The Songwriters Guild of America's Pro Shop, which meets with me each week, has had some very exciting guests these last few weeks. Two weeks ago, Roberta Flack came and was very open about how and why her new CD (Let It Be Roberta) came about, why it was mixed the way it was (great) and why it was of Beatles songs (also great). She brought a copy for each of our Pro Shop members.
The whole group loved the CD and they are of all different ages and tastes. It is hard to find an album that has such broad appeal. It was interesting to the young professionals in the group just how you stay on top for over 30 years, how to keep the love alive on the road and to handle long global trips to Japan and such faraway places. Their questions were flying around the room very quickly. She mentioned that she takes a singing lesson every week and practices everyday. That surprised and delighted everyone. This album is a killer. It is like you are hearing these songs for the very first time.
This week we had Russ Titelman, the songwriter and multi-Grammy winning producer. Think Eric Clapton’s Journeyman and Unplugged albums or Steve Winwood’s classic song, “Higher Love.” Russ is no longer on staff at Warner Brothers Records. Now he’s independent and has started his own label, Walking Liberty Records in New York.
His advice to young singer songwriters was informative and thorough. Both nights we stayed later than scheduled. The energy was high and the music great. He also recommended Paul Simon's new CD, which I just got. This is a recording that one should sit down and listen to. Simon’s body of work is large, profound and still hits the charts on Billboard. He also lives in the neighborhood and I have asked Paul to come by to the Pro Shop. We are trying to work out a date.
Frankly, it is one of my favorite things to do—sit around, listen to and discuss music and think about all the changes in the industry. It is hard to keep ahead of the curve. Exciting none the less!
Spring in a week, clocks to set forward and summer is on the horizon. Tonight is the Jewish holiday Purim, a fun time. Soon Easter and Passover. All good reasons to celebrate.