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Songwriter’s Monthly
Songwriter’s Monthly

Featuring:

Songwriter’s Monthly Featuring: Sarah DeLeo, Melissa Ferrick, Paige Nichols, Beth Thornley

Sarah DeLeo, Melissa Ferrick, Paige Nichols,

Featuring: Sarah DeLeo, Melissa Ferrick, Paige Nichols, Beth Thornley http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly Feb.
Featuring: Sarah DeLeo, Melissa Ferrick, Paige Nichols, Beth Thornley http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly Feb.
Beth Thornley
Beth Thornley

Feb. ’10, #122

Editor’s Notes First I want to thank each and every one of you for last
Editor’s Notes First I want to thank each and every one of you for last
Editor’s Notes
First I want to thank each and every one of you for last month.
We had such a flood of readers that scribd made us a featured
publication which, in turn, increased our visibility and allowed
people who had never even heard of Songwriter’s Monthly a
chance to stumble upon the January issue. Consequently, we
ended up with over 4,000 readers for last month’s issue
alone
and we’re nearing the 10,000 mark for overall reads.
I have my fingers crossed that now that you’ve found us, you
will realize we’re not the typical music magazine and you will
continue reading month after month. We strive to get you as
close as possible to each and every artist and writer we cover.
We take you away from the gossip and dive deep into what
makes the artist so very human — sometimes uncovering
aspects that even the artist was not aware of.
This month there is a new feature called “First Person.” “First
Person” is all about you! If you have a story, an anecdote, or
something that you think might entertain or enlighten other
folks, I invite you to send it in to be considered for publication.
It does not have to be long (200-300 words is perfect), but it
does have to be personal, something you experienced yourself.
Other than that, if you like what you read here, please, just
spread the word, tell people about us. The more readers we
have, the greater the exposure for each person who appears
within these (virtual) pages. If you’re a writer or an artist, tell
your fans. If you’re a fan, suggest Songwriter’s Monthly to your
favorite artist (and maybe they’ll owe you one?).
Thanks for being involved
and thanks for reading!
Allen
a1foster@aol.com
Feel free to drop a note, introduce yourself, comment, or just
say hi. I love getting email!
!"#$%&'"()!"#$%&'"()
!"#$%&'"()!"#$%&'"()

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BlackGold “Shine”
BlackGold
“Shine”
“Nice
“Nice
Monkey,”
Monkey,”
Goldilocks
Goldilocks
Beth
Beth
Thornley
Thornley

Beth Thornley grew up playing piano, singing in choirs and basically doing “everything that parents make their kids do.” The difference with Beth was she didn !t rebel.

“I absolutely loved it and I knew I somehow wanted to make a living in music,“ she expressed in a delicate yet confident voice. “I just wasn! t exactly sure how I was going to do that. Then I started writing songs and I was like, "Wow, I think this is my thing!! It was like finally stumbling across what you think you! re suited for and it just feels like a warm, fuzzy coat or a lovely pair of comfortable shoes. I thought, Oh, I may be Goldilocks because this is just right!"

Beth ! s colorful, image-oriented manner of speaking is reflected in her songwriting. Her smart, memorable lines and inventive way of presenting a story or twisting a phrase to make it radiate with a brilliant freshness is both startling and worthy of praise.

“I certainly work really hard on the lyrics,” she noted. “not to say that I don!t work hard on melodies and chord changes, but I! m just determined to make the words a craft as much as the music is. It! s really hard and when somebody notices, I really appreciate it.”

Often,

Beth!s

hard

work

is

something

to

marvel at — the meaning in her words is always clearly evident, but at times it is so cleverly presented that it evokes a smile or that wonderful “ah hah” moment of discovery

a smile or that wonderful “ah hah” moment of discovery “I’m just determined to make the

“I’m just determined to make the words a craft as much as the music is.”

she laughed. “It!s just such a nice little word

and such a happy little word

is “pony,” then that must mean it! s good! The phrase, " you !re so pony,! popped into my head and for about two years I had the chorus in my head before I sat down to write it because I didn! t know what to do with it. Also, I was working on songs that I thought were far more " important. ! Then one day I thought, Let ! s just do this, I want this to be fun, I need to lighten up.”

if something

Thornley knew she needed to bounce around the music tracks with somebody else, so she asked her producer, Rob Cairns for some input on the music. “" Pony ! went down really fast and easy,” Rob informed. “We wanted to keep its raw edge, so after a

or revelation. However, the true magic of her lyrics is Thornley ! s gift for knowing the perfect word or collage of words to use. For instance, in her title track, “Wash U Clean,” there is a two word phrase that might seem like a throw away or a filler, but it is so absolutely right for the moment of the song that it has become a kind of cult reference or secret phrase among

her

CD

said, “Nice monkey,” at the door, you! d get in for a discount.

simple beat, guitars, bass and a fast double- track vocal, we were 90% done.” and
simple beat, guitars, bass and a fast double-
track vocal, we were 90% done.”
and I
“It !s always exciting to work with Beth,”
Cairns added. “I know the material is going
to be good. And since Beth has the same
drive to try to perfect the material as I do,
she ! s a great person to " go into the trenches!

fans. In fact, at her

release party, if you

Thornley ! s

c r e a t e i d e a s a n d phrases that truly “stick” with people doesn! t stop with monkeys. In another upbeat, fun track entitled, “You! re So Pony,” Beth is trying to do something beyond just writing a thoroughly enjoyable song.

to

ability

“I am trying to start a catch phrase

don! t

know why I thought I could do that,”

The Story Behind:

“Never Your Girl”

" Never Your Girl ! was probably the second most difficult song from an arranging standpoint – and possibly one of the most difficult from a songwriting standpoint for Beth. There were several different versions of the chorus, in different keys, that were recorded. We did a little " focus group ! on that chorus with some close friends whose ears we trust. That was another song where every additional instrument we added just killed the mood for us. The electric guitar was in there from the beginning (The " slide down! effect was actually achieved by Beth adjusting the delay time by turning a knob as I played the part, and then quickly returning it to the original setting before I played the next phrase.), but I resisted the addition of acoustic guitar until the very end. There were also a couple of long nights worrying about whether or not to use hi hats.”

— Rob Cairns

with. Even when we have really rough days in the studio, it ! s okay because she understands that making records is sometimes very hard work.”

When asked which track was the hardest, Rob responded, “Every track has its own set of challenges. I would say that " Still Can! t Hide ! was the one on which I spent the most amount of effort and time. The basic tracks went down rather quickly, but getting the right instrumental layering took some trial and error.# As is often the case with Beth! s songs, the writing is so strong that the simple basic tracks (piano/bass/drums/ vocal) are often very satisfying, and my

i n s t i n c t

instrumentation lest I over-arrange. I tried a version with only tubular bells and timpani in

it

a n y

i s

t o

r e s i s t

a d d i n g

addition to basic tracks, down.”

but

Beth shot

”Still Can! t Hide” is a masterful song with unexpected, yet appropriate harmonic shifts.

“If I! m going to do something strange, I try to make it feel like it makes sense,” Thornley commented on the somewhat unusual chord progression. “It! s okay with me if somebody notices it, but if it! s so noticed that it takes you out of the song, then I need to go back to do something that transitions everything a little bit better.”

When asked how she achieved such a magical progression, Beth was more than happy to get specific. “It!s in F major, so it starts on an F major chord and then I move the fifth up to a D while keeping the F and the

“It ! s in F major, so it starts on an F major chord and then

A in the bottom. In the next

chord, I keep the F in the bass, but I add the Ab — which makes it an F minor

— and the [top note] goes up

to

the major 7 [E]

which

is

just strange. For a while I

was a little bit afraid of that progression, but completely intrigued by it.”

“I don’t ever want to be weird for weird’s sake, but I do want to
“I don’t ever
want to be
weird for
weird’s sake,
but I do want to
try to see what
chords can do.”

chord, I just liked the way that sounds. It was hard

but I wanted to give it a try so it actually kinda started

o u t

experiment. ! I don ! t

want to be weird for weird!s

sake, but I do want to try to see what chords can do. Maybe it would be better described as a music experiment? I ! m just always playing with that to

a s

a

" s c i e n c e

ever

“Then I realized that it was very difficult to put a melody

over it,” Beth continued. “but I was so happy with the sound of it and so much wanted to

play with the major and then the minor

actually did sit down and say I!m going to play a chord that!s major and then I!m going to follow it by the minor of that very same

see where I can go.”

Lyrically, ”Still Can! t Hide” is about: “Yeah, life is hard, and we do hide sometimes. You can escape under the covers for a little while, but then you gotta get up and go out

hard, and we do hide sometimes. You can escape under the covers for a little while,
hard, and we do hide sometimes. You can escape under the covers for a little while,
and kinda deal with it all.” Another song with a similar message is the tender
and kinda deal with it all.”
Another song with a similar message is the
tender track “Everyone Falls.”
“I ! ve never really thought of it till this
moment,” Thornley realized. “but both songs
have the same thread of how hard life can
be sometimes and how we just have to keep
trying to understand for each other. Life is
difficult, but we! re all in this together. There
is a little bit of relief in that for me to know
that I! m not alone in this, that we all struggle.
It ! s part of the human journey, we all gotta
fight sometimes, but then we all get to be
happy sometimes, too.”
When asked about any unifying theme or
philosophy running through the rest of the
album, Rob Cairns responded, “With all of
Beth ! s albums, there ! s only been one
philosophy — which is simply to serve each
song the best we can, regardless of where
the arrangements and production take us.
For me, Beth!s "voice ! as a songwriter has
such a strong signature that I felt it was
enough of an anchor to allow us to musically
explore. # Ultimately, we just wanted to make
an album that we!d enjoy listening to, and
would be proud of 20
“It’s part of the human journey, we all gotta fight sometimes, but then we all
“It’s part of the
human journey,
we all gotta fight
sometimes, but
then we all get
to be happy
sometimes, too.”

years down the road.”

Speaking of being proud, in the track “There ! s No Way” Beth takes on a rather complex lyrical idea and manages to pull it off magnificently. The song is about failing hard just to make a point.

“I was really worried about the entire song because I knew I had

The Story Behind:

The Sax Riff On “Wash U Clean”

“The sax was 100% Beth! s idea. She knew sax was my main instrument at one time, but I hadn!t played in years. She approached me with that riff and said that she thought it would be great on baritone. The problem was that I didn! t own a baritone sax. I was a tenor player. One ebay auction and some repairs later, we had our opening track.”

— Rob Cairns

tackled a kind of upside down and backward !s concept,” Beth expressed. “I

have learned in the past that it!s best — when you only have three minutes — to

keep the concept rather simple

there! s nothing wrong with simple. There! s a difference between simple and simplistic and I try to really pay attention to that.”

and

“If you! ve got more than one or two twists it ! s just too much for three minutes,” she continued. " There ! s No Way! was a challenge for that very reason. I went through an earlier part of my life when I was just so down, not like terrible horrible bad things were happening or anything, but I think you can get to a place in your life where you don! t know what you want to do and you! re not sure that anybody believes in you, so you just think, I! ll show them, I!ll fail big! It ! s not anything that makes any sense, but it!s what happens to people, they give up. " I ! ll show you that I can! t learn, I! m going to crash right here!! It ! s just a real backwards way of

trying to get back at somebody and trying to hurt somebody, but I think the thought crosses a lot of people! s mind ! s. I kinda figure if it crosses mine, it must cross other people! s, right?”

“And not only did it happen to me,” she noted, “but a friend of mine was telling me a story about a friend of his who is just under the thumb of his incredibly strict father. His father wants him to go to med school, but this guy is an artist at heart and he is struggling in a way that is just really, really hard. He!s got the pride of the entire family resting on his shoulders based on whether or not he goes to med school and becomes a doctor. I felt for him so much because he!s at that place in his life where he may fall off the edge just to show them. I don!t think going to med school is the answer, but I also don!t think falling off the edge and completely crashing is the answer either. Yet, he!s riding those extremes

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a Goldilocks because it truly is just right for her. To check out Beth! s
a
Goldilocks because it truly is just right for
her. To check out Beth! s latest album and
learn more about this gifted artist, visit:
http://beththornley.com

right now: go and be the savior for his family or crumble from the pressure.”

“I don ! t know what he ! s going to do. I hope he finds his own path. That really is the harder thing,

but it! s also the best

thing

find it. When you! re in that situation, it!s the harder path to take because it ! s not marked. Yeah, you can crash, everybody knows how that path looks, or you can go t o m e d s c h o o l because everyone knows how that path looks, too, but finding your own way, man, there are just no road signs.”

if you can

Thankfully,

Thornley

her

she ! s well along her

c h o s e n

Songwriting

g o o d

because

d o e s

comfortable for Beth,

but

fuzzy coat for her audience, as well. Thornley is a wonderful musician, a clever composer, and a nimble lyricist with a remarkable ear for arranging. As far as music is concerned, Beth is, indeed,

Beth

has

.

.

found

.

path

and

r o a d .

is

fi t

i

f o r not

t

a

h e r only

s e e m

she ! s

warm,

Imelda May Dazzles At The Grammy Awards Imelda May performed a show-stopping version of “How

Imelda May Dazzles At The Grammy Awards

Imelda May Dazzles At The Grammy Awards Imelda May performed a show-stopping version of “How High
Imelda May performed a show-stopping version of “How High The Moon” with Jeff Beck during
Imelda May performed a show-stopping version of “How
High The Moon” with Jeff Beck during the tribute to Les
Paul at this year's Grammy Awards.
the tribute to Les Paul at this year's Grammy Awards. In March, Imelda will tour alongside
In March, Imelda will tour alongside Verve l a b e l m a t
In March, Imelda will
tour alongside Verve
l a b e l m a t e
J a m i e
Cullum. For dates and
more information, visit:
J a m i e Cullum. For dates and more information, visit: In an exclusive message

In an exclusive message on her website, Imelda stated (excerpt): "Music would not be as it is today with out Les Paul. His contributions to making one of the first solid bodied guitars and mastering the multi track recording systems that changed the course of recorded music can never be forgotten. I sang the parts of his amazingly talented wife Mary Ford on ‘How High The Moon’ (Hamilton/Lewis). Just as she did — to highlight Les Paul’s multi tracking discoveries — I pre-recorded four and five part harmonies onto a backing track and then sang the lead vocal along with them live at the Grammys. To perform this track with such a genius as Jeff Beck — possibly THE best guitarist in the world — was a huge thrill and honour. I will always be very grateful to him for asking me to do this and I will never forget the night for as long as I live."

I will never forget the night for as long as I live." h t t p
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Made by Saffron Shearer-Gare
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www.imeldamay.com/news012.asp
Paige Nichols
Paige Nichols

“I want to make people feel.”

Paige Nichols “I want to make people feel.”
Paige Nichols “I want to make people feel.”

When Paige Nichols moved from Ohio to New York City, she knew she wanted to sing and play piano, however, she didn’t realize there was a piece missing from her plan. “I got here and I realized that I had nothing to sing except for other people’s songs,” Paige

“I realized that I had nothing to sing.”
“I realized that I
had nothing to
sing.”

noted. “I was like, ‘This is a problem, I should learn to write.’ So I started writing because I realized I needed to.”

“When you’re starting out as a

songwriter, there’s a fear: What if I’m not good at this? Will people like it?” Nichols continued. “You get halfway through a song and you think, This is bad, no one will like it! You can’t keep writing if you’re criticizing halfway through. It wasn’t until I stopped listening to that voice that the songs started c o m i n g o u t m o r e

freely

and better.”

In fact, the songs have come so freely that Paige is on the verge of releasing her debut EP. The five songs on this project are not her first recorded tracks, but they are the first collection of songs to utilize a producer and a full band.

“I wasn’t a huge fan of my recordings before this,” Paige confessed. “I was still kind of learning how to sing my

own music and put feeling into it. I was singing it like I was singing somebody else’s songs, you know what I mean? The recordings were also in this very

weird in-between zone

to describe my music and I couldn’t.”

I would try

But that all changed with these five songs. “The producer, Mikal Blue, helped me go in a definite direction,” Nichols explained, “now I feel that my music definitely fits in the pop/soul genre.”

Paige’s songs are crisp, piano-driven tunes with dynamic melodies and haunting overtones. Her rich, soulful vocals and passionate performances provide an intriguing depth that pulls the listener in close and allows him to

truly feel what Paige was going through when she first wrote the music and lyrics.

“The songs are from lots of bad experiences,” Nichols stated.

The pain, hurt and confusion of failed relationships is what fuels Paige’s music, yet she manages to never sound angry or bitter. Contrary to what you might expect, her songs are uplifting, rousing and empowering. When asked how she is able to take

“When you’re starting out as a songwriter, there’s a fear.”
“When you’re
starting out as a
songwriter, there’s
a fear.”

something so painful and turn it into something so positive, she responded, “I can only write about someone I felt really strongly about or whom I was in love with. Even though it ended badly, for somebody to have evoked that strong of a feeling in me, it had to have come from a place where I really cared for them.”

“Also the producer whom I worked with really helped me not go too dark. Even though his stuff is deep, it’s lighter than what mine was when I originally took it to him. He helped me add that tone to it:

‘Even though you’re mad we’re not going to make people terribly depressed.’”

This ability to take the dark and place it in the light while allowing a few lingering shadows to remain is one of the reasons why Paige Nichols’ music is so fascinating. She deftly applies subtle layers of contrast to offer her audience an astonishing degree of depth. The more you listen to her tracks, the deeper you can go.

Another contrast — one that Paige continually wrestles with — is her look vs. her sound. She is a petite

blonde, but she has a powerhouse voice. “I know a lot of times when people first see me they think I’m going to have a high voice and not really sing anything of substance. Maybe I’m paranoid about it,” she worried, “but I

“I can only write about someone I felt really strongly about or whom I was in love with.”

think the music does have depth. I want to make people feel and I hope they don’t see an image and decide to not even listen.”

As far as the title of her debut EP, Paige expressed, “I was worried that you were going to ask about that! I’m trying to come up with the title and I have not yet because I am completely getting crazy about it. I don’t like labeling because it’s like you do this whole big thing with a lot of different feelings — there are a lot of different emotions in these songs — and then you have to come up with just a couple of words to define it all? This is so hard, it’s driving me crazy.”

“I have all these ideas and I’m testing them out by calling it that in my head and I’m like, ‘No! That’s not right,’” she continued. “I want to make sure the title creates a full, cohesive image.”

Paige Nichols’ debut EP is an engaging collection of songs that are at once hard- hitting and haunting. Her vocals are proud, confident, and thoroughly exciting. For more information on this dynamic artist, visit:

Paige will be playing Room 5 in LA at 8:00 on March 20th.

exciting. For more information on this dynamic artist, visit: Paige will be playing Room 5 in
Melissa Ferrick
Melissa Ferrick

“I was playing probably 180 shows a year and you really can only go so long doing that before you’re on the verge of dropping dead from exhaustion.”

Changes

Melissa Ferrick is one of the most engaging and enthusiastic performers you’ll ever experience. She has a seemingly limitless stamina that allows her to deliver remarkably high energy shows to her fans night after night

remarkably high energy shows to her fans night after night “Everything’s moving so fast, you know?

“Everything’s moving so fast, you know? And I don’t know if it’s better.”

after night. What ever obstacle or challenge is thrown in her path, she

either overcomes it or adapts to it and keeps moving forward. It doesn’t

“I’m in record mode/hoping to write more mode,” Melissa stated. “I’ve got a handful of new songs — maybe half a record’s worth — but not enough to make a full record yet. Honestly, I like to have twice as many songs as I need when I go in to make a record so I can really whittle down to the “best ones,” the ones I think are the strongest.”

H o w e v e r,

j u s t

b e c a u s e

M e l i s s a

currently only has a handful of original songs in her pocket, it doesn’t mean she isn’t getting ready to release a new album. To switch things up a little, Ferrick has decided to record a collection of covers. “I kinda got this idea: If I’m having a hard time writing, at least I’m still playing and singing

hard time writing, at least I’m still playing and singing seem possible to even slow her

seem possible to even slow her down, let alone stop her.

From her early days on Atlantic Records to her current status of releasing albums on her own independent label [Right on Records], Melissa has continually evolved as an artist. Throughout the years, there have been monumental changes in the music industry which have forced many other musicians to abandon their dreams, but Ferrick has proven time and again that she is more than capable of forging ever onward. When Songwriter’s Monthly caught up with her, Melissa was wrapping up her latest studio project and getting ready to go on tour. She was also going through a painful period of loss and mourning, but true to her spirit, she remained remarkably strong and focused throughout the interview.

and being creative — keeping the juices flowing. And it has helped.”

fast the music world turns. “I was on the phone with her yesterday and I said, ‘What about the Jonas Brothers, they kinda came and went really fast.’ She told me that Nick has his own solo project going already?! It used to take ten records for people to go solo! Or they never went solo, at all. Everything’s moving so fast, you know? And I don’t know if it’s better.”

Ferrick noted that even the vibe at a live performance has changed drastically over just the past few years. “People are not used to being around other people anymore — the energy at a live show is chaotic,” the artist mourned. “We’re just not all that used to being around each other anymore and I think that is sad. I miss people knowing that you shouldn’t really get up in the middle of the song and go to the bathroom, you should wait till the

of the song and go to the bathroom, you should wait till the Rolling with the

Rolling with the flow is nothing new to Melissa. Over the course of her career, she has remained fluid in her approach.

“It was such a different world when you and I first met,” she recalled. “Nirvana was huge and they still pressed cassettes to sell at Tower Records! It’s not even like people release regular records anymore. There’s kind of a freedom in that,” she considered, “but there’s also kind of a sadness because there really isn’t the need to have a theme or an order in which you place the songs, a lot of that creativity has been taken away.”

Brothers .

.

lot of that creativity has been taken away.” Brothers . . “My niece is 11 and

“My niece is 11 and she loved the Jonas

. Melissa continued, reflecting on how

for like 2 seconds!”

“I just couldn’t go any more.”
“I just couldn’t go
any more.”
end of the song. There are less kids going to shows where you learn to
end of the song. There are less kids going to shows where you learn to

end of the song. There are less kids going to shows where you learn to clap

after a solo and appreciate the artist and appreciate the show. There are cultural rules within a cultural exposition. For

example, you don’t really talk that loud in a museum or a library. All these things are kind of going by the wayside because people are sitting behind a computer,

talking, watching tv, eating and giving their dog a treat all while they are looking at Picasso online.”

“I think that essentially what will end up happening, especially at a major label

level,” Melissa predicted, “is that you will become incredibly famous in about six months and you will get a huge deal with Coke or Mountain

months and you will get a huge deal with Coke or Mountain “That’s what I felt

“That’s what I felt the most sad about, I felt that I had no spirit, I just felt like a walking dead person.”

Dew, then you will do three youtube concerts and people will buy a ticket to watch you play on a sound stage and no one will ever actually see you in person!”

Melissa took a moment to relate an amusing anecdote regarding live shows. “I’ve actually shown up to shows of

mine and had posters up in front of the club where I’m playing and they will

Ferrick’ and its this big smiley picture of my cousin who was selling merch with me that night.”

have

pulled

a photo off of my

website

revealed,

.

.

. laughing. “It was my

she

but

it’s

not me!”

On a more serious note, Melissa talked about a wall that she hit a few years ago, a wall that she just couldn’t break

merch[andise] seller! It would be a poster declaring ‘Live Tonight Melissa

a wall that she just couldn’t break merch[andise] seller! It would be a poster declaring ‘Live

through, and a drastic change she had

to make in order to keep on performing. After a frightening experience, she realized she needed to slow down her pace. “I was playing probably 180 shows a year,” she noted, “and you really can only go so long doing that before you’re on the verge of dropping

dead from exhaustion

nervous breakdown. I hit a level of exhaustion about three years ago and I just couldn’t go any more. I was just done. I had lost a lot of weight. I wasn’t upset or depressed, my body was just done. My brain was still going, but my body was like ‘Yeah no, we’re not going to be able to do that this week.’”

ENOUGH ABOUT ME

Track List:

1. Deathly (Aimee Mann)

2. How to be Righteous (Lori McKenna)

3. Such Great Heights (The Postal

Service)

4. Babylon (David Gray)

5. Creep (Radiohead)

6. Call and Answer (The Bare Naked

Ladies)

7. One (U2)

8. Moses (Patty Griffin)

9. Bad habit *produced version

(Melissa Ferrick) 10. Hypocrite *produced version (Melissa Ferrick)

“Without your health and without your spirit, you don’t have anything.”

“I felt that I had no spirit, that’s what I was the most sad about, I just felt like a walking dead person.”

But that was then, before the most recent change. Melissa was forced to confront the very real limits of what she was doing to her body by constantly being on overdrive. Now Melissa is once again thriving. “I took some time off and gained 15 pounds. I’m really healthy and feel fantastic physically and emotionally.”

www.melissaferrick.com http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?
www.melissaferrick.com
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id=hyTjEIK1pMo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid
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% 2 5 2 Fm e l i s s a - f e r r i c k% 2 5 2 F i d 4 9 5 5 0 0% 2 5 3 F u o
%253D6%2526partnerId%253D30

Melissa Ferrick is currently on tour supporting her album of covers entitled, E NOUGH A BOUT M E . To find out when she’ll be in your town, visit:

or having a

find out when she’ll be in your town, visit: or having a “I took some time

“I took some time off and gained 15 pounds. I’m really healthy and feel fantastic physically and emotionally.”

“I remember people asking me — when I was in the middle of it and loving every minute of it — people would be

like, ‘I can’t believe you do this, how do you do this?’ I would answer, ‘I don’t know, I just do, I love doing it.’ I once had a fan follow me for 4 days straight and on the 3rd day they looked at me and said, ‘I have so much more respect for you than ever before.’ I was like, ‘Dude it hasn’t even been 4 days, try 4

months

talk to me in 8 years!’”

It was only

simply not being able to go on any more that Melissa was forced to realize:

by hitting that wall and

Sarah DeLeo
Sarah DeLeo
Song
Song
Interpreter
Interpreter
Sarah DeLeo Song Interpreter Sarah DeLeo is a class act with a silky tone that is

Sarah DeLeo is a class act with a silky tone that is at once bold and reserved, sultry and innocent. Her latest album is a collection of covers entitled I’M IN

HEAVEN TONIGHT.

of covers entitled I’ M I N H EAVEN T ONIGHT . her hair and the
her hair and the subtle shifts in line and phrasing create an arrangement that not
her hair and the subtle shifts in line
and phrasing create an arrangement
that not only sounds new, but is also
perfectly natural and effortless.
The opening track, “Rockin’ Robin,” is
presented with a laid back swinging
groove that features an enchanting
flute solo. The song is not quite how
you’ve ever experienced it before, yet
somehow it sounds like it’s something
you’ve listened to your whole life.

Sarah doesn’t just sing the tracks on her album, she takes each song and gently sculpts it, molds it, shapes it into something that is completely her own. She twirls the melody innocuously like a girl absentmindedly playing with

But for all her tweaking, Sarah doesn’t consider herself a writer. “I’m a song interpreter,” she explained. “I break down the songs harmonically, I break them down rhythmically, and I’ve always considered it to be taking liberties with the material when I perform. In some ways, I guess it is rewriting,” she offered, “but I consider it interpreting because the bare bones are somebody else’s.”

because the bare bones are somebody else’s.” Besides breaking the songs down from a practices she

Besides breaking the songs down from

a

practices she learned while studying acting. Sarah studied with two actors

learned while studying acting. Sarah studied with two actors musical perspective, DeLeo applies as captivating as

musical perspective, DeLeo applies

as captivating as her performances are, DeLeo expressed that she gets more comments on her
as captivating as her performances are,
DeLeo expressed that she gets more
comments on her choice of songs than
anything else.
One attention-worthy cover is the White
Stripes’ “In The Cold, Cold Night.”
Sarah outlined how she adapted the
song to fit her style: “I had been doing
“In The Cold, Cold Night” for a while
and I didn’t record it
on my first album even
though I had been
singing it at the time. I
h a v e
t h e
S E V E N
NATION ARMY
album
a n d
I
r e m e m b e r
listening to that track
and thinking, Gee this
sounds a
lot
like
‘Fever.’ I listened to
the arrangement that
Peggy Lee did — she
basically sings to the
song once, then she
modulates and that
was it. So that’s what
we did in this tune. We
worked on it a little bit

who introduced her to the Stella Adler method. In a very simplistic summary, Stella Adler’s approach teaches actors

to

on real memories and experiences, instead they should draw from their imagination in order to be able to express a far greater depth and range.

never limit their abilities by drawing

As enthralling as her voice can be and

to express a far greater depth and range. never limit their abilities by drawing As enthralling
and then we recorded it that way and it just really worked out great.” A
and then we recorded it that way and it
just really worked out great.”
A personal favorite of Sarah’s is a song
called “No Moon At All.” “I read the
lyrics and I just loved it!” she
expressed. “With a lot of the songs I
sing, there’s something kind of serious
and earnest about them, but with that
one, I liked that there was a sense of
irony about it. I don’t really do a lot of
songs that could be considered ‘funny,’
but I thought there was actually some
humor in that one because it’s very
ironic at the end when it says: “no
moon at all up above/this is nothing
like they told us of/just to think we fell
in love/and there’s no moon at all.”
I’M IN HEAVEN TONIGHT is a lush album,
saturated with atmosphere and supper
club charm. For more information on
Sarah and her music, visit:
The Story Behind The Song: Ryan Hammer “Famous”
The Story Behind
The Song:
Ryan Hammer
“Famous”
The Story Behind The Song: Ryan Hammer “Famous” “Growing up, my Mom suffered from a lot

“Growing up, my Mom suffered from a lot of depression and anxiety, and my father was kicked out of the house for abuse when I was 14. The first verse of “Famous” is a summary of every experience I had when I was a kid, going to shows and meeting my idols and telling them how much I wanted to be like them when I grew up. The third verse is me now, realizing my dreams, living the life I love to live every single day. I never feel like doing music is a job, it's a passion.

And my

life is full of passion.” For more information on Ryan and his music, visit: http://facebook.com/RyanHammer826
life is full of passion.”
For more information on Ryan and his music, visit:
http://facebook.com/RyanHammer826
http://www.myspace.com/RyanSHammer
http://youtube.com/RyanHammer826
!"#$% Quite often, the more hype, the less impressive a release. With all the hysteria

!"#$%

!"#$% Quite often, the more hype, the less impressive a release. With all the hysteria surrounding

Quite often, the more hype, the less impressive a release. With all the hysteria surrounding Little Boots’ (aka Victoria Hesketh) H ANDS you might think it’s impossible for the album to live up to the anticipation. But if anything, the hype falls far short of describing what a meticulous gem this full-length debut truly is.

The entire album throbs with an invigorating pulse. There is simply not a single track that is not single-worthy.

Victoria’s voice is as flawless as the edge of a diamond. She delivers her lyrics with a sharp, confident thrust. “New In Town” begins with a pointed staccato verse that explodes into a rousing, industrial carousel, i.e., the chorus.

“Earthquake,” on the other hand, offers a slightly more lush and lyrical listening experience.

As striking as Victoria’s vocal work is, ultimately it’s her synth wizardry which will leave listeners utterly enchanted. Her deft use of beats and fat, fat sounds is both hypnotic andadrenalizing.

“Tune Into My Heart” is a hypnotic track that features a masterful threading of delicate, airy vocals that effortlessly manage to dominate the unyielding, propulsive bass.

Also, don’t miss the supremely gratifying cameo of Philip Oakey’s (The Human League) unmistakable vocals on the tasty “Symmetry.”

With the release of H ANDS , Victoria Hesketh has earned herself a place in the top tier of the music world. The album is exquisitely- crafted, immaculately produced and an absolute rush to listen to.

k . l i n k s y n e r g y . c o
Q & A With Winston Gay (Guitarist/Singer/ Songwriter/Author) A protégé of Gamble & Huff's 'Sound
Q & A With Winston Gay (Guitarist/Singer/ Songwriter/Author)
Q & A With
Winston Gay
(Guitarist/Singer/
Songwriter/Author)

A protégé of Gamble & Huff's 'Sound of Philadelphia,' Philadelphia-born Winston Gay has toured with an impressive list of artists such as Maceo Parker, The Stylistics, The Delphonics, Bunny Siegler, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes and many others. An accomplished songwriter and composer, Winston has recently written a charming, insightful how-to book for songwriters entitled THE ‘MONSTER

SONGWRITERS MANUAL.

Songwriter’s Monthly: You are

talented in a wide

yo u

accomplished in one of them, which area would it be and why?

b e c o m e

variety of areas, if

h a ve

c o u l d

o n l y

Winston Gay: This is a very challenging question for me, because I thoroughly enjoy the variety of things I do. Each one gives me a different type of pleasure. My best answer would be to produce original music in different styles. As a producer, I can sort of ‘have my cake and eat it too.’

with the God of the Holy Bible. For me His Word is the driving force and inspiration behind any of my accomplishments to date.

SM: How long did it take to write THE

‘MONSTER’ SONGWRITERS MANUAL?

WG: A little over a year; however, it took two years for the finished work to come to print, because 75% of the original text was lost due to computer malfunction and a damaged backup copy.

SM: What is the driving force behind your accomplishments?

WG: My life experiences have culminated into a personal experience

SM: Your writing style is engaging, upbeat and easy to understand. What is your background in writing?

WG: Actually, my major in high school

was Art, not Literature. Though I have no

formal training in modern English, I have always been attracted to word usage and story telling from Shakespeare to Rod Serling, Jane Austin, to

James Michener, and a handful of other unique writers. In addition, my family is a story telling

family. Our tradition is to

h a v e

conversation about almost anything. I was the one who took some of my family’s ‘ordinary conversation,’ and began to transform their ideas into a ditty, poem or a song.

a t i n

who has been writing for a while? If so how?

WG: Chapter 5 in my book is applicable for both the new or

experienced writer. When building something tangible, a builder usually constructs from the bottom up, due largely to the laws of physics. In the creative

art of songwriting, one is free to build his/her song from any starting point he chooses. In Chapter

5, I explain how to build

a song using more

conventional or ‘tangible’ methods. Whether you

a r e

a

a

n o v i c e

o r

“Writer’s Block is a mental or emotional condition or state that, like amnesia, should only
“Writer’s Block
is a mental or
emotional
condition or
state that, like
amnesia, should
only be
temporary.”

s t i m u

l

g

SM: As far as song- writing and music, do you have any favorite styles or artists/writers that you look up to or draw from?

WG: As a ‘baby-boomer’, I certainly had a select list of favorites pertinent to my own era, but truth is there are great artists/writers in every generation and culture; some, who in due season, rise to the top of their game through the sheer originality of their talent. In the manual, the chapter ‘Published & Unpublished’ expounds on this in greater detail.

w r i t e r, t h e b a s i c

methodology of composition always

yields a skeleton on which to ‘flesh out’

your song.

Chapter 5 and you may find a scenario that fits your current situation.

Read section three of

p r o f e s s i o n a l

SM: In Chapter 5, you explain how to ‘build” a song in 7 steps. Do you think this outline is helpful to just the beginning writer, or do you think it could help someone

SM: In your book, you have an excellent

line that states: “You can’t write what your mind can’ t see .” Beginning songwriters can be very stubborn about this because they do not know all they do not see. What advice do

y o u h a v e

beginning (and seasoned) writers regarding this point?

a v e beginning (and seasoned) writers regarding this point? f o r WG: True enough,

f o r

WG: True enough, you can’ t get b l o o d f r o m

stone, but there is another approach or remedy for this. One may say, “I can’t write what I can’t see.” Granted, but what CAN you see? What is the one thing that you CAN get from that stone? Everyone has a vision of something whether they realize it or not. Focus in on what you CAN see, not what you can’t. It’s all a matter of perspective. Is your glass ‘half empty’ or ‘half full’?

a

SM: Could you briefly talk about the importance of starting a song in a paragraph format? What are the benefits of doing this?

WG: All songs begin as ideas in search of a medium of expression. It’s like asking a person to tell you what they’re thinking about. All of us have some opinion, viewpoint, comment, praise, question or criticism about most things. We all have something to say. These thoughts form long or short paragraphs that can become condensed or made palatable for general use. These paragraphs have songs hidden within. A

skilled ‘song-smith’ is able to extract the essence of the text, and lay (not discard) the excess on the side for future use.

SM: Do you have any quick tips on breaking through Writer’s Block?

WG: Not really. Writer’s Block is a mental or emotional condition or state that, like amnesia, should only be temporary. I know of no quick fix, (short of shock therapy), but it is fix-able. Chapter 11 should get the cobwebs out and start you on the road to productivity.

SM: Is there anything you’d like to bring up that is important to you about songwriting (or any other aspect of your career/s)?

is that

true songwriting is an art and a craft. Words and ideas should not be strung together cavalierly or used carelessly. All gifts and talents carry with them a

d e g r e e

“Standards of

‘ M o n s t e r

WG: What is important to me

o f

r e s p o n s i b i l i t y

See:

i n

t h e

a n d

maintenance.

E x c e l l e n c e ”

Musician’s Manual’.

For more information on the many things Winston is involved in, visit:

For more information on THE ‘MONSTER’ SONGWRITER’S MANUAL visit:
For more information on
THE ‘MONSTER’
SONGWRITER’S MANUAL
visit:
Free Album
Free Album

Do you love the high-energy infectious techno sound of Electric Valentine? Then this is your day because Chris Qualls and Lauren Baird are offering their debut album entitled AUTOMATIC for FREE! The music is defined by crisp, hypnotic beats, dazzling vocals, sparkling synths, and arresting hooks. The album is available at Hot Topic and other locations, but Electric Valentine stated:

“We would like you and all your friends to have "Automatic" for free because we worked really hard on it and are proud of the result. That's the benefit of recording, funding and releasing your own album: you can do crazy stuff like this. All we ask in return is that you tell a couple people about Electric Valentine and let them know that they can ge t i t fo r f ree too.” To ge t AUTOMATIC, simply click HERE!

Electric Valentine and let them know that they can ge t i t fo r f
First Person
First Person

This article appears as a response to last month’s request for first person anecdotes.

The Dubliners
The Dubliners
by Haldjas
by Haldjas

One night, I crossed the wonderful page of The Irish Descendants http://(

www.myspace.com/210278482) on Myspace, thanks to my friend who picked them for her profile song. And that encounter reminded me of my long-ago passion for Irish folk music — which has never really deceased — and The Dubliners. http://(

I met the Dubliners when I was about 4. They lived on a big brown tape and used to sing to me almost every day. I was given the ultimate priority right to handle my father's tape player all by myself (almost), and later a half-broken cassette player connected to stereo speakers (I believe I learned to attach the speakers myself, too).

I wonder if they were the only Irish band known in Soviet

Estonia

in those times

(around 1986)? Probably. And probably their recordings were not freely available either. I am not very sure about that. Maybe it was just rare (as everything) and you had no other choice than to make a copy. We had The Beatles, too, and that was surely forbidden stuff. Though, by that time, the Soviet state was kind of already breaking down, things were changing — I couldn't quite catch the whole thing with my child mind, but from a few years later I

remember my mother anxiously watching the news and broadcasts of the singing revolution gatherings in the capital Tallinn. (We ourselves lived in Tartu and we had borrowed a little TV from a friend for that occasion.)

But in 1986, the Dubliners were part of my everyday life. I used to go to a children's dancing group — we did all kinds of stuff there like singing and playing and dancing with ribbons. I had my personal ribbon-sticks and I made up my own choreography to the Irish tunes at home. My special favourite was “Maids when you're young never wed an old man.” Let me assure you that I didn't understand a WORD of English at that time. But I will always remember that tune.

Years later, I rediscovered the song, AND the meaning of the words (oh my, my) and I decided to sing it. Now, “Maids ” has become quite stuck in my repertoire.

I often like to sing this jolly little song. In Estonia, half of the people don't get the meaning (and sometimes I pray that they don't!).

Once an Irish band came to give

a concert in my hometown Tartu.

I have no idea who they were.

Probably not the Dubliners! The

t i n y

overcrowded, chairs were behind

t h e

everywhere. We were sitting

outside on

because I believe my mom

wanted to have

escape quickly in case I became tired or just behaved badly. They must have sensed the lack of air in the main room, because they

c o n c e r t

l o t s

a

h

o f

a

l

l

w a s

d o o r,

p e o p l e

chair — mainly

a

chance to

took a break and people went out to breathe. So, I had a chance to walk around and, of course, I went to see the stage! The musicians were on the stage and they started speaking to me. I understood nothing, but I was still very excited because I liked them and their music a lot! They gave me some things, of which I had no idea of, but they looked interesting and colourful. I ran back to my mom and together we discovered that these were Irish coins, huge pieces of metal that had harps drawn on the backside and all kinds of other interesting pictures as well. I believe there were 4 coins altogether, all different. I kept them in a special place, a small green wallet (quite Irish green, actually). From time to time, I used to take them out and dream about going to Ireland.

Now, more than 20 years later, I still have the coins, I still love Irish songs and dream about going there someday :)

Long live the Dubliners and may you all have hope in your lives!

A young Haldjas, circa 1986.
A young Haldjas, circa 1986.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
ITEMS OF INTEREST

Kennett Flash

ITEMS OF INTEREST Kennett Flash Looking for a new venue to enjoy live music? The Kennett

Looking for a new venue to enjoy live music? The Kennett Flash is located in Kennett Square, PA. This southern Chester County arts and music venue is close to Wilmington and only one hour from Philadelphia and Baltimore. The all-ages listening concert venue opened in January 2009 and continues

to bring new fans to enjoy national, regional and local talent. 2010 started strong with a wide array of musicians. The next few months will see the Flash hosting such national acts as Steve Forbert, Johnny A, Jonathan Edwards, Ellis Paul, The Kennedys, John Lilley (The Hooters), and many others. Local and regional acts include IKE and Ben Arnold.

Most of the shows occur on Friday and Saturday nights in this intimate 100 seat venue. Local musicians can try their songs out on Sunday evenings for the ever popular Open Mic Night. There have been occasions when local artists performing at the Open Mic Night have gained an opening slot for the Friday or Saturday shows. If you prefer, there is Blue Mondays where local blues musicians get up on stage to jam and groove as patrons listen and enjoy a snack or beverage.

If live music is not your style, there are movie nights on Wednesdays and the Flash has had poetry slams and art shows. The Kennett Flash also hosts private events and fundraisers. There is not a bad seat in the house, although I do prefer the balcony as my choice to see and hear the live music.

You can keep up to date with the Kennett Flash at www.kennettflash.org or on their Facebook, MySpace or Twitter pages. The Kennett Flash is an ongoing program of Historic Kennett Square www.historickennettsquare.com.

Come in and show off your stuff! All levels of singers, songwriters and musicians, plus
Come in and show off your stuff! All levels of
singers, songwriters and musicians, plus comics
and poets. Everyone's invited. You don't have to
perform. Kick back and relax and come early and
check out our menu. Note: Bands are welcome!

David Fiorenza is part of the duo Fiorenza-Dowlin. For more information on David, visit http://www.myspace.com/fiorenzadowlin

ITEMS OF INTEREST
ITEMS OF INTEREST
ITEMS OF INTEREST will be added to the show's second season. Auditions will be open to

will be added to the show's second season. Auditions will be open to

a m a t e u r

of

16-26. Look for more information on when you can submit auditions at http://www.fox.com/glee/ audition. [In the meantime, you can visit the site to enjoy audition videos of Glee's season one cast.]

individuals

p r o f e s s i o n a l

a n d

between

the

ages

Open Call!

From FOX:

The executive producers of Glee have begun a nationwide casting search to fill three new roles that

a nationwide casting search to fill three new roles that Make The Cut Make the Cut,

Make The Cut

casting search to fill three new roles that Make The Cut Make the Cut, hosted by

Make the Cut, hosted by American Idol Matt Giraud, is a talent contest for singers and vocalists. The contestant left standing after this

and vocalists. The contestant left standing after this multi-round, progressive-elimination competition will be

multi-round, progressive-elimination competition will be declared the Grand

Prize Winner and will – quite literally – Make the Cut: that is, the winner will cut a recording at the southeast

s t u d i o

encouragement and under the guidance of Matt Giraud and other industry professionals.

M i c h i g a n

w i t h

t h e

ITEMS OF INTEREST
ITEMS OF INTEREST

Songwriting Contests

ITEMS OF INTEREST Songwriting Contests 2010 T HEME : L OVE S ONGS Deadline for submissions:

2010 THEME: LOVE SONGS

Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2010

Be creative! This means all kinds of love: for a child, a friend, a pet, a place, your mom, God, a lover past or present. Love here now, long ago and far away, wished for, or love gone astray. Whether it be a ballad, dance tune, chant or shanty, we

want to hear your emotion expressed musically and lyrically

This year the Winners will earn local, regional and national performances opportunities at the following venues: The Kimmel Center Summer Solstice, Bethlehem Musik Fest, The Philadelphia Folk Festival Rose Tree Media Summer Concerts, Sellersville Theater, BRE Presents: Independent live music presenter and a National Radio Appearance.

anything goes.

Click Here for all submission details.

anything goes. Click Here for all submission details. Guitar Center has teamed up with one of

Guitar Center has teamed up with one of the greatest guitarists to ever walk the earth to present YOUR NEXT RECORD with SLASH, a ground- breaking unsigned band competition that will give one up-and-coming band the chance to win the ultimate career-altering opportunity: record a 3-song EP with the legendary producer behind Guns N' Roses, Mike Clink, and have Slash write, record and perform on the winning artists’ single.

From now through April 30th bands across the U.S. are invited to submit their music at YourNextRecord.com for a chance to win.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21725699/SM-Oct-09-118

Previously
Previously

For those who missed earlier issues of Songwriter’s Monthly, just click on the cover of your choice pictured below.

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Oct. ’09, #118

Oct. ’09 Featuring: The Postmarks, Black Gold, Nicky, Janet Robin, Miss Issa, The Drums, and Lantana.

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Local Natives,
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Atlantic Records CEO,
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Jan. ’10, #121

Jan. ’10 Featuring: Arika Kane, Jason Castro, Local Natives, Abby Parks, Atlantic Records’ CEO, Wallace Collins, and more!

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Sept. ’09 Special Edition:

Featuring: Country/Pop artist Tawny Heath.

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Nov. ’09 Featuring: Andy Chase, Katia, Serena Ryder, Mark Wayne Glasmire, Mishon, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and more!

Dec. ’09 Featuring: Brigitte Zarie, Lisa Lisa, Beru Revue, Marty Paris, Billy Idol, Rosanne Cash, and more!