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After the Ice Storm ... Snow

Well it's been an overly eventful month or so, with Christmas and New Year's and ... oh yes ... no heat or power for a few days thanks to a surreal ice storm that dropped almost an inch of ice…
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Starting from Silence

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a small but attentive group of fellow songwriters on a snowy night in Guelph, part of the Guelph workshop of the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC).  It's been a few years since…
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Just a songwriter

If I had my way, a national songwriter day would be preceeded by a national Day of Silence. No music of any kind allowed. Just to kind of ... make a point.

It's amazing how many people used to take…
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Trouble with Truth

Are you going to write the songs that matter to you, with your own unique voice?  Or will you create something that is only commercially crafted, chasing the perceptions and needs of some music marketer’s fondest demographic fantasy, and having…
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Who wrote that song ?

Take your favourite songs of the year so far -- or the past month, even -- and ask yourself:  Who wrote that song?  Of course, in some genres of music it's mostly the performer/artist.   But ... do you…
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A Breath of Inspiration

1. Prepare to be inspired

I don't know where inspiration comes from.  In my experience, I have to listen for it.  And I have to prepare to listen for it, too.  Inspiration does not always come clomping into the house…
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Songs from close to the bone

One of my most long-standing musical friendships is with a musical mentor and collaborator, JK Gulley, a fabulous guitarist/producer and songwriter.  There is a song of his that will always be one of my favourites, called In My Father's Field…
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Life is short - write your songs

I think everybody starts writing songs in their own way, from their own place.  Most of us face a giant learning curve in doing so -- Ian Tyson's first song was "Four Strong Winds."  A classic.  How does that happen…
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Fresh Thoughts and Expression

 I am constantly being reminded that it is possible to break out of a musical rut, or a mental one, and to create something that is fresh and powerful and memorable.  There is always that tension:  the desire to observe…
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The People Who Said No

I wanted to thank the people who said "No". 

We always remember the people who said yes to us, who opened a door, made an introduction, agreed to cowrite, agreed to listen, to publish, or even to cut a…