singer-songwriter

Bruce, Patrick, Phil, and Neel

“A song is good if you like it,” says Patrick Ballantyne

Bruce, Neel and Phil were all happy to have Patrick Ballantyne back in the Song Talk Radio studio for the third time. He always brings great songs (listen to “Make Believe” and “Sky” for proof) and lots of experience to share about the songwriting process for our listeners.…

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Man holding guitar in front of crowd

Protest Songs: What makes a good one?

For our latest theme show, we take a look at some of our favorite Protest Songs and try to figure out what makes an effective one. We looked at River Runs Red by Midnight Oil, Eve of Destruction by P.F. Sloan, and Phil talks about how his band The Parkdale Hookers, went about writing their punk-anthem Multi-Media Word and talked about how not to date a protest song.…

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Jeff Greenway finds his own way

Jeff Greenway returned to the Song Talk Radio studio to share his thoughts on song writing. His approach to writing is through a feeling, not a theory. This was amply demonstrated in the two songs he shared with us. The first, Cavalry, evoked the sadness and confusion you feel when a relationship just isn’t working any more.…

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Blair Packham packs emotional power

From the moment Blair Packham started to speak, we knew we were in for some great lessons from a master songwriter and experienced teacher. If You Were Mine featured a great bridge and instrumental break. In Her Dreams started out as a story of a woman in a call centre and moved to a daughter caring for an ailing mother. …

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New standards by Steven Taetz

Multi-talented singer songwriter Steven Taetz turned the Song Talk studio into a smoky nightclub with his perfect renditions of his own songs. Waiting for Wishes (co-written with Emma-Lee) had so many “hooks” we lost count (listen for pre-chorus one and two, and the first chorus!). …

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Lucas Bozzo and the wisdom of repetition, repetition, repetition

On this engaging program with Lucas Bozzo we delved into the sometimes heated debate of variety versus repetition in songwriting. Lucas performed two songs in the studio; “If” and “How Beautiful You Are”. We discussed:

  • legato vocals over staccato guitar
  • powerful lyrics over a repetitive musical form
  • the balance of the simple and the practical
  • chord substitutions
  • dynamic vocal changes
  • “da-da-da” as a break from dense lyrical sections
  • the power of a full stop (tacet)
  • the influence of classical training on the writing of popular songs
  • TAB chords

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John Glover keeps it simple and engaging

On this highly informative and entertaining show, we talked with John Glover:

  • how John adapted his guitar playing after a hand injury
  • the difference between “cathartic creativity” and the hard work of writing songs
  • Justin Rutledge‘s songwriting workshop
  • lyrics versus poetry
  • playing with Willie P.

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Bruce with the team

Keeping it real with Bruce Harrott

A very special show with Song Talk Radio’s co-host and co-creator Bruce Harrott, showcasing and discussing the process behind some of his best songs. We talked about:

  • Bruce’s traditional approach with writing lyrics first, and trying a different approach now
  • working with different producers
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  • writing about real experiences (“staying true to the story”)
  • using different melody/chords in bridge vs.

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Bob Guido serves up some ambient vibes

The awesomely talented former recording engineer Bob Guido shared some absolutely mesmerizing sounds with the Song Talk Radio audience. With his guitar and effects he played Letting Go, a dreamy instrumental which showcased Bob’s mastery of melody and form. His second tune Wake Up Call featured Bob’s vocals and lyrics in a haunting arrangement that called for more love in the world.…

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Giving yourself a deadline to get stuff done: Janice Ho

Our very own Tweeting SongBird, Janice moved to the other side of the mic. We talked about her having Opera training and her natural bluesy style.

Some stuff we talked about:

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The art of songwriting with The Sun Harmonic

Songtalk Radio welcomed multi-talented artist The Sun Harmonic (aka Kaleb Hikele) back to the studio for a second sharing of his song writing skills. “Born (I Have Awakened)” is a stream-of-consciousness, spiritual/traditional style a capella song that captures the losses we all endure as we grow up.…

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Putting a fresh spin on the familiar with Callie Deacon

Young singer-songwriter Callie Deacon shared her exceptional songwriting talent, impressing the guys with her ability to spin familiar phrases and ideas into original ones.  Callie takes strong cues from Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes.

We talked about:

  • why writing on the guitar is more fun than the piano (please note: this is the sole opinion of the guest, and does not necessarily reflect that of the Song Talk Radio Action Team)
  • song structures
  • how to include a “Morrissey” lyric
  • when to include a pre-chorus

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Mark Martyre writes melodic word pictures

Mark Martyre is a Canadian writer and musician. His prolific song writing has produced 3 full-length studio albums since 2012: Down, Record (2012), London (2013), and Red Letters (2014), as well as several live records, and bootlegs. His music and lyrics have garnered critical acclaim and attention both nationally and internationally.…

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Neel Modi and Sonja Seiler show us creative collaboration and more

Neel Modi is a multi-talented songwriter, drummer and keyboardist with an eclectic collection of recordings from the quirky to the imaginative. On this show, he presented “Depend on Me” – based on a challenge to write a song about a car accident from the brake pad’s point of view – it’s a “brake-up” song ;-), and “Nature’s Lullaby”, a collaboration with singer/songwriter Sonja Seiler, a touching poetic take on the interconnection between all things in the natural world.…

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