kit is safely sitting on my basement office table. I cleaned up as best I could and proceeded down the road. I found a Wal*Mart a couple of exits down and bought a bunch of medical supplies. I then went out to parking lot and performed surgery on myself. I felt like that alien in the predator movie! Except I didn't scream -- although I considered it when the isopropyl alcohol hit the wounds!

I am now sitting in the hotel room knowing that I have to take a shower and clean and re-dress the wounds. I'm scared. Rum and cokes to the rescue.

So what was supposed to be a 9 hour trip became 11 hours and I am going to miss the commodore gig tonight. I was really, really looking forward to that to kick off the weekend and get me super excited.

Oh well, I hope the idea I came up with is worth the disasters. If this is the price I have to pay everytime I have a good idea -- I'm taking up cultivating orchids.

See you all tomorrow!!

******* end Thursday Nashville Trip summary *********************


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#832402 - 07/22/10 11:04 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,313
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,313
Brunswick, Ga. USA
OK Kevin!
Now that you have been properly indoctronated, What an opening, here's a line for you, it's yours lock, stock, and barrel.

HEY NASHVILLE,BETTER GET OUT OF THE WAY,
I'M COMING UP TO SEE YOU,
I'LL BE HITTIN' TOWN TODAY,
While you're there dig and give us the real scoop on what's really happen'en.
Have a nice trip!



Ray E. Strode
#832403 - 07/22/10 11:06 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,890
PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
Sorry for the bodily harm, Kevin.
I'm just breaking in here to remind you to go to the Country Music HOF (if you weren't planning on doing so already). It's a wonderful, great, great museum/tribute to the original American art form.
Have a great rest of your trip; I'm looking forward to reading more.

#832406 - 07/22/10 11:31 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: PopTodd]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Todd,

Kevin is posting his trip details from this past weekend. He was here as part of my 12 person group MAB SONGWRITER'S "TOUR" of Nashville. They were pretty well packed with events and this was really more of a working trip than sightseeing trip. On everything I do with writers and artists, it combines showing them the high points of the town but packing in a LOT of practical applications of the songwriting process, performing, recording, and networking that relate to the business.

Most everyone can go to the Country Music Hall of fame, (which is great, I am a member of the board there) but what Kevin will be talking about is the day to day things he did in conjunction of the tour he did with myself and 11 others from around the country and Canada.

I am looking forward to reading about it as well. It is like a cliffhanger Saturday serial, and I was there.

Write on, Kev No!

MAB

#832408 - 07/22/10 11:42 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Kevin, it was great meeting you. You look much better than your picture, except for your elbow.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#832409 - 07/22/10 11:43 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,650
WriterTomYeager Offline
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WriterTomYeager  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,650
Harrisonburg,Virtginia
I always knew it-KEVIN EMMRICH IS REALLY CLARK GRISWALD!

he finally confesses.........managing to turn a concrete picnic table into a Chinese obstacle course is something only Clark Griswald could do........I eagerly await the rest of the adventure in Nashville.....when our hero manages to return home to Virginia in a air ambulance due to a full body cast from other mishaps in Nashville......I think we have found Bethie Boo's seperated at birth Siamese Twin!


Tom

#832441 - 07/22/10 01:49 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,813
Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Denmark
Yes yes yes.. I'm so looking forward to this!


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#832453 - 07/22/10 02:45 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kolstad]  
Joined: Sep 2005
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WriterTomYeager Offline
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WriterTomYeager  Offline
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Harrisonburg,Virtginia
yes I am looking forward to the story of the rest of his time here as well Magne........its always exciting hearing about someone's first time in Nashville-especially when they come here for some serious study and networking by Marc or some other sage of the songwriting scene here......the tourist stuff is certainly fun-but its always good to see people who wanna go behind the scenes at Disneyland-so to speak-and see how it all really works.......I myself am still klutzing around 5 years later.......but then in my case-ignorance is truly bliss....can't you get some arts grant from the Danish government to come here and report back to fellow Danes?........worth a try-lol

Tom

#832458 - 07/22/10 03:40 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Actually Kevin is more like the Eric Idle character in European Vaction that Clark hits on the bycicle and then keeps knocking into him all over Europe. Putting him in multiple casts, broken bones, cuts abrasions, etc. LOL!

MAB

#832482 - 07/22/10 05:19 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,813
Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Posts: 3,813
Denmark
Originally Posted by WriterTomYeager
yes I am looking forward to the story of the rest of his time here as well Magne........its always exciting hearing about someone's first time in Nashville-especially when they come here for some serious study and networking by Marc or some other sage of the songwriting scene here......the tourist stuff is certainly fun-but its always good to see people who wanna go behind the scenes at Disneyland-so to speak-and see how it all really works.......I myself am still klutzing around 5 years later.......but then in my case-ignorance is truly bliss....can't you get some arts grant from the Danish government to come here and report back to fellow Danes?........worth a try-lol

Tom


I will get to Nashville, Tom. I'm writing, producing and learning by doing, so when I feel I'm ready for new opportunities, I will reward myself with a trip. I don't just want to learn, though, I want to be able to contribute with something, so I need to up my game a bit to qualify, I think. Right now I'm working on so much stuff, with so many people, that I just have my hands full. On track, though, Tom. Could be real fun to see you guys..

It's a great idea, reporting back like this, Kevin! Definitely inspirational.

Keep it coming! grin


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/buzztracks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
#832542 - 07/22/10 09:45 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kolstad]  
Joined: Sep 2005
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WriterTomYeager Offline
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WriterTomYeager  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,650
Harrisonburg,Virtginia
ok Magne


we will leave the light on for you


Tom

#832590 - 07/23/10 01:45 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,526
Polly Hager Offline
Helping Hand
Polly Hager  Offline
Helping Hand

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,526
Cincinnati, OH USA
Kevin, I will check in to see your blogs. smile All I can say about Nashville, is, get ready to fall deeply in love. Nashville is the seductive siren that seeps into a musician's veins. I doubt you'll want to leave. smile


http://www.soundclick.com/pollyhager
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You're supposed to be grooving as hard as you can, all of the time. - Stephen Gaskin
#832603 - 07/23/10 05:44 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,813
Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,813
Denmark
Originally Posted by WriterTomYeager
ok Magne
we will leave the light on for you

Tom


Not too bright, Tom. I'm a low key kind of guy! I like to move around without anyone noticing.. I would think Nashville is the perfect place for that :-)

When is episode 2 coming, Kev?? We're bored here!! First one was really just a teaser, right?.. right?? smirk


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#832614 - 07/23/10 09:50 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kolstad]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Crozet, VA
Don't worry -- more is coming. I have been just buried in work and activities since since I've been back. I'll definitely post some more tonight and finish up over the weekend. I think I have decent enough notes so I won't forget too much.

Kevin


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#832893 - 07/25/10 10:00 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Crozet, VA
I am going to try and do the tour on a day by day thing and see how that works out. I have been swamped at work and am going to be away for most of the next three weeks. And I have to get a new laptop set up with web stuff, sql*server all my programs (plus update a few clients on Monday!). Oh well.

Friday, July 16th in Nashville (has it been over a week????)

We started the weekend off with a group breakfast at Cracker Barrel. After my story from the battle with the picnic benches, I think most of them though I would be hooked to oxygen and attended to by a nurse. Had some good discussions with most of the folks at my end of the table (MAB included) and then finished up and went back to MAB's house to start the program off. By the way Cracker Barrel (and all the places we went to) didn't mind separate checks at all -- back in my Florida time, most restaurants seemed crabby about that for a group of 20!).

Once we got to MAB's we sat around in a circle and the seven (?) group participants got to tell our story of how we got here, our experiences and what we expected (there were some group members that didn't arrive until Friday evening). This went on a little longer than expected as one guy discussed that he had to convince his wife with a Business plan (or game plan) that this songwriting stuff made sense (ha, ha). At the same time, there wasn't anything being said or discussed that didn't seem like useful information to me -- it was all good. ... and since Nashville seems to be all about face to face time, why not get to know everyone better. After all, I might be co-writing with these folks in the future.

After that it was song critique time! Lots of good tunes. Some of us played live and some of played recordings. I passed around lyric sheets and played two songs -- Hey Yea and Pawn Shop (I was hoping to have new recordings of these before now -- but time hasn't allowed me to do that). A quick note: Since I was going to play these same two songs Friday night (and they were the only songs I had memorized), I think the group went easy on me (ha, ha). The main points on both songs were a) the title/ hook) and b) playing to the hook. In both songs, the titles weren't the hook and the hook wasn't being played to/reinforced enough. I like both of the songs, but to be 100% truthful, I really didn't even know what the actual "hook" was in both tunes (LOL!). MAB goes "So what is the hook here?" I answered one way and a couple others answered differently -- which means the hook just wasn't established enough. Now, I have been working hard at stuff like that, but in these two new songs, I slipped up on that. Not too sure how much I will change these two songs, but the lessons learned will be applied forward.

That all took 2 1/2 hours, so it was time to meet a #1 writer for lunch -- Danny Wells. This guy was the co-writer to one of my favorite George Strait songs, Check Yes or No. As a side note, Danny moved to Nashville in 1980 and his first cut was that song in 1995 -- talk about perseverance! (from a NSAI interview -- http://members.nashvillesongwriters.com/news.php?viewStory=19 ). He has had a few Rascal Flatts cuts (including another #1 for These Days) and other artist cuts (I can't seem to find a full list on the internet, though). What did I take away from the lunch? Besides being a nice and spiritual type of guy, he is down to earth and seems pretty smart. One thing I noticed is that most of the songwriters I met and talked to were either smart, good conversationalists or just generally were "on the ball". There were no slouches in the folks I met. I am sure they are out there, but the ones I met were "workers". OK back to Danny -- in his "most active periods" he was pro demoing 100 (one hundred, 10x10, 99+1,...) songs a year at ~$1,000 a pop!!!!!! That's one reason why they all co-write -- split the costs. Now, there is a chance that when he had a #1, some of the costs were taken over by the publisher/record company -- but I don't know for sure. He said that for the last two years he has done 40 pro demos a year -- and guess what? He hasn't had a cut in two years. Since his songs are probably all pretty good, what does that say about the chances of yours or my songs getting cut when no one knows who we are? I am not saying "Give Up!", just pointing out that the chances of you getting an established star to cut one of your songs is about zero -- just the way it is.

As another side note, I want to mention that it seems like there are 1000's of good songs floating around nashville -- but the only way to hear them is to go to writer's nights and such, and then get the artists' MySpace addresses. There is only room for 20 or so songs in a radio station's rotation -- and they want those songs to sound like last week's hits so they can attract listeners and sell advertising.

After lunch we then visited NSAI, Jay's Place (a recording studio) and Sharp Objects (a song plugger). I'll skip to Sharp Objects . They have 5,000+ songs from 25+ artists in their catalog -- and it seems like the plugger we talked to had listened and categorized every one (male/female, tempo, subject matter, star rating, etc). When they go to a pitch meeting at a publisher or record company they can only bring THREE! Since you get only three, they make sure that the songs are targeted (don't bring a waltz if they want a uptempo female empowerment tune) and that they didn't get pitched by someone else (pitching is going on in multiple methods in nashville). He says if you want to be accepted by a reputable plugger, you had better have your "A" game together. If you bring a lyric in and you rhyme "fire" with "desire" -- they will throw it right in the trash (ha, ha). While we were there, another #1 writer (name escapes me) popped in the room to harass MAB and he told us a quick story about perseverance. He said he was going to give up and had applied to become a policeman (he was a pretty big dude), when at the last moment a song of his got cut and went to #1. He had written that song 10 years earlier. So he said "I was a #1 writer for 10 years -- I just didn't know it".

Before going to our Hotel room to get ready for Friday evening (and I had to change out my bandages!), we cruised by Mt. Richmore -- the monstrosity of a house that sits upon a hill that over-looks Nashville -- it is pretty big. John Rich is most known for his work with "Big and Rich", but he has written a lot of hits for others, been a producer and was the bass player for Lonestar back in '92-'98. I think he had a video recently that prominently displayed his house and has thousands (or so it seems) of women in bikinis running all over the place. I didn't see any young hotties on this visit -- but I couldn't see the pool which is on top of the house!

OK, that's enough for Part A of Friday -- I'll be back later today for part B -- and then Saturday --- and then Sunday -- getting tired yet? MAB packs a lot in.

Kevin

Last edited by Kevin Emmrich; 07/26/10 10:21 AM.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#832901 - 07/25/10 11:24 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Sep 2005
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Tom Breshers Offline
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Tom Breshers  Offline
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Panama City, FL, USA
Kevin,

Hey good writing, I'm enjoying this and waiting for the next one! I love Cracker Barrel (we don't have one here)... smile

tom

#832907 - 07/25/10 11:58 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Tom Breshers]  
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Dan Sullivan Offline
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Kevin, You're doing a fine job of reporting. Your daily dispatches are entertaining and informative. Some of the inside stuff MAB and the other mentors are sharing with you is quite revealing of the nature of the business and the almost impossible odds songwriters face when they take aim at the country charts. Keep up the good work. I look forward to your final few reports.


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#832948 - 07/25/10 03:37 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
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Very entertaining writing Kevin. Sounded like a thrill packed day. Lots of good stuff to bring back with you. And bad stuff, like the scars. And MAB didn't spring for breakfast? I thought he only did this for fun and money was no object. lol

Can't wait to read more.

Rick

#832954 - 07/25/10 04:16 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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good reporting Kevin

sure sounds like you got your moneys worth out of Marc and Nashville........time well spent and obviously enjoyed as well.......

Tom

#832999 - 07/25/10 09:37 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
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Hey Kevin:

Great narrative. It sounds like you got your money's worth (except for the minor skirmish at the roadside park... LOL!) and I just had the opportunity to hear MAB sing OD's (Steve Harris) new song (cowritten with MAB) at the Ramp. A very good write and Steve confirmed that he had arrived back in Ohio safely by carefully avoiding roadside parks. (Just kidding!) I hope you'll find time to continue this interesting story as time permits.

Believe me, we're all ears. As a former Nashvillian a la Brentwood, it's interesting to hear first timer's reactions and all the other people oriented stories which result from Marc's huge popularity there in TwangTown. Thanks, ever so much.

Dave

#833079 - 07/26/10 09:44 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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I start another trip tomorrow and have a million things to do before I leave -- but I want to keep going on this. Of course the next couple of nights I am in a hotel room, so I should be able to finish it all up then.

Friday July 16th in Nashville -- Part II (the evening)

I am realizing that I didn't take very good notes for the performance type stuff, so this part of it will be pretty weak.

We were going to a place called Calhoun's for dinner and a writer's night playing experience -- and I was going to be expected to play, yikes! This is the main reason that I played at least one open mic night in Crozet before I left home and did my best to memorize two songs! Now this might not seem like much to those of you that play a lot and learn lots of songs, but I don't learn any covers and all of my playing is -- writing, composing, recording, play all sorts of parts, mix and then move on the the next one (as Ricki might say, before I have really "finished" the first one -- ha, ha).. I also do very little in just a guitar/vocal only format. So I must admit being a little worried about that -- not a lot, but enough for me to make sure my tunes were known backwards and forwards.

After visiting Mt Richmore, I went back over to MAB's to test out Matt's guitar (another tour participant and a very good dude). Come to find out that all guitars require a direct plugin and just the vocals are mic'd. My guitar has a Martin thin-line pickup in it, but the bass "E" string rings out volume-wise more than the other strings. It is just not right. So not only was this my first writer's night in nashville, but I had to play an unknown guitar which could have added to the tensions. Luckily for me, Matt's guitar was easy to play and was not going to be something I could blame if things went south (dang!). So if you are going to Nashville to do writer's nights make sure you have your acoustic amplified. I am sure there are some places that mic guitars -- but MAB says it is too much of a hassle and feedback becomes a never-ending problem. Six mics are harder to control than 3 vocal mics and 3 guitars plugged in.

I went back to the hotel to re-do the bandages and was thinking about napping, but time had semi-run out. Now remember I am a morning person so it was 5am Friday morning when my eyes first
opened up -- but it was 4am Nasville time (central)! I tried to stay in bed for awhile, but only made it an hour. So I am normally a 5am -- 10pm type of guy -- and the nashville crowd runs on the other time clock that goes 'till late at night -- oh well. Of course, adrenaline helps out and I minimized my booze consumption.

Off to Calhouns. My mapquest directions said to turn left onto I-40, so I turned left -- going I40W (supposed to be going east). Took me about 10 minutes to figure that out and get turned around -- so I now added 20 minutes to my travel time. MAB wanted us there at 6pm and now I was going to be late. Plus a huge lightening and rain storm enveloped me, there was construction going on -- a nice relaxing way to start the evening. But I made it.

The music started close to 7pm. I am a little sketchy on the first set. I seem to recall Dean/Devon, Matt (from the tour), some guy on the end I didn't know -- but then I recall Norm (tour) involved, too -- that's 4 and only three are up a time. Maybe the 3rd guy had guitar issues and came back later -- I can't recall (or I was trying to get a rum and coke and wasn't paying attention). Oh, a quick note on the format. In writer's nights they like to do something called "in the round". Three writer's get up at a time and each one plays one song in order and then they start over again (see this wiki about the Bluebird for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluebird_Cafe ). It is a cool way to do it -- makes for better variety. If you know each other's songs, you could play along -- but if not, you just sit there, look interested and try to not to fall off the stool or drop your guitar. Each of those on stage got to do one song and they were all really good -- very entertaining.

The BIG ED came. Big Ed is a west coast dude that has gold/platinum records for doing hip/hop and rap style records (not sure if he is a writer or does mixing/production -- or all). He is working with MAB to learn the country stuff and do some interesting things. He talked to us later about that. In any case, it always said that he is part Dark Underlord, being 6'6", long black hair -- and he brings wind and rain wherever he goes. Remember that storm I mention earlier. When Big Ed appeared, it crashed into Calhoun's in full fury with lighting, thunder and wind swept rains. Oh by the way -- we were at the outside patio at Calhoun's (under a cover, though). Nonetheless we had to break everything down and go inside. MAB was actually going to have us setup and play un-amplified inside, but the management didn't want to do that, so we just waited and Big Ed gave us a little talk.

Big Ed, besides writing country songs himself (and good ones to boot), is starting to specialize in "Country Dance Mixes". This is where popular, danceable country songs are "extended" to 7 or 8 minutes and are intended to keep folks dancing at the DJ style clubs. In the most extreme format, Ed might dump of all the tracks except for the vocals and then just add back in more electronic low-end heavy bass, drum, keyboards, guitars to really make the dance factor stand out. Supposedly this is really big in Europe and is starting to catch on here. Obviously dance mixes have been around forever with pop music and dance clubs -- but I guess it is relatively new for country music. Big Ed actually works with the Record companies to get the tracks he needs and then does all the re-mixing and re-instrumentation. I asked him "Who gets paid for all this", and, to me, it doesn't seem like the artist or writers (or record company) make anything off this -- it is considered promotional. Of course, clubs pay ASCAP/BMI fees -- but payments to writers/publishers are based on radio play only (i think). Oh well, it is all too confusing. Big Ed also gave me a CD with 22 of his songs and told me it was meant to be play f'n loud (not just loud). I played it a couple times in my ride home on Monday -- pretty good stuff!! He also gave some great plugins for my cakewalk recording software that I won't get to try out until the end of August or so.

OK, the storm finally moved on its way and we went back outside. With the big delay, I thought I was going to be off the hook, but MAB said "get up there". I can't even remember who was in my round (ha, ha), but I got through OK. I have got to work on my mic control. MAB said I move around and I need to "eat that mic" to get heard correctly. It is all a learning experience -- and those are things I can improve on with practice. So I just have to play out more (I did play another open mic last Wed and played three songs!). Then other MAB folks (have done earlier tours with him) got up and did their tunes, One note on memorizing your songs: In some avenues, having a cheat sheet or song book is OK, but memorizing is best. One guy had a double sided sheet of paper with lyrics and as he went to turn it around, he started to slip off the chair and dropped his guitar -- and it made one of the loudest rackets I have ever heard a guitar make. But it stayed in tune and the show went on.

We heard at least three or four "up and coming" artists that probably have a shot in the future (or already are doing the music career thing successfully), but one thing I need to point out. If you are getting up there and just going strum, strum, strum -- your audience will probably tune you out. All of the folks playing did bass lines, riffs, turn arounds, and other guitar "things" to add interest to the songs. I changed up my patterns between the verse and chorus, but I really have to work on expanding my guitar work to include more complicated sounding stuff (doesn't need to be complicated -- just sound like it!). Since I mostly record, I lean on the multi-track thing to add variation. When it is just you and your guitar -- well, it's just you and your guitar.

Finally MAB got up, and for my benefit, he decided to slightly forget the words to the first couple of songs he was playing (ha, ha). I guess when you have 2,000 songs over the past few years, it might be tough to keep them all straight. It was my first time seeing MAB perform live (I missed Thursday night's gig) and as Bill R. pointed out on the other thread -- he is the real deal. Some people are just performers -- doesn't matter what they are singing or doing -- it is just entertaining. Of course, it helps when the songs are well crafted with interesting themes. Great time! I should have written down the songs done, but he did end up with his classic ode to lonely songwriters: "Tables and Chairs" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bdWmgLH2M4 ).

After MAB, the host of the writer's night (Christina?) got up and did a really cool, jazzier sultry tune -- and then she said had only been playing guitar for 3 1/2 months!!!! I guess she took a class at the local community college and practices a lot! After that a waiter got up and played three or four songs (I wonder if he got in trouble for that?). By this time, I was burned out and ready to go and get some sleep -- a big day lay ahead! (I know I fizzled out a little on my Calhoun recollections -- but dang, it was over a week ago!!)


Remember -- I have only written about the first day so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kevin

Last edited by Kevin Emmrich; 07/26/10 11:27 AM.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#833084 - 07/26/10 10:35 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Wow Kevin-you really packed alot into your time here......


you did alot more than polish some bar stools thats for sure......

but if ya ever come back you gotta sign up for Tom's Honkytonk Death March....I dont know a dam thing about the music business but believe me after the first 20 minutes you wont care-lol......

thanks for your in-depth reporting of your Nashville trip...Marc is quite a comprehensive instructor obviously..

Tom

#833088 - 07/26/10 11:29 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Originally Posted by WriterTomYeager
Wow Kevin-you really packed alot into your time here......

LOL! And that was just the first day. Next time I do a MAB tour, maybe I'll stay a couple of extra days to visit, see some of the other JPF nashville folks, visit Mike D's cowboy church, sightsee see, etc, etc...

Kevin


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#833105 - 07/26/10 01:37 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Lot's of good stuff here Kevin. Thanks.

The hit writer at Sharp Objects was Micheal Peterson, who had a number one with Drink, Swear,and Lie, which he had written in the ninties and was the one he had become a number one writer on. He had quite a vibrant career in the early 2000's and has done well as an artist, writer and a motivational speaker. he does a lot of work with the US Army and performs for troops worldwide.He has also represented a Japanese tractor firm and is very in demand at sales conferences worldwide. He makes several million dollars a year doing that. His wife works at Sharp Objects which is why he was there that day.

MAB

#833109 - 07/26/10 01:53 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Congrats Bro Kevin!

Sounds like ya got the Blood outta the way...now it's ON..to Sweat & Tears! ;-)>

Thanks for Sharing, Amigo! That First Trip EVER There's a real eye-opener, & sounds like Marc's giving ya Quite an Eyeful!

Looking forwards to hearing your Further Adventures (& I'm SO jealous of All You Folks who DO play Guitars!)

Continued Bated-Breath (& a Big "Good Luck" Guy-Hug,
Stan

#833118 - 07/26/10 02:24 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: "Tampa Stan" Good (D)]  
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MAB: "Micheal Peterson" I thought that was his name -- but I didn't want to mess that up. Thanks for jumping in.

Stan: There are few writer-only types in MAB's camp. He just hooks them up with musicators so everything goes smoothly. There is something for everyone.

You think Friday was jam packed full -- wait until you hear about Saturday .... and then Sunday!

Kevin

Last edited by Kevin Emmrich; 07/26/10 11:15 PM.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#833132 - 07/26/10 03:53 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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This is really good Kevinator. I feel like I am reading Lord of the Rings. You are the ringbearer carrying through to Mordor. Carry on dear reader! Can't wait till the next chapter. LOL!

MAB

#833190 - 07/26/10 09:02 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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****** Saturday, July 17th in Nashville ******

Ok, now it is nitty-gritty time -- today's the day MAB pairs us up with more experienced writers and we sit and co-write a song from scratch. Exciting and scary at the same time -- how am I going to "perform" in front of these "Nashville-style" writers? When I heard it was going to be four hours, I though, shoot, maybe we can do two songs. After all, I've done FAWM a couple of times and am on my second 50/90 -- and I think I can churn out decent enough lyrics under a time pressure situation, so I was looking forward to the event. Plus I had that "monster" idea that caused all my trials and tribulations at the rest area. First of all, breakfast at the waffle house with MAB, Matt, Norm, Ronnie and Me (any one else?). I can't for the life of me remember what we talked about, but it all seemed interesting at the time (ha, ha).

So we arrive at Doak Turner's house at 10am to start off the day. Doak is the ultimate Nashville networker and the house he lives in is really dedicated to music. He has bunches of rooms that can be used as "writing/playing rooms" and it actually used to be a recording studio and some famous bands lived there for months at a time. I believed Keith Urban was there for awhile and MAB told us about a few others, but I forget now. I think folks from out of town also stay there on their visits instead of paying for more expensive hotel rooms. All told there were 24 (or 27) of us and the first thing we did was to go around the group and quickly mention our names and our biggest musical influences. I went for Van Morrison, The Band and newer Americana groups, like the Avett Brothers, as my choices of influences. MAB then broke us up in to 8 (or 9) groups with three per group -- one "newbie" with two more seasoned writers.

I was pared with Lance Carpenter and Bob Paterno. The first thing the three of us did was just to try and get to know each other. The first thing I noticed was that Lance had a big ring on, so I asked him if that was a championship ring and he said he was a Tackle for an Arkansas football team in college (not division I -- I didn't get the school name). However, I decided right then and there that I was going like everything he proposed for the song (ha, ha). Lance works for FEMA and he was assigned to Nashville for the flood relief efforts. He was going to be moving to Nashville full-time in the near future. Big, burly guy with a pretty cool "Rodney Atkins" type voice. Bob was in from Dallas and was actually staying at Doak's and had writing appointments lined up for the time that he was in town. He was a quieter, unassuming type -- but it turns out he knows his music backwards and forwards -- I wouldn't be surprised if I saw him producing pro sessions in the future.

After the preliminary introduction, it was time to get to work. Sorry to say, I tried to jump in with my picnic table story and my idea for the song -- but I could tell it didn't "grab them" (ha, ha -- all that pain and agony for nothing). The next thing was to get out their I-Phones and I-Pads are start looking at song titles and hook ideas that they had been compiling. Lance mentioned that one thing MAB had told him was to "round out his catalogue" with some "funny" or "grab the audience" type tunes. He discussed that MAB mentioned that if you get them in face (smile) or stomach (laughing) with an earlier song, you will establish credibility with them and then they will listen more closely to songs that get them in the throat and heart (those deeply felt tunes). So he wanted a song that would be a good kick-off number at a writer's night type setting. Made perfect sense to me and Bob agreed whole-heartily. Now Bob mentioned that at co-writing sessions like this you have to throw the ideas out and not worry if they get shot down -- don't take it personally. At the same time, don't be afraid to shoot down ideas that I didn't care for. If you are used to business "brainstorming sessions", the concept is to throw out bunches of ideas -- without judging them. The start-off here was like that except ideas get shot down sometimes (ha, ha).

Two side points I want to make here.

1.) MAB told us that it is the job of the "new' writer (me) is to bring lots of ideas and hooks to the session -- as a newbie you have to pull your weight. These guys really don't need me to write a song, so I had better bring something worthwhile. I must confess on that front, I didn't hold up my end of the bargain. I had some ideas, but these guys were organized, focused and really had their stuff together. All in all, I was along for the ride! In the end, we got a pretty good song, so I think that these guys would give me a second shot -- but there probably wouldn't be a 3rd shot if I didn't contribute more. Unless, of course, a great song was written every time I was there. Then they would say "That Kevin ain't worth a sh** as a co-writer, but good things seems to happen when he is in the room!" Yes, I did comment on quite a few things and made suggestions whenever I thought of something -- but these two guys were driving the bus. The best thing I did was to not get in the way and impede the progress of the song. I definitely had checked my ego in at the front door, so I was not going to force my ideas/viewpoints on these two guys.

2.) Over in the Creative Writing forum, someone posted an interesting little piece about Nashville's Dirty Secret where the old guy (reminded me of the character in Crazy Heart) rambled on about today's Nashville. One of the things that he railed against was those "co-writing" sessions. Here's my viewpoint (after seeing it up close and personal): In the end, the creation, and writing and composing of a song is still ART -- any way you cut it. But these guys are serious about it and their time is limited. So why not use business-like practices in all the other parts of the process: keeping a lists of hooks/titles/ideas, scheduling writing sessions, having an encyclopedic memory of all the current songs out there (so you don't start treading on something that is already out there), etc. etc etc.... If you "practice" creativity enough, maybe you can call it into the room when you need it. In any case, face to face co-writing by appointment works -- if you are creative AND organized.

Lance (I believe) threw out the idea of "Girlfriend For The Weekend" and that started the ball rolling. We worked through the story and looked at the different scenarios it could take on. As always we had too much of a story and had to cut back in the end -- but that was OK. Now, one good thing here is that when I threw out ideas/lines that didn't work (!), the two guys actually took the time to partially explain WHY they were turning it down ("remember what we did back here --- we need this cadence or rhyme scheme here" -- stuff like that). All in all, super cool learning experience. I won't go through every line, but after we had a verse and chorus, we stopped to talk about other things. They each played some tunes they were working on, played some recording of songs they were getting cuts on or friends of theirs were getting cut and generally had a good time. All in all, we probably killed off an hour or so -- but that's OK, we are also building relationships. Time for lunch!!!

One lunch time story: We standing around in the kitchen with Lance, Mab, me and one or two others and I mentioned that Bob and Lance were carrying all the water and Lance said, yea we are saving your butt. I then said "I owe you two for this” and Lance said "You don't owe me anything"-- you owe the next songwriter you meet down the line -- in other words, pay it forward, just help folks out. That is just a good life's lesson.

Do anyone of you remember how hot it was that weekend??? Well, there were a couple of teams outside and one of them said we gotta come inside! So we gave up our room and went outside (actually into the garage) and finished up the song. We struggled a little on the 2nd verse, so we skipped ahead to the 2nd chorus and the bridge and then came back to verse #2. Remember I thought we could easily knock out two songs -- well, we were scrambling to finish when the MABster was calling everyone in to play their songs for the group (and since we were running out of time, they actually used some of my lines -- ha, ha)! Now I want to tell you -- EVERY song from EVERY group turned out really, really good. The first couple of tunes were excellent, but more in the positive, uplifting experience type of thing (and nothing wrong with that), so when Lance and Bob got up to perform the tune (I didn't know the chords well enough to help out here), it was a total change in direction topic-wise and Lance really had the crowd laughing with his delivery. It is a song that I am definitely going to work into my little repertoire. I have that song in MP3 format, but I need to get permission to post -- but I'll post it when I can.

I think we went until about three and then it was time to break to get ready for the big MAB birthday party bash at the Listening Room. I'll come back and do part B later on (probably tomorrow night or even Wed. night -- I am on the road tomorrow). Of course, you can just read Bill Robinson's report -- he said it all there. I am not sure how I am going to report on the party -- words are going to be tough and if I wrote about everything I heard or felt, it would probably be a long post (oh wait, I have those already, LOL!).

Kevin


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#833212 - 07/26/10 11:00 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Dan Sullivan Offline
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MI
Another good update on your seminar in Nashville. It's fun to read about your experiences. You kind of take us right there with you.


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#833213 - 07/26/10 11:09 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Good writing Kevin!

Actual experience makes a better story everytime. Looking forward to the next installment.......

Wayne
www.waynelongtin.com

#833227 - 07/27/10 12:34 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Wayne Longtin]  
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Hey Kevin,

You're a character, that's for sure smile This is good stuff... I've been thinking about doing one of these tours eventually but I have to get my "stuff" together first!!

Funny thing that you mention Lance and what a class act he is - you're right... I met him on Myspace last year and he jumped right in on a co-write with me... not bothered at all that I had only been writing for like a month! Extremely nice, talented guy.

Keep the stories coming, I want to hear more!!

Heather


"Only those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly." - Robert Kennedy

"Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down." - Jimmy Durante
#833462 - 07/28/10 02:47 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Heather N. Orwig]  
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Heather,

Actually "getting the stuff together" is the reason people come to me. That is what my tours are really about.

MAB

#833512 - 07/28/10 11:10 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Thanks again, Kevin for this continuation of your very enlightening trip to TwangTown. We're enjoying your story alot and MAB's comments "flesh out" the details nicely.

Dave

#833515 - 07/28/10 11:16 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Kevin,

I am following this with interest!

Colni


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#833543 - 07/28/10 01:57 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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How funny is it that I would read this post. I had a similar experience at a local fishing whole. There are a couple of benches on the pier at the waters edge. There are holes in the table that you an rest your poles in if you have more then one, sitting on the far side of the bench I would stick one in the hole and hold the other and about 10 times that day, when I got hit on a line I would go rushing down the side of the bench slam my shin against that piece of wood that connected the seat to the table. Ouch...
All I can say is I really wanted to catch something but all I caught was a beating from that bench...and kept going back for more. Funny how the pain was a total shock each time.


Yeees... I know... [Linked Image] " but I do enjoy trying! "
#833591 - 07/28/10 05:51 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Nelson]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Denmark
I'm a big fan of this thread..

40.000-100.000$ a year for demos??? Unreal!!!
Great to hear about the unwritten rules when writing up, too.

I'm a huge fan of this thread :-)


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

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#833623 - 07/28/10 09:21 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kolstad]  
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Joice Marie Offline
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Joice Marie  Offline
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Cornish Flat, NH, USA
Hi Kevin

I'm enjoying your blog !! : ) jm


perfection is unattainable, excellence is totally within reach

http://www.youtube.com/joicemarie
http://www.myspace.com/lemonmcfartney
#833695 - 07/29/10 09:05 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Joice Marie]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


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Crozet, VA
Hello,

Still on the road! I'll try and continue tonight -- or Friday/Saturday. I hope everyone is doing well.

Kevin


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#833708 - 07/29/10 10:54 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Magne,

The average Nashville "Hit writer" has spent 10-15 years in and around the music industry before they get to really making the big money everyone aspires to. And for everyone that is making those huge dollars, there are hundreds who are doing the same thing, spending the same money,who don't have the luck.

They are working 1-3 jobs and supplementing their music income with other jobs that are actually paying FOR their music income. They are demoing 30-60-100 songs a year at around $1000.a song.
That is done for years just to be in the game.

The average publisher costs around $250,000 a year to just be in the game. Salaries, office space,demos, business trips and conferences, insurance, equipment, the right charity donations, everything that it takes to be in business.

Hit writer River's Rutherford got in a roll several years ago. In one year he made about $650,000 on about six huge songs. WE did a workshop together and he said "That sounds like a lot, but if you averaged it out over the years I put money out but didn't make anything, that is about $35,000 a year."

I have known of writers having huge number one songs that have made virtually nothing because of the advances and money they have spent to get those songs up there.

Record companies spend millions promoting records and artists that go no where (about 7 out of 10) and lose money, to make up for the 3 o4 that do make money.

Everyone is doing demos at the same rates.

This is why all of these "pitch services" are really in such an uphill battle. They are trying to take money away from those people and put themselves in the same place without paying the same dues. People simply don't just move over and allow people to take their lively hoods. And when you couple how hard it is now to sell product, it gets even harder.

So if people are thinking they can find an easier faster way by some internet "mail in" site, you should probably think about that and in most cases, save your money.

That is the real "other side of the desk."

MAB

#833713 - 07/29/10 11:30 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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,NL Canada
Sounds like the demos studios/singers/musicians are the only ones making money, at least making a living. No wonder there are so many demo studios in Nashville.


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#833717 - 07/29/10 12:28 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Actually Everette, there are less.

Home recording and the computer age with Garage band,Pro tools, etc. put an end to all but the strongest many years ago. At one point there were about 1000 studios in town.Now there are pretty close to about 150 "real studios". And most of those will be gone soon.

Same with Staff writers. Seven years ago there were 1480. Now there are right around 315.

Publishers,from about 3000 down to about 300.

So now, it is that you start with your own product, or hook into people on the "ground floor." You can't pitch to the majors because the industry has circled the wagons and they have their own "ground floor people." As the newer artists grow, you hope that you will remain involved in that but you spread out what you do among dozens of artists, writing with them and getting your material out with them, instead of pitching songs "AT THEM."

As their fortunes grow, their venues get larger, fan base expands, so do yours. Your reputation grows as well as your abilities. At some point you find yourself bigger than you can handle alone and publishers, pluggers, record labels come into play. That brings the managers, agents, etc.

At every step you are in constant competition and always looking for more avenues. You hope to do it without going broke and insane. That is the real trick.

That is a career.

MAB

#833730 - 07/29/10 01:48 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Lynn Orloff Offline
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Lynn Orloff  Offline
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PA of the great USA
Kevin, it appears your "trip" to Nashville was literal. OUCH!! eek
So sorry about your spill. Have you considered medicine? You definitely would create a new niche' of offering surgeries in Wal-Mart parking lots and prescribing your patients rum and coke for pain. No overhead, etc. laugh

If you ever need to supplement your songwriting, you could always consider a book, since your writing style is most entertaining. Enjoying the read. I was envious sick of the brain storming sessions where you are teamed up w/other writers under the pressure of time.

Hope your wounds are healing nicely and thanks for sharing!

Waiting for the sequel,
Lynn smile


My Music at Soundclick
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=788266

~call it a blessing or call it a curse, but I see all of life in verse~

Always open to collaborations smile

God Bless Our Military!!!
#833924 - 07/30/10 11:41 AM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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,NL Canada
Marc, It seems that when people started stealing the golden eggs from the goose, they were starving her to death slowly, now when the goose dies, they will have no new music to feed their lust. Even now the eggs she is laying is of less quality than before. If these thieves don't soon wise up, they too will go hungry.


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#833969 - 07/30/10 02:33 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Everette,

They were carving up the Golden Goose long ago. But I don't really think it is all about "greed" or "entitlement".I think it is about making poor decisions, signing people that shouldn't be signed, lower standards, declining revenues, changing markets, technology, a million things. I don't think people wake up in the morning, decide how they can screw someone or a business.
I think they just do what makes it easier for them.

A lot of industries have been wiped out due to this. But nessasity is the mother of invention and I don't think music,creative people, or even elements of the music business are going to go away, major labels included.

But what we all have to way to do what Mike Dunbar says, "Adapt or die."

MAB

#833977 - 07/30/10 03:37 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Denmark
650.000$ ain't as big as it once was.. With 35.000$/year, I'm better off with my regular teaching gig, so no reason to write for the money. Fortunately, I don't spend a lot on demos, but I do would like to write that classic song!

I'm a big fan of this thread! That Saturday report was a great one, Kevin!


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/buzztracks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
#833979 - 07/30/10 03:49 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kolstad]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Magne,

That was actually a quarter. He had three more of those to go that particular year.I had forgotten that part. We were at the end of that one year and he had gotten that in the last quarter of the previous year. It was well over a couple million dollars.
the general principal was that for most writers who never get close to that, and even for those that do,you have to average it out over a long period of time and then if you factor in the Danny Wells comments of over $100,000 in demos, to just stay in the game, those big numbers start to weedle down quite a bit.

It costs a lot of money to get in this game to begin with, which is why only the strong survive. And why it takes so damn long. Even with someone like Taylor Swift (AND NO I AM NOT GETTING IN THAT DISCUSSION AGAIN) who has been on the scene a relatively short time, they have still expended a lot of energy and often a lot of money to get into the game. And for everyone of those there are the same amounts of money, time, sweat, and tears that DIDN'T turn out well.

Just kind of a perspective thing.

MAB


Last edited by Marc Barnette; 07/30/10 03:55 PM.
#834166 - 07/31/10 06:25 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Denmark
650.000$ a quarter!! Guess Rivers had to buy some rounds then, huh..

But.. money is boring.. Kevin's reports are exciting, keep'em coming :-)


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
#834181 - 07/31/10 08:02 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kolstad]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
I am really swamped with work, traveling and such, so I am having trouble finding time to finish up the Saturday Part II and the Sunday part 1 and 2 sessions -- in fact, tomorrow morning I leave for a 2-day drive down to the Florida panhandle. I'll be there 12 days, so I should find time to get caught up -- I hope. So today I want to explore a sensitive topic area as a side bar (I like side bars better than the actual story, sometimes): Amateurism versus professionalism. OK, this is a topic that I don't really know much about, so I just have to give you my opinion and let it go at that, Maybe MAB or others will chime in.

1.) One of the things that a co-writer from Saturday's session said to me (I think it was Bob) was "Don't tell any Nashville co-writer that you just write as a 'hobby'". Now, while I didn't say that, he could tell that I was one of those newbies that just wasn't sure where all this was going (ha, ha).

Now that statement wasn't meant derisively or in meanness -- it was just a fact and it makes sense. Most of these serious song writers are co-writing for as much the networking aspect as well as the better song ideas. There are no shortage of talented, potential co-writers in Nashville -- but there is a shortage of co-writing appointment time. So if you are going to co-write with someone, who are you going to pick a) someone who is going to play the tune out at writer nights, work on it some more, maybe show it around to his/her contacts/publisher/plugger, maybe want to pro demo it; or b) some guy who will go home and play it for his cat in his living room? It really is a no-brainer when you look at it like that.

2.) Another aspect of "Amateurism versus professionalism" is getting demos done. It seems to me that a logical extension of doing co-writes with serious writers is the inevitability of needing pro demos of songs that you want to pitch. Let's just say that Matt, Norm (two of MAB's group guys) and I co-write a tune and we are all excited about it. After a while Norm says "Hey I got this great female singer lined up, we have to do a full blown demo at Jay's and with the extra vocalist it will be $750 -- or $250 each." Now, I decide I have to pay mortgage instead and I just can't swing the $250 right now. I don't think Matt and Norm will hold it against me personally, but next time they want to do a co-write with a third person, maybe they will ask Becky instead.

I am one of those that caught in the housing reversal, so I don't plan to go wild on spending money (at least for the next year or so). I don't mind sacrificing "this" to get "that" -- I just won't ask my family to sacrifice on something that is just Daddy's (what's a word for "hobby" that doesn't say "hobby" -- LOL!). However, if you want to write "professionally", doing demos is just a cost of doing business, or so it seems. Maybe I am wrong here, but it seems that if you want to play nashville's game, you gotta play by the established rules -- and one of those rules seems to be you need pro level demos if you want to pitch. I realize that there are exceptions to every rule, but they are labelled "exceptions" for a reason.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Kevin


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#834182 - 07/31/10 08:16 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

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Saint Petersburg. FL
Maybe you should say passion instead of hobby......



Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#834354 - 08/01/10 04:20 PM Re: My First Nashville Trip! [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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WriterTomYeager Offline
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WriterTomYeager  Offline
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Posts: 3,650
Harrisonburg,Virtginia
very good topic Kevin

the worst nightmare of a Nashville writer is someone who isnt just as insanely committed to getting things done as they are.....even if you are here in this town folks often wont take you seriously if you have been here less than 3 or 4 years.....cause we dont know if you will blow into town and blow out come the first Christmas or something back home happens or if you prioritize putting in a new deck higher than song demos-or whatever else may be on your mind as far as time and finances...................we want co-writers who just wont let other stuff get in the way as far as time and finances......thats why we often prefer co-writers within strangling distance-cause it often comes to that......lol.....whatever it takes to get their attention-lol...that guy definitely told you right-we dont want co-writers who view all this as a lemonade stand they can just open up and close down whenever you feel like it........so in communications with Nashville writers NEVER tell em "well this is just some hobby of mine that I get to now and then.....cause its the reason we are here and not somewhere we would rather be......this is a nice town to live in but I would much prefer to be back home in Virginia Beach.....Nashville doesnt even have an oceanfront-had I known that I never would have moved here in the first place.....

take care and good luck in the music business
thanks alot for your Nashville trip journal-its been very good and I hope everyone in JPF who wants to come to Nashville can someday do so-whether its for business or pleasure.....we are always working on new ways to tourist- proof our picnic tables grin

Tom

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