Beans & Rice & Greatest Hits

Here’s a funny little story about what it’s like to be a professional songwriter…

The other day, my friend Lisa McCallum emailed me through MySpace and said, “Hey, I saw Sara Evans being interviewed on GAC about her Greatest Hits album and she mentioned that your song “Saints & Angels” is on there – congrats!” Well, my jaw dropped to the floor, because I knew absolutely nothing about it! Some quick Googling confirmed that my song is indeed on the record, which is to be released on October 9th/07! (Check out www.saraevans.com for details.)

Getting a message like that is like someone saying “Hey, by the way, congratulations on winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes” when you had no idea you were even entered. Pretty exciting! Especially right now, when my 3-year songwriting contract at Full Circle Music Publishing is coming to a close and I’m determined to hold out on signing a new one until I find a company I’m completely satisfied with, even if it means living on beans and rice for a while. Writing is a lot of fun, but writing every day is also a lot of work – too much work to do if you’re not in a place where your work can pay off for you in hit records. I’m also a big believer in positive energy – if you’re working with negative people, it not only becomes a creative roadblock, but in my opinion it also becomes a roadblock to the success and abundance that positive energy invites.

That being said, I’m very excited about some of the publishers who are interested in signing me, so if I continue to write through the negotiating process, we’ll be able to hit the ground running with new songs when the legal ink dries. In the meantime, ASCAP has invited me to join Dennis Matkosky (“Maniac”), Deanna Bryant (“Stupid Boy”), Marc Beeson (“When She Cries”), and a couple of other writers in mentoring some Middle Tennessee State University students through their Commercial Songwriting course, which should be a lot of fun.

Let’s see, what else has been going on…oh, I played some great acoustic shows in Roswell, Georgia over Labor Day weekend with Rachel Proctor and Dave Berg. Rachel is a long-time cowriter of mine and a great talent – you might know her Martina McBride hit “Where Would You Be”- and her in-laws, who live in the area, took us out on their boat for the day on Saturday – a great way to spend the holiday. But I think the highlight of the weekend was sitting on stage next to Dave when he played “These Are My People” and announced to the audience that it was the #1 Country song in the country! What a rush! Dave has had a great run recently, so he also played a pile of hits including “If You’re Going Through Hell”, “Stupid Boy”, and “Moments”, all of which were #1 songs in the past 6 months. Incredible! Here’s a photo of Rachel, Dave and I (with Rachel’s friends Nicki and her son Cole, who came along for the weekend):

I also went to a great party at Carolyn Dawn Johnson’s house last weekend – there were about 15 of us there, all Canadian girls (and one who married a Canadian, so she’s got honorary status). It was a celebration of many things, including Carolyn’s win in the “Best Female Vocalist” category at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, Patricia Conroy’s win in the “Best Independent Female Vocalist Category”, and there were also many toasts to Lisa Brokop’s new engagement (she and her sweetheart Paul Jefferson are going to tie the knot). Other than that, Actually, we toasted to a lot of things, including new records (Crystal Shawanda is just finishing hers), hit songs, good real estate deals, adopting babies, and the chocolate cake which was really delicious and deserved a toast in itself.

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