Welcome to Just Plain Notes
Just Plain Notes: Volume 1.161, December 7, 2006
Written by Brian Austin Whitney
Visit the Website: www.jpfolks.com
Mail CD's @ 5327 Kit Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46237
Copyright 2006 Just Plain Folks Productions.
Just Plain Folks Member Population: 41,118
Just Plain Quotes:

"To receive public acceptance for a very esoteric and deeply personal music, a music totally unconnected to our Pop music culture, is extraordinary. These JPF awards mean more to me than my Grammy and Oscar nomination combined." -Perry Botkin, 2 Time JPF Winner and Co-Writer of "Nadia's Theme."

"(The JPF Awards were) a fascinating evening. To see 5 hours of top talent perform on one stage was mind boggling. The diversity of the acts was something you don't find too often. This was one of the best concerts I've ever been to." -Richard Freitas, 3 Time JPF, 3 Time Emmy & Grammy Nominee

"You'll probably never know how much good was accomplished on that night." -Allie Jo Thomas, 3 Time JPF Nominee.

"There are 3 types of people in the music community. Consumers who listen, Creators who make the music and the smallest group Facilitators who assist, support and nurture the creators. Though I continue to be all 3, my focus for the last 9 years has been to become the best facilitator I can. That allows me to be part of someone's dream and I am lucky to have the gig." -Brian Austin Whitney

My Take:

I was thinking about how to sum up this year's awards show and came across the quotes above and thought they set the right tone. After nearly 18 months of work, we announced our 2006 JPF Music Award winners on Saturday, November 4th to a venue full of world class writers and artists from literally around the globe. There aren't enough superlatives to describe the positive vibe and atmosphere at the awards show, let alone the talent of the live performers and the collective nominees in the room.

It was a tall order to represent 350,000 songs and 25,500+ albums from over 100 countries and in over 80 different genres and to even compete with all the previous awards shows we've done, but I think we pulled it off. For the second time we had performers from 6 continents and in over 30 different genres performing live at the show. We had a mix of world famous artists and writers who have won Oscars, Grammy's and Emmy's and relatively unknown talents we discovered among this year's winners. From well known folks like Janis Ian, Vertical Horizon, Dennis DeYoung, They Might Be Giants, Tiffany, Die Warzau, Michael Manring and comedian Mike Birbiglia to JPF Multi-Year Winners like Melody Guy, Sekou (tha Misfit), Shandy Lawson, Erika Luckett, Bob Malone, Cheley Tackett, Mark Cook, Tim Grimm, Lisa Haley, Peter Mayer, Diane Ziegler, Nils, Eclipse, Faith Rivera, Wishing Chair, Ta-Ta, Travis Larson Band, Preston Reed, Kim McLean, Forest McDonald, Leslie Ritter & Scott Petito and Vicki Genfan to this year's first time multi-winners Perry Botkin, Groove Society, The Poxy Boggards, Karnamrita, Shakti Vilas, Craig Taubman, Andy, Biggie Irie, Claudia Villela & Ricardo Peixoto, Zircon, Sony Holland, Nina Storey, The Hoo-Hah Conspiracy and Jasmine Cain our collective winners this year truly represented the diversity and talent made by the "other 98%" of us in the music community. Being a part of a program and process that recognizes the talents of these and all the winners and nominees is not only rewarding, but life changing. These artists have something to say, and something to share musically that the world should know about. We've started the ball rolling and now we hope this thing rolls downhill gaining strength, size and velocity. It's time that music like this connects with a broader audience. (There are MANY more amazing artists I didn't have room to mention above. Please check them out in the links below).

Among our biggest discoveries this year are the 3 Time Winning World/Celtic Rock band Bad Haggis featuring Eric Rigler, the worlds most recorded Bagpipe Player, who all of you have heard already if you saw the movies Titanic or Braveheart (among 100+ others). Eric also had the honor of leading the Funeral procession of President Ronald Reagan, something that was incredibly moving no matter what your political bent is. Bad Haggis won for Group of the Year joining Melody Guy and Bob Malone as the Female and Male Artists of the Year respectively. Veteran Janis Ian, a seminal part of "singer-songwriter" movement back into the 1970's, took home Songwriter of the Year while Album of the Year went to Erika Luckett, the 2004 JPF Female Artist of the Year, for her album "Unexpected." Song of the Year went to Cheley Tackett and her co-writers Nicole Witt and Rick Tiger for their song "Play The One I Like." Cheley was the first ever JPF Roadtrip Showcase performer back in 1998 who led the way for over 15,000 others who followed. This year's Horizon Award went to Chris Young who joined JPF as a wet behind the ears 15 year old and this year at 20 won Nashville Star and is launching into what we predict will be a long and successful Country music career. His maturity and charisma as a performer is jaw dropping even to jaded industry veterans.

You can find all the JPF winners and finalists linked below. We gave awards to the top 4 albums and top 6 songs in each category. Remember, our only criteria for the 8000+ judges involved was "Does It Move You?" Here's the songs, albums, lyric and videos that moved our collective Industry, Writer/Artist Peer and Fans judges the most:

Founders Awards: (The Biggest Awards of the Night!)

Song Awards: (67 Genres/Categories)

Album Awards: (81 Genres/Categories)

Lyric Award:

Video Awards: (4 Categories)

We're still working on photos and a recap of the night. It's hard to do it any justice, but we'll try to at least give you a taste of what happened hopefully by the next year end newsletter. If you read to the bottom of this newsletter you'll see our inspiration/plan to try and make some or all this music available for you to check out in some way, either via a compilation or perhaps some samples of the winning songs on our site.

We can't go any further without thanking TAXI and Disc Makers for sponsoring the awards and CD Baby for making it logistically possible to even think about tackling this mammoth project. My personal thanks to the leaders of these amazing companies Michael Laskow of TAXI, Tony van Veen of Disc Makers and Derek Sivers of CD Baby who are all creative visionaries and expert facilitators in their own right. I hope they and all of you will join us again when we tackle the next round of the world's largest, most diverse and in my opinion best music awards!

Learn, Succeed, Thrive. We're All In This Together!
Note: As I was putting this together the new Grammy nominations were announced and I noticed at least 4 JPF Award nominees and winners nominated this year. They included Beethoven's Wig and Dan Zane & Friends in Children's, Daniel Ho in Hawaiian (he won this category last year) and LynnMarie and the Boxhounds in Polka. I am sure there are more and I will try to include more info in the next newsletter. Congrats to all the JPF members who were nominated!

Just Plain Notes Table of Contents:

1. Disc Makers JPF Member Discount
2. Documentary Opportunities
3. Indie-Music interview with Brian Austin Whitney
4. Mentor Books by John Braheny, Pete & Pat Luboff and 2007 Songwriters Market
5. Kulaks Woodshed
6. New Message Boards
7. Janis Ian Article: "The Internet Debacle" 4+ Years Later
Disc Makers offers Just Plain Folks Members Discount

Our community partners at Disc Makers announced an ongoing JPF member discount at our 2006 Music Awards show. Order any new CD replication package from Disc Makers and save $50. Visit www.discmakers.com/jpfolks to receive our wholesale catalog. Be sure to mention that you are a Just Plain Folks member when you order to get the discount. Offer expires 3/31/07.

These guys do amazing work and we've been getting raves about them (and never 1 single complaint in 9 years!) and even if you're burning your own CD's, they can help you with that as well. We used one of their lightning fast 7 Disc Burners again this year to make thousands of copies of voting discs for our judges in this year's awards. Get their catalog by clicking the link above to see all the products and services available. (Including an affordable expert Mastering staff).
JPF Female Artist of the Year wins Star of Tomorrow

Former JPF Female Artist of the Year Cindy Alexander won the on line search for the next big music star called "Star Tomorrow." The contest included 2 other JPF Awards finalists in the top 5, Bob Gentry and Brooke Ramel. With the success of JPF members on National TV Broadcasts such as Nashville Star, Rockstar and America's Got Talent (and a few others) we can only hope these big media companies will realize we first discovered these folks many years ago in our JPF music awards. Cindy is being offered a Warner Brothers development deal and we'll let you know how that turns out. Perhaps they'll check out some of this year's JPF winners now rather than 5-8 years from now.
Documentary Broadcast Opportunities

JPF member Bobbie Gallup shared a great opportunity for any members who have feature length documentaries on music. Here's more info from her on a chance to get your documentary on the air!
Hi Folks,

I would like to establish a dialog with anyone who already has or is considering doing a music documentary. This would not be live concert tapes but rather true documentaries such as "Jazz Masters of the Thirties"; "Berry Gordy and The Motown Sound"; "The State of Music Education in America"; "Just Plain Folks, a Look Inside Indie Music Today"…stuff along those lines.

If your work is of sufficient caliber, it will be seriously considered for TV airtime where you could be guaranteed approximately 3.5 million viewers for each showing this year (with frequent rotation) and potentially 20 million next year.

If interested, please email me: bgallup@aol.com.

Bobbie Gallup
Director of Development
Indie-Music Interviews Brian Austin Whitney

Our friends over at Indie-Music.com recently posted an interview they did with me in September. I talk about JPF and how it got started and a little bit more about myself than some of you may have read previously if you're curious. Thanks to Suzanne Glass and her staff at Indie-Music.com. Here's the link:

JPF Mentor Books

Here's a few books written by or featuring JPF Mentors/Members that have come out recently or are being re-written:

1. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny

Often considered a "must read" for all songwriters learning the ropes, JPF mentor John Braheny has just updated his classic book "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" and it's now available in all major bookstores. If you ever had a question about copyright, publishing or songwriting, this is the first place you should start your education. This is an easy to read/easy to understand primer for your career. If you read it, you'll know more than 99% of your peers out there muddling their way through learning things the hard way.

Visit John's site at: www.johnbraheny.com

2. 88 Songwriter Wrongs and How To Write Them by Pat and Pete Luboff

JPF mentors Pat and Pete Luboff are working on updating their classic songwriting educational book "88 Songwriter Wrongs and How To Write Them." They'd love to hear from any of you who read the original book and get feedback on what you'd like to see included in the new edition. They may even put your comments in the new book!

Here's a link where you can read their offer and give them feedback directly or via email:

Visit their site at www.writesongs.com.

3. 2007 Songwriters Market edited by Ian Bessler

The very first article/review we ever did was on the 1998 Songwriters Market. Now 9 years later JPF members are all over the thing. Several JPF members/mentors have articles in the 2007 Songwriters Market. Included inside are articles from JPF'ers John Braheny "Getting Ready To Face The Industry," Blake Althen and Paula Benoit from the JPF Award winning band Human Factor "Getting Started In Music Licensing" (including an interview with another JPF Member SONia), Robin Renee "Interview with David Lasley: Yesterday and Today" and many more including an article from me, Brian Austin Whitney "Breaking In From Anywhere" which includes contributions from JPF Mentors Mike Dunbar, Sara Light, Daylle Deanna Schwartz and John Braheny as well as many more articles and resources. You can get a copy at nearly any bookstore.

If you are a JPF member who has written a book related to the music industry or creativity and you'd like us to mention it in a future newsletter, send us an email and a copy of the book (to the address at the top of the newsletter) and we'll be happy to check it out and run a notice about it in a future newsletter.
Kulaks Woodshed

One of the coolest and most ground breaking music venues we've ever come across is in danger of being shut down. It's located in California, but you can view the performances any time you want via their amazing (and I say that with no exaggeration) webcast. They were among the first and are probably the very best at broadcasting live singer-songwriters on the web. We've done many JPF events there, and they have a non stop lineup of excellent performers and when you tune in you never know who might drop in to perform (like the night Jackson Browne joined his brother and fellow JPF member Severin and performed in this tiny venue that seats about 40 people max).

It's all non profit and very JPF friendly on many levels including being 100% free. They've been battling a nasty next door neighbor who is trying to close them down for bogus reasons and they need the help of the music community to try and keep the doors open. I personally wrote a letter to them which you can read here along with info on what you can do to help.


My note got a response from Wendy which I will post but you can write a simpler one than me just letting Wendy and her staff know that venues like this are cultural diamonds that must be protected. (Thanks to our friends at LAWIM for the note we posted):
New JPF Message Boards

We are going to be upgrading the Just Plain Folks Message Boards hopefully before the end of the month. Our current boards will be down 24-48 hours during the process so if you try and visit the message boards and get a note that they are down for maintenance you'll know why. Please be patient. We're investing a lot of money to update these boards which are one of the best places for songwriters, musicians and industry professionals to network, ask questions, co-write and develop songs, learn and offer advice to each other. We've gotten a lot of donations from members but we're still short on the total cost. If you'd like to make a donation of any amount via Pay Pal, here's a link to our JPF Store where you can make a donation, buy a Hat or T-Shirt and support what we do:


Thanks in advance to those who are chipping in to help out!

To visit the JPF message boards, first you must register and get a user name. Here's a link to do so: http://www.justplainfolks.org/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi?action=agree

Visit the message boards here: http://www.justplainfolks.org/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi
Janis Ian Article "The Internet Debacle"

I wanted to end today's newsletter with a classic article written by our 2006 JPF Songwriter of the Year Janis Ian. It was first written/published in Performing Songwriter Magazine in 2002. Aside from being a very brave effort to tell it like she saw it (perhaps braver than I would have been in her place) the more amazing thing is how correct she was in her comments and predictions. Though I agree with all her premises I will say that I still think that someone (in this case the labels and artists) who owns something should have the right not to give it away even if that action is short sighted and stupid. None of us would want to be forced to give away something against our will, but even in that context, Janis has been proven to be on the right side of history in this argument. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I read it back then and re-read it this week.


PS: She makes a comment in the article I wanted to also comment on.

"Wouldn't it be nice if all the records nominated for awards each year were
available for free downloading, even if it were only the winners? People who hadn't
bought the albums might actually listen to the singles, then go out and purchase the
records." -Janis Ian on the Grammy's

I agree Janis. I am hoping that I can get some or all the JPF Award nominees to agree with you too. After all, you were right about everything else, and I've felt exactly the same way as you on this issue since I was a kid. The JPF Awards can lead the way if our past and present nominees will allow it. Stay tuned everyone as I present this forward thinking idea to the 2006 JPF Awards nominees and finalists.

Visit Janis's Website at: www.janisian.com. And congratulate her on her win this year!
Copyright 2006 Just Plain Folks Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

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

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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