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Photo by Michael G. Stewart

Barry Louis Polisar

Danny Ross
Camera Can’t Lie
I Need That Record! August ’10, #127
Editor’s Notes
Remember last month when I wrote that July was for relaxing?
If that is true, then August is for re-relaxing. So much that the
beginning of the month starts to drag out. It becomes like two
best friends on a play date: “What do you wanna do?” “I don’t
know, what do you wanna do?” “I don’t know, I asked you first.”

And so it goes, back and forth until suddenly you realize that
your best friend’s mom will be here any minute and you start
panicking. You do something just to do something, but then you
realize that you really like what you’re doing and are totally
bummed that the fun time is over.

Don’t wait, start having fun right now! Besides our “The Most
Difficult Songwriting Contest . . . Ever!” [See last month’s
Editor’s Notes for details.] they are other contests, opportunities
and articles meant to enlighten, educate and inspire you. For

The young band, Camera Can’t Lie, have seriously exploded

onto the scene with not one, but two EPs, nonstop touring and
the trio is anticipating a full-length release in the fall. Not bad
for a only one year’s worth of work!

Speaking of accomplishments, what Danny Ross has achieved

with his first album will simply blow you away. Some artists
spend their whole career trying to do what he did . . . and he did
it, as his first record!

And Barry Louis Polisar?! This marvelous man has devoted his
entire life to entertaining. In return, the children who grew up
listening to his music have created a 60-track, double disc
tribute album to honor him. What an incredibly touching and
rewarding life moment!

And there’s much more! Enjoy and . . . Thanks for reading!!!

Allen (
Kylie • APHRODIITE • EMI Records
Kylie Minogue’s career has been running strong for over twenty years.
She is one of the most successful, well-established female artists in the
world [60 million
albums sold, 50 hit
singles]. However,
her latest release,
APHRODITE, has all
the crackling
e n e r g y, f i e r c e
h u n g e r, e u p h o r i c
drive and vivacious
excitement of a

debut album from a

new, cutting-edge,
fast-rising, dance
star. It’s alive with a
rapturous vitality.

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
As a whole, APHRODITE is a solid,
cohesive body of work that is as
flawless as the goddess it was named
after. The beats, spirit and vibe conjure
up dazzling aural images that delight
the ear. Minogue’s performance is a
heart-hammering thrill ride,
relentlessly enticing from her first
breathy uttering of “dance” to her
final, sweetly delivered, “ooh yeah.”

Tracks like “All The Lovers” and “Get

Outta My Way” are straight-ahead,
top-of-the-chart pop/dance singles
that will keep the album on the radio
and in the clubs for a long, long time.
“Everything Is Beautiful” will do the
same, only with a softer voice.
However, it’s the richly inventive
grooves such as “Better Than Today,”
“Closer” and “Aphrodite” that will keep Kylie in fans’ hearts for a lifetime.

Of the first single, Kylie

informed, “As I was
recording it, I knew that ‘All
The Lovers’ had to be the
first single; it sums up the
euphoria of the album
perfectly. It gives me goose-

APHRODITE is alive and

vibrant with an alluring,
effervescent beat-magic. The
album is an absolutely
exhilarating listening
experience that gloriously
displays why Kylie Minogue
is simply the best at what
she does.

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Epic Lyric Contest Winner:
Eileen McGann “Medusa”
Eileen McGann’s epic lyric tells the touching
tale of Medusa . . . in first person! The
poignant words portray an astonishingly
fresh and heroic side to the tortured
woman’s mythology.

Eileen informed, “I wrote Medusa after

seeing a 19th Century sculpture of her head,
and I began thinking about what a drag it
must have been to have such a ‘bad hair
life.’ From there, I started considering all the
richness and resonances of that legend —
and how relevant it is to so much of modern
culture. We are constantly subjected to the
biologically impossible images of airbrushed,
photoshopped goddesses, who curse us into
believing we are ugly and unworthy. Even
those who are young and beautiful,
eventually face aging and becoming
excluded from the public face of our culture.
(The media gets turned to stone by anyone
over 35, it seems.) I also found it
wonderfully ironic that Medusa gave birth to
Pegasus in the moment of her death — a wonderful echo of Plato's ‘birth in
beauty’ as our life's goal. Transformation is always possible . . .”

Bio: Singer-songwriter Eileen McGann has been a prominent part of the

Canadian, US and British folk music scenes for the last two decades. Incisive,
literate and lyrical songs delivered by a soaring, crystalline singing voice have
been her trademarks as the Juno-nominated performer has delivered six top-
rated solo CDs and toured extensively on both sides of the Atlantic.

Currently working on her seventh CD, she lives, writes and paints on rural
Vancouver Island, Canada. The Music Hound Guide to Folk called her "One
of the finest singers, songwriters, and interpreters of traditional music
on either side of the Atlantic."

Besides this profile, Eileen has received Janelle Monáe’s latest CD THE
ARCHANDROID courtesy of Atlantic Records for her award-winning lyric!

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127


photo by Darcy Fray

Can’t Lie

Within the span of less than a year, to a full-length album release and even
Camera Can’t Lie have released two more touring. “It’s just going to keep
EP’s and hit the road on tour a number getting more and more busy and
of times. As far as plans for the rest of exciting!” bass player, Kyle Lindsay
the year? The band is looking forward expressed.

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

“I mean, it’s been a pretty fun process,” Kyle revealed. “No one was bigger in
he continued. “Signing to a label in the 90’s than boy bands and I think the
itself is a dream come true and the rock was overshadowed by that. Do
recording was something
I’ll never forget. We’re

photo by Darcy Fray

completely done! We’re
ready to go out and play
the songs live and
release the full-length
album later this year!”

Lindsay was barely able

to contain his excite-
ment and enthusiasm as
he spoke. His fervor was
understandable because
Kyle and high school
friends Eric Aries
(vocals/guitar) and Josh
Bendell (drums) have
been on a nitro-fueled
ride these past few
years. Camera Can’t Lie
signed to Atlantic in 2008 after only people forget that Nirvana was in the
about one year of being a band. By 90s? Even after that, after grunge was
2009, the Minneapolis trio was in Ron over, there was still so much alternative
Aniello’s (Lifehouse and Guster) Los music and great rock songs with pop
Angeles studio recording tracks for their s e n s i b i l i t i e s ! T h a t ’s k i n d o f t h e
Atlantic Records debut. influences that are shining through in
our sound. We miss hearing those
“We were always bands and we just wanted to create
music that we liked.”
striving to write the
best songs possible, Indeed, Camera Can’t Lie has
songs that were succeeded in not only bringing back
that post-grunge freshness, but in
honest and connected creating a sound that is both looking
with the audience.” back and forward at the same time.
The members understand the
The band members’ influences range importance of dynamics, tightness,
from classical to classic rock, but the hooks, honesty and just good old
one thing they share is a passion for rockin’ out! Even though the demos
90’s rock. “We love 90’s music! All and live shows from back in ’07 had a
three of us are heavily influenced by it,” much rawer feel than the new material,

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

all the vital elements were already really close,” he pointed out. “We strive
present at the band’s beginning. to make it sound essentially like the
bass notes are coming out of the kick
“We were always striving to write the drum, like Josh is playing the note
best songs possible,” Kyle noted, straight out of his kick drum. Yeah, I’ll
“songs that were honest and connected leave the kick drum here and there to
with the audience. Even though maybe do some licks and whatnot, but we
the sound want that
wasn’t so to be so
polished and t i g h t . We
we didn’t practice by
k n o w ourselves
exactly what on low
we were volume just
doing [in to make
2007], we sure we are
started off tight as can
the band in be.”
the right
mindset.” W h e n
asked what
As far as the happens
songwriting after the
process, band enters
L i n d s a y the studio,
explained, K y l e
“Generally, our singer, Eric, will write replied, “During the recording process
the whole song on acoustic guitar, then strange things happen and the songs
Josh, the drummer, and myself on bass, really come together. It’s kind of trial
will bring our own parts to the mix and and error, we see what works and what
make sure it all works.” doesn’t. There are so many things that
we tried on the songs that were later
Lindsay underplayed the importance of cut and then there were things that
the strikingly tight bass and drums on were added at the last minute that truly
the recordings, the element that made the song.”
catapults the songs forward with the
same staggering force and velocity that Perhaps due to the band’s open-to-
the band’s career is experiencing. When anything approach when in the studio,
asked about how much effort goes into the tracks on the two EPs are wildly
keeping the bass and drums locked diverse. Still there are many elements
together, Kyle seemed grateful that which hold the music together as a
aspect of the music was brought up. cohesive whole, elements that scream,
“Josh and I work really hard on hanging “This is Camera Can’t Lie!” One of those
out a lot and playing together so we’re elements is a consistency of style in the
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
photo by Darcy Fray
guitar hooks and licks, not only within be the first one. I’m sure we’ll shoot a
each song, but from one track to the video and there will be all sorts of ways
next. “Yup! Totally! I know what you’re to get the song out, hopefully there will
saying, I know exactly what you’re be a lot of opportunities for people to
saying!” Kyle nearly exploded in hear it.”
response. “That’s another thing we
loved about some of those 90’s bands, “Then we’ll head out with Secondhand
you knew what bands they were just Serenade,” he continued. “We’re super
from the guitar hook. With Third Eye excited, we were so stoked when we
Blind, you know who is playing the heard we were going with them! Then,
guitar as soon as the song comes on, the fall tours . . . there are some
you just know it’s that band because of exciting things happening for the fall!
the guitar hooks!” The announcements are going to come
pretty soon and we’ll announce those
As far as plans for the rest of the as soon as we got ‘em.”
summer, Kyle informed, “We’ll be
releasing a single called ‘Last Dance.’ In the meantime, here’s a list of the
It’s pretty much THE single! If there upcoming dates for Camera Can’t Lie.
was one single on the entire record — For more information, visit:
which I think there’s a few— this would

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Camera Can’t Lie
Tour Dates
1 Altoona, PA The Eldolyn Terrace
3 Toledo, OH Frankies
4 Pontiac, MA iLounge
5 Indianapolis, IN E5 Lounge
6 Tinley Park, IL Fiesta
10 New York, NY The Gramercy Theatre
11 Pittsburg, PA Altar Bar
12 Pontiac, MI The Eagle Theatre
13 Lansing, MI The Loft at Harem Urban Lounge
15 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
17 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
18 St Paul, MN Station 4
photo by Darcy Fray

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

A Rocket To
The Moon

A Ro c k e t To T h e M o o n r e c e n t l y guys were both loose and comfortable
performed at the Starland Ballroom in on stage, interacting with the crowd as
Sayreville, NJ for a special night with if they were the band’s best friends.
Hanson. Next month both bands will hit Nick even invited the entire room out to
the road together for their official his birthday party later that night.
pairing for the Shout It Out! tour.
An engaging, fun show with a band that
Nick Santino and his bandmates were was as excited to be with their fans as
obviously psyched, playing explosive, their fans were to see the show!
live versions of many of the songs on
their Fueled By Ramen release ON YOUR A Rocket To The Moon hits the road
SIDE. They also played an oldie and with Hanson once again in September.
covered Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” For tour dates, visit:

The cheers were deafening and the

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
Brendan Toller
Unsatisfied Films/
MVD Visual
eye-opening documentary about
the music business that was
directed, written, and edited by
B r e n d a n To l l e r. I N E E D T H A T
RECORD! was shot with such care
and understanding that you can
actually smell and taste the musty
quality to the air as the camera
ambles through the cluttered aisles

of the various “mom and pop”

record shops depicted
throughout the film.

“The film idea had been

germinating in my brain for
some time . . . around 2006,”

Brendan began. “At that time,

no one had really made sense
of what had happened to the
music industry post Napster
and the boy/girl band superstar
marketing explosion. Then
record store closures started
happening all over the U.S. and
every article would place sole
Filmmaker, Brendan Toller

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

today, serve as
p o t e n t i a l
venues. The
i n t e r n e t
provides the
ability to obtain
music, but
certainly lacks
a face-to-face
s o c i a l
experience and
sense of
community that
a good indie
I NEED THAT RECORD! still: Malcolm Tent of Trash Am Style store offers.”

blame on the shift to digital music. “In the summer of 2006, when my
Of course the digital music is and friend and producer Jeff Slocum
was an incredible new way to called me up and broke the news
obtain and search for music, but that Record Express was closing,
the press just wasn't looking into right then and there I knew it was
other important factors like ever- time to get my camera and do
growing corporate greed, media something about it.”
consolidation leading to a corporate
take-over of commercial radio, the And he did. I NEED THAT RECORD!
rise in CD prices, and big box doesn’t pull any punches. Brendan
stores.” dives right in, stating facts, listing
figures, making the viewer aware
Toller went on to relate how he of everything that’s going on in the
would frequent one store called music business. Toller dug up
Record Express and how important evidence of payola as recently as
that place was to him socially. JLo and Good Charlotte! He cited
“Every time I went into Record the (already forgotten) concerns
Express, I'd run into new people from a few years back when a
who were like-minded. So many major label placed harmful viruses
stores were the breeding grounds on their CDs to help ensure they
for bands like the Replacements, were not copied. There is so much
Stooges, Guided By Voices, and information packed into this
labels like Rhino Records, Twin documentary that it could and
Tone, and some of them, especially should be essential viewing for any

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

curriculum involving the music As for which specific record stores
business. on which to place the focus of the
Photo: Sheri Lowen

film, Brendan was familiar with

Yet for all the startling data many local shops, but when he
presented within the footage, the decided to take his interviews on
aspect that provides the most the road and travel across the
impact is Brendan never forgets country, he found “many, many
how this affects the individual. This great stores listed on
story is told by regular people, which was
most of whom have just lost not started by a coalition of music
only their job, but had to abandon stores.”
their life’s passion. This quality
makes the documentary moving Brendan is, himself, a guitar player.
and meaningful on a personal level, He has played since he was nine
the viewer feels involved in these years old. “They called me the
people’s lives and cares bout what ‘virtch’ for guitar virtuoso at
has happened or is happening to Hampshire College,” he noted. “I
them. had kind of a joke band in college
called Thurstin For More. You can't
“I had a list of people that I find a link to the music now, but all
thought would be good to contact,” our songs were about beer. We
Toller stated. “Its surprising how started it hoping to get sued by
many actually appear in the film.” Thurston Moore who plays noise

I NEED THAT RECORD! still: Encore Records, Ann Arbor Michigan

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

shows around Hampshire. No luck “Regardless, I'm still doing my
thus far. Maybe one day we'll play a work, but have my fingers crossed.
When asked what his next film
When asked about his musical would be, Brendan replied, “A
tastes, Toller responded, “In no collagic portrait on music industry
particular order: Drive-By Truckers, hellraiser/tastemaker Danny Fields
Replacements, Guided By Voices, with rock writer Justin Skrakowski.
Derek & The Dominos, Rolling Danny is responsible for helping
Stones, Faces, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, bring The Doors, Velvet
Stooges, Velvet Underground, Patti Underground, Stooges, MC5, Nico,
Smith, and MC5.” David Peel, Ramones, Modern
Lover, and that ‘bigger than Jesus’
I NEED THAT RECORD! is an in-depth John Lennon quote to our
look at not only the business of consciousness.”
m u s i c , b u t t h e c u l t u r e . To
accurately portray everything he If his I NEED THAT RECORD! is any
desired took a great deal of time indication, Toller’s next project will
and money. And there’s a chance be insightful, riveting, meaningful
that had Brendan not been in the and relevant. For more information
place he was, he might not have on Brendan and his work, visit:
had the money to complete the
project. “Fortunately this was my
thesis film at
H a m p s h i r e
College, so
government loans
were making sure
that I had a roof
over my head, he

“I have plenty of
rock n roll doc./
movie ideas and a
great enthusiastic
investor would
certainly be
h e l p f u l ,” To l l e r
c o n t i n u e d .

I NEED THAT RECORD! still: Mystery Train Amherst, MA

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Eileen Carey
Rolleycstr Music
Eileen Carey’s voice is a droplet of
honey dangling from a hive. It’s
glistening, all-natural, and inviting.
But don’t be fooled by the coating
because the woman beneath is
strong, confident, and just a little
bit sassy.

In “He’s Not Mr Right He’s Mr Right

Now” (by Jeff Moxcey and Michael
McGee), Eileen delivers a sweet
and brassy country performance
with a roguish, knowing smile. The song is one of only two on the album
that Carey didn’t have a hand in writing. As to what attracted her to the
track, Eileen expressed that the song “espouses enjoying the moment
without worrying about the
future . . . that is, just
having a fun relationship
with no strings attached!”

“Out With The Girls”

contains a similar roar of
sheer enjoyment and wicked
fun! “In this day and age,
women take on multiple
roles in life: entering the
work force, raising a family,
being married with or

without children, and just

trying to balance everyday
life,” the artist noted. “It
doesn't matter if you're poor,
rich, young, or older, all girls
need a night out on the
town! This song also inspired

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
me to put together my new website
( where all
women have a place to log on and

Lyrically, Carey is smart, to the point,

and colorful. Potent lines such as “Your
lips have lost their poetry” from the title
track, “Moving On,” deliver her message
with absolute focused precision and flair.
Eileen has something to say and she
says it dynamically.

“Do I Dare” is a bold, liberating

sentiment set in a wonderfully delicate
groove that is tighter than a pair of sun-
dried, leather cowboy boots!

As far as which track is Carey’s current

favorite, she cited, “Faith.” “Sometimes
we end up in the wrong relationship
and we don't know it. You've gotta have a little faith in yourself,” she
offered. “It gives you another way of looking at the situation. If you
believe in yourself, there's
always a way to move

M OVIN O N could have

been a heavy reflective
album, but Eileen took
the songs, flipped them
on their sides and gave
them a devilish spin. An
upbeat, empowering,
twirling dance that
relishes life in the
moment and celebrates
t h e w o n d e r, j o y a n d
excitement of what comes
% 2 5 2 F i d 4 2 4 0 5 4 2 % 2 5 3 F u o

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127


“Hey, I can
do all of this!”
Danny Ross’ passion for music was so writing songs in several different
great that when he was at Cornell, he genres to arranging for strings and
created his own major called Popular horns and writing an expansive story
Music Composition and Performance. “I line that has as much in common with
also majored in Government which is a broadway musical (i.e., characters,
why I work by day for a congressman, interludes and dynamics) as it does
but I made up that major. For my with pop music.
senior thesis I decided I was going to
write what would become this album, “I’m self-taught,” the artist/writer
ONE WAY,” Ross began. revealed, “so I didn’t know how to
write for strings or even how to write
ONE WAY is a daunting endeavor that for songs. I worked with professors in
finds Danny tackling everything from music and poetry to write and arrange

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

this album and then I performed it the artist, it’s my desire for the listener
there [with a seventeen piece to really appreciate what this is and
orchestra] for my thesis project.” listen to it from the beginning to the
end. It is meant to be a journey.”
After his initial performance at Cornell
for 200 people, Danny moved to New “Looking back, I think I was trying to
York and began working on putting a prove to myself, mainly, and to others,
as well, that as a self-taught musician I
am able to do these really sophisticated
“Music is like theater things. I think there’s a little bit of that
with the singer being complex on this album because I was
trying to just throw in everything and
the actor on stage.” say, ‘Hey, I can do all of this!’”

band together and making an actual Ross noted that he was going for
physical CD of ONE WAY. Eventually, he nothing short of everything on this
released the album at a concert at St. debut full-length. “It’s taking all my
Mark’s Church in East Village with a favorite kinds of music and just
fifteen piece band that played the throwing it on the same album because
album straight through from beginning I can! I like so many different kinds of
to end in front of a “few hundred music and different kinds of artists.
people.” Maybe someone could argue that it’s

After listening
to the com-
plexities of the
record, the
themes and
melodies, the
v i b r a n t
imagery and
grand story
arc, it’s hard
to imagine
listening to
other way than
straight through. Danny agreed, “The not as cohesive as it could be as a
album is meant to be heard as an thematic record. I basically tried to
album . . . I know that’s not so take all these different styles, all these
common any more, but it’s really set up different types of song arrangements
and written and laid out so that there’s and make it all work on one record,
a beginning, a middle and an end. As that was sort of the whole concept.”
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
Ross is well aware that most artists
aspire to this kind of album, they don’t The Story Behind:
begin their career this way. “Exactly! I “Forgive Me Love”
wanted to do it first,” he laughed. “I’m
a complete unknown so I was It’s funny, that’s the one song on
envisioning where this would get me. the album that was not in the
There were grand illusions that this original conception of the work. It’s
album could get me recognized because one of my oldest songs and I just
clearly I’m putting all this time and kind of tossed it off thinking it
energy into these songs. I realized wasn’t much of anything, but when
that’s really kind of silly because a I s t a r t e d p l ay i n g i t o u t l i ve ,
great record on it’s own is not going to suddenly it was everyone’s favorite
make an artist in today’s industry, song. It just goes to show you never
having a live show and a big fanbase is know what people are going to
really what’s going to do it.” respond to, right? Everyone can
interpret it differently, but my
When asked: Since you have put interpretation is it sort of presents
everything into your first project, what these two people in two different
could possibly come next? Is it hard to places singing about the same
come up with new material? Danny thing . . . and that’s a beautiful

responded, “That’s the interesting

thing, coming out of that whole project
where I put so much time and energy
into it and then playing those songs out
live over and over and over again,
writing new songs has been easier for
me than ever! And they all are similar
in tone . . . and it’s coming without

“Keep in mind the record was finished a

little over a year ago and it was
released last fall. But there was a
period where I was like, ‘What do I do
next?!’ Coming out of a big focused
production like that I think the natural
reaction is to want something raw and
more guttural. I also think reading
about other artists who have had
similar experiences helped me.”

After speaking at length with Danny, it’s

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

obvious he not only knows his music, made me really want to do something
but his music history. Throughout the like that. The first was Brian Wilson’s
interview, he constantly and effortlessly SMILE and the other album was Wilco’s
named names and cited specific YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT. On that album
instances in pop music culture where there are a couple of pop songs that
artists had experienced similar are catchy, and they were enough to
situations. Though
he might be a self-
taught musician, he
does have an
i m p r e s s i v e
knowledge and
appreciation fueling
his writing. Perhaps
that is the reason he
was able to
successfully take on
such a monumental
project on his first
attempt. There is a
definite story that
binds the album, but
it’s not fully
detailed, the listener
has plenty of room to create his own keep me going back. Then suddenly, I
meaning or even to place himself in the found myself deep in this narrative of
story. this story of this character. It’s not an
explicit story, but all the songs are
“My hope was to make an implicit story connecting in a way that really makes
line, instead of having explicit sense and you can really tell that the
person changes from point A to point B,
it’s a real musical journey making left
“The second that that gets turns and right turns. When I came
lost, you might as well be across this, I was really inspired to do
doing anything else.” something along the same lines.”

With all the conceptualizing and

narratives and definite characters. I studying and learning going on during
had this idea of a story and you can the writing of ONE WAY, writing natural
definitely put yourself in that role, you sounding lyrics to his pop-oriented
can interpret it in many different ways,” melodies was the hardest part of the
Danny agreed. “When I first started project. “It’s much tougher to write
writing it, there were two albums that good lyrics to simple melodies,” he
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
But hard work and learning have never
been something that kept Danny from
The Story Behind: moving forward. “There are a lot of
“And The Trumpets people who actually feel like it would
Sing” hurt them to know more,” he noted. “I
think that’s so wrong! Knowing more is
“And The Trumpets Sing” is only going to help you. I’m taking
about going somewhere and sort private lessons in composition and a
of being surprised that there’s few people have said, ‘Aren’t you afraid
people that this character loves. it’s going to upset your vibe?’ ‘No, I’m
There’s life outside of the small going to learn more about songwriting
world he was in before. It’s a big structures and composition.’”
world and just because you’re in
a rut somewhere, it doesn’t Ross concluded, “When I was 13, I
mean there isn’t someone great discovered The Beatles. That just blew
out there in this big old world my mind and I knew I had to spend the
who could be there for you. rest of my life doing that. Music is like
theater with the singer being the actor
on stage. It’s about being in the
e x p r e s s e d . “ Yo u w a n t t o s a y moment and expressing some sort of
something, you want to tell a story, but authentic, sincere message. The second
you’re sort of bound to just two verses that that gets lost, you might as well be
and a chorus, really. You’re confined! In doing anything else.”
terms of the mood, in terms of the
tempo, and the rhythm, there are a lot For more information on Danny Ross,
of constraints! It’s not like sitting down visit:
and writing freeform poetry, you
really have to be as poetic and

soulful as you can within many

limitations. It’s probably the area

where I work the hardest.”

“I read somewhere that lyrics are

the architecture of all good
songwriting,” he continued. “I think
that’s really true. You hear so
many wasted melodies because the
lyrics aren’t good enough, they are
great melodic songs but they are
ruined by sort of lazy lyrics. I think
the area where the real work goes
into making a great song is in the
lyric writing, that’s the stuff that

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Photo: Alex Lake
The Drums
Downtown Music
The Drums self-titled
debut release has an
unfathomable coolness to
it. The magical synthesis of
80’s New Wave and early
60’s Surf music somehow
makes this album
unquestionably now! At
once these guys are the
freshest sound out there . . . and also the most nostalgic.

The captivating hooks are everywhere (guitars, drums, solos, vocals,

handclaps, etc.) and the echoey lo-fi sound is delivered with such quality
that the music is utterly mesmerizing.

Balance is the key. Almost every element in The Drums’ music has an
antithesis. The bright, upbeat guitar licks are kept in check by the often
darker lyrics; the infectious pop vibe is countered by the nearly aloof
delivery. The music is a masterful study of contrasts.

“Let’s Go Surfing,” “Forever And

Ever Amen,” and “We Tried” all
bring to mind The Beach Boys,
Phil Spector, The Cure, and The
Smiths while the touching “Down
By The Water” has a sound all its

Listening to The Drums debut

album feels epic, like this is the
music that will change
everything. This record has a
“Beatles on Sullivan” excitement
to it: it’s not just a release, it’s an
historic moment.

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

July 6, 2010 — American Music Theatre — Lancaster, PA

In his eleventh solo tour in over 20

years with various all-stars sharing the
stage every other year, Ringo has
once again put together a well
orchestrated presentation of sight and
sound. His tours are one of the most
underrated and unnoticed by major
media outlets, yet it is one of the
highest in demand for the age group:
10 to 80 year olds. What other genre
or musician can garner that kind of
age group and mix for marketing their
artist? While some summer tours and
musicians are having issues filling Bissonette, made the All Starr Band
venues due to the recession and a complete.
finicky consumer, Ringo has carefully
chosen small theaters in the 1,500 to Ringo bounced back and forth from
5,000 capacity range for this tour. solo hits, Beatles hits and backup
drums for the All
Starr Band. The

In Concert
music performed
on this tour is
from the 1950’s
through the
1980’s. Ringo
The current All Starr Band members even performed 3 songs from his new
have some connections to each other recording. His first self produced CD is
in their musical careers. Edgar Winter entitled Y NOT. The CD features lots of
on keyboards/saxophone/percussion musicians including Ringo’s new
has performed at various times with brother-in-law and one time All Starr
guitarist Rick Derringer. Gary Wright Joe Walsh. Other artists include Dave
on keyboards has performed on Stewart, Joss Stone, Ben Harper and
Ringo’s solo efforts and even George B e n m o n t Te n c h f r o m t h e
Harrison’s A LL T HINGS M UST P ASS Heartbreakers. After conversing with
album. The lineup was rounded out the audience about another group he
with Wally Palmar from The Romantics used to be in a long time ago, Ringo
and Richard Page from Mr. Mister. A turned the microphone over to his All
second able bodied drummer, Gregg Starr Band.

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Rick Derringer performed “Rock and Roll, The 9th Annual
Hoochie Koo” and even “Hang On Sloopy”
from his first band at age 15, The McCoys. PASA Summer
Edgar Winter, performing for his second
time with Ringo, gave the audience a Songfest!
musical spectrum of sounds on saxophone,
keyboards, vocals and percussion. The What is it? A songwriters'
musicians were comfortable with festival where songwriters play
performing each other’s hits as this is the original songs in thematic
second All Starr Band tour for Edgar circles all day long, as well as
Winter, Gary Wright and Gregg Bissonette. write original songs in
Also, Rick Derringer and Edgar Winter have workshops, culminating with an
crossed careers for the last 30 years on evening open stage.
various recordings and tours. Wally Palmer
and Richard Page rounded out the show Who can come? Up to 30
with music from their careers in the 80’s. songwriters and a limited
number of non-songwriters
Ringo’s well orchestrated show of musical (first come/first serve).
peace and love resonated through the
theatre and into the lobby where When is it? Saturday, August
merchandise for every type of Beatles fan 28th noon through 10 pm.
was available. Ringo also displayed his
personal artwork that he has been working Where is it? Cherry Hill, NJ.
on for years with the proceeds being
distributed to various charities. I foresee a Requirements? Please bring a
lot of music still coming from Ringo in the food item to share and a folding
years ahead with plenty of prospective All chair. Bring money to order
Starr Band members eagerly awaiting a dinner. You are encouraged to
call to join in his mission of peace and stay the whole day and
love. And Y Not? evening, but not required.

Y NOT can be purchased from Ringo’s web Cost? It's free!! This is an all
site at: volunteer event.

For more information,

David is an Economics contact:
professor at Villanova
University specializing in
Arts and Entertainment. Note: Songcircles are for
He also performs in the original songs you have already
David Fiorenza duo Fiorenza-Dowlin. written and workshops are for
writing songs at the event itself.

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Barry Louis
Photo by Michael G. Stewart

“Barry’s songs were almost radical at the time, the first ones came
out on vinyl albums. His work set a whole new path for children's
— Dr Demento, host of the Dr. Demento Show, a long-running,
national radio program that is a free-wheeling, unpredictable mix of
music and comedy.
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
“I met Barry Louis Polisar in the mid-80's when I did a national radio show called
Kids America from WNYC in New York. We were already fans of his anarchic
approach to kids' music, more reflective of real kids and how they think than
anyone else at the time. Immediately, we found a common bond over his mentor
and uncle Sheldon, who I had met and admired when I (briefly) was doing stand-
up comedy. Sheldon's influence is clear in Barry's use of language. That tinny
voice of Barry's carries a lot of wonderful words!”

“What thrills me now is the release of WE'RE NOT KIDDING! because the kids who
grew up listening to Barry (and me?) are now making music themselves for new
generations of kids. The sense of fun and depth of language Barry brings to his
music is an enormous influence on his musical descendants.”

— Kathy O'Connell, Peabody-award winning host of WXPN's Kids Corner. When

asked to write a 6-word autobiography, she said: "A life spent watching Soupy

Barry Louis Polisar is probably best onto my song by mistake. Then he

known for his song, “All I Want Is You,” decided he liked it and wanted to use
which deftly set the tone at the opening it . . . And then decided he wanted to
of the movie Juno. But he’s been a use it to open the film!” Barry pounced
beloved entertainer and
writer for many, many years
Photo by Michael G. Stewart

— dare we say decades! —

“The director of the
prior to his overnight success/ film found that song
awareness. And the most by accident . . .”
poetic aspect of his splash
into the public eye? It was an

“The director of the film found

that song by accident,” Barry
r e ve a l e d i n h i s d y n a m i c
storytelling manner. Polisar
has that kind of melody to his
tone that rises and falls at
just the right points to keep
you absolutely engaged and
on the edge of your seat
while listening. “When he was
looking for another song with
a similar title, he typed in the
wrong words and he stumbled

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

on the last line, conveying without BLP: A lot of the guys who recorded
saying that this may have been one of songs have a very off-the-wall sense of
the most amazing, incredible, humor and, yes, I definitely picked that
wonderful “accidents” in all of history. element up. However, interestingly,
The man, certainly has a gift for many of the female songwriters or
storytelling! singers and performing artists tended

And he certainly has fans. Dedicated

fans. Fans who have so thoroughly
enjoyed his work, that they have
“Listening to the
become entertainers themselves. And album makes me want
not just any entertainers, they are that to saddle up and ride
special breed of artists who reside just
off into the sunset . . .
below the radar and create music
without restraint. It is these folks who it can’t get any
are responsible for the massive 2-CD, better!”
60-song tribute album that honors the
man who changed their lives.
to go for the softer side of me. I’ve
But enough with the introduction, let’s written about 145 to 150 songs that
get to the questions, and more have been published over the last three
importantly, Barry’s answers! and a half decades and although I’m
sort of known for my edgy, outrageous,
Songwriter’s Monthly: The tribute humorous or funny songs for kids [e.g.,
album is incredible! “Don’t Put Your Finger Up Your Nose,”
“Never Cook your Sister In A Frying
Barry Louis Polisar: You know, I’ve Pan”], I also have written these sort of
been writing and recording since love songs like the one that was used in
around 1975 and when I first began, I Juno [“All I Want Is You”]. I used to
never expected that this was going to describe these songs as playful,
be a career, it was just something I was childlike love songs because they
doing for fun. It’s just such a wonderful weren’t exactly love songs.
full circle feeling for me to have so
many of the people who had my SM: How did the tribute album come
albums as kids now recording my about?
songs. I love the versions that they did.
Listening to the album makes me want BLP: I was out doing a school tour on
to saddle up and ride off into the the west coast and one of the dates
sunset, I’m done, I’m finished, it can’t was in Orange County, California, right
get any better!” outside of L.A. and I knew that’s where
Aaron Cohen, who is the producer of
SM: Did you notice any similar traits in the album — and sort of my fan from
the artists who performed on WE’RE way back — lived. We had been
NOT KIDDING? swapping emails and . . . I should
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
probably go back a little bit further.
When Aaron was pretty young, he “Most of the
mailed me an EP CD. He wrote, “Dear
performers take my
Mr. Polisar, I have a band and I had
your albums when I was a kid. I’ve songs . . . and
always loved your songs. My band, Joe anything that might be
And The Chicken Heads, has recorded a offensive, they cut
version of your song ‘Underwear.’ I
hope you don’t mind and I hope you out.”
like it.” I put it in my CD player and just
about fell off the chair laughing! Over
the years, I have had so many people very concerned that they’re painting a
record my songs and most of the very colorful positive picture. I always
performers sing for kids and most of painted the full picture, so I found that
the performers take my songs and people, often times, would drop specific
smooth out all the rough edges, they words or specific lines from my songs
sing them melodically and anything and here was this punk rock cover of
that might be offensive, they cut out — “Underwear Is Everywhere!” It was just
not that I sing offensive songs for so funny! I wrote him back saying,
children, I don’t want to give the wrong “This is just so funny! I love it, you
impression. There’s a real caution when guys did a great version! I love the
it comes to performing for kids because energy!”
parents and teachers tend to be very,
I guess that letter kind of lit a
spark with him and he just got
real enthused because about two
years later, he was going into the
recording studio (he now had a
new band called The Radioactive
Chicken Heads) and he wanted to
do another one of my songs. He
said, “If you ever come to L.A.
look me up.” So I did.

Over dinner we were chatting

about everything and at one
point he said, “My band would
just love to do an album of cover
songs of yours.” I said “That’s
great!” I told him that I’d heard
from a couple of other bands who
mentioned this, as well. There
was a jug band out in Indiana —
again the guy had my albums as
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
a kid — and he wanted to do jug band between him putting the word out and
versions of my songs. I mentioned kind me putting the word out, suddenly we
of offhandedly, that I should probably started getting all kinds of requests. I
put Aaron in touch with him, then watched his project go from, first there
maybe they could collaborate. Sure were 12 songs and then there were 15
enough, Aaron followed up on that. songs and then there were 20
songs . . . and these were just the
About that songs that he
same time, I accepted!
Photo by Michael G. Stewart

got a letter
from a young SM: There’s
gal in California such a special
who was with a quality in your
rock band music, almost a
c a l l e d Wa t e r continual wide-
Method. She eyed wonder.
wa s o r d e r i n g What’s your
my first album. approach to
I recognized writing?
the name,
Jennifer Hall, BLP: I’m not
so when I sent one of those
her back the writers who
o r d e r tends to say,
confirmation, I “Oh, I’m going
asked, “By the to write a song
way could this today.” Many,
be THE Jennifer m a n y
Hall, daughter of Jim And Bonnie Hall, songwriters and many authors just
cover girl of my very first album in basically say, “Every day, from 8 till 11
1975 who I’d lost touch with 20 years I’m going in my room and I’m closing
ago?” She said, “Yes, it’s me, it’s me!” the door and I’m going to write and I’ll
We started this wonderful email see what happens.” I’ve never done
correspondence and I told her about that and I’ve never been good with
Aaron Cohen and she said he would that. There’s a spontaneity with the
love to do a song. idea process. Over the years I’ve
become more disciplined about the final
That was really the inception of the product. That’s not to say that the
whole thing. Then of course, when my songs are bad in the early draft. For
song appeared in JUNO, suddenly a lot instance, the song from JUNO, starts,
of people were kind of rediscovering “If I was a flower growing wild and free
me. Aaron asked me to let people know all I’d want is for you to be my sweet
about the project, so I put it on my honeybee.” That’s not really proper
website and put it on facebook and English, it should be “If I were a flower
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
write my books. My books go through
30 to 40 rough drafts. The flip side is
“There’s a spontaneity you have to be careful that you don’t
with the idea work something to death, take out all
the heart and soul.
There has to be a little bit of discipline
i n s o n g w r i t i n g . T h e r e ’s a wave ,
growing wild and free . . .” I actually especially in music for kids, that I don’t
re-recorded a lot of my songs about 20 quite understand right now. Maybe it’s
years into my career to just sort of fix just because I am 55 years old and it’s
those “grammatical mistakes” that I a new generation, it’s a new era and it
kind of let slide when I was a 20 year seems the emphasis is on something
old songwriter. Ironically when Jason different than what I was looking for
Reitman was looking for the song for when I first started writing. There’s a
his movie he heard both versions, but it sort of feeling that you can just sort of
was the original, rough, off-key, out-of lock yourself in a room and write a
-tune, bad grammar version that he song about anything and then record it
liked. So I guess the joke was on me. the next day and put it out for sale on
Amazon or iTunes. I’ve found myself in
SM: But do lyrics necessarily need to an odd place because when I began
follow the rules of grammar? What writing for kids I was considered the
about songs like America’s “Tin Man” bad boy of children’s music, I was
with the line, “But Oz never did give considered the edgy songwriter. My
nothing to the Tin Man?” It’s a double songs are “naughty,” they have this
negative, yet the song works. element of kind of devilish humor. But
now it almost feels like I’m the sort of
BLP: Yes, there are lot of examples. I
think the difference is if you know
you’re doing it consciously. “You have to be
careful that you don’t
SM: What made you start to worry
about grammar in songwriting?
work something to
death, take out all the
BLP: I had a writing teacher my very heart and soul.”
last semester of college, David Slavitt
— still one of my absolute favorite
poets — and he sort of critiqued me the intellectual. I think that’s probably
saying, “You’re a great writer, but you my gripe with a lot of the current
don’t sweat, you write something and writing for kids: it doesn’t seem to be
you just go on to the next piece.” That word-oriented. I guess I’ve always
was a really cogent bit of criticism for been a poet and a writer first and I use
me and I think from that point on, I my guitar as a vehicle, so I find to just
started sweating. Especially when I sit down and then write a song about
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
Tommy’s shoelace is not really what I run into any censorship type of
want to do, there has to be some situations at schools?
theme that kind of draws me even in.
BLP: There is this movement,
I also think most of the music that is especially for young kids . . . young
written for kids seems to be written for parents, I guess really more, they’re
pre-schoolers looking for these
and toddlers. At earnest, positive
that age, those Photo by Michael G. Stewart versions of
kids are childhood, but I
responding to just think kids
something much are smarter than
more primordial that. Here I will
and much more start waxing
basic, whereas politically a little
my material bit. As a society
tends to be for we’ve just
older kids, more gotten so darn
elementary l i t e r a l ! We ’ v e
school age, the lost that sense
5 to 11 crowd. of i r o n y.
Occasionally, I
SM: Does your run into
live show problems with
change much schools. It’s
depending on v e r y, very
the age group of infrequently, but
your audience? about 3 years
ago I had a
BLP: My last school cancel a
concert was contract with me
a c t u a l l y because one
performed for t e a c h e r, o n e
elementary school Librarians and I did teacher, took offense to something in
the same exact concert that I do with my songs. First of all, I think of myself
elementary school kids! And do you as a conduit for positive stuff in the
know what? Those adults laughed at world, so I said, “Look I will do
the exact same places as the kids anything to make this happen, if there’s
laughed. It happens all the time, it’s an objectionable song, I am not going
the commonality of what people find to stand on ceremony. If you have a
funny. problem with a particular word or a
particular lyric, I’ve got 150 songs, I
SM: Since your songs are still don’t have to sing that song. However,
considered rather edgy, do you ever if you think that every single one of my
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
songs is objectionable, then maybe we never mind, let’s just be discreet and
do have a problem, but I’m more than just say it eats.” In the picture, the
happy to ‘adjust my program to the illustrator drew a dung beetle dressed
up like a waiter in a tuxedo and tails
and it had a silver platter with a pile of
“I think that people dung neatly rolled up in a tight ball.
Next to it was a wine glass with red
just need to be
liquid in it. What did they object to?
reminded not to wear They objected to the fact that there
their underwear too was a wine glass pictured in the book. I
tight.” said, “Do you realize that we’re talking
about a dung beetle and do you realize
that next to the wine glass is a pile of
standards of your community.’ Also, dung?” Ultimately, that was one of the
remember, we have a legal contract schools that said, “Thank you, we
and I expect to be paid.” It’s amazing realize that we were just going a little
how often people drop their censorship bit too far.” I think that people just
concerns when they realize they have need to be reminded not to wear their
to pay for a contract either way. Having underwear too tight, sometimes you
said that, though, I will go to the nth just have to loosen up a little bit.
degree to make it happen because
nothing gives me satisfaction more SM: When I worked in a school district,
than going and doing my program in a I found that fear of what other people
school district or a school
where there has been a

Photo by Michael G. Stewart

problem and have the librarian
who raised objections come up
to me and say, “Oh, thank you
so much for adjusting your
program,” and me responding,
“You know what, I didn’ t
actually change it one bit.”

Switching gears a little bit from

music to books, I have a book
called INSECT SOUP and this
was actually the last time I
ever really had a censorship
issue. There was a librarian
who objected to that book
because of the first drawing in
it. I had written a poem about
a dung beetle, something like,
“the dung beetle eats . . . well
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
would think was the main motivational oil spills and international politics that
force driving decisions. Do you notice I’ve had a free ride. When things get
that? peaceful, they’ll start to picket.

BLP: Everybody’s afraid of somebody SM: How have you survived so long as
else! Teachers are afraid of getting the an independent artist? Has anything
principal in trouble, the principal is
afraid of the school board, the school
board is afraid of the parents. It’s a “Lately . . .
cycle, everybody’s watching there are so many
everybody’s back. Usually what I say is,
“Look, I’ll take the flack. If there’s a
bigger concerns on the
problem, have them call me, have them global scale between oil
email me, I’m happy to talk to spills and international
anybody.” It used to happen more
politics that I’ve had a
years ago, than it does now. It really
doesn’t happen so much any more. free ride.”

H o w e v e r, h e r e ’ s a n i n t e r e s t i n g
observation. I’m outside D.C., we live changed in your approach to offering
on a little farm about 20 miles north of free tracks, etc. over the years?
the city, but we’re definitely infused
with Washington national politics. One BLP: I started in that sort of post 60’s
of the things I’ve noticed, interestingly idyllic concept that music and art
enough, is that when there is a liberal should be free. When I did my first
democrat in the White House or in album, I pressed 1,000 copies thinking
power, most of the objections to my that I would have them forever. I was
work are from a conservative point of selling them at cost because it was
view, they are from people who feel like immoral to make money on music, you
I’m being disrespectful to authority. The had to give it away. I have made
flip side is when there’s a conservative money in music, but at the same time,
person in the White House, most of my you can go on my website and listen to
criticism comes from liberal groups who every single song I’ve written for free,
feel like I’m not doing enough to even the tribute album. I’m even doing
encourage positive role models for the same thing with my books, I’ve got
children. It’s almost like people can’t my daughter scanning everything.
control what happens on the national We’re posting them up online for free.
scale, so they really try to affect what’s That doesn’t mean that I’m not still
happening in their immediate selling downloads and selling CDs and
environments. That’s just something selling books, but I go into schools
I’ve noticed after three decades. Lately, where kids just can’t afford a book and
nobody’s accused me of being politically they can’t afford to buy a CD, so I don’t
incorrect, there are so many bigger want that to be the deciding factor as
concerns on the global scale between to whether somebody comes into
Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127
contact with my work or not. Again, it’s karmic fate that’s controlling that music
just one of those full circle moments. far more than I ever could.

SM: Do you ever wonder, what if this

would have happened earlier?
“I think that every
performer . . . has a BLP: I don’t think the whole Juno
sort of love/hate thing thing would have changed me ever,
even if it had happened early. It’s been
about popularity.” nice that it’s sort of happened after 30
years because I have enough of an
A lot of rock bands do similar things understanding to know that it’s fleeting,
with digital downloads, they just say, the best of things are fleeting. It’s great
“Send us whatever you think is fair.” and I’ve certainly enjoyed the ride, I
But I don’t even do that,it’s just, “Hey, am still enjoying the ride, but I don’t
if you want to listen to it, it’s there; if define myself through that. I performed
you want to buy it, it’s there.” My at the White House some years ago and
thinking is, you’re making fans, you’re it’s amazing how many times when
exposing people to your music. I’ve people are introducing me at schools
never made a big stink about people that that’s the first thing they say. But
taping me or sharing my stuff, I guess was it a good show? There were 40,000
because I got into this not as a people, five stages going on at the
business, I got into this because I same time and it was absolute chaos!
created a work that I liked enough that The elementary school shows are much
I thought people would enjoy. better . . . but it doesn’t sound as
good. It’s that whole thing the medium
I gotta tell you, after my song is the message . . . the massage. I’ve
appeared in Juno, I started getting all been posting all the reviews I have on
these notices about how often the song facebook just really for me as a record
was used in weddings. It’s just a kick to so I sort of have a log of what’s there,
be able to write a song and to see how
it resonates with people. Especially that
song because it was a throw away, that
was filler on my second album! It
“The thing that eats
almost didn’t make it to the second at me more than
album, I only threw it on the album anything is just sort of
because it had a kid-like flavor and I being left out.”
thought it could work . . . and I didn’t
have quite enough songs for the album!
Never, ever, ever did I expect that 30
years later it would be discovered on but I also notice that almost every
something called iTunes and then other performing artist is doing the
ultimately used in a Grammy Award same thing. Sometimes I wonder, how
winning record album . . . There’s some much of this is just one big game, that

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

writing under the radar for 30 years,
along comes this movie and suddenly
“It’s probably
everybody knows his song. Then these
better to be known by people who had his album when they
people who really have were kids, do a tribute album . . .” To
a sense of who you are me it’s a story that writes itself. But I
haven’t been able to get a lot of
than being famous traction because a lot of the children’s
worldwide and not bloggers won’t touch it because it’s not
having anybody really really what they do, it’s not the kind of
music that they write about. There’s a
know what you’re great poem about the difference
about.” between being famous and being
known and how it’s probably better to
we’re all just trying to psych each other be known by people who really have a
out. sense of who you are than being
famous worldwide and not having
Also, I think that every performer, anybody really know what you’re about.
every artist and every person on stage
has a sort of love/hate thing about To learn even more about Barry Louis
popularity and being known. I think Polisar, visit:
what I bemoan, the thing that
eats at me more than anything is
just sort of being left out. It has
nothing to do with sales or even
popularity as much as just not
being included on lists because I
don’t fit the mold. I’m not really a
folk artist because I sing for kids,
but I’m not really the typical kids
artist either, so I’ve always sort of
had my own little channel. To
some degree, that’s probably
made me who I am. I’ve had a
Photo by Michael G. Stewart

devil of a time getting this album

promoted. I’ve gotten lots of
blogs and lots of people writing
about it, but the Washington
Post, my hometown newspaper,
never even reviewed it. The
Baltimore Sun never did
anything either. To me, this just
seemed like a natural story,
“Here’s a guy who has been

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Songwriting Legend Hank
Cochran Passes Away

Last night, Jamey Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Buddy Cannon
dropped by to sing songs with Hank, and this morning the
legendary songwriter was surrounded by family and friends when
he passed away at his Hendersonville, Tennessee home from a
long illness. A private, family memorial will be held in the near
future, and a public service will
follow. Details will be

The family asks that you respect

their privacy at this time and, in
lieu of flowers, request those
wishing to honor Hank make
donations to the Nashville
S o n g w r i t e r s H a l l o f Fa m e
Foundation. Hank was inducted in
to the Nashville Songwriters
Association International Hall of
Fame by unanimous vote in
1974, and was honored by B.M.I.
in June 2009 for his six-decade
long career of hits, that includes
country classics: “I Fall To
Pieces,” “Make The World Go
Away,” “Ocean Front Property,”
“The Chair” and “Don't You Ever
Get Tired Of Hurting Me.”

Hank is survived by his wife Suzi,

daughter Booth Calder and three
sons: Garland Perry Cochran Jr.,
James Lee Cochran and Daniel

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

The Voice Project
“The Voice Project is a song-driven
effort inspired by the women of
Uganda who are using their voices
and songs as vehicles for change
in the war-ravaged region of
Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, Eastern Congo and CAR. From Indie rockers
to African Hip Hop and R&B artists, The Voice Project is recording musicians all
over the world, filming them as they cover songs by fellow artists, creating a
chain of melodies, stories, awareness and support. In the process, they are
carrying a message of peace from resilient Acholi mothers and wives to eyes and
ears around the globe and shedding light on Africa's longest running war. The
founders of The Voice Project see this endeavor as a partnership with the women
and communities in the region, they emphasize that ‘the strength, the message,
and the art of these women and their peace movement can benefit the world.’
Beyond spreading awareness, the Voice Project also supports programs in
regions that provide viable and sustainable economic opportunities for these
women, former child soldiers and their communities.”

For more information, visit:

The Indie Music Fest

Black Mountain Productions Inc. and
Elements Entertainment, LLC, in
association with, are
presenting: The Indie Music Fest, May
21, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This
is a unique annual grassroots music
festival/showcase, that is not your
typical festival. It is specifically
designed for the unsigned indie artist,
writer and musician, the environment and the community. It is a place for all
indie artists, writers and musicians to gather to be respected, to be educated
and to have a real chance to promote and network their talents to those of the
indie music industry, who will give them real potential opportunities!

For more information, visit:

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

Record With Linkin Park

Excerpted from Linkin Park’s blog:

“We’re excited to finally announce that our new album, A THOUSAND SUNS, will
be released on September 14th. The lead single for the album is called ‘The
Catalyst.’ It will be released on August 2nd.”

“We’re teaming up with MySpace for ‘Linkin Park, Featuring You,’ a contest which
gives you the one-of-a-kind opportunity to be on our new album. We'll be
giving you some audio from ‘The Catalyst,’ and you get to take it from there; you
can remix the parts, write something over them, or mute stuff and write
something totally new. We may choose a remix of the song, and put it on the
album . . . or, we may choose an amazing keyboardist, string quartet, guitarist,
percussion group, or other musician, and invite them into the studio to play on
one of our songs. No matter what instrument you play, you can win. We're open
to anything good. All we ask is that you include any audible portion of any one of
our stems in your submission.”

“Once you submit, the community (that's you) will vote, and the most popular
stuff will rise to the top. Then, my bandmates and I will comb through the
submissions, choose one winner, and they will be included on our album, A
THOUSAND SUNS. Check out for contest details.”

Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127

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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Songwriter’s Monthly - Aug. ’10, #127