MAKING UP REALITY  

  RSS

Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 113
03/05/2019 1:37 pm  

Hello folks,

If you know anything about me, you know I don't post a lot of songs. The reason is that is not really why I am here, to talk about anything I do, but try to help other people with what they do. Also, often, the people I work with are artists and seeking record deals. Sometimes you have to be very cautious about what you post because if they are close to a deal, the company interested might not want things out before they decide what they are going to do with them. If could be legal problems. But sometimes I will post something to illustrate some of the things I talk about. This is one of those times. While I've been a singer/songwriter/artist for 42 years, for the past 18, I've morphed more into a teacher of the craft of songwriting, the art of performance and networking. I work with writers and artists all over the world, most of which come to Nashville, to get private coaching and overview introductions to the town, the business, and the world of music here.

I spend time working with writers and artists of all ages, races, genders, etc. and most are here for a short time, and then go away on their own journeys. I am not able to keep up with all of them, as there are a lot in a nearly 20 year career of doing this, but sometimes they will contact with me and let me know what they are doing. This is one that popped up today on my Facebook feed, when the mother of the artist contacted me. It brought back some cool memories of an experience I had with this artist a few years ago.

MEGAN KANE is a 20 something artist now living in Nashville, but traveling on the road with a band on her musical journey. I met her, and her Mother in 2015, at the FRANK BROWN SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL in Perdido Key Fla. They booked a short one hour critique session with me there and I found them both engaging. Megan was BEAUTIFUL ( and has kept that going) great voice, and as funny and sweet (and Alabama redneck) as you could get. Her Mom was great and we made plans to get them to come to Nashville, which they did a few months later. 

One of four trips she made, and after about 12 songs we wrote, as I always do, I mine the artists lives for songwriting material. I asked her to tell me a story that might make a good song. She informed me about a white tuck she saw each day going to school. It was parked at a cemetery, about two blocks from her school and she thought about writing about the white truck. I said we should write about the OWNER of the white truck, and that is what we did. The song, FINAL ADDRESS, was totally made up, based upon a 96 year old uncle of mine and some people that Megan knew. We invented the story about an older man, sitting at the cemetery talking to his long passed wife, telling her the things he was doing. It also recounted their lives together, using actual streets, houses, apartments, that Megan had lived at. The song turned out well, and a few months after that she returned and we went in the studio at Jay's Place and recorded it. 

Not long after that, They actually MET the man who owned the white truck. Thinking he might be the caretaker, her Mother, Karen approached him one day and they struck up a friendship. The song nearly MATCHED every part of his life even down to the years, 45 years. We missed that by two years, they had been married 47 years. Megan ended up meeting and performing the song for him and they began a friendship that lasts to this day in an extended family way. And a few days after they met, the local ABC affiliate filmed a news program on the song and the meeting. 

It's one of my favorite songwriting stories, and leads me to always say, "Be careful what you write, it might be true."

My job as a songwriter has always been to help people find the best way to present what they do. My writings are mostly "TEACHING LESSONS WITH A PRACTICAL APPLICATION EFFECT." That is what this is. Hope you like it and might help you in your own journey. Happy writing.
MAB

This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by Mabbo

Marc-Alan Barnette


Quote
Gavin
(@gavin)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 161
03/05/2019 1:52 pm  

Great song and even better story!

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


ReplyQuote
Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 113
03/05/2019 6:45 pm  

Thanks Gavin, hope it helps some people.

MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


ReplyQuote
Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 228
04/05/2019 5:15 pm  

What a fabulous story, MAB. I love the hook. Rich, layered meaning in that "final address."

I live on a main road into the city centre so I get all sorts of folks walking past my house. I often take my morning coffee or my evening book and sit out on the steps just watching people go by, totally fascinated and engaged by how strange and interesting folks can be. Never once has it occurred to me to write a song about any of them. They are (often strange) strangers, yet they are familiar to me. The thin man with the immaculate beard wearing blue jeans and a scruffy sweater who always walks alone and always walks like he has a drum beat going in his head and as if he has a brace holding him straight...until I say hello and he shrinks about six inches. I've often wondered why he is alone and what song he's got going on repeat through his day. There is the old woman, who is actually not very old, who mumbles and tells fortunes and always stares at me intently whenever and where ever I see her. I've often wondered what it is she wants to say to me. And there is the skinny dude who dresses like Mr Rogers (it's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood...) and rides a bike down the road every day looking for love in all the wrong places. I've seen him stop girls 20 years his junior on the bridge into town and once he approached my fence while I was gardening and said "hello, you look like a nice sort of girl" -- lol -- that guy is definitely song material. Weird I never thought to mine those parts of my life. I thought there's too much unknown there. Thanks MAB

Jen

http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


ReplyQuote
Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 113
04/05/2019 6:33 pm  

Oh Jenny, Jenny, Jenny,

You see, you are supposed to know your FIRST DUTY is to be an OBSERVER of the human condition. This is what we do. The most flattering thing anyone can ever say to you is "YOU ARE WRITING MY LIFE!" or "I've heard that ten million times but NEVER THOUGHT OF IT LIKE THAT!!!!" See, that is our job, to make people see things in a way they never quite heard before. And it is really great when we take something every one has seen, heard, felt, experienced, SHOW, DON'T TELL them so that they immediately see it in their mind's eye and relate to it. One hall of fame writer once told  me:

"GREAT WRITERS MAKE THE ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY!" 

If you do this well, you will look at things differently, have a different slant, twist or perspective. And you have to EXPLAIN it to your listener very clearly, to the point, and DESCRIBE the situation as you would a BLIND PERSON. Songwriters shoot themselves in the feet when they try to be overly poetic, laboring or sounding like a lecture in sophomore English. So if you do it well and keep your story focused and simple, you can get a lot accomplished. 

I am so glad you saw this because I really put it up for you. I try to explain a lot of things to you on here, and sometimes it might be a bit confusing, you speaking a different language and all. But if I SHOW you what I am talking about through my writing, I hope it makes sense.

Doing a character study in people around you is a great idea. Here's a way to approach it.

Sit one day while having your coffee and write down little things about the people who pass you. You have done a great job so far. Get about ten characters, write out a brief description on each. Then boil it down to the THREE most interesting. Each verse can tell a bit of a snippet about each of them. Then find the COMMON THREAD that ties them together. That is your CHORUS.

A real fun thing is when you find away to tie all the stories together. I once put three different characters into a song called "MUST BE NICE." One was a homeless guy at a "Waffle House" (big Breakfast place in this country). He watches this waitress come to work at the waffle house every day and things it "must be nice" to have a good job and live in a middle class neighborhood. The second was  a waitress, who worked there every day. Her main guy every day was a rich businessman who came in, sat at the same table every day and rushed through breakfast to get to work. She things it "must be nice" to have a lot of money, big house, family, etc. The rich guy leaves the Waffle house and see's the first guy, who is homeless, and thinks "it must be nice" to not have any responsibilities, be able to lay around all day and do nothing. Always greener over someone else's septic tank.

Your job is to find the different way to look at something and tell stories that make people enjoy listening to them.

Thanks for reading, listening and responding. It's why I'm here.
MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


ReplyQuote
Gavin
(@gavin)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 161
05/05/2019 9:48 am  

Jenny, seems like you have your very own "Penny Lane" there.

MAB, that song neatly combines the satisfaction of recognition with the one we derive from patterns and symmetry. There's just something in our brains that responds to a neatly drawn circle. Can we hear that song anywhere?

Actually, Penny Lane does something similar in a different and much looser way, bringing the barber, the banker and the fireman together in the last verse. 

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


ReplyQuote
Gavin
(@gavin)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 161
05/05/2019 10:17 am  

Thinking more about how observation of the life that goes on around us brought to mind this song by Ricky Ross, which is a fantastic example. He was in the year below me at school in Dundee and went on to be lead singer for Deacon Blue. In the video, he explains the inspiration for the song. The stroke of genius is the point of view he adopts. The recording is pretty good, but there are spots where it's not totally clear, so I've included the lyrics. 

I saw you passing through
You didn't catch my eye
I said, oh no
I'm only sleeping on the street
And I was woken by the singing and the laughter
Knowing nothing I do or think can really matter
I saw you wandering
I saw you raking through the bins
I saw your clothes, I smelt your shoes
Your empty boxes and your tins

But I'd know you anywhere
If I saw you morning night or noon
That's why I lift myself up enough just to run after you
I'd give you everything of me
Knowing you can't return it back in full
That's why I love you
The way only God and Dogs can do
That's why I love you
The way only God and Dogs can do

I think of yesterday
We never got out of the door
I said, oh no
I can only lie down on the floor with you
In the shape you're in
Cause you've been drinking everything
When we go out on the street
I can see them wondering
What's he doing with him
When he could have a better life
Somewhere with the lights all burning bright
And the fire to lie down beside each night

But I never wanted that if I wanted anything
I just wanted someone who's life would fall apart
If I went missing
So I give you everything of me
Knowing you can't return it back in full
That's why I love you
The way only God and Dogs can do
I love you just the way only God and Dogs can do

 

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


ReplyQuote
Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 113
05/05/2019 10:48 am  

Hello everyone,

Gavin, sadly on the "MUST BE NICE SONG", no, it has not "decent" recording. The band I wrote it with, two brothers, moved out of Nashville not long after we did it. They were one of hundreds of thousands that move to Nashville, last a couple of years, and then move home. It is very hard to keep going here and since it is at least a "TEN YEAR TOWN" not many last more than a couple of years altogether. They still perform the song down in Alabama/Florida, where they live, but to my knowledge never did an actual recording on the song, and I don't record or do things that others don't take the extra mile. (Pay for.) But I will post the lyrics in a separate post after this one. 

I wanted to finish the "MEGAN KANE STORY" on the song "FINAL ADDRESS." It really underlines the reason I do what I do, write songs, work with other people, and help to improve the human condition through music. 

A few weeks after, we wrote and recorded that song (and you have to remember this was done on multiple trips to Nashville so it takes a while to get all this done), Megan, and her Mother, Karen, actually met the gentleman who owned the white truck. They had thought he was the caretaker of the cemetery, since it looked like a work truck. When they actually met him, they found out the song was EXACTLY his life. Except we missed the amount of years the character was married. I pulled the figure "FORTY FIVE YEARS" out of my Aunt and Uncle being married for 45 year before she passed away.
The man with the truck, "Mr. Swann, and his wife were married FORTY-SIX YEARS!" So I missed by a year. 

They became EXTENDED FAMILY, and Mr Swann attended Megan's graduation, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. I believe they are still close friends.

A couple weeks after we wrote and recorded the song, someone told one of the local television stations about the experience, and they came out and filmed a three minute segment for their newscast that told the story. This is the new story. In true songwriters fashion, they don't mention that I Was a writer on the song, but that is fine, We are behind the scenes and it is about the connection that was made through music.

But all in all a pretty cool story and is what I am about. TOUCHING PEOPLES' LIVES. I don't care about cuts, winning awards, or even really making a ton of money. I do quite well and am very comfortable. But being able to help other people through something I've learned how to do well is the real deal for me. It's the reason I am here and in any endeavors I do. So if it helps you or anyone see some OTHER REASONS for writing outside the fame and fortune deal, that's the point. You have to take your victories how they come. This is one of mine.

MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


ReplyQuote
Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 113
05/05/2019 11:10 am  

The song "Must Be Nice" where I tie all the characters in a story is here in the lyrics. I don't have a decent recording on the song so I can't post that. Maybe I'll do one myself sometimes. The song is about 20 plus years old, and it's over a couple thousand songs since I wrote that one. But just think of it as an up beat, somewhat cajun, New Orleans, feel. 

MUST BE NICE
MAB/Charles and Evans Davis
1998

Otis, whose homeless,
Is sitting on a bench beside the Waffle House all day
Sunshine or rain
He see's Brandy, the Waitress
Coming to her job 6 AM right on time
Where she works till five

Otis thinks Brandy has got it good, Living in a middle class neighborhood
Working every day from 6 to five

MUST BE NICE

Brandy, the waitress
Greeting all her customers with a big ol' smile
They like to stay awhile.
She see's Robert, the banker
Pull up in his Mercedes and comes on in
In the same booth again

Brandy thinks Robert has got it good, living in an upper class neighborhood
Picture perfect house, kids and a wife,

MUST BE NICE

(Bridge)
MUST... BE.... NICE, 

TO GET EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR DREAMS
BUT... SOME...TIMES, YOU FIND OUT IT'S NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS

Robert, the Banker,
Leaves a tip for Brandy and heads on in
Running late again
He see's Otis, whose Homeless,
Sitting on the bench, laying in the morning sun
Has no where to run

Robert thinks Otis has got it good, don't have to live in a neighborhood
No bills to pay, no stress, no bills, no strife

IT MUST BE NICE

Otis thinks Brandy has got it good, 
Brandy thinks Robert has got it good
Otis thinks Brandy has got it good
IT MUST BE NICE

Marc-Alan Barnette


ReplyQuote
Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 228
05/05/2019 3:06 pm  

Awe, that news report is so sweet. Thanks for sharing that MAB. Perfect way to start my day (it's 7am) with a smile.

http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


ReplyQuote
Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 113
06/05/2019 8:49 am  

Thanks Jenny,

Glad I was able to get all this together. I am not the most organized at times. Her Mother sent me all the footage, and I was able to post the full story, song and video on that. Today, I'm off to shoot two music videos of my own. So maybe I'll have something to post before too long. Thanks and have a great day.

M

Marc-Alan Barnette


ReplyQuote
Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 228
06/05/2019 4:06 pm  

Good luck on "the set" Marc.  🤗 

http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


ReplyQuote
Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 113
06/05/2019 5:34 pm  

Was a good day. Hope to have the video up before long.

Marc-Alan Barnette


ReplyQuote
Gavin
(@gavin)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 161
06/05/2019 7:29 pm  

Looking forward to it🤓

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


ReplyQuote
Share:
  
Working

Please Login or Register