Man vs. Row

by Brent Baxter

The Story Behind “Monday Morning Church”

Alan Jackson- Monday Morning Church

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

A lot of people ask me about the story behind “Monday Morning Church.” Did I lose someone close to me? Did I just make it up? Stick around and find out.

Back in 1999, I was in the final semester of getting my Master’s Degree in Business at Arkansas State University.

At that point, I was writing songs at night and on weekends.

I went back home to Batesville, Arkansas, one weekend to hang out with the folks. My mom, an English teacher, showed me a poem she had written as an example to her students.

The poem was about a teacher’s day, and it had a line that read, “Trudging wearily through the parking lot, as empty as a Monday-morning church.”

When I saw that line, it about blew the top of my head off! I thought it was a brilliant image. Immediately, I told her I was gonna use it.

Back at school, I started working on the lyric (I don’t write melodies). I remember sitting in my little off-campus apartment at my computer and kicking that title around. With an image like “empty as a Monday morning church,” I knew it had to be something serious.

I settled on the idea of a man who had lost his wife and was having a crisis of faith. The first lines of the song came first:

“You left your Bible on the dresser, so I put it in the drawer. ‘Cuz I can’t seem to talk to God without yelling anymore.”

I remember really liking those lines, even though I knew they might be too in-your-face. As it turns out, they seem to be most peoples’ favorite part of the song, so what do I know?

I’m not sure how long it took me to write the first draft of the lyric- probably a few hours over the next couple of days.

The lyric sat around for a few years…

…with occasional false starts by various cowriters. I eventually moved to Little Rock and met Erin Enderlin, who was a Conway native going to school outside of Nashville.

I rewrote the 2nd verse and showed it to Erin during a cowrite her parents’ place over Christmas break. Thankfully, she liked it. A few days later, she played the melody for me. She’s a great writer.

Erin took our song back to Nashville…

…and played it for her publisher, a guy named Jeff Carlton. He demoed the song I believe in 2003, which was after I had finally made the move to Nashville myself.

Even though I had originally written the lyric with a male artist in mind, Erin sang the demo from a woman’s point of view, and Jeff played it for Keith Stegall, a producer in town. Keith loved it, thank goodness.

In August of 2003, Keith put “Monday Morning Church” on hold for Lee Ann Womack.

It was my first hold.

However, he didn’t end up working on that Lee Ann album, and the song came off hold. Then he put it on hold for Terri Clark. It stayed on hold for her over Christmas.

Word was, she was going into the studio in early March of 2004. On the night of my two-year anniversary of moving to Nashville, Erin called with good news and bad news. The bad news was that Terri didn’t cut our song. The good news was that Alan Jackson had put it on hold.

Well, the rest of that month was pins and needles. Jeff called me with the news that Alan had cut “Monday Morning Church” in late March. It was an unbelievable feeling! Erin and I both finally had our first cuts.

And it only took five years and two states to go from an idea to a record.

God Bless,

Brent

Man vs Row

Sept. 22: KNOW THE ROW with CHAD GREEN

Man vs. Row invites you to be a part of an exclusive Google Hangout with music publisher & former ASCAP Membership Representative, Chad Green. Ask Chad YOUR questions face-to-face as we discus how YOU can get on the radar of a publisher or PRO. To find out more, click on the image below:

Know The Row pic 2

Become an MvR VIP!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, or if you want special discounts on Man vs. Row products and services, become an MvR VIP! Simply enter your email in the “Become an MvR VIP” section on this page. It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below. Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it. I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else. Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music: http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

Wordplay Thursday #57

Wordplay Thursday

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Here’s a writing prompt for you.  It’s a simple fill-in-the-blank. You can use one word or several. Feel free to get as crazy, genre-appropriate, or as imaginative as you want. The point is to get the creative juices flowing. And it’s a good thing to dig deeper, so don’t stop at the first idea that hits you. Try coming up with at least five things.

“His coffee was as bitter as _____.”

I’ll give you an example to get you started:

“His coffee was as bitter as an ex-wife.”

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

SHOUT OUT!

Thanks to Matt Martoccio, Debbie74, Janet Goodman, Ken Matthiesen, Paul Alvin Harris, Jim King, Cathy, Mae Young, Ronnie Jones, Amy Nichols, Willa Thompson, Norma Pfaff, Barney Coulter, and Dana Russell for your great additions to Wordplay Thursday #56 (read it here)! Great job!

NEVER MISS ANOTHER MvR POST!

Hey, ya’ll. If you like this blog, then make sure you don’t miss a single post.  I’ll be happy to send each new post directly to your email inbox.  Just let me know where to send it by entering your email address in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” box either in the top righthand corner or down below.  And I love it when you share this blog through facebook, Twitter, and wherever! Thanks!

Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Facebook: www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Instagram: Man_vs_Row

God Bless,

Brent

The Songwriter Who Cried “Hit!”

Man vs Row

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Please protect the authority of your word.

Make your word mean something. If people can’t trust your word, they’ll keep you at a distance.  Don’t be like the songwriter who cried “hit.” Don’t overhype accomplishments which are not… accomplished yet. Protect the value of your word, or people will stop investing in you and your career.

I know a person who always has some deal that’s huge and a “done deal.” Some deal that’s going to make us both a lot of money, etc. But not one of these deals (record deals, cuts, hit singles, etc.) have actually happened. And it’s not just big things- small things like “demoing our song tomorrow” rarely materialize. As a result, I just don’t get excited about any “big news.” I don’t know if this person is just trying to speak their wishes into existence or if they’re just naive… but either way, I just don’t believe this person anymore.

No, I don’t share this to complain.

I’m sharing this to beg you NOT to be this person.

This person is nice and has potential, but I can’t and won’t recommend that any of my contacts work with them. I simply don’t trust this person enough. I don’t want this person either looking like a fool or a fraud to my contacts. It hurts my credibility if I vouch for them. I just can’t afford that.

It’s true that if enough people THINK you’re a hot property, then you ARE a hot property in Nashville. But you can’t be dishonest. The wheels turn slowly here, and people have plenty of time to jump back off your bandwagon when they realize they can’t believe anything you say. It’s fine to promote yourself and highlight your accomplishments, but be honest with people.

Please, protect the value of your word.

What do you think?  Have you had dealings with people like this?  What was the result?  Do you still work with them?  I’d love to hear from you!

God Bless,

Brent

THE PRO KNOWS

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro. In this complimentary report, learn the mindsets that help the pro songwriter get cuts, earn respect in the industry, and maintain long-term success in the music business. Just click on the picture below to download this complimentary report today!
A Gift For You

FOLLOW AND SHARE THIS BLOG

If you like this blog, don’t miss a single post!  Subscribe by putting your email in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

Wordplay Thursday #56

Wordplay Thursday

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Here’s a writing prompt for you.  It’s a simple fill-in-the-blank. You can use one word or several. Feel free to get as crazy, genre-appropriate, or as imaginative as you want. The point is to get the creative juices flowing. And it’s a good thing to dig deeper, so don’t stop at the first idea that hits you. Try coming up with at least five things.

“He was angrier than _____.”

I’ll give you an example to get you started:

“He was angrier than a cheating husband’s father-in-law.”

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

SHOUT OUT!

Thanks to Debbie74, Barney Coulter, Janet Goodman, johnshouse, martinvipond, Amy Nichols, Debbie Convoy, Ken Matthiesen, t, Mikael Mbenga, David Michael, Dean Stacey, Bill Soprano, Laurie, Willa Thompson, Selwyn, Matt Martoccio, and Dana Russell for your great additions to Wordplay Thursday #55 (read it here)! Great job!

NEVER MISS ANOTHER MvR POST!

Hey, ya’ll. If you like this blog, then make sure you don’t miss a single post.  I’ll be happy to send each new post directly to your email inbox.  Just let me know where to send it by entering your email address in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” box either in the top righthand corner or down below.  And I love it when you share this blog through facebook, Twitter, and wherever! Thanks!

Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Facebook: www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Instagram: Man_vs_Row

God Bless,

Brent

I Wrote A Hit Song Without Living In Nashville

Man vs Row

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

You don’t have to live in Nashville to write a hit song. Or even to get that song recorded by a major artist. I’m Brent Baxter, and that’s my story

As a songwriter living outside of Nashville, you may think it’s impossible to get a song recorded by a major country star. You’d be wrong. Just because you may have a family, job, or other responsibilities that keep you from making a move to Nashville or one the other major music centers, New York or LA, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a song recorded. It just means you have to grow where you’re planted.

Now, don’t get me wrong, songwriters in Nashville have a decided advantage over those living elsewhere. They are close to the industry, it’s easier to make those all-important personal contacts in the business, and Nashville is a great place to learn the craft of songwriting. However, just because it’s harder doesn’t mean it’s impossible. At least not in my experience.

In 2000, after graduation from Arkansas State University, I was looking for jobs in Nashville, which, I hoped, would help in my pursuit of a songwriting career. However, the job offer came from a company in Little Rock, Arkansas, so Nashville would have to wait. But I knew I couldn’t afford to be idle in the meantime.

I dove into the local music and songwriting scene in Little Rock, which by no means qualifies as a major music center. But my main cowriter from back home in Batesville was living there, too, so that was a start. Since I’m a lyricist and not a singer, I helped get my friend, Tim Meitzen, some gigs in town.

Now, what follows is a string of steps that by themselves may seem insignificant. But in the end, each of those forward steps led to my big break.

I was downtown one day and saw a flier for an upcoming songwriter’s night. Well, that was pretty rare in Little Rock, and I immediately signed up my co-writer, Tim. (That was part of my job as the non-singing half of our cowriting team.)

Tim played the writer’s round, and we met a few guys who were starting a publishing company based out of Little Rock. Through the course of that relationship, one of ‘em gave me a cd of songs by Erin Enderlin. Erin was a songwriter from Conway, Arkansas, who was currently in college at Middle Tennessee State University outside of Nashville.

Months later, I saw that Erin was going to be performing in Little Rock. She was in over her spring break, and I went out to catch her show. She’d been writing songs in Nashville and was having some success making contacts in the music business. I gave her a cd of some songs, and she liked them.

Well, when Erin came back over summer break, we started writing together. Then she went back to school and continued making music business contacts. Then, over Christmas break of 2001, I gave her a lyric I’d had for a few years for a song called, “Monday Morning Church.” She liked it and wrote a great melody for the lyric. Then she was back off to Tennessee.

Now, I ended up finally making the move to Nashville myself in March of 2002, but it was Erin’s contacts that made the cut of that song possible. She brought the song back to Nashville, where she had begun working with a publisher. He demoed the song, played it for Keith Stegall, and it was eventually recorded by Alan Jackson in March of 2004.

Looking back on it now, it might seem like a straight line to the record store, but that’s only in retrospect. At the time, I was plugging away, just trying to take advantage of every opportunity that I could either find or create. I chased several rabbits along the way, not knowing which one would lead somewhere.

And that’s the point. You don’t know which small step will eventually lead to where you want to go. No, the writer’s night at Starr’s Guitars wasn’t the Bluebird. No, Little Rock wasn’t Nashville. But taking those small steps, growing where I was planted, led to a hit song and the ability to do this for a living. At least for a while.

I wouldn’t presume to know exactly which steps you need to take. And I certainly don’t think I was so talented that Nashville couldn’t help but notice me. No, I know ultimately, it was up to God to open those doors. He had me in Little Rock at that time for a reason.

If I’d been idle, just waiting to get to Nashville, I might never have gotten here. God has you where you are for a reason. Maybe it’s for music, maybe not. But I do know that where ever you are, it’s important to grow where you’re planted.

I hope my story encourages you to keep chasing your passions.

What about you?  Do you live in Nashville, or are you chasing the songwriting dream from out of town?  I’d love to hear from you!

God Bless,

Brent

KNOW THE ROW

MvR presents your opportunity to visit with new Curb Records artist, Ruthie Collins, as she prepares to release her first single to country radio.  Ruthie and hit songwriter, Brent Baxter, will give you an insider’s look at the reality of songwriting and record-making on Music Row. But they won’t be the only ones talking- you’re invited to join in the conversation, too! There are only EIGHT tickets available for this intimate get-together.  Click on the image below to find out more!

Know The Row w: Ruthie

DON’T MISS A SINGLE MvR POST!

If you like this blog, don’t miss a single post!  Subscribe by putting your email in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

The Law Of Achievement Is A Lie

Man vs Row

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Man… I don’t know how this is gonna turn out.

I usually draft these posts ahead of time, but not this time.  This one is a “here’s something that hit me just now, and I want to share it with you” post.

I was just reading through “One Way Love” this morning by Tullian Tchividjian as part of my quiet time.  He talks about how we get exhausted by trying to fulfill the Law instead of relying on grace.  He also made the point that we also have innumerable little laws that we and culture dictate.  And that’s what hit me.

He says many folks butt up against the law of success that says, “if you don’t achieve __ level of success, then you don’t measure up.”  “If this person or that person is further along in their career, even if they started later, then you don’t measure up.”

Here are a few of my self-imposed laws:

*If you don’t get to write songs and do creative things you enjoy for a living, then you are a failure.

*If people who got to Nashville after you are having greater success than you, it’s because you are not good enough.

*If people who used to write with you are having greater success than you, it’s because you are not good enough.

I struggle against these laws.  I am convicted by them almost every day.  These laws drive me to get up at 5am before work and sometimes stay up till midnight after my wife goes to bed in an effort to build Man vs. Row and my songwriting business into something that satisfies the law.

These laws convict me through the radio, facebook, and twitter.

Guilty.

Guilty!

GUILTY!

Grace.

Grace tells me I don’t have to be enough.  God’s Law is good because its purpose is to hold up the true standard, the perfect standard that I’m incapable of meeting.  It’s purpose is not to drive me to perfection, but to drive me to relationship with God.  Where there is grace.  Where there is love.  And where the Law is fulfilled and no longer has jurisdiction over me.  Where I can rest.  Where I’m free.

Personal (and our cultural) laws are dim, twisted reflections of the good and holy Law.  They condemn me, drive me to exhaustion, cause me stress and fear.

My laws are a lie.

If I never get to live the creative life again, it has no bearing on my success or failure in this life.  That is NOT the standard.

If other people have more achievement than me, it has nothing to do with my worth.

My value is not determined by how many songs I get on the radio.

That’s the truth.  And with grace, that truth will set my heart free to do whatever God sets before me to do.

And to do it with joy.

God Bless,

Brent

KNOW THE ROW

MvR presents your opportunity to visit with new Curb Records artist, Ruthie Collins, as she prepares to release her first single to country radio.  Ruthie and hit songwriter, Brent Baxter, will give you an insider’s look at the reality of songwriting and record-making on Music Row. But they won’t be the only ones talking- you’re invited to join in the conversation, too! There are only EIGHT tickets available for this intimate get-together.  Click on the image below to find out more!

Know The Row w: Ruthie

DON’T MISS A SINGLE MvR POST!

If you like this blog, don’t miss a single post!  Subscribe by putting your email in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

Wordplay Thursday #55

Wordplay Thursday

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Here’s a writing prompt for you.  It’s a simple fill-in-the-blank. You can use one word or several. Feel free to get as crazy, genre-appropriate, or as imaginative as you want. The point is to get the creative juices flowing. And it’s a good thing to dig deeper, so don’t stop at the first idea that hits you. Try coming up with at least five things.

“The bird sings outside her window like _____.”

I’ll give you an example to get you started:

“The bird sings outside her window like he’s wooing her.”

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

SHOUT OUT!

Thanks to David Michael, Scott Clements, Jaredith Mize, Ken Matthiesen, Michael & Mikalyn Hay, Drew Allen, Janet Goodman, Debbie Convoy, Amy Nichols, Robert Sans, Mae Young, Willa Thompson, Selwyn Chong, and Dana Russel for your great additions to Wordplay Thursday #54 (read it here)! Great job!

KNOW THE ROW

MvR presents your opportunity to visit with new Curb Records artist, Ruthie Collins, as she prepares to release her first single to country radio. Ruthie and hit songwriter, Brent Baxter, will give you an insider’s look at the reality of songwriting and record-making on Music Row. But they won’t be the only ones talking- you’re invited to join in the conversation, too! There are only EIGHT tickets available for this intimate get-together. Click on the image below to find out more!

Know The Row w: Ruthie

NEVER MISS ANOTHER MvR POST!

Hey, ya’ll. If you like this blog, then make sure you don’t miss a single post.  I’ll be happy to send each new post directly to your email inbox.  Just let me know where to send it by entering your email address in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” box either in the top righthand corner or down below.  And I love it when you share this blog through facebook, Twitter, and wherever! Thanks!

Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Facebook: www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Instagram: Razorbaxter75

God Bless,

Brent

Why Imagery Matters

Man vs Row

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Imagery is a very important part of your lyric- especially in country music. The saying in Nashville is, “Show me, don’t tell me.” There are a few reasons we’d rather you show us your song than tell us.

Images engage the heart, not just the brain.

You can tell me you’re sad. You can just say, “I’m sad now that you’re gone.” I will hear that and understand it. But I will only understand that with my head, not my heart. My head says, “Yes. The singer is sad. I understand what sadness is.” But that’s just information, and it stays in my head without moving to my heart.

However, when you show me what the sadness looks like- when I see the emptiness in your heart through the empty 2nd coffee cup you set out through habit and don’t have the heart to put back in the cupboard just yet- I FEEL your sadness. If I see you hugging his pillow at night because it smells like him, then I don’t just KNOW you’re sad, I FEEL your sadness.

Imagery is what gets your song through the head and into the heart.

Imagery makes it easy on your listener.

You can ask listeners to picture a lonely night AND be moved by whatever it is they imagine. Or you can SHOW your listeners a lonely night and ask them to be moved. Which one requires more from your listener? Exactly.

People are busy. They’re probably listening to your song while doing something else- driving, eating, working, hanging out with friends, etc. If the listener doesn’t have enough mental bandwidth left to process your lyric, they may either just hear the melody only (which isn’t the worst thing in the world) or they ignore your song altogether (which IS the worst thing- love my song or hate my song, but don’t ignore it).

Painting the picture for your listeners is often an easier path to their hearts- which is directly connected to their wallets, by the way.

Imagery helps you be unique.

Let’s face it, there are only so many emotions that show up in songs. New love, old love, new heartache, old heartache, anger, hope, nostalgia, etc. Since we really just sing about a handful of emotions, our lyrics are going to be pretty bland and boring if we only write in emotional terms. After all, how many ways can you say, “I miss you” without imagery?

The use of fresh imagery allows you to talk about the same old emotions in a new way. So it’s really in your best interest (and you’ll be more likely to keep your listener’s interest) if you use fresh, believable images to tell your story.

People are visual.

Visuals impact us deeply. There’s a reason radio dramas were made obsolete by movies and television- people respond more strongly to visuals! If you can paint pictures with your lyrics, you can give the listener something to see in his or her mind.

So there you have it. Four reasons why imagery matters. If you’ve been a very emotional, non-imagery based writer, I encourage you to try incorporating images into your lyrics. I think it will serve you well.

God Bless,

Brent

ARE YOU READY TO JOIN MvR IN THE TOP 10?

The listener’s reaction to your song is only as real as the character in your song. The W.I.L.L.power workshop will teach you tips & techniques to make the characters in your songs come alive and jump out of the radio and into your listeners’ hearts. There are only a handful of tickets available for this intimate get-together.  Click on the image below to find out more!

MvR Top 10 2

BECOME AN MvR VIP!

If you like this blog, don’t miss a single post!  Join by putting your email in the “Become An MvR VIP” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Members receive discounts on products and services and well as some other cool stuff.  Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

Wordplay Thursday #54

Wordplay Thursday

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Here’s a writing prompt for you. It’s a simple fill-in-the-blank. You can use one word or several. Feel free to get as crazy, genre-appropriate, or as imaginative as you want. The point is to get the creative juices flowing. And it’s a good thing to dig deeper, so don’t stop at the first idea that hits you. Try coming up with at least five things.

“She needs him like _____ need(s) _____.”

I’ll give you an example to get you started:

“She needs him like a horse needs water skis.”

Tweet: Wordplay Thursday by Man vs. Row! “She needs him like ___ needs ___.”: http://ctt.ec/v3OjN+

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

SHOUT OUT!

Thanks to everyone for your great additions to Wordplay Thursday #53 (read it here)! Great job!

NEVER MISS ANOTHER MvR POST!

Hey, ya’ll. If you like this blog, then make sure you don’t miss a single post. I’ll be happy to send each new post directly to your email inbox. Just let me know where to send it by entering your email address in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” box either in the top righthand corner or down below. And I love it when you share this blog through facebook, Twitter, and wherever! Thanks!

Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Facebook: www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Instagram: Razorbaxter75

God Bless,

Brent

Know The Row w/ Ruthie Collins & Brent Baxter

Man vs Row

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

KNOW THE ROW w/ RUTHIE COLLINS & BRENT BAXTER

Do the following statements remind you of yourself?

I feel like Nashville and Music Row is a world away. I write good songs, but I can’t seem to “crack the code” of Music Row. What does an actual artist REALLY want? It has to be more than just “positive uptempo love” songs, right? Why do artists pass on really good songs? I have a few questions that nobody I know can answer. I need to talk to somebody actually IN the music business. I think if I understood how an artist really decides what to record, I could have a shot at getting cuts. But I’m either not getting heard- or not getting honest answers.

If you keep on guessing what gets a song cut, you’ll probably get pretty much the same results you’re getting now. Taking who-knows-how-much time trying to figure out the truth on your own while spending who-knows-how-much money demoing songs that will probably never get cut.

Trying to get a cut without understanding the music business is like throwing darts in the dark and trying to hit a bullseye. You can spend your time and money filling the air with darts and hoping to get lucky… or you can let Man vs. Row pull back the curtain and let some light in. Learning how Music Row works- getting an insider’s perspective, will put you in a much better position to get cuts or a record deal.

This is not about giving you a fish. This is about teaching you HOW to fish. This is not about saying, “Artist so-and-so wants ___ kind of song.” No, this is about learning to think like an artist- to determine what artists really want and need- and how you can write songs that fill that need.

On Thursday, August 21, I’m hosting a special “Know The Row” Google Hangout with new Curb artist, Ruthie Collins.

This is about helping you get on the path to where Ruthie and I are. She’s an artist on Curb Records preparing to send her first single to country radio. I’m a songwriter with several cuts under my belt- including a top 5 country hit in the US and a #1 in Canada.

You’ll be more than just a fly on the wall, though. You’re invited to join the conversation and ask your own questions as Brent and Ruthie discuss:

     *How getting a record deal is just the beginning.

     *How the songs on an album are really chosen (and why branding matters).

     *Picking a first single. The best way to get a cut on a new artist.

     *The process of writing songs for a record.

     *Why an artist needs to be proactive (and patient).

There are only 8 spots open for this intimate one-hour event, which will be from 7:30-8:30pm Central on Thursday, August 21, 2014. We will meet via Google Hangout. Tickets are only $97.

Reserve your spot NOW by clicking on the image below:

Know The Row w: Ruthie

PRAISE FOR BRENT’S ONLINE WORKSHOPS

Brent’s Skype clinic was great. He was so well organized that the information was very easy to follow, and he was very friendly and the environment was very interactive. His suggestions and ideas about songwriting were so motivational that I stayed up until 2am writing that night! He even sent all of us extra handouts and went past the scheduled time to make sure everyone had their questions answered. I appreciate his willingness to share his love of the craft with other writers. – Briana Murphy, Nashville

Your presentation was interesting and flowed well.  Your handouts and examples were good and helped.   What you covered in that short amount of time was very informative.  The development section has opened a new world to me. Would I do this again? Yes. – Mark Westendorf

Brent Baxter’s songwriting workshop gave me the ol’ inspirational shot in the arm that I was hoping for. I can’t wait to try out some of his recommended methods for digging up and developing ideas. He’s on top of the latest digital aids and is the most organized songwriter I know. This man knows his stuff and shares it with those who want to take their skills to the next level. — Janet Goodman, Miami

NEVER MISS ANOTHER MvR POST!

If you like this blog, don’t miss a single post!  Subscribe by putting your email in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Razorbaxter75

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