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#1127389 - 05/04/17 04:36 PM 3 Cuts this Year  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 149
Donna Dutchess Online content
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Donna Dutchess  Online Content
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WNY, USA
Hi everyone, its been a while since I have posted. MAB has been a huge support to me and I'm sure to a huge amount of you out there. I literally take every word (and you know he's never short on them) he says to heart and I can't thank him enough. So here's what is happening in my life that is so exciting that I can barely contain myself. Next week a 19 year old Indie artist is traveling from Maine to Buffalo, NY (where I live) to record her first EP. 2 of the songs are mine and the other two are Ed Bentley's and John Rose's songs, two other songwriters from Buffalo, NY. The artist's name is Miranda Mastera. I'll have her Reverbnation page listed below. After the recording session she'll be performing at the famed Sportsmans Tavern, which is the "Bluebird Cafe of the north". From there, she'll be headed to Nashville.

What did MAB have to do with this? Let me tell you in my own words. So many of us songwriters are pitching to the majors. And the chances of getting any one to listen, let alone cut our songs are.......nil and none. We are getting beat up from the constant rejections and sometimes, its hard to go on. MAB told me to find a young Indie artist who would be interested in my songs. Find someone like "Liz Rose found Taylor Swift". Who wouldn't want to be someone's "Liz Rose"?? So I not only found Miranda, but I found another Indie artist (I can't say her name yet) who is cutting my song "TRY" very soon. Miranda is cutting "Just Go" and "I've Got a New Song" next week.

Will I make any money with these cuts? Doubtful. But OMG, you can't put a value on what is happening right now. THIS is success. THIS is what is going to keep me going. And THIS is what erased all the negative energy I ever got from every rejection, every bad critique, every nay sayer.

MAB, you rock!! I will get to meet you some day and give you a big smooch. Here is Miranda Mastera. Remember that name. https://www.reverbnation.com/mirandamastera


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1127390 - 05/04/17 04:52 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Way to go Donna! A big congrats to you... and MAB for his knowledgeable guidance.

Best, John smile

#1127391 - 05/04/17 05:23 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Ricki E. Bellos Online content
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Ricki E. Bellos  Online Content
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She dynamite, Donna. Congratulations to you and here's hoping for even more success for you both.

Ricki

#1127403 - 05/04/17 11:01 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Hi Donna:

Glad to hear of your good news. I'm hoping this becomes a big break for you to "climb the pyramid" because of recognition of your writing talent. It's also good to know Marc was able to play a part in bringing all this together. Wishing you success and happiness.

----Dave

#1127409 - 05/05/17 06:38 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Congratulations Donna. So far all I've been able to find are singer/writers with their own song supply, so they are going to do their own songs. Understandable I guess. I get a lot of praise but few takers.
I tried that link but so far have not being able to get it to open.

#1127413 - 05/05/17 08:35 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Donna Dutchess Online content
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Donna Dutchess  Online Content
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New artists are not easy to find. I spend a couple hours a day searching and contacting. I find a lot on Twitter, Reverbnation and googling "Indie artists". Even though the artist is also a "songwriter", I still contact them. Many times all they did was co-write and have very little skill as a songwriter, but want to have "songwriter" on their resume. These artists are always looking for a good song. My point is: don't give up. Keep looking.


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1127423 - 05/05/17 07:49 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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I hate to say "I told you so..." but.....

That is GREAT DONNA and congratulations. By the way, Ed Bentley and the two writers from Buffalo are ALSO people I work with. LOL! I think one of those songs are mine as well.

The deal is we are in a "DO IT YOURSELF WORLD" and everyone gets too consumed by trying to find the majors, work their way in, and trying to climb Mt. Everest when actually there are TONS of other ways to make your way in places like this. You are DOING it! Very proud of you.

I'll always be waiting on that smooch. Thanks for the shout out.

#1127434 - 05/06/17 07:42 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Well done Donna (and MAB for steering!).


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1127438 - 05/06/17 10:28 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Donna,

I hope you don't mind, but I have posted this on a couple of other places I work with people and passed it along. It is important as I believe people have to be PROACTIVE when it comes to their own music. I really appreciate your mentioning me, but this is really not about me. It is about YOU and taking control of your own career without waiting on a publisher or some intermediary to make things happen for you. Very proud of that. I wish more people would do that as you have. People need to hear about VICTORIES in this day and age of constant doom and gloom related to music.

Let me know if that is not okay and I can take down anything I post anywhere.

MAB

#1127439 - 05/06/17 10:41 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Just listened to Miranda! She's great. Wish you much more success Donna.

Best, John smile

#1127449 - 05/06/17 04:34 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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MAB,

It's amazing how successful someone can be when they actually listen to and follow through on good advice. So many hear us preaching that over and over but never do anything about it. The difference with you Donna is you followed through and by doing so you've already beaten 99.8% of you competition.

Good luck and most importantly, have a lot of fun Donna!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#1127465 - 05/07/17 10:00 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Thanks Brian,

That is what I have always liked about your site. You give out REAL PRACTICAL APPLICATION advice in what you do, and feature here. And there are many success stories from it. Was glad to see this one. But yes, they have to follow through on it.

I always love and use your example of 5000 people a year paying for what you do. That is absolutely the best advice someone can get.

Thanks for letting us be around.

MAB

#1127466 - 05/07/17 10:10 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: May 2006
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Donna Dutchess Online content
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Donna Dutchess  Online Content
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WNY, USA
Go for it MAB. I appreciate it and it is my honor to help.


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1127605 - 05/11/17 04:39 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Aug 2007
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Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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I just noticed this thread and like everyone else here, it's great to see someone's passion getting noticed, appreciated and RECORDED! wink MAB gives solid advice and there was a payoff for following it.

Congratulations to you. I hope Miranda is the next Miranda.

Martin

#1129399 - 07/29/17 05:35 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: May 2006
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Donna Dutchess Online content
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WNY, USA
I'd like to give an update to my "Miranda" experience. She and her mother drove all the way from Maine to Buffalo to record my two songs. Now keep in mind, she's 18 years old. Not a kid. We get to the studio and I felt like I had a pie thrown in my face. Not only could she not hold a key if her life depended on it, she didn't know any of the songs! Two hours into the recording session, the producer called a halt, sat her down and said "We can't continue because you haven't done your homework". I realized then that this was clearly a mom forcing her own dreams upon a daughter who just wasn't ready. The producer then said he'd can make anyone sound good by using auto tune. That made me realize that Miranda's previous recorded songs in Nashville were auto tuned up the yin yang. I told her mom to get her daughter the voice lessons she needs if she wanted to continue on this path because unless she could perform in public, she didn't have a prayer to succeed. The lesson I learned: to more thoroughly vet young artists to make sure they are worthy of not only my time, but my reputation and my songs. It took me a couple months to process this lesson, but its one I won't forget too soon. They returned to Maine, and I never heard from them again.

The good news though is my song TRY has been released as on 7/28/2017 by a young 14 year old artist (thoroughly vetted) by the name of Mia Kylie Ditta. This girl has been performing since she was 12 and I believe she has a great chance of succeeding. You can listen/buy on all the major sites. Here's one: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/try-single/id1258902316?i=1258905589


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1129401 - 07/29/17 07:13 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Sorry to hear about the Miranda experience. But good news about your song "Try". Mia did a great job on it. I wish you much success with it Donna.

Best, John smile

#1129404 - 07/29/17 10:05 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Donna Dutchess Online content
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Donna Dutchess  Online Content
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Thank you John.


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1129407 - 07/30/17 06:29 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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,NL Canada
Sorry about the disappointment and glad about the success. Many out there singing and writing hoping to "make" it but don't have the talent to do so. Dreaming the impossible dream.

#1129410 - 07/30/17 11:53 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Texas
Hi again, Donna:

Life and song-writing are full of disappointments... but isn't it great when one of your creations comes to fruition! I can only imagine your chagrin upon discovering Miranda had no vocal chops. I appreciate the way you handled a dip in the road and continue to work so hard to find a great young talent. Thanks for sharing... and best of luck always. ----Dave

#1129416 - 07/30/17 09:09 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: May 2006
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
Sorry to hear about your Miranda experience. I believe that people are basically born with or without pitch and/or rhythm. If she can't hear pitch, no amount of voice lessons will help. It reminds me of a guy who comes to an open mic here. He has the perfect country voice - sounds like a baritone Nashville star. But he is virtually tone deaf and is totally disappointing once he gets past the first note. I say this just so you don't get sucked in again by Mom when she makes another run to Buffalo after a few fruitless voice lessons. (BTW- there is nothing wrong with voice lessons for improving other aspects of singing - just not tone deafness).


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1129425 - 07/31/17 06:35 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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I listened to Miranda again on Reverbnation and she sounded pretty good. If auto tune can make a poor singer sound that good, maybe there is hope for me yet.LOL

#1129429 - 07/31/17 09:17 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Donna Dutchess Online content
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Donna Dutchess  Online Content
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Hi Everett, its got to make us wonder how much auto tune is used on other singers. I believe Miranda has the chops. She just needs lots of experience and practice. But, she'll have to earn her way just like everyone else.....but not on my time.

As for my new cut "TRY"...Mia Kylie Ditta had 350,000 hits on the song in 24 hours!! (no typo!) Absolutely amazing!


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1129430 - 07/31/17 09:21 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Donna Dutchess Online content
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Donna Dutchess  Online Content
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Hi Colin, I believe Miranda has the chops. But for her to come to Buffalo to record, was about 5+ years too soon. I sincerely hope she's learned some valuable lessons and will pursue this dream, if it is her dream (and not mom's). As for her coming back to Buffalo.....that's NOT going to happen.


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1129439 - 07/31/17 05:26 PM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
I listened to Miranda again on Reverbnation and she sounded pretty good. If auto tune can make a poor singer sound that good, maybe there is hope for me yet.LOL


I thought she sounded pretty good too. I guess in skilled hands, autotune can work wonders. I tried using Melodyne (which I believe is one of the best autotune tools out there) until the free trial ran out. It did a really nice job, but I always felt it kind of sucked the warmth and heart out of my voice. Since warmth and heart are pretty much all I can aspire to, that was a bit of a problem. Maybe a "real" producer could make even me sound good.

Love the song, Donna and wish you great success with Mia.

#1129621 - 08/07/17 08:50 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
I listened to Miranda again on Reverbnation and she sounded pretty good. If auto tune can make a poor singer sound that good, maybe there is hope for me yet.LOL


Me too Everett

It's been my personal experience with Melodyne that auto-tune can make something that is almost fine...sound more almost fine. But I didn't know that you could take truly bad vocals and make them sound good. Apparently it has progressed more than I realized.

Donna
Mia has a very good voice and an array of techniques. Hope that she works out better.

Martin

#1129676 - 08/08/17 09:00 AM Re: 3 Cuts this Year [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,830
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 100 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,830
Nashville, Tn.
Hey Folks,

Donna, sorry I have not known what has been going on with you and the "search for the decent singer." Your experiences are pretty normal. There are a few things we have to understand in this era and I want to give a bit of the "other side" of things I always talk about.

As most of you know, I am among the biggest "FIND YOUR OWN SINGERS, BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD, CREATE YOUR OWN NICHE" people there is. I believe that if you are a writer, you can no longer wait for the "perfect pitch opportunity" with labels, producers, and publishers, or wait till the industry finds you. You have to go out and find people, BEFORE they are signed, to be vehicles for your songs. In my own experiences, I'm lucky that many come to me. And I am surrounded by them in a town that brings hundreds of thousands of them a year into town. Want to find singers in Nashville? Pick up a handful of rocks and throw them. You'll hit one.
But this is also true ALL OVER THE WORLD. There are an estimated 30-50 MILLION people out there who are trying to be singers writers, etc. I have been to some of the smallest hamlets and towns in the country and there are artists, wanna be's, people EVERYWHERE. Sit on an airplane and tell someone you are a singer (happened to me two weeks ago) and everyone around you tells you about their "son, daughter, friend. ,niece, nephew, grandchild, parent, cousin) who is a "great singer and just HAVE TO BE ON THE RADIO!"
And there are about one BILLION songs uploaded a month on the Internet .So there is really no problem finding singers for songs.
Online, like everything is trickier, because everyone is on there and you don't have a chance to vet them or find out much about them. That is why I prefer to STAY LOCAL. So you can be around these people. But I digress.

So having people that do this is a no brainer. But that is also the MAIN PROBLEM. And like all problems, it took a long time to get here.

Over 20 years ago in Nashville, those of us who were artists, writers, producers, etc. trying to find the next big thing, found record labels no longer asking about how "good someone was" they wanted to know "How good they looked in a pair of Wranglers." That was the advent of video into music, MTV, VH1, CMT, all became primary movers and shakers of public opinion in music. So they needed to look good.
And of course, this is nothing new. In the 50's, when Elvis hit, there were hundreds of Tab Hunter's, Frankie Avalon's, Tommy Sands, etc. anyone that wore those ducktails and could make their lip sneer were given record deals.
In the 60's, anybody with a "Beatles Haircut" could hold a guitar, dress in the same suits, and shake their heads, got record deals. The "Bugs", the Animals, The....whatever... all were on the scene with their screaming girls.

You can follow that throughout music, the psychodelic era, the disco era, the heavy metal era... hey, the entertainment business is ONE BIG FOLLOW THE LEADER business. Might as well get used to it. You just want to be the one that everyone else follows!

Then, in the modern era, along with the "Free music era" we have become the "everyone can do it" era. Everyone can put their songs and videos on FACEBOOK AND YOU TUBE, and their parents and friends love them and "LIKE THEM" online.
What they have forgotten is TALENT and DEVELOPMENT.

Donna, you ran into a singer that had to be auto tuned? Almost EVERYONE has to be Auto tuned. I remember engineers telling me once about working with Faith Hill. They had to tune and punch EVERY NOTE that she sang. Of course, she got better with time, and is a pretty good singer now. Taylor Swift got slammed as a "TERRIBLE SINGER" mostly because of one awards show performance where she was singing with her biggest hero, STEVIE NICKS. Well wouldn't YOU get pretty nervous with your hero, who was one of the biggest influences on your life and music? But she did need a lot of work. She was a tremendous writer but always weaker in the vocals. She's gotten past it. And doing pretty well.

But there are many, like your singer, that don't have the chops and never will, but can get by with auto tune and other effects. For a while. Pretty soon, people bore with that and they tune out. As you are seeing Donna, the thing to do is FIND MORE SINGERS. Which you are doing. Good for you.

It is stuff we have to get used to. Younger singers don't have the maturity, or have not developed their skills, and most of them ARE GOING TO BE GONE SOON So we have to spread it around.

If you want your songs OUT THERE, you are going to have to FIND YOUR OWN SINGERS. And some of those are going to be DUDS! just happens. Hopefully that will lead to others that rise above the rest. That is who you are looking for.

Every writer and publisher in Nashville work with DOZENS that don't work out. But you have to be careful how fast you dismiss them. Because sometimes you might just be on the wrong side of the equation. Never cut your nose off to spite your face.

One day you might be approached at a party with a young girl and her mother and people telling you :this is the girl you need to work with." And you might get a little bit in a snit and say "she is too young to work with." You might end up regretting that.

Because that was me. And the Daughter that was brought over to me at an ASCAP party was TAYLOR SWIFT.

You just never know. Stay at it and stay out there.

MAB


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