I’ve put together an incredible faculty for It Starts With A Song. Mike Reid is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and skilled pianist/composers, a hit songwriter with a real generous sensibility and a powerful poetic personality. Matraca Berg is an exceptionally gifted singer/songwriter performer with a deep well of hit songs and an incredible commitment to her art. Beth Nielsen Chapman runs her own songwriting camps, she’s so skilled at hands-on editing and the finer points of rhyme schemes and structure. She’s like a surgeon, she just gets inside of a song. Beth is also really empowering to those attendees who are a little bit timid about their singing – she has a method that’s pretty foolproof, you spend a little while with Beth Nielsen Chapman and she’ll get you singing in no time. Lera Lynn is one of the most poetic singer/ songwriters to come on the scene in a long time. Her songs come straight from the heart and he voice is stunningly beautiful. I listen to her music regularly because I learn so much from her. And the topper is this: she’s just about one of the most interesting people around.
I’ll also reveal the inner workings of the producer/artist relationship and the producer/record company relationship by talking to some remarkable producer friends of mine. David Baerwald is a poet, producer, creator, recording artist, insightful human being, it’s a blessing to have him join us. He has been involved in some of the most timeless collaborations in the last thirty years–a soul stirrer of the highest order. Tony Brown is probably the most successful producer in the history of Nashville. He’ll be there to listen to your songs and give you his feedback. It’s an amazing opportunity to get a little practice of how to pitch your songs to a guy who can get them recorded. Paul Worley is one of Nashville’s most sought-after producers and guitar players, he’ll provide an insightful and very practical perspective on songwriting.
We will also be joined by my very special guests, Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, and Patty Griffin. Rosanne, John, and I have a long history, so there’s a lot we can get into from a creative point of view. Rosanne and John are both truly gifted songwriters and I expect this will be a very unique event. Patty is a deeply evocative singer/songwriter, performer, and pure artist. I’ll start by interviewing them but then attendees will get to ask questions, so it should be both inspirational and entertaining. Although I don’t know Neko Case very well, I’ve spent countless hours listening to her music. She’s a true innovator and I’m very excited that she will be on hand for “it starts with a song.” A real streak of luck that she’ll be with us.