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June, 2014:

Willie Nelson – Songwriter Extraodinaire

Willie Nelson

Just enjoyed listening to an interview of Willie Nelson on NPR.  Mr. Nelson is promoting his new album, Band of Brothers, which is to be released today.  Here’s a little snippet of the interview:

ARUN RATH: Now you are such a great songwriter but it’s been more than a few years since you released an album and one with so much new material on it. I’m curious have you been writing songs the whole time or are all these very recently written?

WILLIE NELSON: I’m sort of a spasmodic writer I guess. Roger Miller said it pretty well. He said when a writer has to sometimes stop and let the well refill because you run out of things to write about or good things to say. So I think he’s right. Also you have to have some kind of challenge or goal. And there was this new album that we wanted to do. And I needed some new songs. And I said well you know why don’t I write something?

And when you’re Willie Nelson, you can do just that…

Listen to the interview now:

May the Muse stay with Willie and be with you (and that’s even funnier with the reference to Willie as the Yoda of songwriters)…

Yoda Willie!

Poet Asks Songwriters About Writing Process

Award-winning poet, Ariel Gordon, is guest-editing the Arts column for the National Post and had an interesting interview of three diverse songwriters about their writing process (upon Ariel’s confession that their songs assisted in her writing process as a poet).  You can find the short-but-compelling interview here.

The songwriters: Amelia Curran, Craig Cardiff and Nathan Rogers

Just one brief sample:

Q: Do you have a songwriting tic? By which I mean particular language or particular images (or sounds, I suppose…) that always seem to be a part of the first draft of a song? I became preoccupied with writing poems about pears in the weeks that followed picking small yellow pears from a friend’s yard. I also re-used an image from my first collection in my second, because it’s still something that sticks with me…

CC: Most of my writing is me working through my knots, my mistakes, trying to frame them, share them, get them out of my head to make room for all the new knots and mistakes that come out of living and bumping through this world.

AC: I absolutely succumb to this as well and it seems to tie album to album. I produced one album that seemed littered with jewel imagery; there were diamonds and rubies everywhere. And another that eked out themes of construction and architecture. But these happened unbeknownst to me at the time.

NR: I always seem to gravitate back to hidden meanings and non-linear thinking. I ask a lot of my “readers” but I truly believe they can handle a more literary approach to songwriting. I refuse to dumb down any part of a lyric for anyone’s sake.

May the Muse be with you…

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