Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jim Parker's Songwriters Series

Dear Homegrown Songwriters,

We had a last minute cancellation. Rebecca Lynn Howard found out today that she has to shoot a television show on the 6th! Karen Staley came to the rescue! Bless you Karen!

It's been an amazing year for JPSS and I owe every success to you, my fans and my sponsors for which I am deeply grateful. The first show for 2012 is coming up very soon, next Friday, Jan. 6th. I have a great lineup of performers: Rebecca Lynn Howard, Michael Anthony Curtis and Kurt Fortmeyer, with special guest Keith Elder, from Birmingham.Season tickets and a few tables are still available. If you're interested in a table contact me directly at 256-337-6006.
I hope to see you next Friday!

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

 Weirton, Virginia, USA. Karen Staley is a singer-songwriter whose credits include a number of songs for Faith Hill (‘Take Me As I Am’ and ‘Let’s Go To Vegas’), Patty Loveless and Tracy Byrd (‘Keeper Of The Stars’). Raised in Georgetown, Pennsylvania, Staley claims to have been attracted to a career in music through the boredom she endured at the Methodist church meetings her parents took her to. In October 1984, she relocated to Nashville. Kathy Mattea recommended her to Bob Doyle at ASCAP, later Garth Brooks’ manager, who introduced her to various publishers. Within a month she had a staff publishing deal. Her first big hits came with Patty Loveless - ‘Lonely Days, Lonely Nights’ and ‘Wicked Ways’. After establishing herself as a songwriter she signed with MCA Records, but lost her way when the label was taken over by Universal. She moved to Warner Brothers Records instead, and received rave reviews for her 1998 debut for the label, Fearless. Karen is commited to charitable work and is a humorist as well as a hit singer/songwriter and performer.

Curtis was raised in Lewisburg, Tenn., but has lived most of his adult life in Alabama. He began writing songs at the early age of 12, and, by the time he turned 19, he was signed to ASCAP by Garth Brooks' manager Bob Doyle.

Curtis has written and co-written such great songs as "Drive Another Nail" by Randy Travis; "Father Knows Best" by Ricky Skaggs; "Get Up In Jesus Name" by Lee Ann Womack; and "Carpenters Son" by Sawyer Brown. He also wrote seven of the 10 songs recorded by Marty Raybon (former lead singer of Shenandoah), and began producing, which resulted in several No. 1 hits, that garnered Dove and GMA nods.

Kurt Fortmeyer was born in a barn and raised in a stable environment, or so he might tell an unwitting listener in one of his sillier moments. His life was changed irreparably at a tender and impressionable age when he was subjected to Roger Miller, Allan Sherman, Chubby Checker, and Trini Lopez.

His first solo show was at the HOLE IN THE WALL SALOON in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the late '70s, influenced by Jack Kerouac, Jesse Winchester, and Townes Van Zandt, he hitchhiked coast-to-coast...

Singer, songwriter, retreat leader--Keith Elder has spoken and performed for over thirty years in a wide variety of church, conference, and community settings. While serving local churches in North Alabama as a youth director then as a pastor, Keith continued to write and record, play small concert venues, and provide leadership for special events.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kenneth Cooper

One of our own "Homegrown Songwriters From Our Sweet Home Alabama" ... a nicer person you will not meet! And,  you've always heard "behind every successful man is a woman" ... TRUE ... as you read through this article, it is very clear that Jennifer with her intelligence, clear thinking and sweet nature knew when to gently "push" Ken in the right direction!

Kenneth  started composing songs while stationed for NASA in Washington, DC in 2005, when his wife, Jennifer (now co-writer), bought him an acoustic guitar for $1 on EBay. He found the songwriting process to be very therapeutic after stressful days at work. They moved back to Alabama in June of ’05, and his daily job once again took over for a few years.
So, in early 2008, Jennifer instigated a small intervention of sorts because Ken was working lots of overtime and did not realize the duress he was under. Jennifer suggested he kick back a little and find a creative outlet. For Valentine’s Day, she bought him a Washburn guitar and studio recording session for the 10 songs he had written. After the first session with professional musicians he was hooked!
Since then, Kenneth has written 110 more songs, including co-writes with many of his Huntsville songwriter friends as well as Nashville professional staff writers and artists. Kenneth now has Jennifer contributing to some of his latest (and best) tunes. While Kenneth’s style has evolved more to the rough-n-rowdy style of contemporary country, like his current single “Bad Ass Country”, he’s still known to throw down the occasional hearty love song.

2011 was a jamb-packed year for Kenneth and Jennifer. Jennifer kicked it off on Valentine’s with his custom Martin guitar. Everything started falling in place from there, including writing 46 songs and recording the seven studio singles Kenneth has started releasing on ReverbNation. 

Kenneth and Jennifer have made countless road-trips to Nashville, writing  as well as playing shows at the Bluebird Café, the Commodore Grille, Ri’chard’s Café, and Bellcourt Taps and Tapas. Kenneth progressed to the semi-finals in the Puckett’s Grocery Rising Star contest, and performed in the Nashville Ear Songwriter Series at Nashville’s Bost Harley Davidson dealership.  

When at home in Huntsville, Kenneth continues to make music with his friends at the local songwriter hangouts, The Coffee Tree, The Daily Brew, and CD’s Bar and Grill.

Kenneth is a member of Songwriters For Surviors. He is right there to support the Benefit Series helping to raise money for victims of the April 2011 tornado outbreak. He is also involved in benefits for the Renaissance Theatre in Huntsville, Alabama.

Currently Kenneth is writing with hot, new Nashville artists, Lindsay Bruce and Parish County.  Writing sessions are booked into 2012 with more new up-and-coming pop and country artists. He has upcoming shows at the Commodore Grille, Hotel Indigo, and the Red Rooster Bar. Check out his show schedule

and latest releases at Follow Ken on his Facebook Page Kenneth Cooper Music and be sure to click LIKE. Follow him or Twitter @KenCooperMusic.

So, as another one of our songwriters, MaryJustice says,
 "Hit it, Ken!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Platinum AStar Entertainment - Nashville


Music City - Nashville



With Special Guests


Kristen Dragotto

Thursday, November 17th
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Instrument Department
1600 Galleria Boulevard
Brentwood, TN 37027

You will be entertained by multi-award-winning performing songwriters featuring their original songs, plus covers : POP, New Country, Folk, New Gospel

*click link to websites

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"One Brick At A Time"

Once again, the Tennessee Valley songwriters joined hands to lend a helping hand with a concert on October 22nd, benefiting the Phil Campbell High School Band Room which was destroyed during the April 27th tornados. For those of you who were members of a high school band and learned to play an instrument there, remember those great times with the band and what it meant to you. Just imagine having that taken from you! This will be and should be an on-going project to help Phil Campbell rebuild and restore their band room "On Brick At A Time"...

Join us in this effort by clicking this link to the glee website

and watch the video and click vote for Phil Campbell! Please share with everyone you know. Only one vote per day per computer I.P. address.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MaryJustice Lucas "Fix You" ColdPlay Cover

MaryJustice Lucas, a talented 16 year-old  songwriter from Huntsville, Alabama, has just released a new video on YouTube. A beautiful young artist, a beautiful voice, a beautiful work of art ... check it out!  MaryJustice usually sings her original songs but recently started adding a few cover songs to her shows.

"Fix You" cover recorded by MaryJustice may be purchased from ReverbNation. I understand that several originals by MaryJustice will be released sometimes in November.

MaryJustice Lucas covers Fix You by ColdPlay
Follow on Facebook:
Follow me on twitter:!/maryjustice07
Purchase Song and Follow me on Reverbnation:

Special Thanks to:
Jeff Wyatt Wilson (DP/Director)

Eric Nelson - Producer/Drums/Backup Vocals
Mike Waldron - Electric Guitar/Mixing
Randy Coleman - Drums Track Engineer
Charles Jones - Acoustic Guitar/Bass

Madd Talent Management and Production

MaryJustice will be at the Commodore Grill in Nashville
 October 19th for a Songwriter's Round at 8:30 p.m.
 Drop in to see her live performance! 

We are proud of our young, local talent! Keep up the good work, MaryJustice!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thin Blue Line

Randy Duck is a retired police officer in Huntsville, Alabama. He is also a great singer and songwriter. He's also an Elvis Impersonator! Can't get him to do it frequently, but when he does it is entertainment ... embellished costume, black wig, the whole works!

Randy is very active in getting funding and promoting The Huntsville Police Fallen Officers Memorial. He does many benefit concerts to honor our men and women in uniform, Military, Police, Firefighters, EMTs. Needless to say, Randy can fill the seats in any venue. We look forward to his shows on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and those he can squeeze in at other times. He is also busy performing at nursing homes and places for senior citizens. Randy is a true man of God and has not had an easy walk in his own shoes but never forgets his friends who are hurting or in need. That's just the kind of guy he is.

I know you will enjoy this video. It makes me swell with pride and invokes bittersweet memories of the fallen heroes dear to me. Help spread the word to promote this song and spread the word about the memorial. Proceeds from the original release of Randy's album, "A Thin Blue Line" went to the memorial fund. You may click the link above to the Fallen Officers Memorial and make a donation at the website.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Come Meet MaryJustice Lucas!

MaryJustice Lucas

 "Music is what I love! I started writing little songs when I was five and more detailed lyrics by age seven. Believe it or not, I was a dancer for seven years. Something I loved very much.  Long story short ... when I was younger, I was knocked down at a skating rink and injured my knee. I wasn't able to dance like I used to. Down the street from the dance studio was the Coffee Tree Books & Brew and I happened to drop in one songwriter's night. It's so true that God opens another door when one closes. I started singing at the Coffee Tree Books & Brew Songwriter Open Mic. At first, I was shy about sharing my songs, but a songwriter friend encouraged me by saying God gave me the gift to write music and I should share that gift. I joined a songwriting group and  met some great people who have been very encouraging!"

"My favorite part of a song is its lyrics.  Sometimes people say “Oh, I love this song!” and when I ask 'What’s it about?' they will sometimes say they don’t know, that they don’t listen to the words.  If you are someone who does that, it’s perfectly all right, but as for me, I find it impossible to NOT listen to what is being said. I love listening to the story being told in the song, just as much as I enjoy sharing stories in the songs I write."

"I love drawing, painting, photography, reading and the performing arts.The past couple of years have been like a whirlwind with competition wins, lots of traveling, learning guitar and leaving public school for a college preparatory home school program! Although I have a flexible schedule that allows for songwriting, performances and trips, it gets very hectic.  My faith and love of Jesus, my friends and family keep me going and give me inspiration for my songs." 

Whether Pop or New Country, MaryJustice's songs appeal to teens as well as older music lovers.

MaryJustice Lucas is performing with fellow songwriters, Chapman James and John Tinger at the Madison Gazebo, Main Street, Madison, Alabama, Thursday, July 7th at 6:30pm.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Come Meet John Tinger!

Some of life's most powerful interests and avenues of expression begin at an early age. My desire to play the guitar started at the tender age of eight. A neighbor first introduced me to the wonders of this marvelous instrument. My interest was immediately sparked as I watched her play. I was hooked! I knew that music would play a major role in my life. The first guitar I held was a modestly priced instrument, (red, white and blue!), of questionable quality. 

Formal instruction was essential and with tremendous motivation and dedication, I made rapid progress in my studies. By the time I had reached early adulthood, my talents were such that I was able to enter into collaboration with like-minded musicians, eventually leading to the creation of a band focusing on cutting-edge experimental rock and heavy metal. After many well-received live engagements and promising recording sessions, my disillusionment with the commercial music scene began to grow, eventually leading to my putting aside my beloved instrument for nine years.

As I grew personally, exploring other methods of artistic expression,  my music career came into perspective. I realized just how important music was to me. It was becoming more apparent with each passing year that the genuine expression of my musical soul might best be articulated in acoustic styles rather than the more provocative and energetic electric medium of my earlier years. Finger-style artists such as Alex Degrassi (with whom I have studied) and Michael Hedges spoke to me in ways that other guitar virtuosos had not. It was their commanding influence that brought me back to music, this time focusing exclusively on the acoustic medium.

Once again I was dedicated to music with a passion I had never before experienced ... as though a higher power was guiding me to a deeper, more spiritual involvement with this medium, resulting in a satisfaction and fulfillment unmatched in my younger days. I hope that, in some way, I can reach and inspire others to similar interest and expression. Ultimately, arousing and nurturing such interest in others is undeniably even more fulfilling. This would explain my compelling desire to instruct others willing to study music and the guitar, a pursuit that has harnessed my wholehearted commitment.

John Tinger is performing with fellow songwriters, MaryJustice Lucas and Chapman James at the Madison Gazebo, Main Street, Madison, Alabama, Thursday, July 7th at 6:30pm. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Come Meet Chapman James!

Chapman James
Born James Chapman Polhemus in Stuttgart Germany and brought up nicknamed 'Buddy' in the deep southeast (now residing in Huntsville, AL), Chapman has had unique insights into the development of a Folk musician. "A writer is not necessarily the one that shouts 'Hear Me!' (that's the performer talking) , but one that listens and seems to whisper 'I heard you'." Whether it's the sound of a human trotting across the prairie, the epic life of a tree, the loneliness one needs to combat garden gnomes or a view of war through the eyes of a 4 year old boy, Chapman's songs are honest and simple. "If the song is good, the genre doesn't matter! Choosing among frames for artwork has never been my passion, that's for the talented producers & cover artists" "After having written my first song at the age of 12, I have finally found so many decades later the exact reasons I write songs. I write to remember. Once I have learned either a complex idea that I think is important to answer back to life, or a humorous perspective I want to recall to bring some levity to the insanity, I make a song out of it... selfish as it may seem I do it for me so this is why I share it and welcome everyone to the therapy session I call a 'Live Performance'. I write so the things I've learned just won't become lost like so many raindrops in the ocean and just maybe they'll shed a little light on what is to be expected from this seemingly insignificant species called human"...

Chapman James is conducting a "Therapy Session" with fellow songwriters, MaryJustice Lucas and John Tinger at the Madison Gazebo, Main Street, Madison, Alabama, Thursday, July 7th at 6:30pm.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thank You For Supporting Our 1st Tornado Relief Concert!

See our spot on WAAY-TV Channel 31
 Songwriters For Survivors on Channel 31 Huntsville!
Just a few photos of our songwriters getting set up for the event, working, etc. Each one payed to perform, worked and we all had a great time! What a wonderful family!

 Christian Songwriter, Karen Newsum "I Am Water" worked the "gate" until time to sing and then went right back to the "gate"!

 Songwriter Tom Pepper, (Treasurer) was our sound engineer. I don't think he left that spot all day long!

Songwriter Susan Belk, our Concessionaire Extraordinaire!

Songwriter Beth McClellan,  set-up, sold T-shirts, sang, was all over the place doing what needed to be done!
Songwriter Roger Hoselton, our Project Manager was an awesome Master of Ceremonies

 Songwriters, Brandon, Jen and Ken, Earl and Polly

Tennessee Valley and surrounding area songwriters are wonderful  people always ready to lend a helping hand! They all paid for the privilege to entertain, went out and solicited sponsors and worked in the hot sun all day for this event!

Thank you to the Railroad Bazaar for letting us use their space and for providing the stage, equipment and sound system! Thank you to ALL our sponsors:



This is an ongoing event! Please go to Songwriters4Survivors and make a secure donation through PayPal or go to any Superior Bank location. Thank You!