Sun Dec 11
Over the years I’ve meant to record a Christmas song or two. Thing is, it never happened. Usually it was November before I started thinking about it, and there’s just not enough time by then.
Releasing a song is a lot of work even if the song is already written! You have to arrange it, record, mix, master it, create cover art and then do all the admin work of releasing it. I’ve done it all enough through the years that I know what it takes, and it always takes longer than you think.
This year I started thinking about it in the summer and then began recording in October. I wasn’t up for more than one song. I’m just too busy right now. But I felt it was important to do at least one song because I’d been putting it off for several years and I was tired of regretting it.
My plan was to have it ready after Thanksgiving… and it was ready! Only problem is I still needed to do cover art and find a day to take care of all the little things to get it published. I had in mind to sync it with nice images of winter scenes so it can live on YouTube and FB video. The “video” is pretty much done and I’ll put that out soon. I say “video” loosely but the photos are beautiful and I think they serve the song well. For now though, I just need to get the audio out.
Recording the song was a blast for sure! I created the song arrangement based on how I would play it and I didn’t have any other recording of it in mind when I wrote it. So it felt good when I played and sang it. The bulk of the recording came together in one full Saturday, which is pretty quick compared to my normal pace. It’s difficult for me to schedule blocks of time like that, so I’m glad it was productive.
GASC (Great American Song Contest)
The GASC is much larger than the ASG contest. It is international and over 1700 writers entered songs in 2015. Most writers enter more than one song and although I cannot find where GASC discloses the number of songs, my conservative guess is over 5000 entries. So it’s encouraging to have a song place in the Finals of ANY category.
One of the great things about this contest is that they send you a written report showing how the judges ranked your song on key criteria. Things like title, melody, clarity, hook, poetry, and more are all ranked on a 1-10 scale. They are honest. I’ve received both hard criticism and positive feedback on the reports.
Judges also write comments which sometimes point out the weaknesses of the song, or its strengths. GASC lists many of their judges and you can verify they are professionals in the music industry. That way we’re more comfortable that it’s not some snot-nosed kid on the other end of a phone app rating our songs.
Given this is a much larger contest, I’m happy with the results. “Feelings Fade” did OK in this one!
If you’re curious, take a listen to the songs and see if you agree with the judges!
New Song Collection
The Haiti Mission CD is sold out! But I held a few back (less than 10) for some fun promotions in the future. These will never be printed again so I couldn’t stand to sell every one of them:). So, I’m back focused on recording tracks for a full length CD release. It’s been a long road since I’m tracking as money and time allows at my home studio and at the homes of friends and guest musicians. More to come…… stay strong! www.markherring.com
New CD is available 5/14/14 and pre-orders can be made at songsonpurpose.com. This is a Limited Edition Release with no plans to print more once they run out.
Proceeds go to support a group mission trip to Haiti.
A fund-raiser with live music and Holy Smokes BBQ is set for 5/17/14 – details will be on Facebook.
So far Chris Beall and I are scheduled to play but more details will follow…
I arrived to the Cactus Cafe late and missed sound check because… well you know, Austin traffic…
All of my fears came true, people listened. But hey that was the worst of it!
During the first song by Will Callery, the lights went out. I mean ALL the lights went out, for about 5 seconds! What do you think he did? He kept on singing like nothing happened and then sang right through the applause that erupted after the lights came back on. The guy’s a real pro.
There’s a video of it. I’ll post it if I ever get around to…
Sometimes people ask me if I get nervous when I play and I usually respond the same each time, “of course”!
I’ve performed music for audiences since I was 12 (early on as a drummer) and there’s always an excitement and adrenal rush happening before you go on stage. Once I get out there and finish the first song, things calm down and my comfort level goes up.
But there are different kinds of “nervous”.
There’s the good excited kind, then there’s the terrifying vomiting kind. Luckily I haven’t had the latter in decades. But even now,… READ MORE
This contest is international and over 1600 writers entered it, many entered more than one song. I’m listed with 16 other Finalists in my category here: http://www.greatamericansong.com/honorary.php. There are several categories, so Ctrl+F and do a search for Herring to jump straight to it if you don’t like to scroll.
They said I’d hear more from them in a week. So if anything else comes from this,…
Story Of Our Lives was 1st Place Winner of this year’s Austin Songwriter’s Group song contest in the Inspirational Category. The awards ceremony was held Nov 2, at Threadgills in Austin where ASG President Rick Busby presented the award. I’m so humbled to be part of the ASG family. Not only are these some of most creative writers I’ve ever met, but they are also some of the nicest.