Tag Archives: songwriting

Apply by Sept 18th
a Barbara Cloyd songwriting workshop
Chris Oglesby – Oglesby Writer Management
Rusty Gaston – This Music
Freeman Wizer – Universal Music Publishing
BJ. Hill - Warner Chappell Music Publishing
Brook Arrington – Big Yellow Dog Publishing
Emily Schiraldi - Carnival Music
(click names to read their bios)

If your goal is to get your songs recorded in the major-label Country market, this three-day immersion into the Nashville songwriting world will help you learn what the market is looking for from publishers who are on the front lines pitching songs to the top producers and labels.

Writers are invited to apply. Sixteen will be selected to present songs (live or a demo) and get feedback on the craft and commercial potential of their writing from the publishers. Not only will this help you take your writing to the next level, but it if they like what they hear you may end up with open doors on Music Row.

Since listening to feedback on other people’s songs is one of the best ways to learn the craft, writers who are not among the sixteen selected are still welcome to attend as auditors, who participate in every way except playing their songs.

Additional activities include studying hit songs to see what they have in common, a Q&A session with a hit songwriter, playing at a local writers night and attending a show with hit writers at the Bluebird Cafe

Dates: Oct 20 – 21
Location: Bluebird Café, Nashville TN
Cost: $295 (scholarships available)
Cost to audit: $175

2011 Kick-Off Meeting: CANCELLED

Freezing rain is predicted for tonight and with the cold temperatures the road will still be very dangerous for our meeting tomorrow. We are going to cancel it now instead of struggling and ending up with low attendance and dangerous drives home.

However, 2011 still needs to start with a big bang and a commitment to our wonderful writers and song writing. Since we have already set aside Tuesday at 7:00 for our meeting, we are moving it to your house! So at 7:00 tell your families you have a meeting. Retreat to a private room. Brainstorm titles, pick one, brainstorm a plot with the problem and a chorus with the resolution… and by 10:30 you will have written your best song of 2011… or at least you will have gotten a good start. We will be looking forward to sharing them at our February meeting!

See you then!
Stay warm and drive safely,

Fiona McAllister

p.s. Don’t forget with your membership comes many great webcasts… watch and extra one since we missed this meeting. Also remember Song Finishers will be meeting on the 4th Tuesday — and put March 29th on the calendar for a group trip to Nashville for the worlds largest all songwriter festival Tin Pan South, March 29 to April 2.

Plus for NSAI for Spring Training April 1-2!

September Meeting: Skype with George Teren!

OK, so you can’t miss this months meeting tomorrow night because we have George Teran!  He wrote “I’m a Real Good Man” for Tim McGraw.  (Fiona’s favorite McGraw song ever!)  George will be visiting us through Skype, talking about writing for the celebrities, and taking questions from our group.  Here is some more scoop on this songwriter icon.

George is an NSAI Vice President, serves on the Membership Committee and also participates as an Adopt-a-Shop mentor.  He serves on the Legislative Committee and has lobbied with NSAI in Washington, D.C.  George’s songwriting credits include Chuck Wicks’ “Stealing Cinderella,” the Brad Paisley-Dolly Parton duet “When I Get Where I’m Going,” which was named one of NSAI’s “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written” for 2006. George is also the writer of Gretchen Wilson’s “Homewrecker,” Trace Adkins’ “Ladies Love Country Boys,” Tim McGraw’s “Real Good Man,” the Tracy Byrd-Mark Chesnutt duet “A Good Way To Get On My Bad Side,” Gary Allan’s “Man Of Me,” Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Busy Man,” Rick Trevino’s “Running Out Of Reasons To Run,” Kevin Sharp’s “She’s Sure Taking It Well” and Billy Dean’s “I’m Not Built That Way.” George also has written, produced and sung radio and TV themes for the NBA, College Football and the Winter Olympics.

Bring a song for critique and register for our fast-approaching workshop in October! See you tomorrow night (September 14) at 7:00 PM at The Well in Pineville!

Fiona, Carl and Angelo

Spring Workshop with Brian White!

Come and join NSAI Charlotte
for an incredible Spring Workshop
with three fantastic Nashville songwriters!

Not one, not two, but THREE select Music Row writers: Brian White, Karyn Williams and Pete Sallis. The workshop kicks off with a family night concert Friday night, March 12th at “The Well“.  Doors open @ 7:00 PM, show starts 7:30. Admission is $10 at the door, FREE to paid workshop attendees (children under 12 yrs. old — $5, under 6 yrs. old — FREE).

Workshop attendees will meet at 9:00 AM Saturday morning, March 12th, and the workshop will run to 4:30.  Bring a song and lyrics we will have a drawing for afternoon critiques.  Fee for workshop and concert is $50/NSAI members, $60/non-members.

To sign up for the workshop, you have three options. Use the convenient PayPal link below, email Fiona McAllister for an address to prepay with a check, or pay cash/check either at the show Friday night or Saturday morning just before the workshop. We are looking forward to seeing you there. Come prepared to laugh and learn and be inspired! These are writers with a lot of depth, understanding and experience to share with us! And Brian is a nut… we’ll have a blast!

<Click here to sign-up using Pay Pal>


Brian White

Brian White has written for such artists as Avalon, 4 Him, Point of Grace, Brian Littrell, Selah, The Crabb Family, All Star United,Greg Long, Larnelle Harris, Jaci Velasquez, Cliff Richard, Judy Martin Hess and many others. He is a premier songwriter with the Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing. His writing has earned him 11 #1 songs, as well as two Dove Awards. After 5-albums and 14 years on the road touring, Brian decided to spend more time writing and ministering on a local level and country market.

He has written songs for Trace Adkins, Neal McCoy, Rodney Atkins and BlackHawk! His hit songs include the Martins #1 2004 Gospel song of the year “The Promise” and Rodney Atkins 2007 Bill board Country #1 song of the year “Watching You.”

Karyn Williams

Karyn Williams is a recording artist, songwriter, author, marathon runner. A dynamic woman with a powerful life story, is the eldest daughter of Orlando Magic Senior Vice President, Pat Williams. Her international family includes 19 brothers and sisters adopted from all over the world.

Best known for writing and singing “music with a message”, Karyn is a staff writer for Universal Music in Nashville. In 2009, she was featured at events alongside David Foster, Reba McEntire, Josh Groban, Jordin Sparks, Al Roker and Sean & Lee Anne Tuohy (Blindside). She also appeared with such artists as Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Vince Gill on the record project This Is My America. Her first radio single will release in the Spring of 2010, with a fall tour in the works. Karyn’s book, The Takeaway co-authored with her dad released in 2009 and has taken the country by storm. She has been featured on The 700 Club, Fox & Friends, Good Morning America Radio, The Daily Buzz, TBN, Confident Women Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping and ESPN Radio.

Pete Sallis

Pete Sallis, originally from Chicago, moved to Nashville to pursue his passion for music. After attending Belmont University, he hit the road as a drummer for six years playing for many Christian and country artists including Trent Wilmon, Bob Carlilse, and Tim Rushlow to name a few. On the strength of just six songs he wrote by himself, Pete signed a two year publishing deal at Combustion Music with Chris Farren. He currently writes for Brentwood Benson/Universal Music Group. He has had songs recorded by artists like George Canyon (2007 Single Of The Year “Somebody Wrote Love), Bucky Covington, Rodney Atkins, Melissa Lawson, Charla Corn, and Ty Williams. Pete won a 2007 CCMA Single of the Year with #1 song “Somebody Wrote Love”.


Quarterly Open Mic @ The Well

This month is the quarterly Charlotte NSAI Open Mic at The Well in Pineville, NC. It will be held February 23 at 7:00. This open mic is different from the normal one in that we sign up in advance and get assigned an order of go. This makes it easier for us to invite friends and family to come and catch our performance. So bring a friend and remember to support Susan with an order of one of her tasty drinks.

Please e-mail Fiona McAllister if you want to participate. Come and try out a new song, or polish an old one, or just enjoy the fellowship.

So far the list includes:

1. Joe Reid
2. Bruce Johnson
3. Jonathan Story
4. Angie Medlin
5. Mummer
6. Liz and Dave
7. Carl Dews
8. Fiona McAllister

You don’t need to be a member of NSAI to perform, so come and join us… it will be a great evening!

Songwriting Workshop with Craig Bickhardt

NSAI Charlotte Presents – Craig Bickhardt


Songs In The Spotlight: How To Write Songs That Artists Want To Record

Saturday, February 28 – 9:30am – 4:00pm at The Well
220 Main Street, Pineville, NC 28134
Tickets $40.00 NSAI Members, $50.00 Non-Members
For Information and reservations: http://www.nsaicharlotte.com
or call Steve Simpson at 704-609-3579

We’ve got another great songwriting workshop coming up in February! Craig Bickhardt is coming to Charlotte! His workshop will be held on Saturday, February 28th from 9:30 am til 4:00 pm, at our regular NSAI meeting place, The Well, in Pineville (directions at www.the-well.org).

Craig’s songs have been recorded by BB King, Martina McBride, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, The Judds (two #1’s), Tony Rice, Kathy Mattea (Top 10), Pam Tillis (#1), Ty Herndon (#1), Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Louvin and about 100 others. For a full list of Craig’s cuts, go to his website www.craigbickhardt.com. Craig’s song, Sugarcane Street, won First Prize in this past year’s 4th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards).

Craig’s new CD, Brother To The Wind, features guest appearances by Tim O’Brien, Kenny Vaughn, Janis Ian, Beth Nielson Chapman, Terri Hendrix, Lloyd Maines, Darrell Scott, Maura O’Connell, Rusty Young & Jack Sundrud from POCO and Andy Leftwich (Ricky Scaggs).

Craig’s primary topic will be Songs in the Spotlight: How to Write Songs that Artists Want to Record. Here is a description of what Craig will discuss:

A successful artist learns who his or her fans are by performing in front of them on the concert stage, not by making records in the recording studio. The “song in the spotlight” is where the artist and the fan interact and connect. This seminar explores the psychology behind the artist-fan relationship, especially in a concert setting. There are sometimes very subtle reasons why artists choose to record a certain song over another song because they are thinking about those 90 minutes in the spotlight. Craig will discuss ways in which you can shift your thinking so that you see things more from the artist’s perspective. He will show you how changing your approach to your subject matter can make all the difference between a cut and a pass.”

Craig will also speak on a variety of subjects related to the art and mechanics of songwriting. Then, toward the end of the day, Craig will pull several songs at random out of a hat to critique. So, if you want to have a chance to get a song critiqued, bring one on tape or CD, along with a copy of the lyric sheet for Craig to use. Or, if you prefer, you can just put the lyric sheet in the hat and perform it live if you are selected.

The cost for the workshop is $40 for NSAI members, or $50 for non-members, and includes a copy of Craig’s CD No Road Back, a limited edition promotional “retrospective” CD that spans the past 24 years of Craig’s recording career. It includes songs from Easy Fires, Idlewheel, a side project Craig has with Jack Sundrud of POCO, various unreleased masters (two duets with Wendy Waldman!) and the theme song from the Academy Award winning Robert Duval film, Tender Mercies. And, we’ll provide pizza and soft drinks for lunch at no additional cost.

To sign up, either send an email to Steve Simpson (sisimpson@aol.com) and let him know you are going to mail him a check at:

Steve Simpson
1147 Thornsby Lane
Matthews, NC 28105

Please make checks out to “NSAI Charlotte“… or you can sign up using PayPal, just click the link below. If you choose the PayPal option, a PayPal fee of $2 will be added to the cost.

Click here to use PayPal

Also (yes, there’s more), Craig will be performing at 8:00 pm on February 27th, the Friday night before the workshop, at The Evening Muse. He’s a great performer, so let’s all go out and see his show on Friday, too!

The Evening Muse
3227 North Davidson Street
NoDa Arts District
Tickets $8.00 in advance, $10.00 Day of Show

So, sign up now. The workshop may sell out, and you don’t want to be left out!

NEWSFLASH:  Sign-Up (and pay) for the workshop then join NSAI Charlotte for Craig’s show at the Muse for FREE — your first drink is on us, too!


Craig, you are truly blessed with a gift – Thanks for sharing it …” – Martina McBride

Being part of Craig’s project, and in particular being asked to sing on This Old House, was a rare privilege.” – Janis Ian

Dear Craig, Tonight was magic. This was by far the very best mentoring session on the craft of songwriting we’ve ever had! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us- it was a marvelous experience!” – Dena H. Marchiony, Executive Director, The Philadelphia Songwriters Project

The workshop was absolutely wonderful and informative and it was great to have Craig Bickhardt with us. I’ve been to a number of song clinics and symposiums and Craig did a better job of getting across what songs need to say and how to approach writing them than any of the other workshops I’ve been to.” – Donny Grace, NSAI Regional Workshop Coordinator in North Alabama

Craig Bickhardt stands among the giants of songwriting. His main stage performance at this year’s Philly Folk Festival was absolutely outstanding, he helped curate and moderate some of our best panels.” – Jesse Lundy, Creative Director, Point Entertainment / Philadelphia Folk Festival

Blast Off!

Wow, what a great start for NSAI Charlotte’s 2009! Thanks to Fiona for getting Hugh to us, to Bruce and Greg for the techincal support, and to all our members, new and old for showing up in force and making it a great meeting!

Information for the Craig Bickhardt workshop will be posted later tonight or tomorrow, please check back!

Also, a quick note about a new member site link, The Cloers have a blog chock full of information on taking your songs and artistry to market. They have some great pictures posted of last night’s workshop (I know, I’m a slacker) and links to just about everything you need to get serious as an independent artist.

Welcome new members, hope this site is useful, don’t hesitate to send suggestions by comment on posts or email to zero360music@yahoo.com.


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