Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Gathering Of Songwriters

Having just returned from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, I think it's safe to say that it was not just seals and animal rights that attracted Paul McCartney to my hometown this past week for a visit. Since "Macca" is first and foremost a truly great songwriter, I believe that he simply experienced a soul connection to The Buzz we had created with our Songwriter Summit shows held in association with Close To The Coast and Sandbar Music throughout ECMA Week. Sir Paul probably flew in from Miami Beach BOAC but didn't get to sleep last night because he was unconsciously homing in on all the amazing songs, music, love and high flowing energy produced by our spirits.

All four nights of The Songwriter Summit were completely sold out and the event quickly established itself as the coolest buzz of the ECMA's attracting standing room only crowds, major name ECMA nominees, a few music stars and many international delegates.

I performed and hosted our premiere Songwriters Circle all 4 nights of The Songwriter Summit events and each night was a total blast.

The Songwriter Summit was an idea originally conceived and created with my music business associate Lloyd Doyle of Sandbar Music and is based upon our ongoing mutual desire to establish and promote a sustained professional focus and higher profile on songwriters by spotlighting the diverse music and influences of these wonderful performing songwriters and their culture in the Atlantic region.

Lloyd went to work constructing the architecture of our debut shows and designing the logistics of our events to coincide with the ECMA Showcases and trade show celebrations that were scheduled for Charlottetown this year. It certainly proved to be a major success.

All credit must go to Lloyd Doyle for his masterful implementation in securing the best venue and best talent for The Songwriter Summit drawing the very finest "cream of the crop" songwriters from around Eastern Canada to participate in our shows. Every one of them was amazing in their own energy and creative gifts as songwriters and musicians and a few of them just knocked me out with their talent.

I'll be profiling a number of these performing songwriters in the days and weeks ahead, but for the moment let me mention just a few of these artists who made the deepest impression on me personally.

Remember these names. You'll be hearing them in future.

Carmen Townsend, Rose Cousins, Catherine MacLellan, Jill Barber, Dave Carmichael and Mike Dixon [The Rattlesnakin' Daddies].

And look for rising new 17 year old singer/songwriting talent Meaghan Blanchard to solidly establish her own ground in future.

These talented young songwriter/artist/performers are simply stunning. Each one is also unique in their individual talents.

I was profoundly moved in my experience and appreciation of each one of them as were our appreciative audiences who gathered around us absolutely spellbound and amazed at the array of high quality music and great songs emanating from the Summit stage.

It was my honor and my absolute pleasure to be a part of our Songwriter Summit with such amazingly talented artists and I look forward beyond this fantastic debut event to creating magic on the road with these and other artists as we gather again at The Summit.

Talking Points: I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone who participated in our shows and to all who contributed to the success of our Songwriter Summit events as well as to all of those amazing individuals who made my journey back to my hometown a very special homecoming of love, support, respect and appreciation. Believe me, the feeing is mutual.

Lloyd and Debbie Doyle, Frank Harding, Pat Deighan, Liam Corcoran [Two Hours Traffic], Mitch Schurman, James Phillips, Alicia Penney, Steve MacDougall [Slowcoaster], Carmen Townsend, Kevin Ryan, Meaghan Blanchard, Nikkie, Mike Dixon, Rose Cousins, Dan Currie, Catherine MacLellan, Mark Bragg, Matt Putnam [Nudie & The Turks], Jill Barber, Sherry Ryan, Jenn Grant, John Mullane [In Flight Safety], Dave Charmichael, Kristine Malpica, Chas & Christina, Judy Cheverie, Lucian Parkin [aka Lucky LeRoux] , Rita Watts, Barbara Jabour, Debbie & Alan Buchanan, Deanna and Ken Savage, Bonnie LeClair, Scott Parsons, Mike Mooney, Ellen Driscoll, Maureen Morrison, Ken Zakem, Tabatha MacDonald [Angels Restaurant], Firouz & Aghdasi Mastoureh [Linda's Cafe], George & Ken [Razors Inn], David Currie, Denise LaForte, Kathy & Barry Harrison, Dave Skinner, Paul Milner, Duncan McIntosh, Catherine McKinnon, Roland Beaulieu [PEI Music Awards], Sobers Music, Marie Cameron & Family, George & Dalal Dow, Garry Doyle & Dianne Bradley, Wayne Dunsford, Kevin O'Brien, ECMA Radio, Tim Trainor [Thomas & Elizabeth], Don MacDonald, Roger Bevin and staff [Quality Inn On The Hill], Wes Gallant and the great staff at the Piece A Cake, Chris Roumbanis [our sound tech], Millie Trainor [my mom], Ana Zbona, Judy MacLellan, Sally Cole, The Buzz, The Journal Pioneer, The Guardian, Sandbar & PEI Dept. of Community and Cultural Affairs & The PEI Music Awards Association.

Spotlight: Special thanks to my fellow Islander & friend Linda Durant at The Great Pumpkin for linking FRANKtalk to her wonderful site. Discover The Great Pumpkin in my Scribes & Illuminators sidebar. Thanks as well to Bob at Either Orr for his kind comments regarding my current CD Grace & Gravity. Glad you like it Bob. And speaking of albums, my heartfelt appreciation to my good friend Brett Berns in New York for sending me his personal tribute CD package of his Dad's music called Sloopy II Music Presents The Songs of Bert Russell Berns. Brett's father, Bert Berns, wrote and produced some of the most timeless classic pop/soul songs and hit records in rock music history including Twist and Shout, Piece Of My Heart, Hang On Sloopy, Cry Baby, Under The Boardwalk, Cry To Me, Here Comes The Night, Brown Eyed Girl, Midnight Special and many more amazing big hits. Bert Berns belongs in The Songwriters Hall of Fame & in The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Check out the incredible treasure trove of hit songs and records that Bert Berns wrote and produced and learn more about this musical pop/soul genius and his amazing legacy of contributions to the early years of pop/soul music. Also check out Universal Records compilation CD The Heart and Soul of Bert Berns.

I'm A Spirit Now: According to the news from Charlottetown today, Paul McCartney visited with The Judy MacLean dancers as part of his visitations within the local community. Judy MacLean is an old friend of ours who just happens to be the person who introduced me to my wife Linda 31 years ago. It was exactly 30 years ago that Linda and I took off together from PEI to discover our destiny in the wider world and we are still together today. Thank you Judy and thanks to you Paul McCartney for honoring our friend Judy MacLean. We're sure she'll remember your visit for a lifetime as Linda and I will remember our very first meeting through Judy also for a lifetime and beyond.


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