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“ ...So when the moon is yellow, And the sky is cool, If passion is always kind, How can love be cruel?...” J.D. Souther

I went to Nashville for Tin Pan South again this year; headed down towards the I-65 with my excellent co-writing friends, Helena Kameka & Kristi Magraw. We saw & heard some great songs from the likes of Annie Tate, Jedd Hughes, Carolyn Dawn Johnson but the best show of all was Friday night with Rodney Crowell, Shawn Colvin & J.D. Souther. Wow! Incredible: amazing songs, beautiful singing & guitar-playing, (Shawn plays mighty fine). One of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

It was exciting to win First Place in the Blues Category of The International Songwriting CompetitionThe Honey I Want” is a song I’m really proud of and Betty & The Bobs have just recorded a fine version of it. They’ll be releasing their CD sometime very soon.

I attended Songposium (a Songwriters Association of Canada event) on March 12th which was very enlightening. Ralph Murphy (VP of ASCAP Nashville) gave a riveting seminar on Songwriting Tips, John Capek taught us about the importance of melodic hooks & Jodie Ferneyhough led us through a maze of publishing information. Later, Lisa DalBello joined the others for a panel that critiqued a number of song demos from the participants. They gave solid advice & insightful comments. So glad I attended (with two more excellent co-writing friends, Janet MacEwen & George Axon).

Also participated in The PowerSong Co-Writing Workshop weekend (another SAC event) March 19th & 20th, led by Stan Meissner & Warren Pash. It was an invigorating weekend, writing with people I had just met and with some I knew rather well (Helena K. was there as well & we wrote a song with Eugene Williams, “I Just Wanna Dance”, that we think is really good).

My gorgeous cat & companion of nearly 15 years, Wynton, died in early January. This was a very great loss and it’s taken a long time to accept that I have no animal company in my house with me (except for the occasional rat!).

Most of my time these days is spent writing & co-writing, completing & demo-ing songs and I’m really enjoying myself. It feels like spring is right around this grey Toronto corner & I’m ready to rock!

What I’m listening to:

Wynonna – Collection
I’ve been teaching myself “No One Else On Earth” ‘cause it’s such a cool tune & fun to play and sing. “Only Love” is beautiful and, of course, “Girls With Guitars” is mandatory.
  U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
“Hello, hello, I’m in a place called vertigo”, that’s me..............

What I’m reading:

“Driving Over Lemons” – Chris Stewart
One naive Brit’s adventure’s buying a home in the South of Spain; lots of sheep-shearing and wine drinking!
  “Shake Hands With The Devil” – Lgen Roméo Dallaire
I’ve just started reading his painful story. I was in Bosnia in 1995, singing for the Canadian UN Peacekeepers and I remember how depressing it was to be in a land where people are killing each other & how frustrating it was for the soldiers trying to maintain a sense of peace.


What I’m watching on The Big Screen:

Excellent cast, a lot of eye candy (Clive Owen), stage script not so well adapted for film, great direction (Mike Nicholls).
Engrossing story of the man & Jamie Foxx is simply incredible.
“Sideways” put a fantastic ensemble cast together with a unique story, add some grapes that have been refined, keep it believable & voila! a fine bordeaux to be consumed right now.

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