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The Muse's News

Issue 11.10 - January 2009
ISSN 1480-6975

This issue sponsored by:

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I n T h i s I s s u e :

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Alex Jasperse, Chip Withrow, Gian Fiero,
Dan Cohen, Don Sechelski & JJ Biener
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Ed Teja
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Featured Article - The Importance of Listening
by Jason Cannata
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2008 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.

All sorts of products and services especially for songwriters,
negotiated so that you get the best price possible. You'll find
means of promotion and distribution, songwriting aids,
educational products, musical instruments and their accessories,
and lots more. Find the perfect gift for the songwriter in your
life - even if it's you!
S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BRINGS WEB MUSIC CONTESTS TO A NATIONAL TV AUDIENCE

Make A Star is the first web-to-TV talent competition that gives
amateur and upstart artists a free and equal chance to gain
national TV exposure and thousands in cash prizes.

Artists and fans can register for free at to
upload their music videos, record a live performance on webcam,
and vote for their favorite music. The website works in concert
with the weekly television broadcast of Make A Star, which
premiered on FUSE cable network Saturday December 6th and airs
every Saturday at 10:30AM for 13 weeks.

By the end of the show's first season in February 2009, a $10,000
cash prize will be awarded for the best original music, and a
$1,000 cash prize will go to the best webcam a cappella
performance. Fans and artists are also eligible for a number of
cash prizes just for being active and voting on

Go to and submit your music today! Music
videos do not have to be expensive or have full production. You
can simply plug in your webcam and use the site's embedded webcam
recorder to record and submit your song.

E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday - whatever that happens to
have been. I'm not going to talk about New Year's resolutions.
(Sorry for even mentioning it there.) You all know if you need
to change something you're not happy with. Why does this time of
year happen to be so special in that regard? Motivation and
inspiration can come from a lot of different sources - not just
at the end of one year and the beginning of another. Keep your
eyes and ears open ... and you just never know. :)

Lots of stuff in this newsletter though - new CD reviews (a TON
of them) plus Gian's 2008 Muse's Muse Music Awards (they're at if you just can't
wait!), a great article by Jason Cannatta of Song Warrior Music,
the usual informative and interesting Muse's Clues from Irene
Jackson and a great review of a new book about Dolly Parton by Ed
Teja. And of course, there's more information about new
songwriting contests and other marketing avenues for you to get
the word out about what you can do. So without any further fuss
and bother, here are the raffle winners for this month so that we
can get on with it. :)

* Dana Russell, from Rossville, GA, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software

* Rayn Storm from Denver, CO has won a free 3
month membership to SongU (, an
Internet-based learning environment providing online coaching,
co-writing and pitching opportunities, in addition to over 70
multi-level courses developed by award-winning songwriters.

* Bruce Mandel, from Otis, MA, has won a copy of's Musician's Toolkit CD

* Darryl Ellyson from Chesterfield, VA, has won a 6 month
subscription to the Onlinegigs (
service. This valuable service is a powerful tool for musicians,
agents, record companies and managers designed to virtually
automate the administration of booking and promoting a band or

* John Hamilton from Boulder, CO, has won a copy of
Bronson Herrmuth's "100 Miles To A Record Deal"

* Christie Simmons from Calgary, Alberta, has won a copy of the
book reviewed in this month's issue: SMART BLONDE — Dolly Parton
by Stephen Miller (

I had a lot of people write to me after my plea last month.
Thanks for taking the time! As always, if you'd like one of
these great raffle prizes for your very own, all you need to do
is write to me with your first two choices for your prize and
your address info (this is important!) so that I can get it to
you. The prizes are all listed at the top of .

A very Happy New Year to you all! May it be a productive and
successful one for you - no matter how you judge "success". :)

All the best,


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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


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M u s i c R e v i e w s : Alex Jasperse, Chip Withrow,
Gian Fiero, Dan Cohen,
Don Sechelski & JJ Biener
Gian Fiero's 2008 Muse's Muse Awards are now online!
Visit for details.


Alex Jasperse:

* Shouse

Chip Withrow:

* Jam-Lab
* Kickin Grass Band

Gian Fiero:

* Tracy Millar
* Coko
* Tracy Cruz
* Duffy
* Justin Stein
* Saint
* Six O'Clock News

Dan Cohen:

* Ranlom
* Groovy Ruby

Don Sechelski:
* Tom Kimmel
* Tara Linda and Luna Nueva
* Greenlight Caravan

JJ Biener:

* Art Carter


For bios on each of the reviewers, see . If you're
considering sending in your own CD for review, you can also view
that page to find out which reviewer reviews your genre. Thanks!

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N e w A r t i s t S p o t l i g h t A d d i t i o n s :

Great music is only a click away!
Here are just some of the great CDs highlighted in the
Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse at

Frank Villafañe - Genre: JAZZ

Punto De Vista (ViewPoint), Frank Villafañe's latest CD, blends
traditional latin rhythms and forms with contemporary technology.
Incorporating modern inventive stylings and electronica, it
strikes a balance between the established and the unconventional.
Completely computer generated, Punto De Vista (ViewPoint) is an
atypical latin jazz release, and perfects Frank's pioneer concept
of virtual latin jazz.


Andy Michaels - Genre: EASY LISTENING

Andy Michaels is a Australian singer/songwriter and performer
with a passionate and heart felt voice who combines beautiful
music and melodies with lyrics in the genre of Bob Dylan and
Neil Young. He believes a song should be a whole story spelling

S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Ed Teja
SMART BLONDE — Dolly Parton
by Stephen Miller

There seem to be a large number of biographies of music
personalities coming out these days. Perhaps in these chaotic
times it is even more interesting to learn how successful people
accomplished all that they did. Dolly Parton has accomplished
more than most. An extremely successful songwriter and performer,
she has also done well in other businesses. And she started with
nothing but determination, making this a classic rags to riches

Although this is an unofficial biography, Miller managed to get
insights from people close to his subject, including one of her
sisters and people in the business. Combined with public records
and publicly known information he pieced together a coherent
and compelling picture of a very focused girl, then woman, who
set out to make her mark in the music industry with as few
missteps as possible. She worked quickly, and did not languish
long in the crowd of struggling performers. Swept up by Porter
Wagoner's Wagon Train, she immediately captured the attention of
the public. A series of duet albums with Porter lasted many
years, even when that relationship was no longer so golden.

Ironically, she seemed to be more sure footed, more clear about
her image, when she was an unknown than once she achieved a
certain amount of fame. She changed musical styles a great deal,
but some seemed to be, for her fans at least, mistakes. But then
she would go back to her roots and all was forgiven. Her work
with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt took all three back to
music they loved and undoubtedly won new fans for all three. And,
over the years, Dolly recorded with many well known singers, such
as Kenny Rogers, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson,
Brenda Lee and Kris Kristofferson. But she was always herself,
and not someone's costar. That sustained her efforts, even
through her work in television, movies, and Broadway. Hit or
miss, success or failure, she puts a unique stamp on her work.

There are multiple stories in this book, giving it some
dimensionality that sometimes goes missing from celebrity
stories. At the core of the woman who would be a singing star is
the struggling songwriter who wants to express her unique self in
her music, and the woman who must establish relationships with
family and friends while remaining in charge of her life. It is a
battle fought on several fronts, and with the press creating
additional difficulties, especially in their speculations about a
part of her life that she has kept out of public view. You don't
get any special insights into that private side in this book.
That isn't what it is about, and the author doesn't seem to think
it important to the larger story. For that, a giant salute.



Ed Teja writes a broad range of music. His songs and
instrumentals have appeared in television shows (Court TV and
Discover Channel) and in a variety of videos. He has had two CDs
released by Morrhythm Records ( and is
currently cowriting songs with an exciting singer who is working
on her second CD. As a performer, Ed has appeared at strange
venues in Hong Kong, Canada, St. Martin, Bequia, Venezuela,
Grenada and Trinidad, as well as the Silver City (New Mexico)
Blues festival, Pickamania, and the Tucson (Arizona) Folk

You can hear some of Ed's music at:

If you'd like *your* book reviewed (as long as it has something
to do with songwriting, of course!), please do email us and let
us know!

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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)



You Can Play Guitar author and publisher Scott Morris now offers
7 Free email guitar lessons that include easy to learn guitar
tablature, a sound file and free guitar lesson videos of his easy
to learn Billboard top rated guitar method that includes learning
guitar scales and theory used by professional songwriters. The
Free Guitar Lesson Videos - teach samples of learning the names
of the notes, sharps and flats, easy to play guitar chords and
more great information for beginner to professional level

M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info.

In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including
changes to this listing in this newsletter. All other contests
and market information that have already been listed here, are
displayed at & . Please check there
regularly for updates!

Cooch Music has launched its 12th Amateur Songwriting
Competition. The International songwriting contest began in 1999
giving songwriters, bands and musicians the ability to enter a
contest that is aimed at amateurs (writers who make less then
$5000 a year in royalties) only)!

Arinana Stewart, R&B winner of the 8th Cooch Music Songwriting
Competition, was signed by a producer after winning and her first
assignment was to co-write three songs for Bad Boy Records new
super group B5!

Songs are to be judged on originality, lyrics, melody and
composition. Quality of performance and production will not be
considered. All prizes are designed to help the amateur
songwriter further their career. Complete prize list can be seen
at Cooch Music's categories include:
Rock/Alternative, Country, Pop/Dance, Folk/World, Rhythm & Blues,
Hip Hop/ Rap, Gospel/Inspirational, Latin,
Novelty/Comedy/Children's, and Lyrics Only. Prize Alert!!!! Grand
Prize winner will receive and autographed acoustic guitar signed
by all the members of Three Doors Down. Visit the official
website for a complete list of all sponsors and prizes.

Deadline: 31st January 2009
Fee: $20

Special Offer for visitors!
1/2 price entries! That's right Now Only $10 an entry for visitors! MAIL IN OFFER ONLY. ENTER AS MANY ENTRIES
entry. And a chance to win the autographed guitar by 3 Doors
Down! But you must enter by Jan 31ST.2008 in order to get this
special offer! Just print out this ad and send it in with your

Jordan Zevon wins the Overall Grand Prize of the 2008 USA
Songwriting Competition along with co-writers Jordan Summers &
Morty Coyle. His winning song home will be on the USA Songwriting
Competition's compilation CD this year. See complete winners'
list here:

14th Annual USA Songwriting Competition is now accepting entries.
Winning songs will receive radio airplay in United States and
Canada along with great prizes such as a Top Prize of over
$50,000. Please obtain the entry form at:

Or enter online here with your MP3:

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that dream, to schedule your free consultation, just go to or call (573) 814-2169.
You can talk with the owner, Jason Cannata, directly, ask him any
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Music Promotion. If you believe in yourself and your dreams, and
never give up, anything is possible, so contact Song Warrior
Music today and
Go For It!
HOW CAN MUSOWIKI HELP YOU? is a FREE global directory of music-industry
services. It helps Musos who want to grow their music to connect
with people offering help. Whether you need to write better
songs, learn to play or to book your next tour of Europe,
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People offering services that help Musos can LIST THEMSELVES FREE
(instructions are here: Just copy, paste
and fill in the blanks.

If someone has done a great job for you, give them a boost by
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The Deli is the website that every A&R person and local promoter
checks out on a weekly basis. Our publication and web sites focus
on local music scenes and emerging artists (from rock to folk to
experimental, with a little bit of hip hop as well). We currently
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daily updated , separate web pages tackling the new emerging
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You can submit your music via the web through our open blog pages
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The author of The Little Black Book Of Band Profit Secrets has
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StudioTraxx is actively building its talent network and is
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For a limited time only, North Shore Records, Inc, in celebration
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MUSICGORILLA.COM! works with Songwriters, Bands, Musicians, and
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service. The service provides detailed, constructive song
analysis, answers to all your creative and business questions and
references to contacts when appropriate. Visit for more information.

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M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson

©1998-2009 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

Considering the present state of the economy world-wide, you
wouldn't think that there would be much chance for someone to get
back IN to the business, let alone start from the very beginning.
But sometimes talent and hard work simply win out.

I remember a number of years back when Leonard Cohen stepped up
to accept his Juno (the Canadian Grammy) for "Best Male Vocal".
"Only in Canada," he said, "could someone like ME get Best Male
Vocal!" It was funny because Cohen, of course, has a voice that
only some can truly appreciate. My husband, for instance, can't
stand the brother things he is utterly amazing.

In more recent years, the 74-year-old Cohen has struggled
financially because his long-time manager allegedly
misappropriated US $5 million from his retirement fund, leaving
Cohen with no choice but to get back to his writing and
performing to try and make some of it back. He must have built
up some pretty good karma in his quiet years (he's a Buddhist
:-)) because since making that decision, he has enjoyed great
success in more than one way. Not only have his live concerts
done exceptionally well, but his song "Hallelujah" has become a
hit yet again in 2008 from two separate sources, one being Jeff
Buckley's version which went to number 1 on iTunes after being
performed on American Idol, and the second from singer/songwriter
Kate Foegele after her version was released on the teenage
television show "One Tree Hill".

Leonard Cohen is one of those rare songwriters who has
successfully bridged poetry and lyrics. He also writes fiction
along with his poetry and songs, and is reported to have always
had a very strong work ethic, living sparsely and writing
furiously through the 60's and 70's, for example, when he moved
to the US to become a singer/songwriter.

Because of his recent resurgence, there have been a number of
interesting articles written about Leonard and his lyrics, two of
them being on the UK's Guardian website. One called the "High
Priest of Minimalism"
is an exploration of Cohen's taste for literary references in his
lyrics over the years. Another article titled "Who's Got the
Definitive Hallelujah?"
discusses the song in its many incarnations. Hallelujah is
reported to have been pared down from an original 80 verses and
took 5 years to write. How many of you out there have spent that
much time (and that many verses) on one song? I personally enjoy
the Rufus Wainwright version...if you ever get the chance to
listen to that one, you'll see what I mean.

Love him or hate him, you have to admire the fact that Leonard
Cohen has managed to put himself back into the spotlight when
most guys his age would be sitting back and enjoying the scenery.
Assuming they could afford to, that is.

So I leave you on that note (ha, a little pun). Here's to a
Happy and Prosperous New Year for all of you songwriters out


Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in
Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also
maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles
and a songwriter's messageboard.

Songwriting Tips:

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F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : by Jason Cannata


I know you've heard a lot of songs, but the next time you hear
them, try to concentrate on things you weren't thinking of
before. What's causing you to react the way you do to it? If
you really like it and you feel moved by it, find out why. Take
a look at it closely and take each part separately. Is it the
lyrics that drew you in? Or maybe it's the guitar part, or a
certain chord they used in the chorus. Listen to each of the
background instruments too. By doing this, you'll see all the
clever little tricks that have been used and more importantly,
you will understand why they work.

Don't just listen that way to your favorite songs, concentrate on
the ones you don't like too. Are the lyrics stupid? Is the
melody annoying or not interesting enough? Many times, the songs
you don't care for can teach you just as much as the ones you
enjoy. They can show you what to avoid so you don't
unintentionally fall into the same traps. And then there are the
songs that you may not like, but there are still one or two
things about them that impressed you. Be honest and give credit
where credit is due. I've listened to many songs where I thought
"wow, that melody is really catchy, but it's too bad the lyrics
aren't that good and don't go well with it". In that case, I
would focus on the melody and try to find what techniques were
used with it.

The more songs you listen to from the "inside out", the more
techniques you will be exposed to, and pick up along the way.
This will give you a much greater range of things to work with
when you write your songs. Eventually, you will be prepared for
virtually every situation you encounter in writing your songs.
When you get to that part where you're not sure what should come
next in a song you're working on, you'll have tons of ideas
because you will have the knowledge you got from listening and
understanding all those different kinds of songs. Then,
songwriting will not only become easier, but it will also be a
lot more fun for you. In creativity, the more options you have
to work with, the better.

Using the analogy of painting a picture, you can imagine how the
artist would be limited if all he/she had to work with were three
colors, blue, red, and yellow. They have to create a picture
that they know will work with those colors. That means that they
can't draw whatever their imagination thinks of. Their
imagination is now limited to creating things that will only work
within the means they have to create the picture. But if they
had more colors, such as purple, orange, and pink, they would
have a little more room and it opens up the possibility of new
ideas. So they keep building and building their collection of
colors until finally they have ones like magenta, teal, and cadet
blue, and so on. Now, when they get to a part of the painting
where they have to use red, they have several options. They
don't have to settle for just "red". They now have things like
scarlet, crimson, and violet red to choose from. The paintings
are really brought to life and they have much more depth to them
because the painter can go wherever their imagination takes them.

The things you learn from the songs you listen to are your
"colors". You can never have enough different colors or ways to
use them. Building your color palette takes time, but the good
news is it's also a lot of fun because you'll be doing one of
your favorite things, listening to music! So the next time you
hear a song, really listen to it. It also helps to keep notes on
each song so you can refer back to them. They don't have to be
detailed explanations, just short phrases so you remember what
you were thinking of when you listened to it. These notes can
also help you deal with writer's block by giving you new ideas to
write with.


Jason Cannata has been in the music business for over fifteen
years as a songwriter, artist, and producer, with five songs on
the radio, and he has created a company, Song Warrior Music, that
is focused on helping others achieve their dreams in a completely
new way that is changing how the music industry works forever.
If your goal is having your music heard, being on the radio, or
writing music for other artists, go to today and schedule your
free consultation to see how Jason can help you enjoy building a
successful music career.

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" O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E :

New Year's Resolutions for Songwriters - By Mary Dawson

It's almost time to make our New Year's resolutions for 2009. Are
you ready for the New Year? Will your resolutions collapse by
February? Or will you actually make some progress this year?
Mary's article will help you make a New Year's plan that works.


Q&A: What about compilation CDs? Are they a good deal for an
aspiring songwriter or not?
- Answered by Mary Dawson

Meilyssia asks whether or not it's a good idea for a songwriter
to get a song published in a "compilation CD".

Blue Collar Holiday Reflections 2008 - By Mick Polich

Break out the nog, and nestle up to the fire, as ol' Uncle Mick
looks back 20 years ago to do a bit of holiday reflection of
music,community, and spirit...


I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It - A Lot!!! - By Khaliq Glover

How to become a better songwriter by studying the masters of the
past such as Cole Porter, Kern, Gershwin, and more. This modern
hit song by Katy Perry uses some of the same techniques of songs
written 60-80 years ago.


This Is Who You Are, This Is What You Do - By Mick Polich

Happy holidays, peeps! Blue Collar is into year-end reflections
before we head into the new era - this time, Mick explores a bit
about searching for ' you' in your art and music...


C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s :


"This remarkable piece of software turns your Mac or PC into a
valuable songwriter partner"
-- Richard Leiter, Keyboard Magazine

If you have a high speed connection, you can download a 30-Day
demo. If not, we will send you a copy for $9.95 which will be
deducted from the purchase price if you decide to buy.

Receive a special ** $70.00 ** discount off the $289.00 list
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Please use discount coupon # 3004.

Endorsed by: BMI, ASCAP, NSAI, PRS and Taxi.
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The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your
songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its Seventh Edition, The
Indie Bible has 330 pages of valuable contacts and music-related

The 9th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
4200 publications around the world that will REVIEW your CD!
3400 radio stations around the world that will PLAY your songs!
500 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music!
200 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files!
500 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band!
52 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly!

Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as
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For details and to order online visit:

Inspired by the songwriter's journey, and through understanding
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Discounts for CD, and CD/Digital Download Combo shown on ordering


Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
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