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Mabbo
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18/04/2019 3:19 pm  

Phil,

I've been around Jason quite a bit, but never realized I had. Back in 2000, when I started doing workshops, I kept hearing his name. I really didn't know who he was. I was one of the first writers that started doing workshops, and before long was joined  by Jason, Barbara Cloyd, and others. To this day, most everybody does some form of workshop. 
One time, at an NSAI spring training event, He came over to me and said "Do you remember me?" I must admit, I really didn't. He said "I used to Gherm you at the Bluebird." He told me about trying to get to know me and possibly write something, but never did. But we had some things in common, like both having cuts on John Berry, although his was MUCH more successful than mine. Mine, "RESCUED ME" was on John's Wildest Dreams CD, but the first two singles didn't do well and he left his Lyric Street record deal. John's "CHANGE MY MIND" had been a single and his went to top ten. 

So that is where I first got to know him. Over time, we have gotten to know each other a bit and he actually recommended me to be a contributor for the BMI newsletter, if I switched from ASCAP to BMI. I missed my last window but may do it next time it rolls around. Doesn't really matter to me. But Jason is a very good writer and very good teacher. And, as it turned out, not a bad singer and guitar player as well.

A lot of people focus on certain things. Jason was very attuned to lyrics and so he generally worked with people who were more melodically inclined. Although, he does some pretty good melodies, it's just not his favorite. 

On a side note, for the past few years, John has made quite a bit of money writing greeting cards. He has a company and has done hundreds, if not thousands, of greeting cards, so his lyric style has done well for him. He actually lives in Hawaii, and makes trips back and forth to Nashville. I can never say we are "good friends," but I would say we know of each other a good bit. Nice fellow.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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19/04/2019 3:42 am  

Well there you are ??  I was not disputing him being a Nice Guy  according to his book he hired in a guitarist

for many of his lyrics   He certainly is a Very Good Singer .    I was not aware he could now play guitar , that

was not evident in his Book  , and  I accept that a beginner could benefit from his book ,  sadly its not the

same world now ,  It's  Twenty  Years since Jason's  first book came out ,  and  Streaming  has ruined the  whole Popular

music scene ,  And the non performing songwriter is virtually non existent,   But your response Marc  , tells 

me  Jason is doing a great job ,  However for serious  wannabe writers I would recommend  Tunesmith by

Jimmy Web   especially if they Write both the music  and the lyrics,   At the end of the day most books  out

there make  essential  reading , because too many rush into spending Ridiculous Money on unfinished songs  

when they should be re writing  to a simple work demo   

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Mabbo
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19/04/2019 8:14 am  

Peter,

Like all music, it's a very subjective thing. And it has a lot to do with how you are raised as a musician/writer that affects how you view books. Personally I could never get through Jimmy's book, Tunesmith, because it just got logged down with technical details that I didn't understand, and got stopped about page 8 each time I tried to read it. Jason's book was just easier for me. Don't really know why. I probably should try to go back and read both of them. When I wrote my own book, "FRESHMAN YEAR IN NASHVILLE", I tried NOT to get into the technical aspect and talked more from a layman's point of view, which is like me. I play by ear and feel, and never got a "formal music education." Taught myself from a book of Beatles songs, and from playing in bands and watching the guitar players. 

I think Jason did hire a guitar player at first as he was not comfortable playing himself. But he has learned over the years as we all do. Most likely it was the necessity of living in a town like Nashville where so much revolves around song writer's nights and open mics. If you want to get known, you have to perform a little bit. Some will hire guitar players to play with them live, but I don't know how Jason did it. He does fine now.

But oddly I have a Jimmy Webb story too. My neighbor across the street is named FRED MOLLIN. Fred is a well known music industry person, having been a producer, writer, publisher, in town. He often has these Sunday night "jam parties" that fifty or sixty people show up, eat food, hang out, and then go to his living room, where he has dozens of amps, two sets of drums, a grand piano, other keyboards and his guitar collection, which looks like a music store. He has a full studio in his house where he does certain recordings. Very interesting place. Very interesting people. You also get some skinny and dirt on the industry from there, as every one loves to complain about the industry. There have been hit writers, very famous musicians. You're likely to find yourself singing songs with John Oates, from Hall and Oates, on guitar, the drummer for Cheap Trick, Bass player for John Mayer, Piano player for Phil Collins, and a half dozen hit writers singing, playing guitar, percussion, etc. Only rule is NO ORIGINAL SONGS. Just well known covers. It's like "ALL STAR KARAOKE."

During the dinner you also find yourself next to all these people, most who you don't know, and of course NO ONE WEARS NAME TAGS, so you find yourself in the middle of these odd conversations without realizing who you are sitting next to. The thing that is off putting to me, is they are all from the North, mostly Toronto, New York or LA. So they talk about things that if you are not from those areas, you have nothing to clue you in. If you are smart, you just keep your mouth shut. Which I do a lot. 

One night I was at Dinner, and sitting in between these two guys who kept talking back and forth in front and back of me. It was kind of weird, like I wasn't there, but the conversation just went on. They were talking about areas of New York City, food, etc. Every once in a while I would nod, grin, and say "That's cool..." about the most of my contribution to the conversation. I love New York and have  been there a few times, but these guys were emphatic about things they liked and disliked. 

After a while I got up to throw my plate away, and walked over to Fred, who was now cleaning up in the kitchen. "Who ARE those guys? " I asked him.

"Jimmy Webb and Dan Hill."

Oh cool. "Witchita Lineman, and "Sometimes when we Touch." Two of my favorite songs. And I didn't even know who they were. Proves that in Nashville you never know who you're sitting next to. But also probably the reason I didn't get as much out of Jimmy's book. I just don't speak his language. But a LOT of people have gotten a lot out of it, so that is the most important thing. I've seen them both again at different times, but never really find myself talking to them. Oh well.

At the same party a year or so later, I met this guy with bright purple hair, and all purple clothes. Had the look of a former Rock Star. And we hit it off well. Turned out he was Jim Peterek, who wrote HOLD ON LOOSELY, ROCKIN' INTO THE NIGHT, and EYE OF THE TIGER. Did end up getting to know him and have written three songs with him and our mutual friend hit writer, Joie Scott., one of which, "BLUE STORM RISING" Jim has recorded for his "FIFTY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM for his band, IDES OF MARCH. (Vehicle) 

Never know where you end up with this stuff.

MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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20/04/2019 7:48 am  

YES   you are talking about Jason Blume Today Mark,,  The one I was  talking about wrote that book about

Twenty plus years ago   I always knew he could sing , But his guitar playing  was then virtually non existent

back then ;  in fact he mentions  his father told him he would not write successful songs because he could not

play an instrument.     I am sure he has put together a Very Good Personal  Class Teaching lesson , but that

was not my point;  I rate Jim Web's book Tunesmith very highly he really goes into how to construct 

original melody    as well as refreshing lyrics     Back when Jason wrote that book like many others the

word PROSODY was never  on the lips of most Pro Writers ;   It was something referred to  by the likes  

of   ALFRED  HITCHCOCK  re the Film  sound track  to  Psycho  referring to the scene  of  Janet Leigh in

the shower  the words  songwriters used  was ('The  Marriage between the Music and Lyrics )    

I am positive   JASON is a decent guy,  but like you I have difficulty you remembering any of his Co Writes

including any  written  for  Britney Spears

All I was judging  was the quality of the book he wrote,  back then it covered too many subjects  and nothing to 

any real depth ,  where as   Jimmy Web  has the benefit  of memorable hits   that have stood the test

of time   well produced   and sung by the Late Glen Campbell         Like Yourself  I have worked with

 many household names   who have been  the most horrible persons you would wish to know

some  of whom  were vastly over rated ;

Jasons book would certainly help a beginner  ,   but it was written in a time  that  does not exist today

Poor quality streaming being preferred by many- on top of  poorly written rubbish that gets into the

country charts  writing  mainly about  BEER and TRACTORS   written in many cases by singers  who

would not have even been  considered for a major Deal  back in the days of quality Hit Songs    

re  Roger Miller, J Cash  Kristofferson  and   Kenny Rogers 

There  we are,   just my point of view  on things as they stand today --Yesterdays are Dead and Gone 

Back to  today ;  I am a fan of  Taylor Swift   and I understand today's market  there is always room for

 singers  who can be a little different than those of  the good old  days of  County Music, as well as every

other genre    

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Mabbo
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20/04/2019 8:45 am  

Peter,

I think we are talking about two different things. Your point is that you like Jimmy's book better than Jason's and that is fine. It is all about personal preference. I AM actually talking about Jason's book from 20 years ago, and getting to know him since. At that time I also tried to read Jimmy and Shelia Davis' books and found them totally worthless to me, having been written in that upper educated point of view remincent of the Berklee Conservatory of Music that I simply do not like. Some of that is personal, due to having to deal with a LOT of over-educated, undertalented people from music colleges, so I don't respond to much of that. And 20 years ago, I was hardly a beginner, I was actually writing my own book at that time. I'd been around.

Just differences of opinions. You have your preferences, I have mine. Actually neither make much difference. Writing actual songs are the real key. And regardless of abilities, quality of songs, etc. it is the PERSONALITIE'S and RELATIONSHIPS that allow people to exist in this business and always have been. And that is something you don't get out of a book. If I were to suggest books to new and upcoming writer and artist wanna be's, I would suggest more books on personal behavior, and courtesy, than any songwriting book. That is going to be more important than anything they ever write. If you don't have a good personality and are not easy to work with, it doesn't matter what you write. It will never get off your smart phone or computer.

 

MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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20/04/2019 11:34 am  

NO  I  read  JASONS  BOOK  years back and enjoyed it   ,    I read that book because  I 

look, from every perspective  ,  I don't prejudge any one because  of any titles, Brought up

U K  I was   giging  before  The Beatles took off   and they frequently came SOUTH of England

long before they Took Off   Paul and John had none of what you and others offer in learning  the Art  of Song

Writing   and John never realised money could be earned from Song Royalties    Every  song break from

verse or chorus they called a middle 8  despite it could be any odd number of bars,  you would possibly

know  that  from the books written about them  

Paul and John studied American songs that was their library    and besides singing them  they started

writing there own  I have known Paul  over the years  and from time to time we see each other

at his  Sussex home      Sheila Davis's books in my mind are a must  and she often quotes the genius 

of John and Paul  in ways I would never have known about, She is not over fond of Country Music

but speaks highly of The great American Song Book,   amazingly American Country Music   started

out  via  musicians  from  Scottish- English and -French Cajun Immigrants  Incidentally My Great Grandmother  

Florence   May  Carter  was  a cousin of  A  P  Carter   OF THE CARTER FAMILY  myself I write in many genres , and have 

performed and sung in many Sixties  Seventies and Eighties outfits mainly in the UK and Europe

as well as  a Stand Up Comedian.      I enjoy song writer biographies as well as  Music Hall Traditional

Music        

Still Giging and Writing along with occasional Jams with my two sons Kristian and Jason best wishes from

Peter Kristian

 

  

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Mabbo
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20/04/2019 1:23 pm  

People should get as many sources as they can when learning any of this. My Grandmother's second cousin was Jimmie Rodgers. He, and AP Carter, of the Carter family, are credited with being the founders of modern country music.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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20/04/2019 3:05 pm  

THERE WE ARE MARC    We have both got famous roots    ha ha lol

Have a good week of whatever you enjoy doing the best, I am lapping up the sunshine over here in NormandyFRANCE


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Mabbo
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20/04/2019 4:16 pm  

Would love to make that trip. My girlfriend and another couple are talking about taking a River Cruise next year that starts in Paris and goes to Normandy. I really want to make a trip to those beaches before I croak the big one.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gavin
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20/04/2019 5:45 pm  

My brother lives not too far away in Brittany. I actually learned a lot playing along to records of Breton folk music when I was a kid. Funny the different routes we take...

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


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JAPOV
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21/04/2019 1:10 am  

I once met the lead singer of Extreme at a theater in Boston. Funny thing, it was Halloween, I was wearing a wig, and he thought I was Howard Stern!!! 🙂 


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21/04/2019 4:04 am  

MARC  If we are here we can show you the sights of Normandy we are usually too busy in august with

family  visiting us   Stan Good was the last to stay with us  Stans Top Poster On  J P F despite being dead a few years

We are 25 K from the sea  Arromanches  -  Bayeux  - 16 k   Caen twinned with Nashville 23  k  Swiss  Normandie One hour away 


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Mabbo
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22/04/2019 1:41 pm  

I'll keep it in mind Peter. Thanks.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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