Monday, June 29, 2009

What do you call the songwriter's over-flowing trash can? Progress

Singer-songwriter Lori Lieberman (Killing Me Softly) talks about the hows and whys of songwriting at Her advice: "Write, write, write. For every good piece there will be a hundred in the trash. "

Read the whole interview here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just Plain Folks - Just Plain Amazing Chuck McCabe

Chuck McCabe's album Creatures of Habit in a World of Change, featuring the song "I'd Rather Be in Redding," is a nominee in the Just Plain Folks music contest. There are 10 nominees in the New Folk category - and Chuck's in good company. Janis Ian is also nominated.

Just how competitive is the JPF contest? Very, very competitive. 42,000 CDs were entered. It is "the largest music awards of any kind in world history."

Congratulations to Chuck -- way to go!

You can buy Chuck's albums at CDBaby.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eggs Benedict, it's not

Every morning, I head down our long driveway to fetch the newspaper with Maggie. While we're gone, Craig fixes breakfast for us. Maggie gets a dog biscuit.

This is what I get:

"It's good for you," Craig promises.

For what it's worth, he does serve my vitamin breakfast in a pretty Wedgewood saucer. But a little hollandaise and a slice of Canadian bacon would be a welcome improvement.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summertime and the Livin' is......Busy

Good week for music here in Shasta County!

One of my favorite summertime events, Marketfest, kicks off this Thursday evening, with The Kid-N-Nic Show. I'll be at the Shasta Arts Council Booth -- sharing information on an SCAC auxiliary, the North State Songwriters (and probably sipping a cold beer). Please stop by and say "hello."

At 8, I'm heading over to the magnificent Cascade Theatre to enjoy Redding's own Jim Dyar Band and Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women. The show is a fundraiser for Westside Performing Arts Academy - the money will go toward scholarships for needy kids.

Another Nick, Nick Ciampi and the Rocs, will be at the Post Office Saloon on Thursday night, starting at 8.

If you STILL need more music:

On Friday evening at 7, the Old Time Fiddlers will be jamming at Leatherby's. It's a popular event -- the musicians so LOVE what they do, you just can't help but smile when they play.

More info on Marketfest.

More on Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women

More on Jim Dyar Band

More on the District 6 Old Time Fiddlers

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shiver Me Timbers! Creativity's Alive and Thriving

I don't approve of pirating music. I think songwriters, publishers and artists should be compensated for mechanical copies of their work. Technology makes pirating easy, but it hasn't made it ethical. So when friends offer to burn copies of CDs for me, I say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Enjoying the view from my high moral ground, I really wanted to believe that piracy was detrimental to the music business. But I was wrong. Again. It's OK - I've gotten used to it.

Interesting story on the rampant creativity in the music industry since the advent of music piracy, from a study done by Harvard Business School

click here: Creativity and Music Piracy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In a world where music is freely distributed

Here's something completely different -- a song that's only being shared privately. Interesting story from the Wall Street Journal -- click here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Songwriter Kenny Rankin Dies

Kenny Rankin -- writer of Peaceful and many other hits and is dead at 69.

Read the obit here.

Enjoy his lovely performance:

Homeschoolers Head for Washington

Ben Lundberg’s passion for history is taking him to Washington, DC, this week for the National History Day competition.

Ben, an 8th grade homeschool student, won the top State award in Sacramento for his Junior paper, "Caravels, Gold, and Holy Wars: The Actions and Legacies of Prince Henry the Navigator - Tradition and Reality." Ben's paper also won the special "Islamic and Arabic History Award."

Ben follows in his sister Deedee’s footsteps – she was a finalist last year for her paper on The White Rose society. In this year’s competition, Deedee advanced to the finals and won a special Children's Voice Award for her paper on Janusz Korczak, a Polish pediatrician, and pioneer of democratic education and children’s rights.

Earlier this year, homeschool mom and history enthusiast Kim Lundberg organized a group of 18 students from Shasta County for the California History Day competition in Sacramento. The student competed in the categories of analytical research papers, individual and group drama performances and posters.

Kim will be a road warrior this week as she drives Ben and Deedee to Washington DC, where Ben will compete in the History Day finals. Eighteen-year-old Deedee will attend orientation for her freshman year at George Washington University, where she’s received a generous academic scholarship.

Interested in learning more about local and state History Day?

From Kim Lundberg:

“We look forward to even greater participation from Shasta County students in our local and state History Day competitions next spring. Students from all schools (whether public, private, charter, or home schools) are welcome. For information and details, please contact me this summer or early fall -- email: "

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Performing Songwriter Coda

I've subscribed to a boatload of magazines in my life - I graduated from Tiger Beat in the late 60s, to Seventeen, then Glamour and on and on and on.

For the past couple of years I've enjoyed every delicious issue of Performing Songwriter magazine. The publishers promoted indie artists, provided incredible Behind-the-Song stories of old favorites and pages of encouragement and advice. I devoured it from cover to cover - I save them, I share them. The writers and editors understood what I do and why -- and that doesn't happen very often. At least not to me.

A note in my mailbox this morning announced the last issue has just been published. I feel like I'm losing an old friend. I hate that. But I suppose I will begin looking for another way to get that monthly validation and support.

Read more here.