BILL BLOG Friday March 16, 2018
Got yer green on? Bring on St. Patty's Day weekend.
YESTERDAY Steve Dean and I got together and wrote a new song yesterday that was inspired by something someone said to him in a hateful way. Steve was just sharing that conversation with me as we were looking for something to write about when the song title just popped out of is mouth talking about that experience he had the day before with a person who was obviously in a bad place and foul mood all at the same time.
The song has nothing to do with that person...but we're grateful for those few words that were uttered that went from this lady to Steve's ears to mine that helped create a pretty cool song yesterday. Proof again one has to be careful what they sound around songwriters.
And I do hope this lady finds some calm and peace in her life soon...she needs it. Thanks for the idea.
SIGNS OF SPRING It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Nashville yesterday so after wrapping up my writing session I hit a local park to go for a walk. I saw two signs of Spring. Flowers blooming alongside the water being one of those.
The second one? Boys playing pitch and catch getting ready for a High School baseball game. So I got to hear one of my favorite sounds while walking...a baseball hitting a catchers mitt...and I found time to stop and smell the flowers. Spring if officially here Tuesday...but you could not convince me it wasn't already Spring yesterday.
HOOP IT UP And...I did see some of the basketball games. As always…couple of great upsets in the early round. Today...we have first round games here in Music City and I have three teams I can root for. My home state Missouri plays today and so do two teams from Cincinnati that I followed when I was doing radio in the Queen City...Xavier and UC. Lot of Cincinnati folks in town. I hope some you guys brought some Skyline Chili with you!
One old acquaintance sent me a Facebook message letting me know he was in town rooting on UC today. During the back and forth conversation came the possibility of doing a show back in Cincinnati at one of their great festivals. I'd be all for that. Stay tuned.
SPEAKING OF RADIO iHeart Radio has officially declared they owe a lot of money to a lot of people. They are one of the biggest if not the biggest conglomerates owning hundreds of radio stations across the country. Terrestrial radio is in trouble. Streaming and on demand is taking it's toll. Especially for younger listeners who want what they want when they want it. Right now. And so too perhaps is homogenized non local conglomerate radio stations that all sound alike. Perhaps...I hope...some radio stations will be sold to individual owners again allowing them to program individually and providing distinctly unique radio for their own backyards instead of the syndicated, voice tracked, over consulted nationally programmed dribble…that we now call radio. Maybe.
HEADLINE OF THE DAY "Woman Who Really Believes In Bigfoot Sues To Prove He's Real". It should be interesting to see the evidence she submits in court.
THE WEEKEND Well...it's St. Patricks Day weekend. Between that and the NCAA Basketball games here...downtown Nashville is going to be a really fun place to be...or...avoid depending upon the person. Me? I think I'll eat a bowl of Lucky Charms on my couch and watch the games on the Big Screen.
Have a great weekend!
BILL BLOG Thursday March 15, 2018
Back to semi-normal this morning.
YESTERDAY I finished up a three day morning run on WSM radio filling in for the regular morning host Bill Cody. That meant going back in time and setting an EARLY alarm and taking naps each of those days. So...my body is asking me..."what were ya thinking"?
But...the fun of doing morning radio again outweighs the lack of sleep for sure. I had some great guests in studio this week including the Willis Clan, Shawn Camp, Lauren Mascitti, and Colm Kirwan. If those names are unfamiliar to you...click on any of the links to hear some of what heard up close and personal this week in the WSM studios. Thanks to all for dropping by...and thanks to both Charlie Mattos and Frank Seres for producing and hanging on air with me.
AND A BABY And my thanks to my co-writer cowboy pal from Oklahoma who shared his story of is wife delivering their second child in the car while flying down the highway at 100 mph last Thursday evening. Unassisted...out pops baby. The hospital was waiting on them...but by the time they got there...the second boy for the Bogart's was out in the world. Congrats to both Paul and Tanya on having a second child they can now sing this to that Paul and I wrote last year that he included on his latest CD "Leather".
SPEAKING OF CD'S A new statistic tells us that since the year 2000...CD sales have dropped 90%! Wow. It's all about on demand...and streaming these days. No longer do many of us hold a physical product in our hands. Pretty tough challenge trying to write liner notes on a stream. Thank goodness vinyl record sales continue to make a comeback.
BRAGGING ON MY WIFE Not a lot of folks know that my wife Kathy does some film-video work every now and then. Tonight...she as a part in a video being shot for this new song from Jake Owen "I Was Jack, You Were Diane". So congrats to my wife. I'll let ya know when the video is out so you can look and cheer for her.
I've always wanted to do a video on my song I wrote with Brent Burns, "She's Trailer Park Sexy To Me" but my wife refuses to participate in that video. Sometimes the woman just has no taste.
JIMMY BUFFETT I may have to actually go catch a musical on Broadway now that Jimmy Buffett's life is a musical. "Escape To Margaritaville" is getting ready to start. Look for a New York City theater to be filled with Parrot Heads wearing inflatable shark suits. It will certainly be a colorful crowd. I'm sure Jimmy is amazed at how he started singing songs in Key West that married the beach lifestyle that then launched an empire that just keeps growing. And with all his success and money...the man still plays barefoot on stage in beach shorts.
TODAY Off to write with my long time friend Steve Dean...been awhile. And then...well...I'm gonna have to check out some of the basketball which begins in earnest today...March Madness for sure.
And...mid 60's with sun here today...so hopefully I can find time to try to get a walk in and add some sun on my legs that look to be sponsored by "Elmer's Paste". Yep...a tad white...or whyte in my case.
Have a great Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday March 14, 2018
One last morning on WSM radio before returning to my semi-normal routine so a short blog once again from inside the studios here at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel Resort and Convention Center. (Try getting all that on a T-Shirt)
This morning my young friend Colm Kirwan will join me and Charlie Mattos and play a little Irish music. Colm is from Ireland orginally and he's playing the Music City Irish Fest this coming St. Pattty's day so that will be fun. He'll be with us a bit after 8:30 AM this morning.
And if you missed it yesterday morning...we'll repeat some of the musical moments we had with the two pictured here...Shawn Camp and Lauren Mascitti. Lauren actually sing a song "live" that she wrote with me and Wil Nance.
And...we have tickets to give away to see Mary Chapin Carpenter!
Full morning show...tune in if you can at wmsonline.com and watch us on Heartland TV at watchheartlandtv.com
Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday March 13, 2018
Good morning from WSM radio again. I'm behind these call letters til 10 AM with Charlie Mattos this morning filling in for Hall of Famer Bill Cody once again. So...no real blog this Tuesday.
On our show today...Shawn Camp and my talented young co-writer Lauren Mascitti will join in with some "live" music. We'll have a little left over Irish music after our visit from the Willis Clan yesterday and we will repeat our interview with Chris Janson from yesterday in the 7 am hour.
And if that's not enough we have a pair of tickets to give away to see Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Hall of Fame Theater Friday, April 6.
So...tune in this morning if you can...worldwide at wsmonline.com
Have a great Tuesday!
BILL BLOG Monday March 12, 2018
Mid March and it's snowing in Nashville. Go figure.
WSM No real blog today as once again I'm on air for WSM Radio this morning as well as the next two mornings. I walked into the Opryland Hotel where the studios are with snow falling down...and discovered they've added a BIG new camera...HD. This morning radio show is also on Heartand TV...so with the new HD camera staring me down...if I have any food in my teeth...you'll see it clearly. Sigh.
The show is on 5:30-10 AM worldwide at wsmonline.com. And...around 8:20 this morning Chris Janson...our newest Opry member Chris Janson will be on with us. So tune in if you can.
Have a great Monday!
BILL BLOG Friday March 9, 2018
Getting ready to Spring forward y'all.
YESTERDAY I spent some time with Daniel Wilson and Kelly Bradway...two thirds of the "MamaDear" trio. Kelly is married to Parker Bradway who completes this great musical threesome. Dan, Kelly and myself finished up a retro kind of country-Mo-Town thing we had started a few weeks ago that didn't take us too long...and allowed us time to just catch up on their careers and busy lives.
I love their musical sound together..."up"...great harmony...engaging. And I admire their tenacity as they all work odd jobs in an effort to keep their musical dreams going. Dan and Parker both drive for Uber and Lyft...which has become one of those jobs I see a lot of music folks gravitating towards because it allows them to control their schedule enough to not miss out on important things musically. It's the same reason so many music folks wait tables in this creative town.
Here's to them an all the other creative young folks in this town.
THE CHOICE Sometimes folks ask me how I got into music-radio...the creative world and it's a fairly short story now that I think about it. I was allergic to real work. When I was young I was in the hay fields some, worked for a blind mechanic who let me go, bagged groceries...BUT...the pivotal moment...or one of them happened one summer when I worked in this building pictured here that I found by accident yesterday
I was in High School in Elsberry, Missouri. One summer I went to work in this factory in town which rebuilt auto parts. My Senior year I believe. I was on my feet all day...gloves on...reaching into some machine with a little sand blaster gun cleaning up points on some kind of automotive part. Over, and over, and over and over again until the whistle blew. It provided great jobs for a lot of folks in that small town on the Mississippi...but for a creative person who had a guitar...well...let's just say it wasn't for me. So much so that I walked out...dropped my gloves and left just a couple of weeks before I was to start college. It's the only time I've ever quit a job in my life. But that experience helped me realize that what I really loved doing was making music...and shortly thereafter...radio.
So this morning I give thanks...lots of thanks to that old factory for pushing me in the right direction.
SPEAKING OF RADIO I read where iHeart Media...one of the big radio consolidation companies is declaring bankruptcy. Cumulus...another mega holder of radio stations has been in trouble for awhile.
I can only hope that somehow they will have to sell off some of their radio stations...and that some individual buyers will purchase some of those. It would just be fun to hear some radio stations with more local content...local personalities...and not beholding to syndication shows and stockholders. I listen to very little major market country radio stations anymore because they are too predictable for me. That's partly because I know too much I suppose. But...especially after morning drive on music radio stations...there is a "sameness" and "safeness" to their on air approach that just bores the heck out of me.
I'd rather hear imperfect radio with all it's faults and charms than a slick content radio station that relies on research and over consulting. But maybe that's just me.
AHEAD Well...it's ole man winter giving us a cool shot here...but in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast they are wearing out the salt trucks as winter is determined to hang on longer. I'll take the low 50's here and not complain.
This weekend we do move the clocks up for sure...which means I will have a short night Sunday night as I'll get up to work at WSM Radio Monday morning as well as Tuesday and Wednesday. The show is 5:30-10 AM heard around the country music world at wsmonline.com. So..very very short blogs during that time frame ahead.
Set your clocks up...and have a great weekend!
BILL BLOG Thursday March 8, 2018
Was I surprised to see snow on our deck and on rooftops this morning? You bet. Where did that come from?
YESTERDAY I sat in a writing room with these talented folks Jimmy Fortune and Sydni Perry once again which is always fun and creative...and much of the time we spent together is filled with enlightening conversation...conversation that sometimes leads to the creation of a new song. And that's what happened yesterday at Jimmy's house.
Jimmy had a great melody that he was playing on a guitar that was once owned by Glenn Frey of the Eagles. So we had something good going for us right from the start. While doodling on this melody...the three of us were trying to decide what to write lyrically with it. Finally Jimmy says, "ya know...I've always wanted to write a praise and worship song". Now I've been inside just enough contemporary churches to know what those sound like. However, I could not name you one title. And that's mostly because I grew up with the old hymn I heard with my family at the New Hope Baptist Church in Missouri where I grew up.
And the a long conversation began about Billy Graham's passing, and the Bible and it's meaning...and "signs" that one sees from time to time that makes you think..."that was a God thing".
And after the conversation...Sydni Perry who had been sitting quietly on the couch with her legs crossed read a two verses and a chorus of lyrics. I think my jaw dropped. Songwriting is a very funny thing...especially co-writing. Sometimes one writer i completely inspired and on fire...and that was Sydni yesterday. All that was left to do was to jump in and write a couple of pre-choruses and then craft on the words Sydni had spoken. It truly was one of THOSE moments yesterday where I quietly gave thanks for being allowed to share in the process of creativity.
Most folks know my work as mostly comedic. But...I've had a number one bluegrass gospel song, a song that landed a Grammy for Hillary Scott & The Scott Family on their "Contemporary Christian" CD "Love Remains"...and in a few weeks a song I helped write about a baptism "I'm Going Under" will be released with a video from Darin and Brooke Aldridge. Brooke was named the bluegrass "Female Vocalist Of The Year" last year by the IBMA.
As a guy who writes an awful lot of "funny" and performs a lot of "funny"...it's ironic that a lot of the songs of mine being recorded must have happened partly because of sitting in a church pew with my family and the memories of that.
What a truly great and moving day yesterday was with those two.
SPEAKING OF WHICH Back to more of my world...I do have folks send me their songs from time to time wanting me to listen. Last week a guy sent me his song "Man Boobs". Uh huh. So...apparently my reputation is still firmly intact despite the modest success I've had with gospel songs.
TODAY I've got a writing appointment this afternoon with Dan Wilson and Kelly Bradway who are 2/3rd's of the trio "Mama Dear". We started a song a few weeks back...and this afternoon we'll finish that song up and polish it. Love these guys...and here's a little SAMPLE of their work for you to check out if you'd like.
AHEAD I'll be on WSM Radio this coming Mon-Wednesday and we're lining up special guests. On Monday Chris Janson ("Buy Me A Boat") will join me and on Tuesday you'll hear Moe Bandy as well as Shawn Camp and Lauren Mascitti. 5:30-10 AM each morning as I'm filling in for Bill Cody. As always...listen in worldwide at wsmonline.com
Have a great Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday March 7, 2018
Long sleeve weather this morning with temps in the 40's. Maybe it will freeze ice over the potholes.
YESTERDAY I had a little recording session to take care of with fellow Missourian Becky Blackaby and her drummer-boyfriend Will Denton. We laid down a guitar track that Will is then going to add to on a song we've written for a major seed company based in Iowa. The owner is looking for a song to use to represent his company...and...we're dialing up a musical presentation to give him in hopes that he will like it...and use it. Here's hoping it will...and that someday folks in the Midwest will hear it.
BOOKING The temps snuck into the 60's yesterday...warm enough to go for a walk out doors so I took advantage of that. I'm hoping those kinds of days are going to quickly become the norm as we sneak up to mid-March.
The rest of the day was devoted to returning e-mails and making inquiries about more shows this year. I heard from some folks in Key West about a big Parrot Head gathering that I've known about for years down there and they're interested (possibly) in adding to their lineup this year. First of year it slows down...and then it picks up steam later in the year. And with overseas trips to Ireland and Italy on tap...gonna be busy before the year ends. No complaints.
NOW AT STARBUCKS You can order a "caramel popcorn pretzel frappuccino. I have no idea if there's any COFFEE in it or not. But...I know I need to write another verse of my "Good Cup Of Coffee" song that's on my "Leave Em' Laughing" CD.
WHAT ELSE WE DRINKING? A CMA study came out I saw that shows for sure that country music fans are trending more towards whiskey than beer these days. And I'm hearing that some in songwriting sessions where "whiskey" is being referenced quite a bit. Certainly "Tennessee Whiskey" helped launch Chris Stapleton's career...and it fit George Jones who recorded it first. Difference between the two is that I think George used what he was singing about in studio when he cut it.
Me? I can't get into whiskey...just can't. I don't drink Nyqil either...unless I have to. And come to think of it...there's never been a country hit using "Nyquil" in the song. I'm on it.
HEADLINE OF THE DAY "How Marijuana Can Make You A Better Parent". I have no idea how that works. I suspect one starts making more brownies...but...I just don't have a clue.
TODAY Off to write with a couple of faves...Jimmy Fortune and Sydni Perry. Wait til I give them my "Nyquil" idea!
Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday March 6, 2018
Little chill in the air...but...at least I'm not in the northeast. Geez.
YESTERDAY I spent a good part of my day with these two...Lauren Mascitti and Wil Nance finishing up a song we started a few weeks ago. We've become a semi-regular co-writing team over the past few months as both Wil and I are fans of Lauren and her voice...and she's just a terrific young person to boot. Not to mention that Lauren has become a heck of a writer herself. Always a pleasure to share creative time with these two...and certainly I'm rooting for Lauren's success.
Lauren also loves puns...really really bad puns. Yesterday she shared one that my great comedian friend Heywood Banks uses in his stand up act, "Yea...I drink brake fluid. So what. I can stop anytime I want to".
ADMISSION Yep...my wife and daughter and I watch the Bachelor. Don't ask me why. I need a 12 step program to help me walk away from it. Sigh. Last night...if you follow the show...the newest Bachelor proposes...then changes his mind...and is now seeking his runner up girl again to hang with. That's the second time it's happened on the show. The dude is catching some major flak from fans as you can imagine. And...there was so much "drama" that they added an extra 2 hour show tonight on ABC.
So I guess we'll get to see the spurned Bachelorette and Arie's runner up will surely be on the couch with him and America will hear all about that relationship. (My prediction is that "Becca"...the one he got down on one knee for and then rejected "live" on TV...will become the next Bachelorette.)
This sums up my feelings on watching this rain wreck of a show. One fan on Twitter said, "If you think I'm going to watch two more hours of this garbage tomorrow night...you're right".
OCARS Horrible ratings for this years Oscar. It's become a bit unwatchable I think for a lot of the country. Many of us don't see many if any of the films nominated for "Picture Of The Year"....and Hollywood is unrelatable to lots of folks. And the declining ratings bear it out. I'd guess the constant political and "cause" related speeches that's been a regular part of this production for too many years is taking a toll on ratings.
Ratings would be much higher I think if they did an Oscar Show dedicated to the most popular films of the year. The nominees are, "Star Wars The Last Jedi", "Jumanji", "Black Panther" and "Baywatch". Okay...maybe not "Baywatch" but you get my drift.
MOST POPULAR The most popular baby names given out for Millennial Mom's and Daddy's? For boys it's Michael. For girls it's Jessica My one grandfather was named "Payne". My grandmother? "Beaulah". Betting not one millennial passed out those names. I can' wait to pass on my wife' reaction when she walks into our bedroom and sees me half dressed blowing bubbles. If they air THAT on TV...the ratings would surpass the Oscar Show numbers this year.
TODAY I'm off to record a little work track on a song I co-wrote with my Missouri buddy Becky Blackaby and her talented boyfriend Wil Denton. We're pitching this song for commercial use to a big seed company up in Iowa. The owner is someone Becky knows and he requested one...so we are getting ready to record it...and then hope he will like the song enough to want to use it. One never knows...but I do like our chances. We'll see.
Have a great Tuesday!
BILL BLOG Monday March 5, 2018
Home from Gatlinburg.
THE WEEKEND IN THE MOUNTAINS I had a full and very fun weekend in Gatlinburg this weekend. The air was crisp just outside my balcony window at the old Gatlinburg Inn staring out at the Smoky Mountains.
I rode I-40 east with my talented friend Brady Seals giving us a chance to catch up. Brady is truly one of those talented dudes who can do it all. He was with Little Texas of course...and then with this great group HOT APPLE PIE that he formed who were just so dang good...and then had a long solo career.
But what's ahead I found out is really interesting for my friend. He and Dash Croft's daughter have gotten together for form "Seals And Crofts 2". How cool is that? "Summer breeze...make me feel fine"...which Brady sang Saturday night during our show. And on top of that he will soon become Tom Petty in an all star tribute band that will play some dates here in town for sure...and maybe some road dates. So...we've vowed to start writing again in hopes of writing something that might fit Seals and Crofts 2.
GROUP WRITING So we arrive Friday afternoon and join up with my "Hits & Grins" trio that includes Steve Dean and Victoria Venier and we are separated to write with 6 or 7 other folks. Brady and Victoria took one group, Steve and I took a second group. We each wrote a song with our groups Friday evening and then a second one Saturday morning after breakfast. What a great group of folks too...and I made lots of new friends during the experience.
One memorable moment stands out in my mind as we were writing. I was trying to insert a lyric about how this woman was kicking this guy out and telling him he'd be doing his own cooking and better get himself a "George Foreman". A young 20 something girl googled and then ask..."why would we want a boxer in this song"? She had no clue about the George Foreman grill existing. Made us all laugh...including her...but we did change the line to "George Foreman Grill" to make sure everyone understood that line.
SATURDAY NIGHT We gathered at the Crystelle Creek Restaurant where the four of us had dinner and then performed for a couple of hours. Way too much fun. And we played all four of the songs we wrote with our groups for the first time...and almost all of the group participants and some family members were there for the experience. And getting to hear Brady sing "God Bless Texas" and "My Love" and some of his other big hits was just a big ole bonus to go with our "Hits & Grins" trio.
My thanks o PJ who owns Crystelle Creek and is in this picture as well as Cyndy Montgomery Reeves of the Smoky Mt. Songwriters Festival for making this happen. So much fun!
TODAY Back to the songwriting table with my Missouri pal Wil Nance and young artist Lauren Mascitti. May the rhymes be with us.