My journey in pictures

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why my ass needed a break from Nashville

Not really wanting to hook up with anyone here in Nashville on my short visit except for friends, I ran into a great young writer at breakfast this morning. Same story I’ve heard a million times now. He’s got the next single on one of the biggest acts in Nashville. I had gotten into an argument 'bout 8 months ago with a record co.  friend who said that writers are writing shit nowadays. I went on a 10 minute rant about JUST because all HE hears is shit don’t mean that that’s all that’s written. My biggest battle over the last 7 or 8 years was trying to convince writers to keep writing from the heart and always follow that path (unless you’re in the room writing with an artist. Kidding, kinda). Anyways, I spoke with the same Record exec this week and he said WAIT until you hear this single on “said artist”. Gonna change their career! (or something to that affect). Well turns out, this song had been “passed on” in this artist’s camp multiple times going through multiple channels (not that they didn't like the song). Basically, none of the “gate keepers” thought it would be “right for the artist”. Ended up awhile later it got straight to the artist and you know the rest of the story. Rita Ballou asked me what’s the difference between Texas writer/artists and Nashville song writers. I told her (I thought) that Texas artists write for the people that’s standing right in front of them. People paying their cover charge and buying their music and swag. Nashville writers are writing for the gatekeepers (many times). MANY times writing a great song in Nashville don’t mean jack SHIT if you can’t get it straight to the artist. I get it, in Nashville it all starts and stops with radio. As long as that’s the game their gonna play, this is gonna be the results. Ask Liddell how they made Miranda Lambert’s first record or Joe Scaife how they made Gretchen Wilson’s  first record (for some reasons "wiser heads" didn’t hire him for the 2nd or the failures thereafter). This is why my ass is getting back out there on the road. People buy t-shirts and beer if they like the music. I know there's a record company side to this that I don't know. I can just tell you this is what I've seen as a publisher (and traveler).  I found out in the corporate music game, I REALLY suck at making money. Cheers, S


14 comments:

  1. you're my favorite Scott
    -Erin Enderlin

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  2. Folks, you can hear the 3 chords anywhere...what you just read here is the truth!!!
    Jeff Prince

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  3. Come back to Texas!!!! You can live with us! I have always wanted a Houseboy! Can you cook?

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  4. I still love this town even though i haven't experienced as much as you have. But, i'm still a believer in a great song/artist wins every now and then. And, there ARE still some great points to it now that you've ran it in the ground for several months.
    :)
    love ya, squat!!!!!!!!! mean it!! and MISS you.

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  5. Cyndi, we all walk down our own roads,see what we've seen and have our own stories to tell. The way it reads may be colored from my current state of mind but it's not based on anything other than what I've actually experienced. Btw, I am still a believer in what you've said above but I've needed a break from the "every now and then".

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  6. and Rita, I can't boil water without burning it. I can "buss" a mean table though!

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  7. i'm SO glad to hear that you are still a believer in that. Meanwhile, i'm trying to stay positve & i feel the 'every now & then's are happening 'more & more'. I was on the phone w/ an artist, whom you love & respect & is a great writer himself, @ 1:00 this morning about cutting a song that is a 'country masterpiece' as he said.
    and of course, it was an Erin Enderlin song.
    we'll see.... fingers crossed. :)

    love ya.

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  8. ...and why you're the best publisher in that building and have been since you've started.

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  9. Rest, recover, recharge, and return to the road young man. Search is belief, belief is faith, and faith is everything. Come on back when you're ready. And keep blogging, you're getting better at it. Good practice for that book you ought to write someday......

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  10. "Greerfan", if I could write like that I'd be more apt to write a book. Thank you and beautiful writing.

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  11. "Rest, recover, recharge, and return to the road young man" as a well spoken man has said. Don't apologize for your experience and your perspective. It's your's and you are your best when you are you, bud. P.....

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  12. Scott, I so understand what all you're feeling and finding! When I left Nashville, I started listening to music again, going to record stores again, singing in the shower again. I wanted to make it my life's work, but I wasn't tough enough. The good news is I built some great friendships for the experience, and I worked with some of the best of the best while at Bluewater. I know you know what I mean -- you did, too, in your gig(s)! Enjoy the decompression -- I started a blog, too, around that time -- should be able to connect to it through my "name" here! God bless. We're in Texas on an acre with a swimming pool if you are ever anywhere near D/FW!

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  13. For me, the bottom line is that, no matter what field you're in, it's damn hard to be brilliant. The music business is about people trying to make money, so it's bound to suffer from the greed, small-mindedness, fear and ego that are part of the human race. But through all the bullshit, somehow songs like "The House That Built Me" emerge and touch peoples hearts AND make money. Even though the overwhelming majority of what everyone does falls way short of that mark most of the time, I still love being part of a community where people keep aiming for it and hit it so beautifully sometimes.

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