John Naismith and myself went to Nashville in August to meet with industry people (publishers, record company personnel, etc) and other songwriters from USA and Canada. It was a very positive trip, with much interest being shown in the band's material. Two big-name publishers and one brand new major-label artiste are currently interested in our stuff and we wait with baited breath to hear of developments! We'll keep you in touch thru' this newsletter of anything that comes out of it. Even if nothing concrete results from this visit, many useful contacts were made and I think it's fair to say that the quality of Evangeline's songs certainly made quite an impact on those we met. Many of the already-successful writers we worked with (Rick Carnes, Sara Light, Danny Arena, Pete & Pat Luboff, Lisa Palas) commented very positively on the quality and maturity of John's songwriting, which was gratifying to say the least!
The highlight of our trip was on Thursday 15 August, when John and I played Nashville's Bluebird Cafe to a very appreciative audience. The Bluebird was the subject of the 1993 film "The Thing Called Love", starring River Phoenix. Top stars such as Garth Brooks and Kathy Mattea were discovered playing there and it is widely accepted as "the" top place for songwriters to play in Nashville (no covers allowed - original material only.)
Although writers are invited to play one song, we managed to squeeze in a set of four songs by some careful repertoire management! In a round of four songwriters, John and I were paired with Meredith Henderson from Burlington, Ontario and Katie Gosnell from Annapolis, Maryland (who are both talented and gorgeous! - see the Babe Magnet page on the countryfever website for proof!) Since we had co-written with Meredith and Katie during our week in Nashville, we were thus entitled to perform four songs! I sang "03.03.02", a self-penned tribute to Harlan Howard, and John sang his "Universal Love" (recently considered for release by mega-successful US boy band N'Sync!) We then performed two brand new songs which we'd just written during our week in Nashvile - "Fightin' For My Eight Cents" (co-written with Meredith) and "High On Happiness" (co-written with Katie). Since neither Meredith nor Katie wished to sing the lead vocal in their collaborations with us, it was left to yours truly to sing three out of the four songs, with John taking responsibility for vocal on Universal Love. John also played guitar on the two newly-written songs - songs which were so brand new, I had to read from lyric sheets as I hadn't had time to memorise the words! Our performance was warmly appreciated by the packed audience, who always welcome the opportunity to hear new material at The Bluebird. John returned to the stage to accompany Sam Foster from Kansas City, Missouri on her song, "Without You". Check out www.countryfever.co.uk for pictures.
The trip was a fantastic experience and we made many new fans and, more importantly,
many new friends. Since our return, the emails and audio files have been bouncing
back and forth across the Atlantic with ideas for song titles, lyrics, melodies
and structures and there has been a prolific upturn in our songwriting output.
We are currently writing, arranging and recording to demo standard an average
of three brand new songs each week as the ideas flood in, so we're making hay
while the sun shines, so to speak! I'm off to Los Angeles in early November
to hold follow-up meetings with some of the people we met in Nashville, and
to meet with other industry professionals in my quest to take Evangeline's music
to a wider, global audience. Watch this space for further developments....