4th Annual Totally Cool Song School!
February 26 & 27 (Thur & Fri)
Beginning or seasoned songwriters will have the opportunity to take their skills to the next level. Small classesand award winning hit songwriters make this this ultimatelearning and fun experience.This year’s faculty includes Jana Stanfield, Tom Kimmel, Cosy Sheridan, David Roth, Brooks Williams, Sloan Wainwright and more.
$259 Meals included.
Sloan Wainwright “Vocal Immersion” 2 day class
SINGING WITH YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND BODY
Inside each of us lives a beautiful and unique instrument, so let's sing together with joy and freedom! In this workshop we will move our bodies, soften our hearts, open our mouths and let our voices out to play. With an emphasis on vocal health and self-care, we’ll use a combination of vocal warm-ups and work-outs - traditional and non-traditional - to help relax, release and strengthen the voice, making it more flexible and reliable. Individual attention is offered as well as to the group as a whole, and each student will be supported in developing their own personal vocal practice. This class is for singers AND non-singers alike.
(Sloan requests that you commit to being part of this group for both days. There will be group and individual work)
Brooks Williams: Songwriting From The Roots: Your Roots Are Showing! (part 1+2)
In Songwriting From The Roots, we’ll look at some of the key elements of gospel, gospel hymns, blues and Americana songs, and then apply these elements to our own songwriting. We’ll examine everything from the chord progressions to the structure and story of the song. We’ll pay particular attention to the language, the choice of chord voicings (utilising the “gospel” chord progression), building a “toolbox” of techniques and tricks to call into play when we want to to write our own songs “in the tradition.” This is a hand’s-on workshop. We’ll learn to play and sing a few of these “rootsy” songs, then we’ll use these songs and techniques to jump-start our creativity.
Tom Kimmel: "The Yoga of Songwriting” (part 1+2)
When we come together as a songwriting community, we come from differing backgrounds with our unique life stories, our varied gifts and skills—and our own levels of experience and accomplishment. And we come as we ARE to work the edge of our limitations—much as we work the edge of our ability and comfort in a yoga setting.
In yoga practice we soften into tight places. We bring love, respect and gratitude for both our gifts and our limitations, and we feel the joy of freedom when we expand into new places.
In this two part workshop we will take a fresh look at familiar aspects of writing, and together we'll work the edge of our comfort zones and limiting concepts.
(For writers at all levels of development.)
Cosy Sheridan: “Listening for the Song Within”
What is your Larger Story? Can we tap into our inner world and bring our story into song? Is there a timeless theme operating in the background of our life? Something from literature or history? Or from a myth: are we Hector of Troy fighting a losing battle for a just cause? Can we use one of these themes to deepen our song? In this two day workshop we will look for the Larger Story that informs our life and we will bring that into our song. Using meditation and the creative process we will look for the Larger Story that runs through our life and create our personalized Posi song that comes from the timeless place within.
(This is an advanced writing workshop)
Jana Stanfield’s: Write Your Signature Song That Makes People Want to Sing Along
“You were given the desire to write songs for a reason. You have a message that deserves to be heard. You have a unique outlook on the world, and this 2-day session will help you craft a message that sticks in people’s heads like an ear worm,” says Jana Stanfield. Applying her Kiss Songwriting Secrets, Jana will lead you through fun creativity processes that reveal the unique core message you want to share, a message that is helpful for you and others right now. You’ll practice the proven principles of successful co-writing, receiving free ideas from Jana and other members of the class to help you leave this class with a new song you’re proud to share with the world.
David Roth: CO-WRITING: Half the work, twice the fun?
We've all got a unique toolbox of skills when it comes to songwriting. Whatever your strengths, someone else is bound to have different sensibilities along with different contents in THEIR toolbox. Here's your chance to meet in the middle and find new ways to create with shared abilities and variant influences. On Day One we'll talk about the process a bit, set some guidelines for working together, pair off to co-create, and start writing. On Day Two we'll hear our works-in progress, have lively discussion about what's happening, and set some follow-up in place to continue.
Brooks Williams: “Guitar: Beyond Strumming”
Guitar: Beyond Strumming is a workshop for singer-songwriter guitarists who want to spice up their playing without having to become guitar gurus. In this hand’s-on workshop, we’ll explore 6-10 tips that are, literally, at your fingertips. Techniques like walking bass runs, alternate chord voicings, picking rhythms, one and two note riffs, and some fancy sounding grooves, as well as a few tricks to rev-up your guitar style. They sound great and a fun to play! In this low-stress workshop, all techniques will be supported with standard notation and tab and shown in the context of songs.
Jana Stanfield’s “KISS Method" Secrets of Ear Worm Songs that Sell”
If you want to write songs that win awards, sell a million copies, or just get people to request them at your shows, the key is in creating “ear-worms.” In this fast-paced, fun, workshop, you will learn:
Jana’s KISS Method of Songwriting
Jana’s Essential Ear-Worm Elements
The 2 Most Popular Song Formulas, which you can use again and again to create songs that people enjoy, remember, and request. Songs that win awards, earn accolades, and sell millions of copies are written from the two formulas you’ll learn.
Tom Kimmel "Writing From the Ground Up"
Picasso, Van Gogh and Dali are renowned for their unique creative work, but when we observe their early paintings we begin to understand that underlying their fantastic imagery was a true mastery of form.
For those of us who are writers of positive and inspirational music — or writers of any kind of music — we find that being grounded in form is crucial to fulfilling the promise of our unique expression.
In this workshop we'll explore and work with both the practical and mystical elements of writing songs: the "how to" and the "holy."
Cosy Sheridan: “Introduction to Open Tunings for Guitar”
Open tunings are a way to get new sounds from our guitar. Playing in an open tuning can be a lot of fun; we can play big beautiful chords with just two fingers! In this class we will learn how to play in one open tuning. We will learn how to tune the guitar, and learn the basic chords in that tuning. By the end of the class we'll be playing a song !
David Roth: Personal is Powerful: Songwriting in the 1st Person
What's one of the most potent words any lyricist can ever use? "I". Here is our opportunity to write from the one perspective that makes us unique, no matter what level of experience (if any at all) we have. We'll brainstorm individual themes, uncover what it is each one of us is compellingly drawn to express, and get jump-started on new personal musical statements. The lenses through which you view the world are unequivocally different from everyone else's, so let's use these lenses to stand courageously and creatively IN our points of view.
Sue Riley: “Imaginative Imagery (Thursday 4-6)
A mental picture is worth a thousand words. How can we draw the listener into our song with imagery and details? Why say “I looked at the old pictures” when you could say “from a cardboard box of memories, I lift the faded photo”, or “I feel sad” when you could say “I’m as blue as a…”, ahhhh, the possibilities are endless.
This creative process workshop will focus on adding more imagery to your writing and we will work from prompts that will encourage you to dig deep into your imaginations. Bring paper and pencil.
Karen Drucker: “Chants for Inspiration, Empowerment and Fun” (Thursday 4-6 only)
In this easy, fun, and safe chant workshop Karen will show you how to write chants to use for your personal empowerment, or for your church, or for your next hit CD. No musical experience necessary. And, yes, those who only chant in the shower are welcome also!
Optional “one on one” mentoring sessions with Posi Award Winning Artists. Additional fee applies of $30 for 25 minutes.
Harold Payne, Greg Tamblyn, David Roth, Jana Stanfield, Stowe Dailey Shockey, Karen Taylor Good, Brooks Williams, JD Martin, Jan Garrett
Feedback song circles: 7:45-9:45pm Thursday
Harold Payne, David Roth, Tom Kimmel, Brooks Williams, KTG/Stowe, JD Martin, Greg Tamblyn
Totally Cool Song School Bios
Brooks Williams, called one of America’s musical treasures, is ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists. In February 2014 he was nominated best male vocalist by the UK’s folk roots mavens, Spiral Earth.
In the time-honoured road-warrior tradition, Williams has honed his songs on stages from Dallas to London, Istanbul to Anchorage, Toronto to Dublin, Detroit to Glasgow, Nairobi to Belfast, New York to Sardinia. Recent appearances include Celtic Connections, Glastonbury, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival, Ards Guitar Festival, Kerrville Festival and Moab Folk Festival. All in all, thousands of gigs over thousands of miles.
Williams is one of the most commanding performers in music today. His soulful singing and hook-laden songs—to say nothing of his guitar playing—are turning heads.
In 2012 he was awarded the Cambridge Arts Award, appeared on Radio Ballads, a six-week BBC Radio broadcast celebrating the London 2012 Olympics, and guested on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC TV.
No stranger to teaching, Acoustic magazine writes, “There aren’t many people who can play guitar like Brooks Williams, and fewer still who can teach like he can.” Recent workshops include Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, La Grande Gennerie in France, and SAMW in the USA. His discography includes 20 CDs (with more on the way!) and two guitar instructional DVDs (praised for their accessibility as well as Williams’ “easy and engaging presence on screen.”)
“Pan-Americana Roots 'n Blues, doused in Moonshine alt-Billy and delicious Dixie” Net Rhythms
“I’ve known Brooks for many years. He’s a lovely player, a lovely singer, and a great writer and a lovely man. The real thing” Martin Simpson
Cosy Sheridan has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer-songwriters.” She first caught the attention of national folk audiences in 1992 when she won both the Kerrville Folk Festival's NewFolk Award and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest, then released her critically-acclaimed debut CD Quietly Led on Waterbug Records.
She has released nine CDs, her music is featured in the Robert Fulghum multi-media novel The Third Wish and she tours consistently throughout the US. Her concerts are wide-ranging explorations of modern mythology (meet Hades the Biker), love songs for adults, contemporary philosophy for the thoughtfully-minded and her signature parody on aging and women. Throughout this journey, her lyrical dexterity is backed by her distinctive, percussive bluesy-gospel guitar style.
A guitar student of instrumental luminaries such as Guy Van Duser and Eric Schoenberg and a voice student at The Berklee School of Music, she brings a depth of experience to her craft. For the past 18 years, she has taught classes in songwriting, performance and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country including The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and The Swannanoa Gathering. In 2008 she co-founded The Moab Folk Camp.
David Roth has been leading workshops on songwriting, singing, and performance for more that two decades and is honored to join us once more. Now in his 27th year of full-time music-making, David's songs have found their way to Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, the Kennedy Center, the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul, & Mary concerts, NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis (his song, "Rocket Science" circled the earth in 2009), the "Rise Up Singing" Songbook, more than 300 New Thought Centers throughout North America, countless coffeehouses, conferences, concert halls, festivals, and 13 CDs on the Wind River and Stockfisch (Germany) labels. The former artist-in-residence at New York's Omega Institute won his 4th consecutive Posi Award last year (among 10 nominations since we began) and joyfully returns to our gathering from his home on Cape Cod where for the past 8 years he's hosted the Full Moon Open Mic, providing a forum for local musicians to connect and be heard while at the same time collecting donations for local non-profit organizations.
Sloan Wainwright is a singer and a songwriter of rare power and subtlety, serving up doses of the real and the mysterious in a soaring, soulful contralto that sends critics scrambling for metaphors equal to the thrill: “the aural equivalent of smoky, tantalizing aromas emanating from a soul kitchen;” “[her] thick as molasses voice gets under your skin in all the right ways;” a powerful, earth-mother voice that she pours into unexpectedly sensitive blends of folk, jazz, blues and funk.” Singing with the extended McGarrigle-Wainwright family, Sloan has rocked the house at Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, and has released seven memorable records since her self-titled debut in 1994. She brings the same energy to her work as a solo artist, melding the best of pop, folk, jazz, and blues to create a unique, soulful hybrid. Sloan has been playing clubs, concerts and festivals coast to coast for two decades, triggering tears, hoots and hollers with deeply personal lyrics that connect life’s mysterious dots. A born storyteller and poet, Sloan started writing songs when she was 10. “Sitting at the piano and making up songs was my playground— a very safe place, magical and mystical. I surprised myself with what was in my head and how it all fit together.” For the last 16 years, she has been sharing that process with students, spreading the gospel of personal expression and lyrical reinvention. Sloan’s open-hearted approach to singing, songwriting and letting loose has made her a treasured presence at a host of prestigious workshops, including The Swannanoa Gathering, Summersongs, Wintersongs, Moab Folk Camp and Richard Thompson’s Frets and Refrains.
Jana Stanfield’s compositions have sold over 5 million CDs worldwide, earning her gold and platinum albums. You’ve heard her music on 20/20, Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, and the movie 8 Seconds, recorded by Reba McEntire and others.
A multiple Posi Award Winning Artist, and winner of the Grace Note Award for ?? (how do you define that, Sue?), Jana has shared stages with performers ranging from musicians like Kenny Loggins and The Dixie Chicks, to speakers like Deepak Chopra and Lily Tomlin.
Through her Keynote Concerts, Inc., Jana performs at events like TEDx India, TEDxNASA, and she leads volun-tour trips around the world.
Tom Kimmel is one of those unique singer-songwriters whose heartfelt artistry with words and music is both genre-crossing and timeless. Since 1980, when his songs were recorded by Roger McGuinn & Chris Hillman (of Byrds fame) and Levon Helm (of The Band), dozens of his compositions have been covered by a host of major artists including Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Shawn Colvin, Waylon Jennings, the Stray Cats, Randy Travis and the Spinners. Tom’s unique ability to write songs that connect stems from his lifelong career as a touring performer
JD Martin has been a professional songwriter for over 20 years, writing for artists such as Reba McEntire, Terri Clark, Jennifer Paige, Peter Cetera and B.J. Thomas. JD Martin is an award winning songwriter of 5 Number One and 10 Top Ten hit singles, along with multiple empower Posi Awards.
Karen Drucker has recorded 11 CDs of her original inspirational music and has won numerous awards for her volunteer work for performing and producing shows for organizations in need. Karen has been called a master of communicating presence and spirituality through music. She has been a professional comedienne, led her own band for corporate events, and has been the spokesperson for “Bread and Roses” (performing in
convalescent hospitals, prisons, children’s hospitals, etc.). She started her own organization, “Artists ForA Cause,” to raise awareness and funds for organizations in need by producing concerts featuring local entertainers.
She sings, speaks and leads workshops at women's retreats, mind-body & health conferences and various churches around the country. She also performs music for ministers, workshop facilitators, and authors including Joan Borysenko, SARK,Alan Cohen, Mary Manin Morrissey and many others.
She loves making music, making a difference, and touching hearts.
Karen Taylor Good is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-author with numerous radio hits by Patty Loveless, Al Jarreau, & Melissa Manchester, to name a few. She has recorded albums and movie soundtracks with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson & Al Green. Many of her songs are used as flagship songs for organizations including ChildHelp USA and the National Hospice Foundation.
Stowe Dailey Shockey is a singer-songwriter, best-selling author and recent cancer survivor. She co-wrote the hit song, Long Time Comin’ for the group, Shenandoah. Her album, Angel Chants, was the sound track of Angel Stories, featured on T.L.C. She has co-authored five books, including Flying High, her newest book, which was featured at the “I Can Do It!” conference in Toronto.
Stowe and Karen have joined forces and now tour as Stowe Good. They share musical keynotes, workshops and concerts across the country.