Love Me Southern by Bonnie Warren

Bonnie WarrenLove Me Southern

Review by Roy Elkins Broadjam

Songwriter Bonnie Warren

Bonnie Warren Songwriter

This is another great song from Bonnie Warren. She is one of the premier songwriters on Broadjam and a brilliant lyricist. If one wants to understand how to write a simple lyric that is effective, just listen to her song list. Love Me Southern was co-written with the vocalist on the song, Charlotte Sands.

The concept “Love Me Southern” is excellent, sellable and could find a home “as is” with the right artist. I love the opening line, “Guys in big cities with their fast cars, ya know they aren’t my type.” This really begins to set up the hook right out of the gate. It supports the rest of the lyric and establishes that the singer isn’t into wild or crazy guys, she’s wants a slow and relaxed relationship.

“We can lay here, all morning without any plans” is another great line that does a few things; 1.) It creates imagery 2.) It reinforces the “slowness” concept in the lyric 3.) It reinforces the “Love Me” part of the hook. This is songwriting at a high level.  It doesn’t hurt that the vocal nails this line.

I just love the feel of the guitar playing on this song. It’s a lazy strum that just pulls the listener right in. The part that he/she is playing is certainly not that difficult, but the way it’s played is engaging. The vocal naturally connects with the rhythm of the guitar on “Let’s take it slow like a midnight train.” If this was a different player, it’s possibly that the vocal timing would be altered as well and the entire song could suffer. Great work to the guitar player and singer as well. The song was produced by Chip Martin in Nashville.  I have never met Chip, but everything I have heard from him is as good as it gets. Kudos to everyone on this project.

Great feel, great voice. When I first heard the song, I didn’t think it was the right voice for the demo. But after listening several times, I have warmed up. She has a real Regina Spektor like phrasing to her delivery. She is “current”, has good pitch control and the more I listen, the more I like it.

The writers don’t have to change a thing with this. It is well done, pitchable and easily broadcast ready. However, part of the review process is to give my input. If this was my song and I was going to re-cut at some point in the future, this is where I would experiment. Please see below.

Bonnie Warren Songwriter

Bonnie Warren playing the acoustic guitar

“Let’s take it slow like a midnight train…….Love Me Southern” – I thought this was the set-up to the chorus, not necessarily the chorus. When I heard Love Me Southern the first time, I wasn’t sure if this was the chorus or if the song was going to jump back into a verse, then a big chorus later. I might try adding a bigger chorus or modifying the current structure slightly.

If I was going to keep the line, “Turn back around again”, I would add a few more syllables. It feels a little forced/stretched or it could just be the phrasing of the singer. Maybe re-phrasing would make it work a little better. “Steady rain” didn’t work in the chorus for me as well as it has only a slight meaning in the song. It is more of an adjective to the song, rather than a noun. If this was my song, I think I would have gone from “Georgia, Alabama, Baton Rouge and back again” or something to that effect. This would have left an opening for a different phrase instead of “Turn back around again.” Maybe “Love Me Southern” could have been repeated here or since the opening line was about the big city, maybe a reference to “No Northern hurry/speed/wrecks,” just Love Me Southern.” Obviously, these particular literal suggestions (hurry/speed/wrecks) don’t work, but I believe the concept of Northern vs. Southern could be very powerful if the right words were found.

I say all of this because I know one of the writers, Bonnie Warren, and she is one of the best lyricists on Broadjam. I also know that she loves feedback on her songs. It is clear that she works hard not to use “throw away” words. This song is ready as is, but if it was my song, I might tweak it around the hook. With that said, I feel like Tiger Woods golf coach on this, “you have a little hitch in your swing, but who cares, you still hit it a mile.”

Here is the link to the full band version of the same song.

Great work all around.

Note:  Like I do with all of my reviews, I sent it to the writer to review.  Bonnie had some awesome insights into some of my thoughts.  I will ask her to post them here.

Roy Elkins

Roy Elkins

Roy Elkins Broadjam

Dying For More by Zac Nelson

This review of Dying for More by Zac Nelson is one where I may not know exactly what to say as this song is simply, “remarkable.”   This is exceptionally well produced by someone who has obviously done this a million times or is from another planet. If this was something I produced, I wouldn’t change a thing as it is radio ready and can be pitched as is.
Zac Nelson

The Dead Storm

The song starts with a high energy intro, driven by guitars, then cuts into the opening vocal at 10 seconds. It’s clear within the first few syllables that this guy can sing. Powerful & unique voice with good pitch that reminds me a little of Kip Winger. A strong rock vocal.

 The bass work in the background of the opening verse is very tasteful. As I’m listening I was thinking, I probably would have never even tried anything like this as I would be afraid that it would disrupt the vocal line, but it works. An excellent performance of all instruments during this section.
The hook , “I’’m Dying for More,” enters at about 35 seconds and is very memorable. The vocalist hits high notes at 1:15 and shows what he can do and what is imminent. The groove at about 2:11 gets a little funkier and gives the song a slightly different feel. Snare landing behind the beat throughout the song creates a lazy feel until this funky part.
The break at 2:33 pauses for a bar then into the chorus. It was puzzling and unexpected, but I like how this works. There are subtle parts throughout this entire production that are different and not traditional. I love how this producer writes and thinks.
Guitar lead and break at 3:15 threw me a little. Although I thought the part was technically good playing, I am not sure it is as strong as the rest of the song. With that said, I could leave it as is and be comfortable with it as the whole of this song reaches such a high bar that one part is not going to make or break it.
Pros: Radio ready as is. Extremely well produced. One of the best productions I have heard in a while. Singer is clearly world-class and could easily be fronting. Hook is driven home hard and very memorable.

Zac Nelson

Zac Nelson

If this was my song, here are the parts I might explore: Just before the hook, there is a subtle & quiet bar of music that sets it up. I might explore using this as the intro to the song, rather than the current one. The transition from the existing intro to the vocal seems a little odd compared to the rest of the piece.I would also re-explore the guitar lead. It is very good, but I don’t believe it is at the same level as the rest of the song and production.I have learned that writers and producers of this caliber want feedback, but I had to dig to find something to contribute other than just glowing about the overall quality. Like I said earlier, I am not sure I would change a thing as the overall production is ready to go.

Kudos to Zac Nelson as Dying for More is world-class and deserves to be heard.

Great work.


Charlie Recksieck – Gotta Tell Ya

Charlie RecksieckGotta Tell YouCharlie Recksieck begins with nice simple guitar work that engages the listener immediately. The instrumental tracks reminded of a folk pop rock U2. Two voices, male and female, enter at 16 seconds, are unique and could easily stand alone in this song. Although they could stand by themselves, I wouldn’t change a thing as I think the phrasing and relationship between the two carry the tune. Another thing I noticed was the tasteful chords that were playing behind the guitar and voices. It sounds like an EP, but I wasn’t quite sure as it was so tastefully mixed.

The rhythm and phrasing of the vocal is excellent as it sounds percussive at times. The singers are clearly connecting with the guitar and delivering a great groove. Hats off to the guitar player as well as he/she nailed it. I love the bass harmony below the lead as this is an extremely nice juxtaposition of voices. At 1:52, the lower voice supports the lead with “na na na na”. At first, I didn’t like it, but the more I listened, the more it drew me in as the rhythm was right on.

My guess is Gotta Tell You was written to a brief and not necessarily to become a pop or folk song. The melody is subtle and wouldn’t get in the way of a scene, so it feels like it could be used in a drama very easily. I would be curious to know the genesis of it.

Also, when the voices are singing together on the same lyric, my preference is to hear them hitting the front and the back end of the word together. It sounds as if there were two very talented singers who didn’t get an opportunity to rehearse a lot. That’s a couple of the reasons that I think this might have been written for a specific purpose and it really wasn’t necessary to spend a lot of time perfecting or syncing. The overall production is so excellent, it just feels like the art of the song was on a time frame.

Charlie RecksieckMy constructive feedback with Gotta Tell You is that I feel myself listening to the two voices and not necessarily the lyrics that they are singing. I don’t walk away from the song singing a hook or remembering the melodic structure. Generally, with this kind of quality, the song is a little more developed, that’s another reason I think it might have been done quickly. It is strong in the current form and I think with a more memorable hook, it could be a very strong folk pop piece. It is short enough (2:30) where a more developed chorus could be added easily.

While I have spent most of my thoughts on the composition, I have to say that the production and mix was stellar. Not only was it an excellent mix for my taste, but the recording of the individual performances are as good as it gets. I know Charlie Recksieck’s work and everything he does is written, performed, recorded and mixed at a very high level. I have deep respect for his skills.

I would sign Gotta Tell You in a second to pitch to film, tv or even advertisers in the current form. If I was going to put it on a record, I would re-work it and add a stronger melodic hook.

Charlie RecksieckGotta Tell YouCharlie Recksieck

Hope this helps,


Press & educational links – Celebrating Sonic Foundry, Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Examiner Interview, Isthmus Rock The Vote, MENCs Network Stage, Broadjam 6-Pack Steinberg, Top Rock Songs On,Top Country Songs On, Getting Your Music Into Film, Project Famous – Madison Wi Portrait Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms


Diana Rasmussen – Raindrops Are Tears

Diana Rasmussen Raindrops Are Tears

Diana Rasmussen - Roy ElkinsThis is an interesting, and in some ways, mesmerizing & hypnotic song.  Clearly the song is written to God with the concept is that God is crying raindrops.Because there is no specificity from the writer as to why God is crying, we all could come up with our own reasons and create our own meaning to it. So one could interpret the thought provoking hook into their own belief system…..that’s what songwriting is all about…..reaching the heart and mind of the listener. Simp

The marriage of the lyric, melody and phrasing of the vocal is very good. All three support each other and feel as if they were all written at the same moment in time without much editing after the fact. It seems to flow directly from the heart of the writer.

Diana Rasmussen 2The progression and production reminds me a little of Coldplay’s “Clocks.” The background music is very well done and creates a mood from the first note. The strings are rich and the tonal frequencies of them complement the piano brilliantly.  Although I am biased, I love thick and rich sounds and the writer and/or producer of this has nailed it for my tastes. This is an example of great sound selection and it would have been easy to keep adding more and more instruments, but kudos to the producer for knowing when to quit.

The vocal is a near whisper vocal with lots of reverb that gives the production a late 60s, early 70s feel to it. Many times this is done because of the producer hears it this way or the original vocal needs a lift. But because of this, it’s hard to tell if the vocal does actually need correcting or is the verb selection out of tune with the vocal itself. To me, it sounds like there might be slight pitch issues on the original track. I would like to hear this without the effect even if the vocal is not quite on the pitch, as the sincerity of it might carry the production like a Neil Young or Joan Baez performance.

Diana Rasmussen 3One other note. The style of the singer sounds like she is a little more comfortable with an instrument in her hands and that this vocal may have done without an instrument. It may be easier for her to play and sing it, muting the instrument while doing so. With that said, I do like the delivery and believe that it wouldn’t take much to tweak the original track.

If Raindrops Are Tears was my song, I would re-visit and put out two different versions. One with the current singer with a lot less verb on the vocal, tweak the pitch and try to keep the dated vibe to it. I believe this will really work. The other with a big voice, similar to a Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, etc. The only problem with this is that the “big voice” may not be able to deliver the sincerity that this song needs and the original singer does that so well.

Also, I listened several times and kept thinking, John Legend. It seems like this could be a song that he would do well. There are many current artists who could sing this.

Diana Rasmussen Raindrops Are Tears

Press & educational links – Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms

July 31 2014 Broadjam Pop Rock Top 10 Songs

Roy Elkins

July 31 2014 Broadjam Pop Rock Top 10 Songs
I was listening to the Pop-Rock Top 10 on Broadjam and was struck by so many unique song concepts, so I thought I would write a little about this list. It’s very hard to come with something the hasn’t been done. Although I think some of the productions and mixes should be re-worked, there are some strong songs and hooks in this list.

July 31 2014 Broadjam Pop Rock Top 10 Songs

Crosseyed Miles#1 EternityCrosseyed Miles Still love it. Here is a link to a more detailed review of this song.  Love the heartfelt feel of this. Interesting and good vocal delivery as well. Good peaks and valleys in the song. Nice dynamics.

#2 Happy Accident – Crosseyed Miles Interesting intro to this. Very engaging. Groove that comes in at 20 seconds is a little uncomfortable and seems to distract from the great vocal and lyric. Track reminds me a little of Dave Matthews.

John Wangler#3 Crossing OverJohn Wangler Quiet, almost whisper like vocal intro with lots of verb. I love the tone of the voice at 38 seconds.  Definitely the sweet spot for the singer.  Hearing a wall of sound which I love. It lost me a little at 1:16, sounded like something dropped out of the mix. Love this vocal and production style.

Warren Hein#4 Let’s DriveWarren Hein  Good, upbeat song.  Vocal harmonies in the chorus take me back a few years. Love it. This song could possibly be cut in many different genres.  It has that potential.

Susan Witzel#5 The Seat Next To MineSusan Witzel One of the most original concepts for a song I have heard in a while. Vocal is perfect for the topic. My guess is the piano player wrote this or had a hand in the melody. Piano reinforces the melody all the way through. A great song and with a great production, it has many legs and a long life.

Frank Pietrantoni#6 I Make A Difference – Frank Pietrantoni Good song, good hook concept. Groove reminds me a little of the Eurhythmics.  I could see it garnering attention in the current form, but I would recommend re-working the production. I think this would bring it to a different level.

Greg Lambert#7 The Rose – Greg Lambert Very strong lyric in this song. Extremely visual, good vocal delivery with excellent pitch. Nice harmonies. Great song to listen “closely” to.

Adam Avery#8 RedefinedAdam Avery Great acoustic guitar intro, very anthemic. Strong vocal tone and delivery. Tuning on the guitar is perfect for the song. Great melody in the chorus, strong singer.  When the band enters at 1:37, the song moves to a new level. Excellent work. One of the best on Broadjam.

Ali Edwards#9 So CoolAli Edwards Very tasteful guitar playing. Soft male vocal that works rhythmically very well with the supporting tracks. My guess is the vocalist wrote this as he nailed the feel of it. Drum groove steps up at 1:30 and you can see the dancers on the dancefloor following the groove.  Very nice work. Another good song concept.

Penny Towers#10 The Tony SongPenny Towers Another good & different song from Penny. Her songs are so different, I am always looking forward to her next creation. Production is early 60s style and could easily find it’s way into a film in that era.


July 31 2014 Broadjam Pop Rock Top 10 Songs

Press & educational links – Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms

Madison Area Music Association Annual Awards

Madison Area Music Association Annual Awards

Roy Elkins

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins

MAMAs Board President Roy Elkins presenting the Lifetime Achievement Awards with Adam Diertan of Glass Nickel

On June 22nd, The Madison Area Music Association hosted it’s 11th annual awards show. The premier music event in Madison, WI is held each June and recognizes local talent. One hundred percent of the proceeds are used to buy instruments for kids. I have been involved with the The MAMA for 10 years and am so proud to be part of this incredible music community.

Please see the full list of winners at Madison Area Music Awards 2014 Winners.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins The Jimmys

The MAMAs Board President Roy Elkins with The Jimmys instrumental winners John Wartenweiler – Bass, Darren Sterud – Brass, Roy Elkins, Jimmy Voegeli – Keyboards

The Jimmys, of Monticello, WI were the big winners of the night. They won 6 Madison Area Music Association awards in the Blues Perfomer, Blues Song, Bassist, Brass, Keyboardist and the big one, Artist of the Year. An 8-piece blues band featuring the brilliant keyboard chops of Voegeli, they have garnered worldwide praise for their powerhouse Chicago Blues style. The horn section is simply one of the best ever assembled anywhere. The rhythm section of John Wartenweiler and Mauro Magellan (Georgia Satelittes) is as steady as a metronome and guitarist Perry Weber is the definition how the blues should be played.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins Sexy Ester

Sexy Ester swept the Alternative categories at the 2014 MAMAs

Sexy Ester, took home 4 awards. They are fronted by the sugar vocals of Lyndsay Evans whose command of the stage brings fans to their feet wherever they play. The band is extremely tight, the songwriting is outstanding and their crowds are getting bigger and bigger with each passing year. As Madison’s envoy in Bandswap, Sexy Ester traveled to Ft. Collins, Colorado last year and brought many new fans into their fold. They dominated the Alternative category winning Song, Album and Performer while adding a win in the Rock Song category with The Hotness.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins Harmonious Wail

Harmonius Wail swept the Jazz category at the 2014 MAMAs

Harmonius Wail is a contagious mix of gypsy swing and jazz who astonish their listeners with jaw-dropping vocal and instrumental performances. In addition to winning the first ever Best Packaging Award, they swept the Jazz category taking home the Song, Album and Performer trophies. Fronted by the captivating vocals of Maggie Delaney-Potthoff, the remarkable multi-instrumental skills of Sims Delaney-Potthoff and the versatile master bass playing of Jeff Weiss, they are regulars on NPR and many festivals around the world.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins Graminy

Graminy took home 2 instrumentalists, the Classical Song and Performer Awards

The multi-styled Graminy is known for their ability to play just about anything. They took home the awards for Classical Song, Classical Album, Speciality Instrument (Chris Wagoner) and Strings (Mary Gaines.) This group is one of the most well respected ensembles in the Madison area is known for their improvisation skills and rapid changes in their music. Their music is based on ecological themes and it’s not unusual to hear Copland, Gershwin, Celtic, native American and Klezmer selections in their song list. Roy Elkins

Annabel Lee winner of the Female Vocalist, Pop/R & B Album, Electronic Song and Electronic Album at the MAMAs

Another 4 time winner at Sunday’s show was newcomer Annabel Lee. New to the Madison music scene, her style is a fusion of Electronic, R&B and Hip Hop and her stage performance is engaging and energetic. She recently won the Madison Area Music Association’s first ever Battle of the Bands competition earning her the right to perform at the annual show. Clearly a crowd favorite, she won the MAMA awards for Female Vocalist, Pop/R&B Album, Electronic Performer and Electronic Song. She is definitely a young artist to watch.

So much talent, so well deserved.

Madison Area Music Association

Congrats to everyone!

Press & educational links – Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone’s Yellow King

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone‘s Yellow King

Review by Roy Elkins

This is one of those reviews that I am going to struggle writing as I can find almost nothing to improve upon in this song. When a person has so much respect for the two songwriters who wrote it, it is hard to give them constructive input. Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone‘s Yellow King made my day and is why I started Broadjam – to get the opportunity to hear songs like this.

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone Roy Elkins

Donovan Tucker

This is an instrumental that begins with an “outlaw surf” guitar sound reminiscent of Eddy, Orbison, etc. It is played so tastefully that I could have stopped the song at 25 seconds and been completely happy with it. Behind the incredible guitar tone, percussion filled the spaces. A ratchet-like sound, along with some other effects, were strategically placed to support the snare landing on 4 (if you count like I do.) Brilliant use of simple instrumentation to make a great piece of music. I don’t know if I have ever listened to an instrumental ballad that was produced to this level of quality.

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone Roy Elkins

Mike Gladstone

The first guitar continues with a beautiful melody until approximately 47 seconds and then a classy flamenco guitar sound enters and tears it up. The feel of the performance and the tone of this guitar sound and performance is inspiring. As I am listening, many guitar gods are going through my head, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Mark Knopfler, Lee Ritenour, Joe Walsh, Jon McLaughlin, maybe a little Hendrix, etc. One can always tell when a player has put their 10,000 hours in…..because they know when NOT to play. The spaces between the notes in this piece are as strong as the notes that are played. If this is the same person playing both of these parts, I am blown away. This is some of the best and tasteful work I’ve have ever heard.

Ok, now on to the song. This could easily find a place in a film. When one closes their eyes and listens to this, the scenery just flies by in your head. Instrumentals need to invoke an emotion or vision to be good, this does both. This made my personal playlist immediately within one minute and will be heard by many of my friends.

It is so hard to find anything constructive to say when a piece is done this well. So I will preface my comments with, “don’t change a thing.” But I also know that writers of this caliber want that detailed input to make their next project better.

If this was my song, there are just a couple of things that I might consider tweaking (if I was totally bored and didn’t have anything else to do.) 1.) The bridge comes in around 1:32 and a backup up synth pad is behind it. (Sounds like an old M1.) Since the tone of the patch is similar to the frequency range of the guitar, I might play a couple inversions up on the keyboard, or an entire octave. 2.) At 2:13 when the song and melody return to the verse, the ratchet-like sound and guitar are slightly off each other – the first time through I thought it might be distortion. So in a re-mix, I would edit these to begin at same time and bring the percussion slightly down in the mix for that first hit. Again, I emphasize that I find myself digging to really find something that I would improve. I am not sure either of these suggestions would advance the song or it would just sound more appealing to my own ears.

Mike GladstoneDonovan Tucker are both great songwriters on their own. Working together they have produced a home run and certainly captured my attention. Great work to both of these writers and I hope they continue working together.

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladston‘s Yellow King

Additional links & good organizations

Press & educational links Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms

Erwin de Ruiter’s Down By The Sea – by Roy Elkins

Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Review by Roy Elkins

Love the opening of this Erwin de Ruiter Folk Pop song, sounds a little eastern European in herea as well. Love the Folk strings and kick drum intro. Vocalist enters at 11 seconds and is fantastic. A little reminiscent of John Denver. It opens with the hook, “Down By The Sea.” I love the line, “These calm waves soothe my burning soul.” Very thought provoking and melody works well with the lyric.

Choruses and verses are engaging and strong. This is an interesting song as I think the verses and choruses are almost interchangeable. With slight production tweaks, they could easily reverse roles. This means the writer probably has a couple of different hooks working at the same time.

Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter Review by Roy Elkins

Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter

Generally, when a singer sings harmonies over or under their lead vocal, it doesn’t do much for me. Even when it’s technically accurate, most of the time it doesn’t work. In Down By The Sea, the singer pulled it off. In this case, the producer and engineer really did a great job. I understand that this is probably a personal taste comment and others may not hear it the same way.

If it was my song, this is what I would experiment with:

The words “washed him ashore” in the second verse seem forced into a space they don’t really fit. I think the vocalist could re-phrase this and make it work a little better.

Build the bridge a little more. The melody and instrumentation of the bridge is such that maybe the first line is a capella, and then another voice and instrument in the second line and so on. That’s where I thought it was going as soon as it began, but it really didn’t build like I expected it too.

I wish I would have played in this session as it sounds like the performers had a blast doing this song. It really comes through in the mix. Great instrumentation and performances.

Great work! I love this piece and thanks for giving me the opportunity to review it. Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter

Additional links & good organizations

Press & educational links Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms


JD Dohnal – Beatles Without John review by Roy Elkins

JD Dohnal – Beatles without John review by Roy Elkins

If you are a Beatles fan and like country or folk music, there is no better song for you. This song composed by JD Dohnal is one of the best ever posted on Broadjam. Here are my thoughts on this song crafted by an incredibly gifted songwriter. Roy Elkins

Beatles without John Written by JD Dohnal

Review by Roy Elkins


I listen to an average of 30 – 40 songs a day and every once in a while I hear something that I say, “Damn, I wish I would have written that.” This is one of

JD Dohnal Roy Elkins Broadjam

JD Dohnal

those songs. It is brilliantly crafted and I am really curious as to how long it took him to write and complete. My guess is there were many, many iterations of this and lots of trial and error.

The lead character in this story is traveling south and listening to the radio when an all Beatles show comes on the radio. The singer has recently broken up with his significant other and the writer is weaving Beatle titles into his thoughts about the break-up. Generally, when I hear a song like this that encompasses lyrics and/or elements from previous band or event, it is usually tasteless and gimmicky…..and being a Beatles freak, I figured this is just going to be another one of those. I have learned not to have pre-conceived ideas as JD Dohnal nailed it with this song.

The lyric is poignant, the delivery is docile and the supporting chords are sad, but somehow there is still a glimpse of “feel good” as I listen. Although he uses many Beatles titles, they all could be just “regular” lyrics if they weren’t affiliated with the most famous band in history.

A very tasteful production, simple melody, nice movin’ groove with no real bells and whistles. The producer did this justice. It could have been very easy to take this over the top and add Beatle-like sounds, but they let the lyric shine and the instrumentation is in a supportive role….right where it should be.

Although JD Dohnal has written many good songs and I have listened to many of them, this is one of those that define a writer, like Yesterday for McCartney, Imagine for Lennon and Something for Harrison. He may never write a song better than this and many others may never write a song as good as this either.

Additional links & good organizations

Press & educational links Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms


Deep Down Damned by Christie Leigh Review Roy Elkins

Deep Down Damned by Christie Leigh  Review by Roy Elkins

Christie Leigh is a very good singer, her tone is unique, pitch is excellent and her delivery is good. I first heard her several years ago as I believe a manager friend of mine handed me a recording of hers. I was as impressed then as I am now. She hits the word “away” a couple of times in this song, Deep Down Damned, and it really makes the song soar. Lots of good moments in this piece. Great work!

Deep Down Damned by Christie Leigh  Review by Roy Elkins

Christie Leigh Roy Elkins Broadjam

Deep Down Damned by Christie Leigh

This song grew on me and the ¾ time signature was a good choice. As I listened, I was wondering if it was written in a different time signature and later changed. It felt as if it may have been changed after the initial writing…..The first time I listened to the song, I struggled with it and wasn’t sure what I didn’t like about it. After I wrote the initial review of Deep Down Damned, I found myself hearing the hook in my head all day. I have gotten in the habit of writing reviews and waiting a day or so before posting as my opinion sometimes changes after I write down my thoughts. I am glad I waited as it definitely happened with this song. This is a good hook and performed very well.

Lyrics: The opening line is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time, “Your teeth in my side and my hands in your hair.” Opening lines are supposed to set the tone. It sure does in this song…..I’m not sure I would change the lyric much, but if this was my song, I might tweak the lyrics a little. Let me explain. The first verse does a great job implying that the song is going in a “suggestive” direction, then the chorus implies that she’s not giving him away. These are two different concepts. And I say this with a little bit of caution as I don’t want the writer to think that I believe she is way off the mark. I just think that there could be a slight disconnect between the verse and the chorus. If it was my song, I would tweak a word or two in the verses to suggest she might be afraid he will get away. This will set-up the chorus a little better with more support from the verses.

From a production perspective, I do like the arrangement and production as it is well done. I love thick and rich productions and the producer on this nails it. With that said, I would like to hear a more traditional country version of this as her voice and the lyric are perfect for the genre.

I have listened to Christie Leigh’s entire list on  For her, it’s not a matter of “what she knows,” it’s a matter of knowing the right people. Her day is coming.

Additional links & good organizations

Press & educational links Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms