Work has begun on my first CD. This will be a collection of traditional Celtic music with one or two original songs. I had also considered recording a couple of cover songs, but after giving it some thought, I decided that if I was going to pay royalties, I’d prefer to pay them to someone I have a connection to. With that in mind, I put the word out to the Dayton/Cincinnati Songwriters Workshop and the Just Plain Folks forums that I am looking for new, original Celtic-style music.
This has given me an entirely new perspective on the music industry. On some of the on-line forums, it’s common to hear songwriters complain that their material is as good or better than what is being cut by the major artists. I used to think this was just sour grapes, but that may not be the case. I have had to turn down some very well written songs.
Not all of the songs submitted were great. Some were quite bad. Others were good, but weren’t really Celtic. So far, I have placed three “on hold”. (Do I sound like an industry big wig now?) These I will record and see how they turn out and how they fit with the rest of the album.
The real surprise has been how many excellent songs I have had to turn down. Some were rejected because they were too similar to other songs I have already chosen or they just don’t fit with the theme of the album. A couple were turned down because I don’t think I could do them justice. I have more of a rough, folksy kind of voice, and I think those songs would work better with a smoother, more polished sound.
I’ve only had a dozen or so songs submitted and it has already been somewhat daunting. I can’t imagine what a major artist has to go through, wading through hundreds or thousands of songs, with hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on the line. The pressure must be overwhelming.
Fortunately for me, my project is on a much smaller scale, and no one’s career is on the line. My goal is simply to make something available that will put a smile on the face of whoever listens. I think I can pull that off!