Chalk one up for the FB is Awesome (And Still a Little Creepy) column: Last night my “People You May Know” stream was filled with people I had just met over the weekend at the New England Songwriters Retreat in Chester, CT. had been on FB maybe twice during the weekend. But FB knew.
This morning, that same stream is filled with people I’ve never met but are part of this web of singer-songwriters that are making my world a vastly richer place.
I lost track of how many ridiculously good songs I heard this weekend. Not just from the “professionals,” but also from first-time attendees — some of whom have written less than half a dozen songs in their lives. And at least a couple shared the very first song they ever wrote. Some of them could barely hold a tune or play an instrument. But when they shared their hearts on stage before us, their songs might as well have been sung by an angel choir. It was profound.
I’m not being generous. I’ve attended or run countless open mics over the years. There are always some gems scattered among the derivative and banal. But you have to wait a while.
Here’s the thing: songwriting isn’t some unknowable alchemy or Moses-on-Mt.-Sinai God-handed thing that only a few gifted souls can ever experience. It is a craft that can be learnt just like any other. All it requires is a commitment to going inside yourself with eyes open and hearts exposed to mine your truth, then refining and crafting those nuggets into a finished piece.
Put yourself in a supportive community like NESR with Sherpa guides like Ellis Paul, Laurie MacAllister and their hand-picked crew of instructors. You will learn the secret formula — which is no secret at all — of mixing your truth with music and words, then doing the hard work of crafting, honing each syllable, phrase, line, and breath until all that is left is the David statue-song that was there inside that marble slab of truth all along — patiently waiting for you to release it into the world.
Do it. Your truth is unique in all the world. It might be just for you. But more likely, when you release it into the world, there will be others who share your truth and desperately need to hear it conveyed in a song.
Do it. We need you and your song in this world.