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Ty Hager

#1 Songwriter Billy Montana on writing country songs to spec.

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Ty Hager    0

Hi again, fellow Songwriters! This is the third in my continuing blog series about the craft and business of songwriting, using interview segments from my book "Nashville Songsmiths - In-Depth Interviews with #1 Country Songwriters" to highlight specific issues pertaining to both the craft and business of songwriting, "From the Mouths of Pros!"

Tons more of this stuff, including audio clips of the interviews and the what-not, at http://nashvillesongsmiths.com/ - shoot me a message from the site and I'll get you a digital text version of the whole book for absolutely nuttin'! (please specify PDF or Docx). These interviews are all close to my heart, and I dig sharing.


Billy Montana (Bring on the Rain, More than a Memory) talks about writing songs specifically with an Artist in mind - this one had an unexpected outcome!

BM: People ask all the time, “Are you writing specifically for someone, or are you just writing a song?” And my usual response is, “I’m just trying to write the best song I can that day.” Well, we have a thing called a “pitch sheet” that describes, you know, it has the artist’s name, who’s producing them, when they’re going into the studio, and what type of song they think they’re looking for. And so Lee Ann Womack was on that list, and the description of the song she was looking for was “an up-tempo, fun, traditional-sounding country song.” So (co-writer) Jenai and I decided, man, let’s just try for a change to write for an artist specifically, and so we wrote “Suds in the Bucket” with that in mind. And we finished the song and really liked it, and our publisher really liked it. It was a cool thing in writing this song, ‘cause this is a case where we had the music and we had the topic we wanted to write about, but didn’t have a title. And I don’t usually start that way – I usually start with a title ‘cause I like to know where I’m going. ”She left the suds in the bucket and the clothes hangin’ out on the line” just kind of fell out of the sky, and when I said that to my co-writer, she was like, “Oh my gosh, I love that, let’s do that!” It just fit perfectly into the music that we had, and the idea that we had for the song. So we ran with it, finished the song, everybody liked it…and we pitched it to Lee Ann Womack’s camp and they passed on it. Which isn’t unusual, you know, that happens more than not, obviously. But it wasn’t too long after that that the folks in the Sara Evans camp heard the song, and thought it would be perfect for her. And so, she ended up recording it, and man, I thought they did an amazing job. 

Here's an audio sample of  Billy Montana talking about Bring on the Rain

Walt Aldridge on different demo approaches.

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