Good Singin' Good Playin' -- Songwriter's Panel

Conference Panels

Ex-Whiskeytown fiddler Caitlin Cary (l) accompanied by guitarist Mike Daly
Ex-Whiskeytown fiddler Caitlin Cary (l) accompanied by guitarist Mike Daly (Photo By Gary Miller)

Good Singin' Good Playin' -- Songwriter's Panel

Austin Convention Center, Thursday 14 The topic of songwriting is so multifaceted that any discussion of it could last for days. This panel did a good job of covering the basics, touching on subjects like inspiration, the nuts and bolts of publishing, and why the panelists chose songwriting as a profession in the first place. Moderator Paul Corbin of BMI, the publishing rights organization, had Nashville based Amy Rigby, the Smithereens' Pat Dinizio, ex-Whiskeytown fiddler Caitlin Cary (accompanied by guitarist Mike Daly), and former D-Generation leader Jesse Malin do most of the talking --and even some playing -- in a way that was thought provoking and unobtrusive. Malin recalled how his love for Kiss and the Ramones got him interested in being in bands, while Dinizio, obviously a little older, recalled the glory days of Top 40 radio in the Sixties. When discussing where songs actually come from, a well-worn question with a multitude of answers, Cary remarked, "The ones that fall out of the sky whole are the good ones." When the North Carolinian performed "Fireworks" from her debut solo album, While You Weren't Looking, it demonstrated her talent for capturing glimpses of everyday life and putting them to attractive melodies. Dinizio was most eloquent in offering advice to other songwriters, suggesting Web pages to check out for more information on song publishers and lawyers. It was Rigby who had the most telling insight of the afternoon, however. Discussing how she communicates with her listeners, she likely spoke for most songwriters when she stated, "I feel like I've really succeeded if I can take my experiences and put them in a song and then have other people paste their experiences right on top of it."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Lovely Sparrows
Shake the Shadow (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Brain Invaderz (Record Review)

Jeremy Steinberger, March 22, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle