Sunday, September 30, 2012


(MQ Murphy image)

So - I guess I was wondering whether performing songs would help me with songwriting. I think it has. There is a component to the good song - singability. I was just listening to a few songs on the International Songwriting Competition website. There was at least one that I started humming along with about halfway through. The songs were on a page of past winners in the various categories - I was listening to the 'folk' and 'singer-songwriter' categories, of course, though I also listened to a jazz vocal composition from a woman in Ireland.

I've been 'playing out' a lot this year - usually two to three nights a week at the Pilot House and I've also been hosting an Open Mic at The Mad Batter on Sunday nights. Playing more often has improved my guitar playing and given me opportunities to try different approaches to phrasing with my songs.

One thing that I'm not sure I know how to do yet is 'work' on songs. I keep my notebooks with me almost all the time and write things down in them just about every day. It seems that I'm usually waiting for some idea to reach a critical mass where it sort of finishes itself - the results are . . . mixed.

I've got a few tunes that I guess I consider finished, but they feel to me as though I was forcing them to conclusions just to have something finished. That's accurate, because I pushed some of them along in the time between being accepted to perform at Singer-Songwriter Cape May and the date of the actual performances. Just a side note here - I'm remembering that my friend George Mesterhazy was there at the real 'first' performance at the Pilot House - it put me much more at ease to have him sitting at a front table. His comments afterward were so encouraging.

I should also say that I've got a few that I consider finished and pretty good. I get good reactions to 'Driver Has No Money' and 'Country Song'. I've been asked who did the 'original version' of Driver and several people have asked me if it was available on CD. A guy who was an editor at Time Magazine and currently writes a blog for Huffington Post complimented a performance of 'Country Song' and offered to forward it to a producer friend in Nashville. At this point I want just one quiet morning or evening to record basic versions of the better songs for official copyright submission.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes ,hope you allowed him to forward both those songs. They are hits