BEST SONGS OF THE MEETING CRITIQUES

Each month songs of members are critiqued at the 2nd Tuesday meeting. Winners each month are published in Songwriters Notes. At the end of each year, the songs are judged by industry pros and the Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriter whose song garnered the most points from the judges.
Also, Songwriter of the Year is awarded to the songwriter who had the most winning songs in the meetings throughout the year.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 Best Songs of the Second Tuesday Meetings

SONG OF THE YEAR FINALIST

1 TIME TO LEAVE by Beth Murphy, Richardson, TX
2 Y PICKUP TRUCK SHE NEVER LETS ME DOWN by Charles Carter, Dallas, TX
3 LAST CHANCE TO DANCE IN TEXAS by Rio King, Plano, TX
4 I’M SINGING MY HEART OUT IN DALLAS TONIGHT by Charles Carter, Dallas, TX
5 PLAY ME SUMP'N LIKE DAT by Rio King, Plano, TX
6 THAT WINDOW CLOSES FAST by Rio King, Plano, TX

These meeting winners are in the process of being reviewed by a judge. The winner will be announced at the Awards Dinner and Christmas Party on Dec 13 at Sons of Hermann Hall.

Monday, May 4, 2015

BEST SONGS OF THE 2015 MEETINGS

Congratulations, Rio King, with four Monthly Critique wins, which makes you the uncontested Songwriter of the Year for 2015. Here’s a list of all the monthly winners:

Jan    SWEET ROLLS AND CREAM by Rio King
Feb    ALONE WITH ALONE by Dickey Johnson
Mar    BOOGIE WOOGIE RHYTHM by Rio King
Apr    No Song
May    GIVE ‘EM TIME, LORD by Bobby Montgomery
Jun    WAITING TO BREATHE by Dori Weaver
Jul    JIMMY LOVED JESUS by Rio King
Aug    No song
Sep    BOOMER BOOGIE by Rio King
Oct    No song
Nov    THE OLD WRECKED VET by Rio King
 

Come to the Christmas Party on December 8 to hear Rio get up sing a few of his winning numbers. Also, the Song of the Year will be announced then.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

BEST SONGS OF THE SECOND TUESDAY MEETINGS 2014

NOV 2014
My Lucky Night by Bobby Montgomery
Critique panel: Michael Brandenberger and Buck Morgan (3 songs)

OCT 2014
 
Dreaming of You by Bobby Montgomery
Critique panel: Buck Morgan and Bobby Smith (6 songs)

SEPT 2014
A Woman Aging by Morri Hartgraves
Critique panel: Steve Sullivan and Dru Richmond (6 songs)

AUG 2014
No Meeting
JULY 2014
Your Love Is Killing Me by Harry Hewlett
Critique panel: Buck Morgan and Joe Milton (4 songs)

JUNE 2014
Hide N Watch by Rio King
Critique panel: Buck Morgan and Jay Johnson (4 songs)

MAY 2014
Before Saying Goodbye by Bobby Montgomery
Critique panel: Aaron Shook and Ted Pearce (6 songs)

APRIL 2014
Honky Tonk Shrink by Rio King
Critique panel: Aaron Shook and Michael Brandenberger (6 songs)

MARCH 2014
Roadkill of Love by Harry Hewlett
Critique panel: Aaron Shook and Pete Miller (6 songs)


FEB 2014
No meeting due to ice storm

JAN 2014
The Cleaning Lady by Bobby Montgomery
Critique panel: Buck Morgan & Tony Ramey (5 songs)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Songwriter and Song of the Year 2013 Announced

The Dallas Songwriter Association Song of the Year was announced at the meeting this past Tuesday.
Brooke Malouf and Eric Roberts are the winning writers with their song "Till Love Comes Back". Andy Schrumpf came in second with "What You Got".

Roger Russell was presented with the Vern Dailey Songwriter of the Year Award. Congratulations, Roger...it's an honor well deserved since he was the songwriter who won the most monthly critiques last year.

Thanks to Pete Miller for taking on the task of judging the Song of the Year. Pete explained during the meeting that he evaluated the songs based on the same criteria that we use each month for the song critiques, scoring each piece on hook, melody, lyric, structure, originality, and truth. He also made clear that he did not use production value as part of his evaluation, but looked through that to the basic song itself.

Here are the top 5 songs and Pete's comments about each:

DSA 2013 Song of the Year

Judge Pete Miller's Critiques
TOP 5
1st Place Winner

'Til Love Comes Back by Brooke Malouf and Eric Roberts
This song just comes across like it didn’t take much effort – flowed honestly from a feeling and not forced or contrived. The lyric has emotional and visual elements. The form is near perfect – maybe it could be shortened just a bit without compromising anything.

Runner Up
What You Got by Andy Schrumpf
This is a very relevant contemporary country song. Really strong hook even though it repeats quite a bit, it still holds up. The lyrics, and how they tell the story are very clever – the perspective also allows for repeating. Musically, I especially like that the verses have some good fire in them. I do think there is room for a quick bridge in between the last two choruses – a couple of trick lines that could solidify the story even more.

3. Wait For Tomorrow by Barbe McMillen & Laurie Windham
I interpret this as an obvious musical theater piece. The form is appropriate for that genre. I visualize performers on the stage singing and dancing supporting the lead, but the song is also listenable without the stage presentation. I might suggest a change of the fifth line of the chorus to make it less repetitive of the second line, just to vary it some. The melody sits nicely on top of the rocking rhythm and chord changes. Very jubilant.

4. Here I Am by Mary Guthrie
This song has a great “prayerful” feeling with beautiful visuals to help create that feeling. The message is simple but very explicit. The form flows real well for this tune, though I might suggest the instrumental vary somewhat from the intro. The melody floats above the moving, well voiced, chord changes. The hook is not perceived as original but it is very fitting.

5. Sunset In September (Alex Gorodiscas, Roger Russell, Robin Willis, Kevin Moore)
Nice emotional and very visual song. Good lyrics and hook. The melody is also nice, supported by solid chord progressions. I would prefer a quick turnaround after the first chorus to set up the second verse. That said, with the running time a little long, I would suggest shortening the bridge. I think you could accomplish the reveal – message – of that bridge in three lines rather than six, and it could make it even more powerful. 

Other monthly winners in no particular order:
You Gotta Go Home by Roger Russell and Alex Gorodiscas
The lyrics for this song are very appropriate for the genre and the rhyming scheme is clever.  Even though it’s a rap tune, the chord progression and melody are, again, appropriate. Understanding that rap is generally repetitive, I do believe there could be some type of diversion technique used to break it up in this case.  A quasi bridge maybe, with more of a melodic idea.

Giving Up On Memories by Morri Hartgraves
Such a classic style, scoring high on the melody and chord progression. I also really like the hook of the lyric. The verses are beautiful but I would like to hear two additional, different lines in the chorus instead of repeating two lines. And though I’m not judging performance, I have to say what a beautiful vocal on this track.

I’ll Be Your Someone by Gigi Gostas and Abbey Cones
Very pretty, heartfelt ballad scoring high on melody. I really like how the pre chorus works. I also think the structure comfortably flows well – the short instrumental into the PC again and the modulation all work nicely. In writing lyrics, obviously we tend to bend the rules of grammar, but the second line of the hook, for me, seems too awkward. It’s too distracting and it may feel better to me to have the title as the last line of the chorus. 

Something About You by Gigi Gostas
Nice hook and lyric – good visuals with the verses and chorus.  I do believe any version should have a short intro so it doesn’t start so abruptly. Harmonically, I would like to see the verses and chorus have different chord structures to distinguish more between them. And since it is upbeat, with a seemingly happy lyric, it could take on less of a minor feel.

If I See You Again by Michael Brandenberger
A nice classic bossa scoring high on structure – very suitable for the style.  The chord changes and melody are also very nice. The lyrics just seemed a little forced to me. It would be nice to have more romantic or deeper visuals, especially in the bridge. 

In Your Eyes by Barbara McMillen and Laurie Windham
Very nice chord changes and pretty melody, bringing out a true feeling of the hook of the song. Lyrically the hook is strong to me, and the rest of the lyrics support it well. The challenging part for me was the structure.  I feel that the second verse (1/2 vs) should come after a quick turn around, instead of the longer instrumental. And after the second chorus is where I would put the instrumental along with a quick bridge before the last chorus and tag. 

Wish You Were Here by Lisa Byrn
This song has a very truthful sentiment, and the lyrics are very visual supporting that feeling. However, I think they may be overstated – a bit redundant maybe. And I think this makes the song a tad too long as well. The melody and chord progressions are simple - in a good way, but I think this adds even more reason to shorten the form.   

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Best Songs of The Second Tuesday Meeting 2014


MARCH 2014
Roadkill of Love by Harry Hewlett
Critique panel: Aaron Shook and Pete Miller (6 songs)

FEB 2014
No meeting due to ice storm

JAN 2014
The Cleaning Lady by Bobby Montgomery
Critique panel: Buck Morgan & Tony Ramey (5 songs)


Friday, February 15, 2013

Best Songs of the 2nd Tuesday Critiques 2013

2013


NOV
I'll Be Your Someone by Gigi Costas and Abbey Cones

OCT
Sunset in September by Robin Willis, Roger Russell, Kevin Moore, Alex Gorodiscas


SEPT
What You Got by Andy Schrumpf
Critique Panel: Michael Brown and Lisa Byrn

AUG
no meeting


JULY
Wish You Were Here by Lisa Byrn
Critique Panel: Kathy Baldwin of DaCat Music and Buck Morgan


JUNE
Giving Up On Memories by Morri Hargraves
You Gotta Go Home by Roger Russell and Alex Gorodiscas
Critique Panel: Bobby Montgomery and Mary Guthrie


MAY
Her I Am by Mary Guthrie
'Wait For Tomorrow by Barbara McMillen and Laurie Windham
Critique Panel: Buck Morgan, Keith Rust, Pete Miller

APRIL
Travelin' Man by Roger Russell and Joe Milton
'Til Love Comes Back by Brook Malouf and Eric Roberts
Critique Panel: Buck Morgan and TK Kreason

(The song 'Traveling Man' by Roger Russell and Joe Milton edged out Brooke Malouf, writer of the 2012 DSA Song of the Year, and her song ''Til Love Comes Back' by an average score of 44.2 over 43.8. Honorable mention was, brace yourself, 'Anal-Retentive Mother-in-law' by Mori Hartgraves. Interestingly, neither judge picked the winner, though one judge gave first place to 'Anal-Retentive...')

MARCH
No Critques

FEB
In Your Eyes by Barbe McMillen
If I See You Again by Michael Brandenberger
Critique Panel: Dr Kevin Deal and Steve Sullivan


JAN
Something About You by Gigi Gostas 
Time To Play by William Brown
Critique Panel: Dr Terry Fansler and Bobby Montgomery

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Best Songs of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting 2012

2012 Song of the Year
The writer of the top song from 2012 wins a full day of recording and a place to stay at River Sound Recording on the banks of the lovely Llano River. Thanks a million, once again, to Jerialice Arsenault! 
5th place to Nancy Rynders, Kiss Me and Make Me Better
4th place to Mary Guthrie, Braver Than We Want to Be
3rd place to James and Roger, Carribean Moon
2nd place to Casey, The Good War
and 1st place, DSA Song of the Year, to Brooke Malouf for Thank God He Broke Your Heart. 

2012 DSA Vern Dailey Songwriter of the Year winner James Pappas gets free studio time at Jo Musik, and we are very grateful to DSA Board member Joe Milton for this valuable contribution. Can't wait to hear how James sounds.

NOV
Love Gives to All by Michael Brandenberger
Drifting Rains Encircle by Morri Hartgraves
Critique Panel: Helene Cronin and Bobby Montgomery

OCT
Christmas Toy by Michael Brandenberger
My Favorite Heartache by Vern Dailey
Critique Panel: Ken Duren and Bobby Montgomery

SEPT
Struck by Lightning by Roger Russell and James Pappas
Overcoat of Blue by Morri Hartgraves
Critique Panel: Mike Hall and Buck Morgan

JULY
Gonna Try to Get High by Vern Dailey
Thank God He Broke Your Heart by Brook Malouf
Impressions from Our Love by Morri Hartgrave

Critique Panel: Steve Wiseberg and Casey Graham

JUNE
Gonnna Try To Get High by Vern Dailey
Miss You All The Time 
by Lisa Byrn
Critique Panel: Richard Chaulk and Roger Russell

MAY
The Good War by Casey Graham
Jack Daniels 
by James Pappas and Roger Russell
Critique Panel: Michael Brandenberger and Mary Guthrie

APRIL
Cricket Symphony by James Pappas
Beer Muscles by Tom Biles
Critique Panel: Julie Jean White and Zane Williams

MARCH
Something Powerful by Holly Doubet & Helene Cronin
Braver Than We Want To Be by Mary Guthrie

Critique Panel: Lisa Byrn and Joe Milton

FEBUARY
Crazy Heart by James Pappas
Kiss Me and Make It Better by Nancy Rynders

Critique Panel: Barry Devorzan and Bobby Montgomery

JANUARY
Drivin' Me Crazy by Michael Brandenberger

Critique Panel: Nancy Rynders and Joe Milton