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Showing posts from May, 2019

Sam Outlaw - Hat Acts [EP Review]

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I was bummed to learn Sam Outlaw recently moved from LA to Nashville. This dismay is multifaceted. The West Coast is lacking in traditional country voices, Nashville has corrupted the sound of more than one artist, and I like the fact Outlaw writes songs about things beyond the country norm. Such as this one from his 2017 album Tenderheart ...


But I get it. Artists have to chase the dream and yes, Tennessee is rife with song factories pumping out Bro-Country pablum to the masses, but it is also home to John Prine, Jack White, Jason Isbell, Sheryl Crow and countless others creating genuine music across many genres.

I hope Outlaw doesn't get swayed by the execs sitting behind the desks. Now on to a closer look at this new EP.


Billed as a six track EP, we are actually looking at a trio of songs with introductory skit before each. But hey, the complete package is clever and funny, though tough to discern the dialogue.

The premise is a night out for a cowboy, looking for love as Johnny…

Cell Block - Songwriting in The Age of The Smartphone

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As a fiction writer, I have a love/hate relationship with my smart phone. The power of research is amazing, and I can't tell you how many times I have instantly looked up the info I needed. I can check out a street view to see exactly what my character would be seeing, or order sustenance to keep me hammering at the keyboard all from the same device. These are great things.


But man, what a pain in the ass it is for my characters to have these same conveniences.

No longer can I reliably have characters cut off from contact or rescue, or struggle for answers that are only a Google search away.

Cell phones suck for fiction writers, and songwriters face the same dilemma. Think of all the classic songs that could never be written today.

Sylvia's Mother - Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
Sylvia's mother would not have been involved at all, if little Miss Sylvia had her own damn phone. And in this day and age, our suitor would have his own cell phone as well, so we&#…