Songwriting. It’s one of the things Nashville is known for...
It’s why so many people move here to Music City and visit every year.
Chasing the songwriting dream is a passion, a blessing and a curse all rolled into one big happy bundle.
If you’re doing it for the fame, you’re in it for the wrong reason, because the reward of the songwriter comes from somewhere much deeper and far reaching.
The joy of songwriting comes from speaking your mind and getting it just right, so that it taps into other people’s minds and hearts and makes them sing along.
That’s the power and the glory of music and what songwriting can do.
As a songwriter’s daughter, I grew up watching my dad’s transformation from “disabled construction worker” to Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member, and reveled in his successes as scores not only for my daddy, but for every underdog.
Now my life’s passion is writing songs and teaching other people about the special, unique, magical joy and healing that comes from putting pen and feelings down on paper and enjoying them aloud.
Back in 2010, my business started laying the ground work for teaching about songwriters and songwriting to as many people as possible. It’s more than a job or a company – it’s truly a vocation, a calling, and I consider it a sort of holy mission, as crazy as that sounds from a girl with songs called “Asstastic” and “Beer Run” in her catalog.
As part of the journey of being a songwriter, I have done a lot of things and picked up a lot of skills that have both nothing and everything to do with songwriting success for me.
Some of these are:
· Having and homeschooling twins
· Studying IP (intellectual property) to the point of being recognized as a copyright expert by big names like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and T Bone Burnett
· Becoming a small business owner and learning how to make money enough to support my family as an entrepreneur (no trust fund baby here as some speculate)
· Creating a weekly place for songwriter artists to get discovered and showcase for industry, including casting two music TV shows (CMT’s Next Superstar and USA Network’s Can You Duet) way before Whiskey Jam
· Writing and self publishing workbooks for songwriter entrepreneurs through Ingram / Lightning Source and helping “Lollipop” songwriter Beverly Ross write and self publish her book
· Developing a program combining two divisions of the U.S. State Department and proving its effectiveness on trips to Romania, Jamaica, and virtual visits to Ukraine, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia, the results of which were written about in the U.S. Trade Commissioner’s report to the President
· Building websites for dozens of clients including singer/songwriters, championship boxers, production companies, restaurants and caterers, custom printing companies, and private events facilities
· Running an event space where I did a two year experiment in census survey performing rights licensing
· And lots of other stuff I can’t remember right now – it’s a blur… oh yeah, beating breast cancer.
All of this stuff – and it’s a lot – is what comes together here in Nashville on Valentine’s night at Woolworth Theatre.
After doing parts of this show since way back in 2010, my little mighty small business that could is taking on the Downtown Nashville market with our unique and innovative variety show extravaganza called A Story of Love Nashville.
The marketers are saying it’s a little bit Broadway, Vegas and Nashville rolled into one show.
Here’s why I think they say that.
A Story of Love is a “little bit Broadway” because of my one woman show. Made for theater, it’s a 35 minute roller coaster ride of songs that dig into your soul and tickle your funny bone, weaving in and out of slam poetry interludes.
The “little bit Vegas” part is because of the entertainment quality and the interactive, innovative nature of the show. It’s not just music – it’s trivia, it’s team building, it’s songwriting in real time with a room full of strangers – it’s something different – exciting and a little bit risky. That’s why the Vegas reference.
The show’s reference to Nashville is obvious, but maybe not entirely. See, Nashville is about country music – everybody knows that – but there’s more to it than that.
Nashville is a melting pot – a travel destination – a central transit hub for technology and health care. Nashville is subtle, cool, calm and collected, and so much of the best of Nashville happens behind the scenes.
The undeniable quality Nashville brings to the table is the white hot spotlight it shines on songwriters.
It pushes us into the background and as my dad observed, thinks of us as “the bottom of the totem pole.” But it also expects us to keep churning out hits and ditties.
The soul of songwriting is in its ability to persevere – to serve as a foundation for the rest of the music industry to build upon, and its resilience, always finding a way to survive even where the concrete pavement tries to cover us up from the sun.
It is in that spirit that I invite you to experience something different this Valentine’s Day.
Come celebrate with us and a couple hundred others - groups, singles and couples - at the Woolworth Theatre on February 14. Have your own Nashville songwriter experience.
You’ll come away seeing things differently with a new spring in your step, a fresh vision for what art and creativity can do for your quality of life and relationships, and you might even make a new friend or two.
One journey is over where another begins –
So let’s finish this story in a place that makes sense
When you’re out on the town and you’re looking for love
Just remember – it knows you and what you dream of…
So remember, Dear Traveler, what you wish for tonight
Because music is magic when combined in the light.