Scott Nolan (Transistor 66 Record Company)
Neil Young says that song writing is about making oneself available to ideas and inspiration. Tom Waits feels that songs are an interesting thing to do with air and Leonard Cohen once modestly stated that if he knew where it came from, he would go there all the time.
I once had a relative ask me this same question about songwriting, only before I had a chance to respond, he began reminiscing about his son who had passed away quite young. He turned to me and said "You don't choose your memories". I suggested that he had answered his own question. Sometimes a great song is just a simple truth.
My dear friend, the late Canadian poet, Patrick O'Connell once told me, "Always try to write simply and clearly when you are sharing your stories". Great examples of this can be found throughout his published works. Like the title of one of Patrick's books, he spent most of his life falling in place. While many of us could not relate to his circumstances, most of us could relate to his writing. His simple teachings remain a vital part of my approach to songwriting.
One of my better known songs, Bad Liver/Broken Heart, was discovered by Texas songwriter Hayes Carll at an open mic night in Beaumont, Texas. His rendition made my song a minor hit throughout the southern US. Like alot of my songs, I wrote that one while travelling and sharing other peoples stories. Its a simple melody and sentiment that I think anyone can learn and relate to. In folk music tradition, a song's longevity was greatly bolstered through other artist's interpretations. A strong song is one that can hold up around a campfire and be sung in many voices.
Its always changing but, here is a short list of things I enjoy writing about: geography, chickens, my dog, automobiles, women, the road, weather and a sense of time and place.
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