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!"