A River of Dust…

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Why on earth is Vic posting a picture of 2 people in a boat on an empty lake, you might ask?

Well, if you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll hear the story behind this photo…the reason why my cowriter and I are sitting in this dustbowl…and you’ll hear the unreleased song we wrote that was inspired by it.

“What, you’re not gonna tell us on the blog?!!” Nope. That’s what you’re missing out on if you’re not signed up for those emails: some pretty awesome behind-the-scenes songs, stories and insider content.

Here’s where you can sign up: www.victoriabanks.net/signup.

 

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What Comes First, the Lyric or the Melody?

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This is probably the most-asked question I get as a songwriter. And there are a million answers to it.

 The truth is, on any given day I actually have no idea how the next song is going to present itself. Songwriting feels a bit like digging for dinosaur skeletons in the sand…you feel around until you find a little piece of something interesting, and then you follow where it leads until you uncover what the whole thing is. Sometimes the first bone you grab ahold of is a lyrical phrase that becomes the title or the first line of the song. Sometimes it’s a guitar groove that becomes the song’s foundation. It might be a melody that feels like the beginning of a verse or chorus, or it could even just be a general concept you want to write about that doesn’t have any specific words or melodies yet.

 The trick is really just brainstorming. Fearless, shameless, dare-to-suck brainstorming…and then looking for clues among the random things that come out. Here are some of the ways I’ve done this in the past…

 I’ve found potential song titles on billboard signs, in magazine ads, in TV dialogue, in coffee shop conversations, and even buried in the verses of other songs. (For example my song, “Angelina” was inspired by the face of a missing girl on a poster.)

 I’ve taken the first word that popped into my head and chased it to see where it leads. (One day I sat in the writing room, looked down at my shirt and saw crumbs on it from the granola bar I had eaten in a rush on the way to the office. I said “Crumbs? Crumbs. Crumbs crumble…crumbling crumbling…tumbling tumbling…what crumbles? What tumbles? Jericho! The walls of Jericho crumbled and tumbled.” And we had our song title: “Jericho”, which became about the scary, wonderful process of a lover taking your defenses down.)

 I’ve done the same thing with melodies: I’ll open my mouth and sing a melody without thinking at all, just to see what comes out. Sometimes it’s a terrible tone-deaf sound…but sometimes it’s magic. I’ll put my hands on a guitar or a piano keyboard and make noise…just to see if there’s anything cool in the mess I make. Then I’ll go even further and try putting words to the melody I’m spitting out…just make sounds with words and see if they makes sense at all. 

 If I’m starting with a cool little word or phrase that sparks my interest, I’ll play my instrument and sing to see if anything else comes out that seems to fit with it. Or maybe I’ll just sit and think of whether it inspires a picture of a place or situation in my mind that I can describe. When l look at the phrase from all different angles in my mind, sometimes it even becomes a metaphor for something else. (That’s what “Get on the Train” did, which started from the title repeating over and over rhythmically in my head without any particular meaning until my cowriter helped me find the metaphor in it.)

 Sometimes my cowriters and I bust our brains for 15 minutes thinking of as many creative rhymes as possible for our word or phrase. For example, today we started with the phrase “no problemo” and then brainstormed these rhymes:

-It’s all bueno

-Pour your worries down the draino

-Tomahto, tomato

-Sick of the same old same old

-Turn your dollars into pesos

-No complaino

-Tell your troubles hasta luego

…and from there, we were able to find a common theme in a lot of the phrases, deciphering the song’s message from that, and piecing it together into something that made sense.

 There are other ways too…

 You can listen to the instrumental introduction of a random song you’ve never heard, turn it off before the first line and immediately sing what you think it’s going to say. (I guarantee what you end up with will be completely different from the original once you go back to listen afterwards.)

 You can tell the story of an object that’s sitting right in front of you. (Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “This Shirtis a great example of a song that does that beautifully.)

 You can think of a concept that inspires you, then sing what you want to say about it…or relate it metaphorically to love, loss, or life in general. (My song “Arizona Rain” was inspired by a biology lecture in college when my professor described how the desert springs to life and turns green for a short time after a rare heavy rain, and I related that to how it feels to be loved when you’re lonely.)

 You can build a 4-bar or 8-bar chord progression with track-building software, play it on a repeating loop, and sing to it until something cool comes out.

 Basically, it’s all just a big ol’ pit of sand that you just start digging away at however you can. But in the end, if you try it enough times, you’ll start to feel more confident that ideas will actually reveal themselves to you when you trust and tap into your subconscious and the little clues and signals around you. So whether the first bone you find is a piece of a melody or a lyrical phrase, you’ll hone your ability to follow the lines of it until you dig the whole dinosaur out. And then – voila – you have a song!

 *****

Interested in more behind-the-scenes musings about music, creativity, and life in general, along with some free songs? Sign up for my email newsletter here.

 

 

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Time Management Tips & Tricks

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Lately life has been a real balancing act. I thought I was busy when I was juggling being a performing artist with being a staff songwriter, but add being a Mom into the mix and it’s a whole new cup of tea. How do you cook, clean, parent, exercise, come up with song ideas, build demo tracks, manage your social media & promotion platforms, play gigs, have date nights and me-time, AND do all that around the edges of a full-time co-writing schedule of 4-5 songs per week?  Well, it turns out the answer is time management…so I read some books, started some new habits, and frankly it has been really life-changing!

It all started when I read an article about the human brain.  Adopting a new habit takes a great deal of energy, the article said, but you can adopt a SET of new habits that happen one after another in a “string” with the same amount of energy as adopting a single habit, because your brain interprets the string of steps as one action.

I had a long list of “wish I had time for” habits.  They included meditation, reading, journalling, exercise, networking, and eating better…but that seemed like an overwhelming pile of stuff to tackle when I looked at it as a bunch of different goals. So I took the article’s advice, and decided to string the new habits together into a set.

The trick, though, is to make the set into a habit that you carry out daily…and the easiest way to ensure that is to do it right at the beginning of each day, every day that you can.  (Let’s face it: our days get crazy, and things we plan to do later in the day don’t necessarily always get done.) So…every weekday morning, I have started setting my alarm for an hour before my toddler wakes up.  Yes, that gets me up before the crack of dawn, and I HATED dragging myself out of bed that early at first, but trust me…now that I’ve been doing it for a couple months, I actually love it!  I know it sounds crazy, but it makes my life SO much easier and more focused that the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.

Then I start my habit string: I go to the bathroom and say some affirmations and a gratitude prayer in the mirror, drink a glass of water, and take my vitamins. Then I sit and do a 20 minute meditation that culminates in a silent visualization of what I’ll be doing in the day ahead. I then read for about 15 minutes (I’m hooked on reading book summaries on Blinkist – if you’re a non-fiction fan you can take in the wisdom of a whole book each day that way). I finish by journalling a quick entry in my diary. (I like to make a bullet list of 3 things I’ve learned in the past 24 hours, plus 3 things I’d like to do differently because of them.)

Then, it’s time to tackle my “Most Important Thing” (aka “MIT”) for the day. My MIT is something that I pre-plan for the next morning at the end of each day.  Sometimes it’s a networking email, sometimes a promotional task, sometimes it’s scheduling a song demo or dreaming up a song idea. I don’t do my morning routine on weekends, but I still tackle a non-business-related weekend MIT which usually involves stuff like planning family social events, budgeting finances, or meal-planning a grocery list of healthy foods for the week. But whatever it is, it’s just ONE thing…a tiny, bite-sized move in the right direction. It might not seem like much, but in reality, taking baby steps towards your goals in a daily, focused way is a time-management trick that raises your productivity level well beyond the busy-but-scattered lifestyle most of us live.

Exercise is also an element of my weekday morning routine.  Generally I hit the YMCA gym before my writing session, but if my day is too crazy for that, I fit about 15 minutes of yoga in at the end of my “me-time” habit string in the morning. And take it from a woman who has NEVER stuck to an exercise program, I’m feeling pretty darn good about the fact that I’ve been exercising at least 5 days a week for 2 months now. That’s about the equivalent of hell freezing over for me.

After that I’ll re-hydrate while checking my email inbox – generally I do this once a day now, instead of 50 times like I used to, which was completely unnecessary and just made me a slave to my iPhone – then I’m off to my cowriting appointment, and when it’s done, a healthy dinner is pre-stocked in my fridge (from the weekend meal-planning session…and my morning visualization of the day would have reminded me to pull out the chicken to defrost before work). Then the evenings are all mine: all I have to do is plan tomorrow’s MIT and try to get to bed 8 hours before my morning alarm’s gonna go off.  I have late shows a lot, so it doesn’t always happen…but that’s OK.  It’s not the end of the world if I miss my morning routine here and there, but it makes me feel so good that I keep wanting to get back to it at the first opportunity.

I think the reason I’m loving this new routine so much is what it does for me during the rest of the day.  I feel…GOOD.  Accomplished.  Positive.  Focused.  And especially – with my Type A mind that likes to send me on “why aren’t you working” guilt trips – I feel guilt-free.  I know I’ve worked towards my goals each day and tackled the most important step on my to-do list.  So instead of being half-present while I’m half-worrying about what needs to be done, it allows me to be relaxed and fully IN the moment when I’m out for a bike ride with my kiddo, having dinner with friends or watching a movie with my hubby.

Maybe you’re not a type A-er at all, and this could all sound crazy to you. But I really urge you to give it a try for a week and just see how it makes you feel!  (And if you’re curious to learn more, just Google “morning routine” and see how many super-productive people from creatives to billionaires to gurus rely on a morning habit string.)

Here are a couple references I’ve found very helpful:

“The Miracle Morning” book summary: http://niklasgoeke.com/the-miracle-morning/

*”The 4 Hour Workweek” book summary: http://www.deconstructingexcellence.com/the-4-hour-workweek-summary/ 

*the Deconstructing Excellence website is a great resource for other book summaries too!

I also love Tim Ferriss’ podcast for interesting conversations about habits, lifestyles, meditation, health, and entrepreneurial thinking: http://tim.blog/podcast/

*****

Interested in more behind-the-scenes musings about songwriting, creativity, the Nashville music biz and life in general, along with some free songs? Sign up for my email newsletter here.

 

 

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Daddy’s Little Girl

Since its release by The Shires, “Daddy’s Little Girl” has become the second single on “My Universe” – the fastest selling country album in UK history.

We all have different experiences…and especially where our childhoods are concerned.  But the trick to collaborating successfully as songwriters is finding a common thread in your stories that turns them into a widely relatable song.

The day I wrote “Daddy’s Little Girl” with co-writers Jeff Cohen, Livy Jeanne, and Crissie Rhodes (lead singer of the UK duo The Shires), I offered up a few lines of the chorus as a starting point…then we started reminiscing to find the details in the verses…and that’s when we found that each of us had very different but very evocative memories of our own Dads to share.

Little did I know when walking in the room that morning that Crissie had lost her Dad as a young child, and that this would become a cathartic song for her.  But I love how in the end, we came up with a song that worked from each of our perspectives…it’s simultaneously a love song to a childhood we’ve outgrown, and a tribute to the Dads we have had to leave behind.

*****

Interested in more behind-the-scenes musings about songwriting, creativity, the Nashville music biz and life in general, along with some free songs? Sign up for my email newsletter here.

 

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Drinking With Dolly

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Country artist Stephanie Quayle has recorded quite a beautiful version of “Drinking With Dolly”. Rachel Proctor and I wrote the song together a couple of years ago, triggered by a conversation about how much fun it would’ve been to be a part of the movement of strong, sassy women in country music in the early ’70s. We miss hearing those voices on the radio!

Dolly Parton has apparently heard the song and says she loves it…so that’s a pretty cool feeling!

Songwriters aren’t often contacted at all by the artists who record their songs, let alone included in the process, but Stephanie very kindly invited both Rachel and me to be in the music video. Unfortunately I was out on tour at the time, but click to watch it below and you’ll see some great footage of Rachel and her daughter Olivia right at the beginning!

 

*****

Interested in more behind-the-scenes musings about songwriting, creativity, the Nashville music biz and life in general, along with some free songs? Sign up for my email newsletter here.

 

 

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Demo Love

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“Demo Love” – that’s an expression we use in the songwriting biz when there’s something magical about the demo recording of a song. Of course it’s always amazing to hear an artist’s version of your song, but it’s rare to have the opportunity to be a part of that. Recording demos, though, is a big part of a professional songwriter’s job.

The term “demo” is short for “demonstration” – it’s a way to show off the song to artists who might consider recording it. So it’s got to be good! With the new and affordable advances in digital audio technology, many of us songwriters are “building” our own demos: playing or programming all the instruments ourselves and layering them together with software like Protools, Logic, QBase or Ableton. And although that can be a great way to make a demo, there’s just something truly wonderful about a whole group of musicians working together in the full-band demo process.

Making a full band demo means recording the song much like you would for a record, but on a much tighter timeline. It involves booking a recording session: hiring an incredibly talented band of studio musicians and engineers, leasing a 3-hour block in a top notch Music Row recording studio, and then the songwriter takes the helm as producer of the session. It’s pretty standard to record 5 songs during that 3-hour block.

The process goes like this: I arrive at the studio with a rough guitar/vocal worktape of my song, along with a basic chart of its format using the Nashville Number System. (This just shows the time signature, the key, the tempo and the chord progression, but no specific notes or melodies.)  After I play the worktape once for the band while they follow along on the charts to familiarize themselves with the song’s structure, they all grab their instruments and we immediately hit the record button. They play through the song while I sing what’s called a “scratch” or “pilot” vocal, which is a temporary version of the vocal just meant to be a place-holder for the musicians’ ears.

Sometimes, the first take is the magic take.  Sometimes we’ll need one or two more takes to nail the song, but we almost never play it more than that. Once we’ve nailed the track and captured that magic, the engineer presses record again and plays it back while the musicians play along to add more elements to it…a second acoustic guitar part, maybe a tambourine or shaker part, some additional keyboard pads, and a guitar solo. 30 to 45 minutes from when we started listening to the worktape, the track recording process is done.

As the producer, it’s my job to tell the band what to do. Sometimes I know exactly what I want, and I might say something like, “Let’s cut that intro from 8 bars to 4, start with just acoustic strums, then layer the piano in halfway through verse one, and the drums hit 4 on the floor when the chorus hits.” Or I’ll reference other musicians and say, “let’s try a more Coldplay vibe on this, instead of the Springsteen direction.” Or if I’m at a loss for words, then just “Can you make it more ethereal and shiny somehow?” But the musicians are so good that they usually read my mind anyways, or make it even cooler than I could have envisioned it inside my own head. After all, they do this all day every day! They also often come up with the musical “hook” of the introduction or a re-occuring instrumental riff that gives the song its signature feel (if we haven’t already specified that on the worktape during the writing process).

Once the song is tracked, I’ll load the session files onto my hard drive and take them with with me to a smaller vocal studio where a demo singer will record the vocal part. We usually choose a demo singer who can emulate the style of the artist we envision recording the song. Again, I’ll sit behind the engineer and back-seat drive for this process, giving the singer suggestions for how to phrase the lines and what kind of emotion to put into the various sections of the song. We’ll record anywhere from 5-10 versions of the vocal, and then I’ll take it home to my computer where I’ll “comp” the vocal: pick through it line by line to choose the best performance of each section, Frankenstein them all together into one consolidated version, nudge the timing of the phrases slightly forward or back to fit them in the “pocket” where they feel best, and then tune each phrase note by note with a tuning software. (As much as I miss the sound of a natural and untuned vocal, the listener’s ear is so used to hearing things through a tuner that we now HAVE to do it in order to compete with the other songs on the market.)

Once the vocal is comped and tuned, I sing the background parts at home, usually doubling or tripling each part with multiple versions of my voice to make it sound big and fat. I tune those parts up, put them all together, listen to the whole thing with the vocals turned up ridiculously loud to make sure nothing rubs me the wrong way, and then I ship the whole thing to the engineer.

Then it’s the engineer’s job to “mix” it: he literally mixes the instruments and voices all together like a big tapestry, deciding what should be loud or soft in each section. (Explaining this process could fill a whole book, because it involves lining up the drum beats on a time grid, processing each hit of the snare or kick drum to sound consistent, processing the EQ and reverb on each instrument and voice to cut through just right, and a million other things.) When he’s done, he’ll listen to the final product on a few different sets of speakers to make sure that whether you’re listening on a huge stereo or an iPhone, it’s gonna blow your socks off either way.

All in all, each demo probably averages 45 minutes to track with the band, an hour to record the vocal, an hour to comp the vocal, maybe 45 minutes to sing backgrounds, and then 1 or 2 hours to mix it. That’s somewhere around 5-6 hours of solid work spent on each demo, and roughly $600-$800 covers the cost of the song.

Then, the demo goes into the hands of my publisher and they run to play it for anyone who can help get it on a record: a record label A&R person, a manager, a producer, or the artist themselves. And we hope like heck that they’ll record it and sell a ton of records…or at least sell enough records to make back the $800 we spent on the demo! (Plus the thousands of dollars we spent on demos of songs that DIDN’T end up getting recorded…but that’s another conversation.)

Anyhow, that’s the full band demo process in a nutshell!

*****

Interested in more behind-the-scenes musings about songwriting, creativity, the Nashville music biz and life in general, along with some free songs? Sign up for my email newsletter here.

 

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Fighting Our Biggest Adversary: Fear.

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Recently, a fan asked me how I deal with fear. “Fear is our biggest adversary. How do you shun fear to get to where you are going?  Everyone has to wake up each morning and get on with it. What is your internal talk?”

This question reaches so much further than creativity. It really goes to the crux of how we live our lives! But it’s creativity that has helped me find my own personal answer to this question, so let me share that with you.

Every day for the past 19 years, I’ve been employed as a staff songwriter for a publishing company on Music Row. That means that 5 days a week for the past 19 years, I’ve been showing up at the office to write a song. At least one song…sometimes two…occasionally three. Every day. Usually it’s with other songwriters: sometimes friends, sometimes complete strangers. Sometimes we walk into the room equipped with ideas we’ve collected in advance, but often we pull them out of the thin air around us. One way or another, 99.9% of the time we leave the office having birthed a song.

I say “birthed”, because it feels much like that. It feels like we’re delivering something into the world that came THROUGH us, but wasn’t necessarily of our own creation.

Why do I feel that way? Because as a human being, I couldn’t possibly come up with a new and unique musical idea every day for 19 years of my life. But what I CAN do is tap into a deep, universal, magical “Source” that whispers little instinctive ideas in my ear. I’ve learned to trust that Source, to listen for it even in the midst of self-doubt, and to value what it whispers – even when I don’t understand what it’s saying – enough to speak those whispers out loud to my collaborators.

And when I do that, something amazing happens. That whisper leads to something beautiful, something unique, and sometimes even something profound. That kernel of an idea gets picked up, turned over like a rock in our hands, and held up to the light until we discover the gem inside it just waiting to be cut out and polished. But the seed of that idea is not from me. It’s “birthed” through me, but it’s not from me.

“Sure,” you say, “you can SAY it’s not from you, but how can you be so sure?” Well, here’s why I’m sure. Because after speaking those little whispers out loud every day for 19 years, at least 40% of the time my collaborator has done a double take, looked at me with disbelief, and said “I was just thinking the same thing!”…or “I just wrote that idea down on the page in front of me 30 seconds ago”…or “I just heard someone say that same phrase this morning”…or “That just happened in my life and I’ve been thinking about writing about it!”…or “How did you read my mind?”

Not only that, but on several occasions I’ve noodled around with a melody or progression before meeting my cowriters, and then walked into the room to find them playing that same melody or progression. It’s uncanny. It’s too much coincidence to be possible.

I’m sure these things don’t come from us because there’s just far too much synchronicity for them to be anything but universal. They’re coming from a Source that we are ALL tapped into. You can call it God, you can call it the Universe, you can call it whatever you like. Creatives like myself have trained ourselves to listen for that Source more than others, but we ALL have it inside us. We are all creative on some level, whether we choose to believe it or not. (If you think you’re not creative, I dare you to go back in time and put a box of Crayolas in front of your kindergarten-age self and see what happens. You might not be in touch with it right now, but it’s there.)

“So what does that have to do with fear?” you ask.

Well, if we each have a connection to that Source…then we each have a connection to something intelligent, universal, magical and divine within us.

That means YOU. You have a piece of divinity shimmering inside you.

That means you DESERVE good things. That means you are not “less than” anyone else. That means you are a piece of magic, and thus worthy of the wonderful. 

The best weapon against fear is knowing that you’re magic…you’re sacred…you’re an instrument of something greater than yourself. That means you’re safe, even if you fail. That means you have value inherently, no matter what anyone else thinks or how anyone else responds to what you do.

That means GO FOR IT. Dare to suck. Be vulnerable and authentic.

After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

*****

Interested in more behind-the-scenes musings about songwriting, creativity, the Nashville music biz and life in general, along with some free songs? Sign up for my email newsletter here.

 

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A True Scoop…

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Ok, so maybe I embarrass myself a little too often by sharing the raw material behind my songs with my email subscribers, but I just love giving people a glimpse at where songs come from.  I also share things like:

  • free songs (yup, really truly free)
  • songs nobody else has heard yet, and probably they never will
  • croaky iPhone voice recordings of me getting a song idea at 3am
  • original guitar/vocal “work tapes” and rough demos of songs you ended up hearing on the radio
  • tips about visiting Nashville, creativity, collaboration and the music biz, for those who are into that kind of thing
  • stuff people don’t usually talk about, but I do, because that’s just the way I am

Interested?  Click here to sign up.

(Did I mention it’s free? And you’ll get 3 free songs in your inbox right off the bat.)

 

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I Hope You Dance

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One of my favorite things about working as a songwriter in Nashville is finding brilliant collaborators. I’ve been blessed to work regularly with Tia Sillers, writer of the iconic song “I Hope You Dance”, for over 10 years now. Together we’ve written many songs for my records (“The Wheel”, “Don’t Leave the Leavin'”, “Get on the Train”) and we’ve even shared the stage at the Canadian Country Music Awards to receive Songwriter of the Year trophies for collaborating on Johnny Reid’s hit “Dance with Me”. I always love playing shows with Tia and hearing the story behind “I Hope You Dance”.  Here’s how she tells it.

“I had broken up with my ex, and I decided I needed a vacation to lick my wounds and dry my tears. I rented a condo right on the Gulf of Mexico and stayed there by myself for a week. The whole time, my mom was really worried about me. She would call me ten times a day, saying things like ‘Oh honey, I HOPE this doesn’t leave you bitter.  I HOPE you’ll take a chance on love again.’

On the last day of my trip, I decided to take a walk down the beach. The further I went, the more depressed I got, until I found myself miles from anywhere, standing there looking at the ocean thinking ‘I should just throw myself in. I’m not even a grain of sand! I’m nothing! I’m so small. I’m completely inconsequential!’  

Then all of a sudden, this huge black SUV comes pulling up on the beach, kicking sand in all directions, and this guy with a black suit and mirrored sunglasses jumps out and starts SCREAMING into a cell phone!

I thought, ‘WOW. That guy doesn’t feel small when he stands beside the ocean at all, and he never will. He’s completely oblivious! And you know what? I would rather feel like an inconsequential grain of sand than be that guy for one stinkin’ second.’

That was my first eureka moment. A couple of weeks later I shared the idea with my co-writer, Mark D. Sanders…and the rest is history.”

Click here to see Lee Ann Womack’s video for her smash hit recording of “I Hope You Dance”.

*****

Interested in more behind-the-scenes musings about songwriting, creativity, the Nashville music biz and life in general, along with some free songs? Sign up for my email newsletter here.

 

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Hello Heart

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I woke up with the first verse of “Hello Heart” in my head while I was on a songwriting retreat at a cabin in the Smoky Mountains.  It poured out so fast that I had to jump out of bed to grab my guitar, and my cowriters and I just hung on tight while the words came out.  It’s a very personal song about that moment when you feel your heart coming back to life again after it’s been broken to pieces.

When I started performing the song, I would look around at the faces of the people in the audience, and I always saw someone who was in tears.  It just goes to show that no matter how alone you feel, you are never isolated in your pain.  Just about everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle, and you usually can’t tell what that battle is just by looking at them.

So I decided to make a video for Hello Heart.  But not a high-budget, slick professional music video.  I wanted to make something honest and raw.  I wanted to remind people how important it is to be kind…to react first with compassion, and never to assume anything about anyone until you understand where they’re coming from.

These are real people in this video, sharing their innermost struggles.  They chose to make themselves vulnerable because they believe in the message we are trying to spread with this song.  And I couldn’t ask anyone else to do that without making myself vulnerable too, so I have shared my own heartache publicly alongside theirs.

I hope you’ll watch it, and I hope you’ll share it.  It’s not an attempt to sell the song, because we’re giving it away for free (people can sign up to receive it at this link). We just want to send this out there in hopes that it will spread a little more kindness in the world.
 
 

 

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