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Julie Sinatra

While we were in the Sedona area of Arizona, we visited our long time friend, singer/songwriter, Julie Sinatra. You might know her – she’s a daughter of Frank Sinatra – and has such a great story to tell, that she wrote a book about it, called Under My Skin …

Pictured, January, 2008 – Julie Sinatra, John Braheny, and myself.


The Vegetable Orchestra

I usually don’t post links to YouTube, because, gosh, you’ve already got too much to do … however, I can’t resist this one, “The Vegetable Orchestra.”

Watch how these musicians (in Vienna, I believe) select vegetables from the market, carve them into musical instruments and play them in concert.

Gives a totally new meaning to playing with your food.

About 6 minutes…”The Vegetable Orchestra” —



World’s Largest Record Collection

When John and I moved last year (still within Los Angeles County), we re-discovered our record collection — 30 linear feet of vinyl albums — and decided we just HAVE to go through them at some point, to see what we can sell/give away/toss/keep. We still plan to do that, some day soon (smile).

So, yesterday, when I heard on National Public Radio about Paul Mawhinney in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh-based publisher of the Music Master record price guide, and his collection of 3 million records and 300,000 CDs (that he’s planning to offer for sale on Ebay), I couldn’t help but share his story with you. Click below for the article, by Eliot Van Buskirk, in Wired:




Arizona Songwriters – Phoenix 1/19/08

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s that time again…

John and I will return to one of our favorite events…

The 12th Annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering
in Encanto Park (Phoenix, Arizona). Saturday, January 19th, 2008! For directions, click Map.

A co-production of the Arizona Songwriters Association (in existence for 25+ years!) and the Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department, it’s a FREE all-day event for songwriters and musicians, amateurs to pros, with informative classes, workshops plus opportunities to perform your songs ‘live.’

About 200 songwriters ‘gather’ to spend the day at this beautiful park and clubhouse, with several classrooms, on the edge of the lake, (photo above), meeting there with music industry professionals, networking, visiting, and listening to each other’s songs.

Photo above — songwriters getting their songs critiqued by John Braheny and Alan Roy Scott.

Bring your guitar, bring a lunch (although food is available to purchase), and enjoy!

While in Phoenix, John Braheny will offer private consultations (and song critiques, bring CDs with lyric sheets) for songwriters on Sunday, January 20th. To schedule an hour-long session, email: john@johnbraheny.com.

Look forward to seeing you there!


Songwriters & Bands – TAXI ROAD RALLY 2007

Songwriters and bands, this is for YOU

If you’re already a member of TAXI.com, then you surely know by now, that the 2007 (11th annual) Road Rally convention — free to members, plus one guest — is happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9, 10, 11, 2007 — at the LAX Westin Hotel (on Century Blvd, near the Los Angeles Airport). [Photo credit below.]

Check out this year’s incredible schedule of events!

TAXI (the name refers to the vehicle that gets you from here to there in the music business), describes itself:

We’re the world’s leading Independent Artist & Repertoire Company. As a matter of fact, we invented independent A&R more than a decade ago. Since 1992, TAXI has specialized in giving artists, bands, and songwriters real access to the people in the music business who have the power to sign deals.

The Music Industry Comes To Us To Find You
Record companies, publishers, and music supervisors call us directly to find new artists and bands to sign. They also call to find hit songs, instrumentals and tracks for TV and film placements.

We get the request, then give you the exact details about what type of music they’re shopping for. The company requesting the material remains anonymous (for the time being) to protect them from being bombarded with truckloads of unsolicited material. More…

Yes, we do endorse them…they’re one of the best deals on the planet for hooking you up with the people/companies who need YOUR songs (if they’re appropriate and well written, of course)!

John Braheny will be participating again this year … he’s on a panel discussion, also participating in the Mentor Lunch, as well as teaching a class “Songcraft Basics, Control What You Know,” PLUS he’ll offer PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS while at the event (as time permits).

During the convention, I’ll be located in the hotel’s “Bookseller’s Area” … selling John’s 3rd edition of his ever-popular (70,000 copies sold) book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. I’m not just bragging … this book is referred to as “the Bible” of the music business. We’re very proud of it …

We hope to see YOU at this year’s TAXI Road Rally!

[Photo taken at the 2006 TAXI Road Rally, Renaissance Hotel, Hollywood, California, with me between our friends, the twins, Jeff & Todd Brabec, who always participate at countless songwriters’ events… Jeffrey Brabec is an entertainment law attorney and vice-president of business affairs for the Chrysalis Music Group. A former recording artist, he has been vice president of business affairs for the PolyGram Music Group and legal/business affairs director for the Welk and Arista-Interworld Music Groups. Todd Brabec, a former recording artist and entertainment law attorney, serves on the boards of the Los Angeles chapter of NARAS, the National Academy of Songwriters, and the California Copyright Conference. He lectures extensively on film and television contracts, commercials, publishing and the worldwide revenue sources of the music industry. He is also the executive vice president and director of membership at ASCAP.]



Winery Music Awards 2007

Hi All,

[I took this photo, Oct. 7, 2007, of some of the judges: L to Rt. – John Braheny, writer producer Roy Braverman, hit songwriter Michael Caruso, producer Jeff Weber and (front) Jon Anderson (the group Yes).]

As I’d posted in the past, John Braheny was on a great panel of judges during the Summer, for the WineryMusicAwards.com competition. Above are pictured just a few of them…

Bands and solo songwriter/performers pre-auditioned and came from all over the country (from Canada too) to compete in a one-weekend-per-month series of live performances in Paso Robles, California. (Exactly half way between LA and San Francisco – in the center of 150 vineyards and wineries!) The 5-month event ran from June to October.

I usually don’t rave about each place we’ve been, unless people there have done a particularly stellar job, but for this we’re standing on our chairs, applauding and yelling, “Bravo!” (holding up our lighters) to all who worked so hard to make this happen. It is a rare occurrence in which a whole town chips in to make a music event so successful.

Several local wine-makers and vendors generously participated to promote the Paso Robles area, as well as to shine a spotlight on wine and music — what a winning combination! If you haven’t explored that section of Central California, we highly recommend it.

You certainly want to check out Halter Ranch (vineyards) for superb wine-tastings. You might also stop by Silver Horse and J. Lohr wineries too. Yum. Also, be sure to visit Pasolivo Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and take the quick tour when you’re there – fascinating!

We also want to thank our gracious hosts at The Canyon Villa, and the Vintage Ranch.

These 5 weekends were a superb opportunity for us to schmooze and to hear some exciting new talent. Hearty congratulations to Shannon Curtis of Los Angeles for winning this year’s competition. Click here to see the other winners.

We certainly hope that Kathy Kelly, who did an outrageously fantastic job of organizing and producing and publicizing the event, will continue to direct many others in the future!

Finally, for those of you who are performing songwriters/musicians, watch the web site, WineryMusicAwards.com or keep in touch with Kathy Kelly regarding auditions for next year’s events: kathy@winerymusicawards.com.



Wheatware.com – Green Guitar Picks

Hi Y’all,

We’ve been in the midst of moving (still in Los Angeles), which is why I haven’t been posting lately. Will get back to you as soon as I can … however, this is something from our friend, musician/songwriter, Nick Daugherty that I couldn’t wait to pass along to you.

He says these “non-plastic” (green) guitar picks -and drum sticks- really work well.

Check it out. Buy them (very reasonable) from Wheatware.com. Oh, yes, they make other products from wheat too, including golf tees!

Keep your landfill clean(er)!



The Creative Imperative

Most artists tell me (and you) that art/music/writing is not a job … it’s a calling. And I know that to be true. Artists and performers who are creating projects tell me that do them because they must. This has nothing to do with the concept of success. It’s what Garr Reynolds refers to as The Creative Imperative.

He also addresses the concept of creativity as something that some people don’t believe they have. Gosh, folks, I thought we’d gotten past that myth a long time ago! How can anyone still believe that after all these years? Don’t we all know, by now, that we are, each of us, creative beings? Oh, well …

And last but not least, he cites a couple of videos … well worth your time.



Staying Motivated

So many of us complain about staying focused. Believe me, I know how you feel. Some of us are just bogged down by the heat (it’s over 100 degrees this whole week here in the San Fernando Valley, California) and some of us are just distracted by wanting to look in the fridge for some new ideas. (Is that why we stand there holding the door open so long?)

Some of us work best in spurts … digging in and holding on for hours at a time until we collapse … others are best at setting a timer, and doing projects in smaller chunks, with pieces purposefully left over for the following day/week/month.

Kevin Cornell’s article, Staying Motivated, separates our projects into two phases … (1) getting started and (2) maintaining.

I especially like the idea of keeping track of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Often, we don’t realize just how far we’ve come until we look back.



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