Join us each week for songwriting tips and techniques, and the occasional gumbo recipe. But seriously, take a listen! You’ll have so much fun, you won’t know you’re learning stuff.

Fresh Content

Show date:  May. 13, 2022

Mike, Phil, and Colm

Colm Gavin is a Dublin based Irish singer/songwriter currently signed to BEO Records home to The First Lady of Celtic Music Moya Brennan. Colm’s first two solo releases (Your Endless Slumber/A Voice For The Urban Darlings) both reached reached number 1 in the Irish Charts at the time of their release. Singles from his debut album have reached the top ten in notable Indie charts in Norway, Australia, USA, Canada & Japan. He has made notable inroads in the American market with his music currently being playlisted on over 50 stations across the US & Canada. He is presently co-writing with one of Ireland’s most notable & beloved songwriters Charlie McGettigan {Eurovision winner 1994 with Paul Harrington: Rock n Roll kids}. Gavin’s most recent release “The 1992 Tapes” EP reached #1 in the Irish Singer/Songwriter Charts, #4 in the Pop Charts, #56 in the Billboard 100 in the United States & #81 in the Italian Pop Charts.

We talked about:

  • Pontypool movie
  • Songwriting Challenge
  • Starting music as an extra-curricular activity
  • The difference between academically trained and self-taught songwriters
  • Using great poetry to practice developing melodies
  • What’s a “weepy” chord anyway?
  • How to make your song work when you have a lot of words
  • The close relationship between comedy and tragedy

Follow Colm:

Show date:  Apr. 17, 2022

Mike, Neel, and Darden

Open and empty. That’s how singer-songwriter Darden Smith describes the Texas landscape that inspired his creative new multi-media project, ‘Western Skies,’ available now.

Comprising a new studio record, a book of photography, lyrics, and essays, and an accompanying album of readings set to music, Smith’s ‘Western Skies’ is an immersive journey. It explores a world both real and imagined, inspired by a series of 1,000-mile drives from his home in Austin to Arizona to write songs with veterans.

Over his three-and-a-half decade career, Smith has released 15 critically lauded studio albums, landed singles on both the country and pop charts (including the Top 10 hit “Loving Arms”), penned a symphony, scored works for theater and dance, published a widely celebrated book on creativity, exhibited works of visual art, and co-founded the non-profit SongwritingWith:Soldiers program, which pairs veterans with musicians in order to tap into the transformational possibilities of collaborative songwriting.

We talked about:

  • Our Songwriting Challenge – there’s still time to submit your song!
  • Congrats to our former guest Alex Cuba on his Grammy win for best Latin-pop album Mendó
  • Darden’s ambitious bringing together of music, photography, and essays into a singular project
  • how Darden is always trying something new to keep his creative juices moving
  • “There’s a fine line between a groove and a ditch.”
  • How breaking patterns in your writing is a good thing
  • How to write an earnest and honest love song

Show date:  Apr. 03, 2022

Neel, Phil, Mike, and Eric

For the past 25+ years, Eric Alper has been at the forefront of the Canadian entertainment industry – making the Public in Public Relations his business. His enthusiasm, encyclopedic knowledge of the past and present have made him the go-to for music in Canada. He is also host of one of the top-rated SiriusXM shows “ThatEricAlper”.

We talked about:

  • Why catalogue music is outselling new music
  • How the days of having superstar musicians or artists are gone and not likely to return
  • What it means to have a hit today
  • How the older generation has now discovered streaming
  • How it’s cooler for the young generation to listen to (some of) the same music as their parents

Show date:  Mar. 22, 2022

This week we took a dive into the 1978 mockumentary – The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash – a satire of Beatlemania and the Fab Four. Aside from being one of the first mock-docs, it is also a very funny film featuring some Monty Python alumnae, a few famous faces from early SNL and one Beatle. But we at SongTalk (being very serious people) were mostly concerned with the music in the film – which amazingly good and very Beatle-esque. By comparing these fake songs with the very real Beatles tunes that inspired them, songwriters can discover many ways to appreciate and understand what made the original versions so memorable.

Topics like:

  • what elements make a song distinctive?
  • does satire automatically mean mockery?
  • are The Beatles songs uniquely suited to copying?
  • how can you be inspired by the writing, playing and production of your musical heroes and still make your own music?

Here is the film: All You Need Is Cash