Ex-Whiskeytown fiddler Caitlin Cary (l) accompanied by guitarist Mike Daly (Photo By Gary Miller)
Good Singin' Good Playin' -- Songwriter's PanelAustin 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."