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Start With Something That's True

Colter Wall Sings Ian Tyson’s “Bob Fudge”

Posted by on Sep 5, 2020 | Comments Off on Colter Wall Sings Ian Tyson’s “Bob Fudge”

Ian Tyson is one of the best cowboy song writers around. Maybe songwriters.  His song “Bob Fudge” is an exceptional example of...

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Travis Meadows “Pontiac”

Posted by on Oct 23, 2018 | Comments Off on Travis Meadows “Pontiac”

If you want to start with something that’s true, one of the best songwriting mentors you can look to is Travis Meadows. He has a way...

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Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road”

Posted by on Apr 21, 2018 | Comments Off on Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road”

Lucinda Williams is a songwriting super-shero. Yes, most successful women who have to deal with a male-dominated industry often are. But,...

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Jason Isbell “Cumberland Gap”

Posted by on Jan 27, 2018 | Comments Off on Jason Isbell “Cumberland Gap”

Having worked in the Cumberland Gap area back in the day, I’d drive up 25E through Tazewell TN, past the Mustang Lounge, and wind my...

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Gillian Welch & David Rawlings “The Way It Will Be”

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 | Comments Off on Gillian Welch & David Rawlings “The Way It Will Be”

If you’ve followed the folk and Americana genres, or read Pat Pattison’s books on songwriting, you know who Gillian Welch and...

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Brandi Carlile “The Eye”

Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 | Comments Off on Brandi Carlile “The Eye”

I got a direct message through twitter asking about a Brandi Carlile song called “The Eye” (thanks Helen!). While I’ve...

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Eric Church “Record Year”

Posted by on May 6, 2017 | Comments Off on Eric Church “Record Year”

We’ll deconstruct Eric Church’s “Record Year” to discover the songwriting devices that made this song a #1 on...

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Chris Stapleton “Parachute”

Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 | Comments Off on Chris Stapleton “Parachute”

“Parachute,” written by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers, is one of my favorite songs on Traveller.  It delivers a universal...

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Lori McKenna “The Bird & The Rifle”

Posted by on Nov 13, 2016 | Comments Off on Lori McKenna “The Bird & The Rifle”

Lori McKenna’s “The Bird & The Rifle” is a lesson in song craft. And, she’s a great example of how writing...

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Adele “Hello”

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 | Comments Off on Adele “Hello”

Written by Adele and producer Greg Kurstin, “Hello” focuses on a telephone conversation/voicemail. The song brilliantly...

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Aaron Watson “Bluebonnets”

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 | Comments Off on Aaron Watson “Bluebonnets”

How do you make a very personal moment a song that can connect with thousands and top the Texas Regional Radio Music Chart? Aaron Watson...

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Personification In A Song: “I Am A Town”

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 | 0 comments

Personification in a song is hard to do well. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Am A Town” is not only the most ambitious, with...

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Tyler Farr “A Guy Walks Into A Bar”

Posted by on Feb 14, 2015 | 0 comments

Cliches are well – cliche. They’re predictable, boring, and not something your ears perk up for . . . except when done in a...

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Kenny Chesney “American Kids”

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 | 2 comments

I once heard someone say there are three kinds of songs: Ballads, Dancers and Anthems. This one is definitely an anthem. “American...

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Joni Mitchell “The Magdalene Laundries”

Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 | 0 comments

On her 1994 album Turbulent Indigo Joni Mitchell has one of the most descriptive, powerful songs you’ll ever hear. She crafts a...

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Suzanne Vega “Small Blue Thing”

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 | 0 comments

Master of Becoming the Other!   Suzanne Vega’s “Small Blue Thing” is one of my favorite songs.  I first heard it in...

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