Sunday, October 30, 2005

Nashville In The Meantime

Nashville songwriters continue to face many difficult realities in the modern day music publishing business. Forced to contend with consolidated radio homogenization, corporate mergers and music piracy, songwriters are now finding it tougher than ever before to earn a living in their professional field. Hard times may indeed inspire some country songs, but getting record "cuts" in these times is becoming increasingly remote as a realistic hope for most writers other than the top established hitmakers.

According to the Nashville Songwriters Association International, more than half of America's professional songwriters have been lost through attrition over the past decade as transitional forces impact even more heavily now on those trying to stay alive. Most songwriters are adapting to making their livings now through writing musical scores, producing and turning to television work. They can no longer depend merely on pitching songs, having two or three hits every few years and making a living that way.

Unlike pop and R&B, which often rely on the genius of a brilliant producer, the soul of country music has traditionally been the lyrics and melodies of its songwriters. Country artists also rely more heavily than others on "outside" professional songwriters.

Even for well known, but increasingly frustrated songwriters, things are harder now than they were even a few years ago, when the recession and file-sharing knocked the bottom out of the music industry. Many veteran writers on Music Row, now believe there are fewer than ever opportunities in an ever shrinking business.

Writers now compose songs for movies and TV & perform at clubs.

That's their bread and butter now.

Much of the blame for what is occurring in the songwriting/publishing business is attributed to corporate "radio consolidation", the term for stations playing a narrow variety of artists, fewer songs and relying on cookie-cutter programming. These factors among other things, have made it much tougher to get airplay and the lucrative publishing royalties that airplay generates.

Songwriter royalties from CD sales are about 8.5 cents per song; that's usually split between the writer and the publisher. Often, the songwriters' cut is even less because he has to share it with a co-writer. The big money for successful songwriters is from airplay performance royalties, which are paid when a song is played on radio.

A No.1 single can generate $600,000 to $700,000 in royalties over the first two years of release. That money typically is split between the songwriter and the publisher. A song that becomes a classic will continue to generate revenue for years to come, though much less than when it was new. Still, it's not a bad payday if you're lucky enough to secure that placement at radio.

Songwriters also have had to contend with the consolidation of major record labels. A series of corporate mergers has left only these major music companies: Universal, Warner Bros., EMI and Sony/BMG. Indeed, Universal [UMG] has recently announced it's plans to diversify by broadening away from being soley a record company into becoming a "music entertainment company".

UMG still likes hit records, but a one-format wonder is becoming a thing of the past. Major label emphasis will now focus on several new revenue areas, including ringtones, paid downloads, subscriptions, advertising, and even fashion branding. Pointing specifically to digital downloads, mobile-based formats, and subscriptions, companies will now trace a steep adoption increase as revenues from these new businesses grew from essentially nothing in the first half of 2003 to over $121.6 million for the first half of 2005 with UMG dominating market share amongst the current Big Four.

The pie itself is continuing to shrink however. Major companies are making some very interesting deals now, including new partnerships and investment stakes in mobile entertainment upstarts like amp'd Mobile. Strategies are being outlined to take advantage of new formats like podcasting, ad-supported audio and video sites, and peer-to-peer technologies. But, despite the growth of a myriad of new formats, digital sales still only represent a small fraction of overall earnings, and the Big Four are not about to abandon their bread-and-butter physical business. Still, a CD-based success story is less likely to happen in isolation going forward. Diversifying revenue sources across several new technologies is key to survival.

It now appears likely as well that EMI and Warner Bros. will merge soon too which will concentrate issues across a tighter band of priority interests. Many professionals in the industry, including songwriters, producers, musicians, publicists — have all lost their jobs in the dramatic earthquake and shuffle of these past few years. The picture is not about to get better any time soon.

Established songwriters are able to work as independents, but many professional songwriters are employed by publishing companies. I started that way too. The publishing company I once worked for had about 100 staff writers in 1993, a little more than 50 in 1997 and fewer than 30 today. As a former staff writer working for a major music publisher on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, I can attest to the harsh reality this deep attrition has created amongst songwriters. I was lucky. I opted out of my Combine/SBK contract before the deluge & the tidal wave of cuts in the late 90's early 2000's.

The problem is that sales are off the pace set during country's commercial peak in the early and mid '90s. Revenue from the sale of country music albums quadrupled between 1989 and 1995 to about $2 billion. But in recent years sales have stalled.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, country music sales fell nearly 10 percent in 2003, outpacing a decline of less than 1 percent by the industry overall that year. Country album sales fell from 76.9 million in 2002 to 69.3 million units.

As for music piracy, or downloading music for free from the Internet, everyone believes it's a problem, but not the worst one. Ultimately, many predict, the technology will help songwriters and performers more than hurt them. The challenge now, they say, is for the record companies to catch up to changing technology and consumer demand. The same business models have been employed for 50 years. It's time to embrace different business models now that are more consumer friendly so that in the long run, songwriters and publishers will see more likely return on their professional investments.

Frank Trainor

[This FRANKtalk feature commentary includes information which was previously published and does not infringe on source copyrights]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Muse In My Embrace

As any pro songwriter would know only too well, it's not always easy embracing the Muse. Not only does it require patience and astute discernment in discovering the true spirit of a song, but, over years of diligent craft exercise, it can also feel at times to be distant and non-responsive energy, especially with many "catches" of great songs already captured over time in the pursuit.

It would be familiar to most of you who have been writing songs for several years to have experienced on many occasions, that "lost" sense or feeling that perhaps you might not write another truly inspired song ever again, especially if it's been awhile since the last great effort emerged from the misty ether to embrace your very soul. I know that feeling all too well myself and have experienced it many times over the years as long difficult periods of "drought" and later on in time as "exile in the desert far from the oasis of song".

Not a good feeling.

You'd think I'd be happy to have written several hundred songs already in my life and to have actually had radio hits and be genuinely praised at the very highest levels of the music business for my unique talents and well honed professional skills.

But, like all songwriters, I'm always anticipating that next eventual spiritual visitation and waiting for the miracle.

Obviously, all songwriters "woodshed" and write around situation based, observational ideas as a matter of course, and some of those efforts indeed produce good work. However, the truest inspirational servings of The Muse itself are most often very elusive.

That being the case, it's gratifying and exciting when the Muse appears and is once again captured in its full dimensions to be brought forth in substantive lyrical and musical form. The essence of the REAL SONG. For my own part, I have experienced this particular joy on many occasions and on many levels of appreciation over the years as a songwriter and I believe the most accurate description of the process would be simply to say that it is always fresh and revelatory. It always amazes and surprises and it always leaves even the most experienced of songwriters spiritually spent, grateful and humbled in the service of that elusive Muse to the point where you clearly realize just what your true purpose and calling is in life.

Such an experience has touched my life these past few days as I have just written what might very well be one of the most powerful and haunting songs of my life. It's called Fly While There's Light To Go and it's an absolute slam dunk smash hit beauty folks. Brother Aaron loves it so much he's already worked up tracks and adapted it to his own vision as an Aaron Trainor song because of what the tune holds in relevance for his own life. He believes that this song will resonate strongly across a universal spectrum of appreciation and I agree. It's got that true magic that can't be manufactured but which can only be received from the deeper spirit realms. Such reactions are quite understandable when that world reaches in and moves your very soul.

Brother Aaron has indeed expressed to me the greatest compliment a songwriter can ever receive from another songwriter.

He says he wishes he had written this one himself.

It doesn't get any better than that.

I will record this new song eventually and produce an audio file here at FRANKtalk so you can enjoy Fly While There's Light To Go as a preview of my CD Maverick Solo Tunesmith which is slated for spring. You'll want to stay tuned for that when it appears here on my blog.

In the meantime, I'm practicing and fine tuning the diamond.

Early hint: If you like bluesy, acoustic based, darker tinged songs in the vein of groundbreaking pioneer songwriter/artists such as legendary David Wiffin, you'll love this new one of mine.

It's a keeper.

But, as the vintner once said, "we shall sell no wine before its time".

All in due course.

Talking Points: FRANKtalk Goes Wild...!!

Well, not quite wild exactly, but we have added a few new elements here at FRANKtalk which I'm pleased to offer.

I'm referring of course to our many new InDepth Links to a number of great blogs and various websites that I personally enjoy and derive much substance from in the course of my weekly grazing. I could spend hours recommending reasons to acquaint yourself with each one and I have a few favoured stops every day, but suffice it to say for the moment that even a cursory click at as many of these great links as you can accord timewise as your life goes along, would be of benefit to your interests in some regard.

Many commentators linked here at FRANKtalk are in fact, absolutely essential to any insightful understanding of our times and I would highly recommend discovering several of these writers such as David Warren, Victor Davis Hanson, Michael Coren et any opportunity and on a return basis because, quite frankly, they're brilliant and should be regarded as quality daily food for the mind, heart and soul. You will be more informed and entertained.

A Muse equally worthy of respect in all dimensions of insight and wisdom as GREAT SONGS and obviously just as essential.

Hope you enjoy.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Piece Of The Prize

A warm welcome to everyone who may be new to FRANKtalk.

I am pleased and grateful to have you aboard. Hope you enjoy my site and that you will feel free to participate in expressing your thoughts and opinions regarding any issue or topic of interest you may wish to convey. My email address is posted clearly at this page.

Your thoughts and opinions are welcomed and appreciated.

Your confidence and privacy will always be respected and honored.

Now I realize that I am unknown to most of you, but even to those few who may have heard my name in professional songwriting circles, the identifying details may be a bit fuzzy and remote. So, with all apologies and due respect towards the memory of the late, great, Vice-Admiral James B. Stockdale, who, when beginning his TV debate speech in 1992 as the vice-presidential running mate of third party independent presidential candidate, Ross Perot, spoke the immortal words... "who am I...why am I here...?" ...I offer this introduction.

I am a professional songwriter and music artist with a family background in journalism who enjoys pro songwriting, music, intellectual conservative philosophy, politics, Bob Dylan and relating my stories and reminiscences.

This creative medium is as exciting for me as songwriting. I love it.

I hope you will too.

To learn more details, hear samples of my music and to get the full InDepth story of my life and career, I would suggest that you start at my music website and discover the later Gallery sections especially, as the full value of my music is best appreciated when one understands the true nature of the journey that has been my path in life and music business.

While in the Nashville Gallery, you will find within that section a passage entitled "A Piece Of The Prize". This chapter, more so than any other of my life and pursuits, most aptly captures the essence of my underlying philosophy towards life, honor, integrity, sacrifice, dignity, principles and the pursuit of all objectives, which is based on foundations of true spiritual priorities.

Some might look at my career profile today and say...hey, wait a minute. You didn't make it big. You seemed to have had many opportunities to succeed far beyond your story of obscurity. Your talent and music bespeaks the highest levels of opportunity and potential. What happened?

Well, there are several reasons why I am not an American Idol, artistic and otherwise, but to understand the crux of why my path has wound this way and not that way over the years, one has firstly to get this impression of mind. Major level music business decision makers, attorneys, agents, managers, and the like, do not necessarily value the same things in life as I do.

My choices in life and in the music business have always revolved around a relative few important issues. In no particular order, those things would be artistic and spiritual integrity, sound business judgment, long term focus and respect for my song copyrights.

The long and short of it is simply that I made choices which didn't always comport with demands to offer my blood & soul to a voracious industry willing to use my creative talents and intellectual property rights towards their various multi-faceted promotional purposes.

There were important considerations beyond short-term gain.

I took the road less traveled.

Lessons on this road have been rich and varied. Road Skolar Music.

However, in terms of success in life...well, success in life is exactly what my choices have led to even if I've not had many big hit records to speak of over the years. But there's reasons why that was the case too. I've been happily married to my wife Linda for 27 years. We've raised two fine, smart sons who are well on their way in their own lives. I am a sober survivor of 21 years from a ship that was sinking before it left port. We own a new home. I write songs and make music. I love to cook and spend quality time with my wife. We have fun. I read and participate fully in the realm of intellectual pursuits that I enjoy and yes, I love Bob Dylan songs.

You tell me, does that sound like a failed life to you...? I know major people in the business of music who cannot count even one of riches I enjoy in my life as their accomplishment. So who succeeded...and who really didn't..? Any music business "success" that I enjoyed personally didn't destroy me in the end, but it has destroyed and killed many, many famous people whose lives became empty and intolerable at the top of the charts because, for one reason or another, fame, money and false values consumed them.

On the other hand, I was rooted in love, family, true confidence in my abilities and sense of belonging. The rat race was great while I was in it on my own terms and of course, my talent is appreciated and highly acclaimed, as were my achievements. My personal aspirations were nothing short of top of the heap and everybody knew I had the goods and the increasing opportunity to make it.

But, I wanted other things. My choices dictated my trajectory in the music business. No one else's star determined my path.

My goals were very personal.

The mere disposition towards this blog and my persona as FRANKtalk, itself a real manifestation of what I've always sought to accomplish in my creative life in terms of my ability and skill to reach out to other people from my true heart. This is the voice of Frank Trainor. Husband, father, artist, songwriter, thinker, appreciator of others light...and now the blogger.


My wish for all the big time lawyers, managers, publishers, record labels and agents, many of whom I have great respect for even today, is for them all to know's been worth it all to me to have lived my vision in this way. I'm sorry we didn't all make out like champs and pocket millions, but there were always other principles and priorities involved.

Just listen to my latest CD "Grace & Gravity". It's all there.

Grace & Gravity reflects my own vision for this current album as a songwriter/artist as well as my goals for it's production.

The opening track The Taste Of Your Own Poison says it all.

As Bob Dylan put it in Most Likely You Go Your Way [and I'll Go Mine]

I'm gonna let you pass
And I'll go last
Then time will tell just who fell
And who's been left behind.
When you go your way and I go mine.

A piece of the prize in the major realms of the music business was always sufficient unto my purposes at the best of times. It's fun competing! At the worst of it, it could have killed me.

But, I've got it all in my personal and professional life.

My cup runneth over.

And you, dear reader [and hopefully Frank Trainor Music listener], add immeasurably to my spiritual wealth. It is my sincere hope that I may add to yours as well.

Thanks for making FRANKtalk a part of your own journey.

Who knows what treasures will reveal themselves to us.

It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry

Speaking of Bob Dylan, which I do nearly every chance I highest personal recommendation once again to check out my favorite Bob Dylan site of solid wisdom and intellectual eloquence at RWB has been posting some really great stuff lately [as usual] and is more than worth the visit for his insights and persuasive conservative arguments across the widest spectrum. FRANKtalk is linked at RWB as well which I am deeply grateful for as a Bob Dylan admirer firstly, but also as a conservative blogger.

Now the wintertime is coming and the windows are filled with frost...I want to tell everybody that my little memory episode of personal Road Skolar reminiscences this day is of a long ago journey by slow moving train through the tracked wilds of Eastern Upper Canada in the very early 1970's. I was all of 18 and traveling alone with my wonder filled thoughts and expectations of Glory while toting my brand new 1971 Martin D28 when, across the aisle in her own moving window world, a very refined and elderly lady spoke to me and asked me how long I'd been playing guitar. We struck up a very friendly conversation and she eventually told me that indeed, her son too was a musician. That made me like her even more, so I asked her to tell me about him. She obviously was thrilled to relate to me that her son was in a very well known group at the time that I may have even heard of....I wasn't really sure, so she told me that his name was Richard and he played the piano and sang.

Her name was Mrs. Manuel.

Her son, as it turned out, was in a little group called The Band.

For the next hours Mrs. Manuel regaled me with her stories of the boys getting started and their Bob Dylan adventures, life on the road, working with Ronnie Hawkins and of course their eventual success as The Band. Mrs. Manuel was a very fine lady. I was just a kid on my way to Toronto. The towns flew eyelids eventually closed...and my dream began in earnest.

That dream lives on today...right now....right here at FRANKtalk.

Goodnight Mrs. Manuel...

I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in your dream.

I said that...

Frank Trainor

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

What did you see, my blue eyed-son?
What did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wolves all around it,
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Bob Dylan
copyright 1963 Warner Brothers Inc.

Time for a couple of important Canadian blog recommendations.

Canada is experiencing massive cultural and social convulsions which are becoming more boldly exploited now by former main stream media elites and governmental interests who no longer have ability, or the need quite frankly, to shroud or control their socialistic constraints upon free people in an increasingly less free society.

The revolution is truly on and I don't say words like that lightly. I happen to be much more prudent and constrained in my observances of these matters, but people need to become more aware of what is really going on in this country if they have any desire to preserve the true values of Canada which this country was founded upon.

Maybe it's too late. I hope not.

One way or the other, there are alternative voices who ought to be heard and are being heard now despite indifference by some to the important issues being presented on a daily basis.

Two Canadian bloggers who have greatly impressed me with their passion, intelligence and scope of understanding of the variety of concerns they bring to the table are, Nicol DuMoulin at The War Room and Kate McMillan at Small Dead Animals. These are great blogs published by exceedingly bright, intelligent commentators, both of whom offer a plethora of blogroll links at their respective sites. Check out "Taxing the Church..." and "Salvation or a Bowl of Soup..." at small dead animals for example. You simply won't hear or read important, cogent arguments like these presented anywhere else in our lame stream media in Canada.

We're just barely allowed to view the Fox network.

I recommend these two great sites. They are indispensable to our country's social and political culture in my opinion.

Especially in these perilous times.

These are brave and courageous people whom I will fight in the trenches with, would defend to the death and give unreserved honor to for their talent and their spiritual strength in times of darkening shadows. FRANKtalk will stand with all those who stand up to be counted and to fight when necessary for what we believe in and for what we hold to be just as precious...the freedom to express that which we believe, undeterred by state sanctions of those values which determine our spiritual destiny as human beings.

No leftist-Liberal government, no elite media community, will erode the convictions and determination of millions of conservative people in this land who will, once fully awakened to threat, push back on bolder and more definitive encroachments on our liberty.

The War Room and Small Dead Animals are in the fight.

They are confidently leading.

As a Catholic and as a Conservative, I join with both of these very impressive people in their strong defense of our tenuous freedoms of religion and our threatened freedom of expression.

And I won't back down!

Both sites are linked right here at FRANKtalk.

Do yourself a favor and check them both out.

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Couldn't help but go for yet another Bob Dylan song title in bringing forward this piece of news in reference to the evolution occurring here in Canada with respect to the radio industry and the implications for our antiquated and outdated system of elite control called CanCon or Canadian Content. Or, as I once described it, Canadian Contentment. Contempt is more like it.

Anyway, the sands of time and technology have finally caught up to the elite and comfortable establishment interests which must now deal with what to do about all their buggy whips and anvils. I have an idea or two, but we'll deal with that issue another time.

For now, my thanks go out to my brother-in-arms associate and good friend, Lloyd Doyle at for forwarding this great article link on to me in recent days. It's a must read if you want to learn about what is happening in the radio realm in this country. I have a ton of stuff to address on a broader range of radio issues eventually, but it isn't timely for inclusion at this blog site. Yet. It will be soon though and I'll have both barrels loaded and cocked.

Radio and collective rights licensers just heard the other shoe drop.

It's not going to get any mellower for them from now on either.

So don't depend on any socialist organization of corrupt accountants network or friends of the CBC to give you the truth. They're buried in the truth and their air has just run out.

Oh, Happy Day...

RIP Peter Orasuk

An old friend died this past Sunday.

There is much I could relate about Peter Orasuk from my own personal knowledge of long ago past associations in our younger and wilder days, but that's all just so much ancient history now.

Instead, let me tell you that Peter Orasuk was a natural born leader and a very smart man.

At a particular point in his earlier life, he surrendered to the Will of God to quit his evil ways and start preaching the Gospel. His conversion completely altered the course of his life, and the lives of multiple thousands of people from around the world. Total darkness became total light. Not a minute too soon either as I recall. The profound impact of Peter Orasuk's dramatic turnaround in his life affected many dimensions of many lives. In the end, and for nearly 3 decades, he lived for God and his mission to spread the Good News of Christ. And now he has died to Christ.

Peter Orasuk is at long last embracing his eternal peace with his Lord and Saviour in Heaven.

Prayers and condolences to Peter's wife and family.

Monday, October 10, 2005

When The Tide Comes Rushin' In

Columbus said to Cartier...
You go that way I suppose...
Up north with all the Eskimos...
The beaver dams and snow...
I'm shippin' south from where we've been...
But soon enough we'll meet again...
And you'll know me when we do my friend...
When the tide comes rushin' in...

I made that little verse up just now...for US Columbus Day & Canadian Thanksgiving.

But back when I wrote When The Tide Comes Rushin' In , I actually wrote other words for my songs bridge which are as follows...

When the tide comes rushin' in
Floodin' over everything
Who can say what the sea's sweepin' in
Or what it's washin' away
When the tide comes rushin' in

Leonard Cohen once expressed that things are gonna slide in all directions. That there won't be nothin' you can measure anymore. The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it's overturned the order of the soul. As you very well know, Leonard Cohen has seen the future baby...and it's murder.

When he said repent, I wonder what he meant?

Dead man, dead man,
When will you arise?
Cobwebs in your mind,
Dust upon your eyes.

The glamour and the bright lights and the politics of sin,
The ghetto that you build for me is the one you end up in,
The race of the engine that overrules your heart,
Ooh, I can't stand it, I can't stand it,
Pretending that you're so smart.

Bob Dylan said that...

Damned straight Bob...But let's give Leonard Cohen voice again with some final words of wisdom...

Your servant here, he has been told
To say it clear, to say it cold
It's over, it ain't going any further
And now the wheels of Heaven stop
You feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future
It is murder....

Things are gonna slide in all directions...

Still no direction home however.

Too much gravity.

How does it feel?


Thank God for Grace.

Thank God for Grace & Gravity.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Craft Of Songwriting

In my experience as a professional songwriter I have found that the art of writing songs is most often realized in the strangely elusive, yet profoundly exhilarating throes of involuntary inspiration. Those ethereal moments when natural talent and capability fused with illuminative spiritual clarity passionately embrace the creative muse in the process of giving birth to a mystical vision.

It's really quite easy. Patience is definitely required though as it happens so rarely that you'd be lucky to claim a handful of such experiences throughout a professional career. It does happen, but not often and when it does you better know what it is that's really happening and how to deal with it because it will not strike in quite the same way ever again when it does happen.

When it does, it's a gift and the chances of capturing that elusive muse without having first mastered the craft of songwriting are infinitesimally small. So it pays to consider the true essence of songwriting through a professional songwriters craft perspective.

Songwriting looks deceptively easy from a distance. As if anyone could do it and believe me, I've never met anyone in my life that didn't think they could. Everybody thinks they could be a songwriter. How hard could it really be to come up with a poem and a simple tune anyway..? However, as my song "Down On Highland Street" says "everybody's a dreamer, believers are few". Songwriting is a serious craft and that serious craft can best be summed up in one simple word. Rewriting. That's the "not so easy" job of real songwriting. In fact, rewriting is highly challenging and extremely demanding of a songwriter’s time, energy, focus and mechanical skills. It's a professional task. The rare gift of true inspiration is wonderful and a real joy to experience for even the most successful writers, but a career cannot be based on mere chance.

Songwriting is in fact, the least "easy" craft to master because it is widely perceived as being a simple exercise of putting words, chords and melody together and creating a song. Anyone can do that right? Many musicians especially think they can write songs because they know something about music. In fact, some of the best musicians I've ever met are the worst songwriters in the world mainly because, to their way of thinking, the music is everything. So the music is what they tend to focus on primarily.

That's not songwriting. That's musical composition at best.

Songs are not just "music with words" anymore than they are just "words with music". Songs are their own unique issue. Of course words and music together constitute the realized song, but songs are discovered as those intangible yet completely recognizable images of the heart, mind and soul as expressed and perfectly conveyed by forging of melody, lyric, rhythm and tempo.

It also doesn't hurt to learn how to incorporate "hooks" in your songs. I'll relate more on that study in a future post but for the moment let me just say that a great passion of mine is the artful usage of hooks in my work...musical and lyrical. Indeed, the greatest professional compliment I think I ever received in Nashville was when a publisher described one of my songs as having "more hooks than a Mississippi trout line". That line itself is a lyrical hook.

He must have been a songwriter.

The "craft" of art cuts across all fields of creative expression. Indeed, Picasso was reputed to have painted up to a dozen versions of each of his most famous works, destroying each one until he felt it was the best it could be. Having to struggle and rewrite [and rewrite and rewrite] doesn't make you a bad songwriter but failure to do so might. Honing your craft by writing and rewriting is the key. A great song is not written quickly and it is important to learn how to go back and re-work, re-work, re-work and re-work until a good song becomes a great song. It is imperative to the process that you open and extend the writing process itself. So keep writing!

As the late Maggie Cavendar so eloquently enshrined it at NSAI many years ago "it all begins with a song"!

More pro songwriting focus in the weeks ahead, but for now it's back to the music room and practice time for me. Who knows, I just might write a new song today. If so, you'll be the first to hear about it. Thanks for listening to my songs. Glad you like them.

P.S. Good Luck to Troy and Joni in Nashville. Two new writers on their way to Music Row.


RightWingBob has a great Sept. 26 post on No Direction Home, the new Martin Scorsese/Bob Dylan bio/documentary, as well as his usual brilliant insights following all things relating to the genius and masterworks of Bob Dylan including a brief revisitation of RWB's mission statement as to the true nature and intellectual purposes of RWB. Always very worthwhile reading for anyone who appreciates the songs and intelligence of Bob Dylan. I'm a big fan of RWB.

Check him out.


A plug today for a great and favorite conservative magazine which now has a brand new website at

Western Standard is the brainchild of Ezra Levant and company and offers some of the very best writers in the world today such as the inestimable Mark Steyn and the brilliant David Warren whose work I respect so much I have him linked here at FRANKtalk.

I highly recommend Western Standard to my fellow Canadians especially. It's time to stand in full support of a true conservative vision in this country before it's too late for argument or debate. Congrats to Ezra & Company. FRANKtalk is in your corner.
. .