Archive | April, 2011

Urban Dreamz

29 Apr

In January 2011, I started a new adventure with my music, a duo called “Urban Dreamz.” It all began with a Spectra Energy Rodeo event. For 2 years I shared a cubicle wall with Aurelia Arredondo, who has become a great friend over the years at Spectra Energy.
When the calling came out to sign up for the annual rodeo events at work, she said we should sing a duet for the singing contest. At this point I knew she sang, but I didn’t think she was serious about pursing a music career until we started practicing together.

Urban Dreamz

Our first practice was held in the stairwell of Spectra. We chose the song “Need you Now” by Lady Antebellum and spent a few weeks singing it over and over to prepare for our debut performance. While we worked on the song, we also needed to come up with a name for our duo. That was an interesting few days as we passed ideas back and forth on IM and text messages. After coming up with dozens of names,  we decided to combine our influences. I said I liked Keith Urban and she said she like Alicia Keys. So we tried Urban Keys, but that didn’t fit us. Then she mentioned the song “Sweet Dreams” and the name of our duo came to life, “Urban Dreamz.”

On February 24, 2011, we made our debut at the Spectra Energy Rodeo event. Our coworkers showed their support and went all out making posters with our pictures on it and cheering  us on.  They all knew that I sang from previous rodeo events, but they had never heard Aurelia sing, so they were all excited and said we sounded great together. It was a great show and that’s when we decided we should pursue it further. So we started working on a set list to actually perform out around Houston.

Here is out debut performance:

We have since set up a Facebook fan page at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Urban-Dreamz/134418299964877#!/pages/Urban-Dreamz/134418299964877

Come join us us on Facebook to get updates about what to expect from this hot new duo based in the Houston area.

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Nashville 2011

22 Apr

I just recently returned from a week long trip to Nashville to pitch some music and hang out in Music City. Overall I had a very productive week, getting some great feedback on my songs as well as meeting some future co-writers while hanging out with some great songwriter friends from Houston. I spent most of the days pitching music and the nights at hit songwriter’s shows presented by Tin Pan South with new and old friends.

Meeting Allen Shamblin in Nashville, April 2011

I can’t even begin the explain the experience I had with Tin Pan South. I saw so many great hit writers up close and personal. My mind was overflowing with inspiration just listening to each of their unique stories. My favorite show was one of the first nights at the Hard Rock Cafe on Broadway. It included Phil Vasser, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Brett James and  Josh Kear. You may have heard of Phil Vasser and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, but many of you may not know Brett James and Josh Kear. Brett James wrote many of Carrie Underwood’s songs, including “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “Cowboy Casanova.” Josh Kear has many hits, but most people know him now as the writer of Lady Antebellum’s huge smash “Need You Now.” Josh also wrote “Before He Cheats” for Carrie Underwood.

That night was the highlight of my Tin Pan South experience, but other great writers that I saw that week were Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, who wrote “The House that Built Me.” I actually saw each writer seperate and both put on a great show, including their performance of Miranda Lambert’s huge hit. What was interesting is Tom Douglas actually played it on the keyboard, while Allen Shamblin played it on the guitar.

New and old friends in Nashville, April 2011

I could go on and on about the Tin Pan South shows, but the main reason I was in Nashville was to get feedback on my own music. I set up appointments with representatives at NSAI and ASCAP as well as with a producer in Brentwood that  a friend recommended. All of them gave me great feedback and said I was on the right track. I had three songs that I was pitching. The first is a brand new song called “Red Eye,” which I wrote with Jon D’Agostino from New York and Jason Eustice from Louisville, Kentucky. Jason did a guitar vocal of it and I got really good compliments on his presentation of the song.  The second song I pitched is a song I wrote last year with Beth Kille from Wisconsin. Beth lived here in Houston for a while, which is where we met, but didn’t start writing until she moved back to Wisconsin. Now we co-write via Skype. The final song I pitched is called “Doing the Best I Can,” which was inspired by my cousin going to Afghanistan. All three songs got great reviews. Now it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time and of course continuing to write great songs!

I love Nashville and the musical vibe that surrounds the city and hope to make it back soon.

Dusty

Welcome to my Blog!

14 Apr

Hi, welcome to my music blog. Thanks for stopping by. I am a singer songwriter who carefully crafts songs that will hopefully touch people the way they touch me. I do perform around the Houston area occasionally, but my main goal is to write the best country songs that I can write, whether I sing them or someone else does. I just hope the songs reach out and touch the world.

I hope you’ll stop by now and then to see what I’m up to. I’ll be covering a wide range of topics, including upcoming events, such as a new duo called Urban Dreamz to what I think about the structure of the current #1 song on the country Billboard charts.

Hope to see you back soon

Dusty