This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Cross to our studio.
Robert Cross was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He started playing guitar at 14, just so he could learn how to write songs. Cross is the singer and guitarist of the original rock band Satin, who released their first album Drop Dead Gorgeous in 2019. Cross has branched out into other musical genres as well, having written songs for other southern California acts such as the pop-punk band Aim for the Heart and Country-rock artist David Bucci.
We talked with Robert about:
starting a song with the title
writing in your car
making the most of your “orphans” – leftover song fragments
how to communicate your musical ideas to your backing band
how the sound of words can lead to creating melodies
Blues-rock-soul singer-songwriter Gravely James shares his journey from a trumpet-playing kid to a kickin’ singer-songwriter. He also treated us to two incredibly energetic performances of his songs. We talked about:
The show you’ve all been waiting for…or maybe that was just Neel. The Song Talk Radio Team tackles the subject of the pre-chorus; what it is, what it does for a song, and why have one? Singer/songwriter Melanie Peterson joined us to perform one of her songs as an example, “Been So Long.” To add a few more examples to the mix, Phil brought “Buddy Holly“, a short catchy tune by Weezer, Bruce brought Beige Shelter‘s latest release “Light Your Way” (by Adi Aman and Neel Modi), , and Neel presented “Head Like a Hole” by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his well-crafted songs. “Where Things Used to Be” is great example of the skillful combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a strong feeling of longing in the listener. Listen to the bridge in particular and the completely surprising chord on the word “dreams”. Patrick’s song “Plans” starts with a great line, “In California there are dates in the trees…” and connects to “dates on my calendar”. The message of a man who sees that he must change is both poignant and honest. As we discussed the tunes, we talked about:
Having a manager
How tasty an E flat chord can be in the key of G
The use of “pause” in songwriting
Co-writing and collaboration
Ticket sales and merchandise (how to make money in music)
Toronto and Mississauga-based singer-songwriter Ashley Braga joined us for two live performances and insights into her unique approach to songwriting. While most songwriters turn largely inwards to write, Ashley provides a service writing songs for other people, based on their relationships and emotions. Often the songs are for engagements, weddings, or funerals.
Saskatoon-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Melanie Peterson joined us again, this time with her original holiday-themed love songs. Melanie has been deemed “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” by the BBC and a “superb songwriter” by Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun. She was last on our show in 2015.
Singer-songwriter and occasional co-host of Song Talk Radio, Eric Sorenson, returned to the show to showcase tunes from his upcoming EP, Directions Home, and a crowd-pleaser from his live shows. Eric was joined by his bandmates Liz Jaremyn and Andrew Ages.