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Performing Songwriter

Performing Songwriter

Performing Songwriter was a magazine first published in 1993, with 8 editions a year, and aimed at songwriters who toured and performed. It closed in 2009, but continues as an online publication.

Dr. John: Funky Business

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, September 1997

FUNK IS one of those words, like cool or hip, that is difficult to define. In music, it's an amorphous thing, an attitude, a looseness, ...

Brian Kennedy

Interview by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, March 1998

BRIAN KENNEDY is caught between a pillow and a soft place. On the one hand, he's an emerging solo artist whose debut album in 1990 ...

The Chieftains: Paddy Moloney: The Abundant Life of The Chieftains

Interview by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, March 1998

IF YOU'VE EVER visited Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the most memorable legs of the tour (not quite as touching as the meditation garden ...

Paul Brady: The Ever-Changing World of Paul Brady

Interview by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, March 1998

A MENTOR ONCE told me there were two rules to writing about other people's lives: First, always remember that as the journalist, you're not the ...

The Guiness Fleadh

Report by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, March 1998

IF YOU HAD said to someone twenty years ago that Ireland was hot, they would have assumed you'd never been, because, truthfully, the place is ...

Peter, Paul & Mary: What Makes A Song Endure

Interview by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, May 1998

IT'S APRIL, 2048, the year of the cockroach. The lines curve out the door of Radio City Music Hall, around the block, and down Sixth ...

Aretha Franklin: Arif Mardin: A Man For All Musical Seasons

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, July 1998

READING THROUGH the list of artists that producer/arranger Arif Mardin has worked with is like looking at a chapter of history from American pop music. ...

Tori Amos: The Loudest Voice in the Chair

Interview by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, September 1998

My scream got lost in a paper cup you think there's a heaven where some screams have gone?I've got twenty-five bucks and a cracker do ...

Willie Nelson: The Lone Star Spirit of Willie Nelson

Profile and Interview by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, December 1998

THERE WAS, of course, Texas music before Willie. Problem was, nobody outside of Texas heard it. The eclectic styles growing from lone star roots before ...

James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt: Peter Asher: A World Of Sound

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, April 1999

"I ALWAYS found the studio a fascinating place," says producer Peter Asher, "and the process of assembling a track and figuring out what each musician ...

Townes Van Zandt: A Far Cry From Dead

Review by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, July 1999

STEVE EARLE ONCE gushed, "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the world, and I'd stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my boots ...

Beth Nielsen Chapman: The Lightness of Being Beth Nielsen Chapman

Interview by Debbie Kruger, Performing Songwriter, September 1999

WHAT STRIKES YOU first about Beth Nielsen Chapman, and then again repeatedly on further meetings, is her lightness. She is a woman who has been ...

Lou Reed

Interview by Paul Zollo, Performing Songwriter, 2000

"Music was what bothered me, what interested me. I always believed that I have something important to say and I said it. That's why I ...

Steely Dan: The Second Coming

Retrospective and Interview by Paul Zollo, Performing Songwriter, January 2000

IN MANHATTAN, a couple weeks before the final Christmas of the 20th Century. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have arrived together at the 12th floor, ...

Eddi Reader

Interview by Debbie Kruger, Performing Songwriter, March 2000

EDDI READER ready to do it alone. After a decade of drawing heavily on collaborations with other writers, she realizes it's okay – in fact ...

Kasey Chambers

Interview by Debbie Kruger, Performing Songwriter, December 2000

IT'S A LINE so stark in its humility that it has some American reviewers looking for irony and missing the point altogether. ...

Alan Lomax: A Life Less Ordinary

Obituary by Chris Smith, Performing Songwriter, September 2002

SUMMING UP ALAN LOMAX'S contributions to folk music in a single magazine article is like trying to list everyone you've ever met on a single ...

David Bowie: The Sound and Vision of David Bowie

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, September 2003

PLANET EARTH is blue and David Bowie's beige. Dressed down in khakis, a light tan T-shirt and a matching ball cap, he looks more like ...

Bread, David Gates: Legends of Songwriting: David Gates of Bread

Profile and Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, December 2003

REMEMBER "soft rock?" You don't hear the term much anymore, but in the early 1970s, this musical genre floated onto the AM airwaves in the ...

Harlan Howard: Legends of Songwriting: Harlan Howard

Profile and Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, January 2004

THE TYPICAL songwriter who rolls into Nashville is an unknown hopeful with an acoustic guitar and a notebook full of half-finished songs and titles. When ...

The Chi-Lites: Legends of Songwriting: Eugene Record of The Chi-Lites

Profile and Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, May 2004

IN 1969, WHEN The Chi-Lites scored their first hit with 'Give It Away', it was a well-earned triumph. ...

Bill Withers: Legends of Songwriting: Bill Withers

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, July 2004

A BLACK MAN wearing faded jeans and an orange turtleneck sweater sits on a stool. He's hunched over his acoustic guitar. Eyes closed, sweat glistening ...

Elvis Costello: A Man with a Mission (In Two or Three Editions)

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, Fall 2004

ELVIS COSTELLO is about to take over the world. No, he's not going to reveal himself as a nefarious arch-villain in league with Doctor Octopus ...

Sergio Mendes: Legends of Songwriting: Sergio Mendes

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, October 2005

ON TIMELESS, the latest album by Sergio Mendes, there's a line in the title track that goes, "Kindness is timeless/Love is so easy." ...

Eurythmics: The Power Of Two

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, January 2006

WHEN DAVE Stewart and Annie Lennox formed Eurythmics in 1980, they drew up what they called "a manifesto." A list of their intentions, along with ...

Jeff Barry: Bubblegum Hero

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, July 2006

When Don Kirshner hired Jeff Barry as a producer and writer for the Monkees, then the Archies, he knew he was getting a guaranteed hitmaker. ...

Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel: Surprise Surprise: Paul Simon

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, September 2006

"THE TRUTH is flexible and complex," says Paul Simon. On the eleven songs that make up his latest album Surprise, the legendary songwriter sizes up ...

Jimmy Webb: Legends of Songwriting : Jimmy Webb

Profile and Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, March 2007

"SOMEONE LEFT the cake out in the rain." No single lyric is more infamous in pop music than the one Jimmy Webb wrote forty years ...

Herb Alpert: Legends Of Songwriting: Herb Alpert...

Profile and Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, July 2007

...plus an interview with Dolores Erickson, the lady beneath the Whipped Cream ...

Legends of Songwriting: Diane Warren

Interview by Bill DeMain, Performing Songwriter, September 2007

ASKED WHETHER she could ever love a person as much as she loves songwriting, Diane Warren doesn't miss a beat in answering an emphatic "No." ...

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