For me, writing has been in my blood since High School with poetry.
The kick start for getting a bit more serious about songwriting came to me while on a motorcycle ride from Ventura, CA. to Laughlin, NV. The annual run draws thousands to the community of Laughlin for a huge gathering of Harley’s for the poker run that benefits charities. Three friends saddled upon our Harley’s on a early morning ride to get Chris Hillman home for his meeting at noon. Harley’s running at a fast pace to get back home on time and the heat of the early day already at 100. We stopping for breakfast once we knew there was plenty time and we were close to home. The heat and high wind speed, blasting through the desert at a high speed, blistered Jim’s forehead as the windshield on his Harley focused the air flow right to his forehead. Conversation about the day turned into a bit of a song lyrics jam as I starting singing aloud, “Blast Furnace, I can’t breathe, it feels like it 120 degrees.” Chris Hillman and I laughed and thus started my curiosity in songwriting. LOL…, never finished writing that song but the memories live on! It was the second point in my life that pushed me even harder to start writing. Chris and I rode our Harley’s back stage onto the fairgrounds where his band The Desert Rose Band, opened up for The Oak Ridge Boys. When we rode up back stage the rumble from the pipe sounded like thunder, echoing off ever wall, it got everyone out to see what was going on. Some of the band members all wanted to take a ride but time was not on their side. Meeting the band and getting to spend some time with them made me even more committed to get busy and write.
I knew I needed help with taking lyrics and the ideas I had for the songs I had wrote as I do not sing. When I hear my self recorded singing, well lets just say I like singing solo. So low I know you don’t want to hear me. I hooked up with Steve Hill of The Steve Hill Band who has several #1 hits and chart hitting songs to add melody and co-write. We got together and started making music from his studio right away. This man Steve Hill has so much talent, I was blessed to be part of his world and have him co-writing with me to complete songs to share. It was when I wrote the lyrics for a female vocal song that stopped my writing with Steve. Not a bad relation just did not have a female vocalist available. Since I originally wrote this song thinking, hey, this would be a great Taylor Swift song. I had contact with her through chats and open chat room and sounded promising to have her listen to it when I got it finished. Timing was not right and the window closed since we could not find a female vocalist through Steve to sing Dead End Road. I shelved my songwriting for a few years as work and hobbies changed my desires briefly.
I had made plenty friends in the music world through my music page and reached out to a new friend Don Quinn. We seemed to have common interests and got along like good friends do talking about music and songwriting. He already had connections with an amazing studio and all the talented artists to produce a song. I sent him the lyrics and he like what he seen in the structure of my song. Together we honed the song even more to make it even better, what co-writing can do! The song “Dead End Road” hit Travis Thibodaux to have him make the work tape. The work tape was awesome and from there it went to Bryan Austin from Voodoo Groove Studio in Nashville to have female vocals added. It was there that Bryan had Karli Chayne add vocals to our new song. WOW…., it was an instant rush to hear our song come to life. Don Quinn and I have worked on and co-written on more than a dozen songs. What a pleasure and honor to co-write with such a talented songwriter as Don!
I have several songs recently I wrote and co-wrote with other artists and writers like Tony Corrales,Shon Cagle and Ryan Nicholson. I have been asked to write and co-write with many others this year and look forward to it. I enjoy songwriting and making some awesome friends along my journey. Keeping a positive attitude and always looking forward has been helpful in a very hard to make it career as a songwriter. My respect goes out to all the many friends and songwriters I know. In this business you never know when a song will get to a major or just sits their waiting to be heard. Now that I have had the experience to see first hand how a song is made and all the work that goes into a hit, I have a lot of respect for all the songs still waiting to be heard!
Pencil in hand and note book full of memories page by page, I think I got another song coming soon.