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Connecting Songwriters Throughout Northeast Ohio

News And Updates

Volume 3 Issue 3

March 2019

The Reprise:
Make The Most Of Your Time Playing Music

Don Henson, Founder
In last month’s edition of The Bridge I wrote the story of how I expanded my musical abilities by learning to play the bass. I shared it (along with several pictures I ran across) with one of my bandmates from that summer at Geauga Lake Amusement Park. His reaction was “our group forever.”

I thought about his statement and how that short summer experience, along with a few pictures, could elicit such a reaction. Then I really thought about it. That band lasted a little over three months in the summer of 1979 and I’ve played in numerous bands over the years since, from local weekend gigs to national tours. He, on the other hand, spent 22 years serving our country as a Sergeant in the United States Army. He never had the chance to spend a couple evenings every week getting together with bandmates to learn new material before carrying thousands of dollars worth of equipment on weekends to gigs that paid $50 a night. To him, that group of musicians formed in 1979 was the only real band he ever had the chance to play in.

Some of us lived that musical dream at some point in our lives. Some never had the opportunity. Many may struggle to remember exactly how many different bands we played in through the years. Others look back to one particular place and say, “our group forever.”

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Bob Sammon
No. Not Christmas. Elections. Songwriter Summit elections to be precise.

At our March meeting we will be handing out ballots so you can vote on your selections for the members of the Board of Directors for the coming year. The ballots contain some familiar names and some new faces who have stepped up to be part of the group that manages and directs your organization. The members running for reelection are:

Don Henson
Ken Moody-Arndt
David Palomo
Bob Sammon
Dave Waldeck

The two additional names looking for your vote are:

Larry Davis
Mike Urban

Our by-laws call for annual elections and all members who are current on their dues are eligible to vote for the board members. We should note that currently there are three vacant positions on the board and only two members have decided to offer their services to fill those spots. That means that it's not too late to toss your hat in the ring if you'd like to be part of the group that will make the major decisions in the coming year. All you have to do is drop us a note and we can get you on the ballot before next Monday.

In addition to the ballot we will be circulating a survey that all members and non-members at the meeting can fill out. The idea behind the survey is to get an idea of what is important to you so that we can steer this organization in ways that meet your needs the best we can.

Please make an effort to be at the meeting on Monday. We need your vote. We need your ideas. We need your support.


Join Us For Our Next General Meeting
March 4th at 7 PM
2 Girls Cafe & Bakery, Stow Ohio

Meeting Details

Don't Miss Your Chance To Be Heard

If you know you're not going to be at the March meeting on Monday you can still participate in the election of Board Members and help up out with answering the survey questions. Just drop us a note requesting a ballot/survey form and we can send you one by email. You can print it out and mail it in or scan it and send the results back by email. Either way you'll be able to be part of the process that will guide Songwriter Summit for the rest of this year.

Click here to send a request for the form.

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Member Profile: Mike Urban

Mike Urban is originally from Kent, Ohio. He played in cover bands in the Columbus area for thirty years, He has written songs for many of those years and is now focused on that since he stopped performing.

Mike admits that songwriting is hard work. One difficult aspect is to get into the right frame of mind, free from distractions and obligations, and to have enough time away from those distractions and obligations to be productive."Good songwriting. Mike says,"takes time and involves sacrifice because you've decided to forego other things to work on it. The sacrifice is worth it, however, if you derive satisfaction from the process and, hopefully, also from the result."

What keeps you coming back to Songwriter Summit on a regular basis?

I enjoy coming to Songwriter Summit because of the wealth of experience and knowledge of its members. That they are an attentive audience is also very important.

What drives your writing?

I write songs because I enjoy it.

How would you describe the music you create?

When I was younger, most of the songs I wrote were very much of their era because I was then more immersed in popular culture than I am now. One of the more appealing aspects of senior status is being unshackled from contemporary convention in your songwriting choices.
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One of the more appealing aspects of senior status is being unshackled from contemporary convention in your songwriting choices."

What advice would you share with other songwriters?

I would suggest writing from perspectives other than your own. Writing only from your own experiences or only espousing your own beliefs, unless you have led an extraordinary life or are profoundly wise, is limiting. I would also suggest that, in many songs, far fewer words would be better. The singability and evocativeness of song lyrics are more important than literalness. Meaningful lyrics succinctly expressed have much greater impact than wordy lyrics. Writing good, concise lyrics is much harder because it requires much more time and effort, a willingness to be self-critical, and many rewrites. I would also suggest devoting greater effort to composing melodies that are more distinctive and less conventional.

What are your thoughts about working with a co-writer?

I have recently been collaborating with Songwriter Summit member Scott Marshall on a song he started. We have each worked separately on the song and I think it is going well.

Wrapping up, Mike said,"I don't know what the best song I ever wrote may be, but I do know that the difference between the good songs and the not so good songs was a lot more work."

The Story of The"Amen Break"

David Palomo
Many of you reading this are probably like me and don’t listen to a lot of music with samples and rhythm lines constructed electronically. As some of you know, I’ve played around with putting songs together from pre-recorded loops and had some fun with that.

(Time out for definitions: when I think “sample” I think of something that is taken from another song. I think of loops as musical phrases that are recorded with the intention of being used in the construction of another song.)

Recently, the YouTube gremlins decided I needed to see a video about the “most sampled loop in music history” and I admit, it caught my eye and then my ear. I was intrigued to hear that David Bowie had used this sample.

Even if loops and samples aren’t your thing, I think you’ll find this YouTube story as interesting as I did. You’ll hear the drum break from the"B" side of a 1969 release by funk soul group the Winstons titled “Amen Brother” and how it had a four bar drum break that became known as “the Amen Break.”

According to the Community section of the YouTube channel The Beatles, John Lennon was already thinking about this way of making music.
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Videos Of The Month

A Showcase Memory

Dave Nicholson's 2008 performance of"Pink Catawba Wine"

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Internet Find of the Month

Sometime You Just Have To Admire Perfection

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Grace Notes
Our Next Meeting
Our next meeting will be held at 2 Girls Cafe & Bakery, 3707 Darrow Road in Stow Ohio at 7 PM on March 4th. If you are presenting a song please bring 30 copies for distribution to the other attendees. Copies will be returned to you at the end of the meeting. You do not need to be a member to attend a meeting or bring us a song.
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Let Us Know What You Think
What would you like to see us cover in The Bridge? Would you be interested in writing for us once in a while? Do you have an event you’d like to have published to share with our membership and the others who read our publication each month? If so just drop us a note. Like what you see? Catch a mistake? Let us know. We’ve set up a special email address that goes directly to those responsible for compiling this newsletter each month. It’s the best way to get in touch with us. We look forward to your input, comments and suggestions. 
Officers And Board Members
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Don Henson

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Bob Sammon
Member At Large

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Ken Moody-Arndt
Vice President

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T. B. Announced
Member At Large

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Dave Waldeck
Recording Secretary

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Ms. T. B. Announced
Member At Large

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David Palomo
Member At Large

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T. B. Announced, Jr.
Member At Large

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