Vinyl is back! Are Hula Hoops and Bobby Socks Next?

Weren’t we done with “records” “cassingles” and the like a couple decades ago? Didn’t new and supposedly better tech push those and many other “no longer useful” items into a huge pile to decay on the scrap heap of history?

Not so fast.

The Recording Industry of America reports that vinyl record sales, which first overtook CD sales in 2020, have been increasing for a decade now. And they’re up substantially over the two year pandemic period, by as much as an additional 200%.

But it’s not just vinyl records making a comeback. Another once nearly extinct item, the cassette tape, has also increased year-after-year in sales that now total in the six figures over this past twelve month period.

As more and more listeners choose vinyl and cassettes, the case for songwriters to make a portion of their work available in these old school formats is building, and some singer-songwriters already have.

For example, the Los Angeles based duo, The Swansons, have recorded three full albums here at Nashville Trax, are midway through a fourth, and just re-released their popular second album done here, titled Bam!, on vinyl…. red vinyl, no less.

Yes, far more people have cell phones to play an mp3 than have record players or cassette tape players at this point in history, but even if your vinyl record sales don’t track quite strong enough to turn a profit, there’s a certain coolness factor to having product in a retro format that can make releasing on cassette, on vinyl, or both, a good business decision regardless. It’s also uncommon enough, with many people, including members of the press, not realizing the comeback is on, that it can help your act obtain articles and interviews.

Since we are discussing old things becoming new again, there’s this kinda sorta related fact:

Did you know that all growth in the music business is coming from decades old songs? Yes, really. Newly written and produced material is actually experiencing a decrease, proof and details here:

Is Old Music Killing New Music?

But what what does this interesting, little known fact, mean for songwriting, if anything? Your songwriting?

Not much. Make no mistake, the trend line may not be in their favor, but the numbers that “new music decline” are based on were huge so even with a decline, new Christian, country and pop artists are still enjoying plenty of radio airplay and are still building lucrative careers. There is plenty of opportunity to write and market your songs in those genres.

If you’re an independent songwriter/performer you don’t want to sound dated of course, that’s often the kiss of death for someone plugging their latest tune. But food for thought: if you can incorporate the best aspects of the material that was popular in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s into your writing- the super catchy hooks, the cool arrangements, while having your demos produced with a modern spin, you may tie into something of a hybrid nature that can grab airplay and sell in big numbers to both the diminishing demographic that loves the new songs, and also appeals to the older demographic that is tiring of listening to Heart’s These Dreams” on their local oldies station for the 3,000th time.

That influence can be subtle, it can be overt, such as the Kidd Rock riffing on Sweet Home Alabama in “All Summer Long”, or downright blatant the way De Jay Silver recorded a rap tune that sampled bits of the Alabama country hit “Dixieland Delight”.


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The first step to releasing your songs on mp3, CD, Vinyl or cassette is to have a professional recording produced. Nashville Trax can guide you through the entire production process. Interested? Drop us an e-mail at nashtrax@bellsouth.net


New Zealander Grace Kelly scores BIG with “San Jose” produced at Nashville Trax.

It’s the city’s NEW theme song!

The City of San Jose Tourism Bureau has officially replaced the song used to promote the city for the last 43 years, Dionne Warwick’s “Do You Know The Way To San Jose,” with Grace’s original, San Jose. San Jose was produced, mixed and mastered here at Nashville Trax, and is the track used in the City of San Jose’s vids posted here.

The third time recording here was the charm that landed New Zealander Grace Kelly major kudos, a lifetime coolness brag, and possible lifetime royalties from the use of her song by the San Jose Tourism Team. She also landed a show with Blake Shelton and has a major rap producer wanting the stems from her song for a rap remix!

San Jose credits:

Drums: Jim Riley (of Rascal Flatts)
Bass Guitar: Bill Watson (Nashville Trax producer)
Guitars: Tom Wild (B.J. Thomas, Mindy McCreedy, Brenda Lee)
Fiddle/Mandolin: Jenee Fleenor (Blake Shelton, Steven Tyler, The Voice)
Keyboards: Steve King (Keith Urban)
Vocals & Acoustic Guitar: Grace Kelly (songwriter)
Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Bill Watson for Nashville Trax.

To get YOUR project started and begin YOUR journey to success Text us at 615-319-8616

Grace has been tapped to open for country star Blake Shelton when Blake plays in San Jose on Sept. 13th.

 

Our production gets a cameo at 2:50:

Grace’s San Jose story on Auckland’s News Now

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Check out That Girl, another of Grace’s original’s produced at Nashville Trax:

That Girl credits:

Drums: David Northrup (of Rick Derringer, Travis Tritt)
Bass Guitar: Bill Watson (Nashville Trax producer)
Guitars: Tom Wild (B.J. Thomas, Mindy McCreedy, Brenda  Lee)
Fiddle/Mandolin: Jenee Fleenor (Blake Shelton, Steven Tyler, The Voice)
Keyboards: Steve King (Keith Urban)
Vocals & Acoustic Guitar: Grace Kelly (songwriter)
Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Bill Watson for Nashville Trax.

Serious? Need your song produced for real?

Text:
615-319-8616

E-mail:

nashtrax@bellsouth.net


The Swansons Rock Revelry!

The Swansons out of Southern California, regulars at venues such as Sunset Station in Las Vegas and Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, perform their first show in the Nashville area at Revelry, . backed up by Nashville Trax session musicians Brent Mason on guitar, Bill Watson on bass guitar, Jim Riley on drums, Jenee Fleenor on Fiddle, Steve King keyboards and Mike Douchette on steel.


Need Acoustic and/or Electric Guitar for Your Project?

Hi Bill,

Thank you very much for your fast service and the GREAT sounding

guitars 🙂

Song: Laber

Player: Tom Wild

Provided: High and low register acoustic picking/rhythm, electric fill and electric bed tracks.

Player:

Nashville Session Guitar Player, Brent Mason at Nashville Trax Recording Studio. Known for his Telecaster work, for this song he's playing a Gibson Les Paul.
Nashville Session Guitar Player, Brent Mason at Nashville Trax Recording Studio.

Grammy winner, CMA Musician of The Year (year after year).. Known for his Telecaster work, for this song he’s playing a Gibson Les Paul.

Need to add the best guitar tracks Nashville has to offer to your project? And at a reasonable price? Text 615-319-8616 NOW!


Need A Steel Guitar Track for Your Project? Or the Best?

Simply e-mail NashTrax@bellsouth.net

“What a great performance! Thanks for the quick turnaround and for the stellar track. This is totally what I was after.” Dave F.. 9-23-20

Song: New Colors.

Pedal Steel

Mr, Johnny, a Nashville legend..

Steve Sturm, 7 years with Travis Tritt.

Tim Basieski…a great young player breaking out in the Nashville recording scene.

We have the player you need!

Need to add the best Pedal Steel Guitar track Nashville has to offer to your project? And at a reasonable price? Text 615-319-8616 NOW! J


Kristen from Newport Beach California, does her first recording ever at Nashville Trax!

Mother Kim (left) and Kristen at Nashville Trax

August 29th, 2020 was a big day for Kristen, her first time recording on pro equipment!

And that happened right here at Nashville Trax!

“It went very well, Kristen displayed great tone and range,” said producer Bill Watson as the the session unfolded. “She also has great personality, and to top it off, she dances and has awesome stage presence right in the vocal booth,” he chuckled. “With a little direction, focus and work she’ll be the whole package that’s required to build a career on.”

And Kristin’s mother Kim later e-mailed:

” Wow Bill!

What an amazing day we had with you !!

Kristin was so nervous coming in and came out so excited with the experience!!!

Until next time…😊 God Bless !! -Kim

If you would like to do a similar session- a couple of cover tunes for a few hours as a test before diving into a larger original song project- or maybe you’re ready to dive in on recording a full album? Contact us (text is best) as to your interest at 615-319-8616 or e-mail nashtrax@bellsouth.net.


Is Your Songwriting Dated?

There are many things that can knock your song out of contention.

One of those things is your presentation sounding, or even looking, dated. That can be in the writing itself, the subject matter, or the demo recording. it’s often the kiss of death if an A&R person is thinking, “This could have been a hit back in the 80’s”. But that happens… a lot.

If it’s friends and family you’re writing for, no problem, write what you like, nothing here applies to you. But if you’re hoping for a cut with a major label artist you likely have little choice but to “run the A&R gauntlet”. They are the gatekeepers, so to speak, between you and the final decision maker, either the artist or their producer.

Many writers get mentally entrenched in what was popular in their formative years, not realizing how much radio hits have changed over time. Or maybe its not recognizing how much influence their formative years still have on their writing, even when intentionally attempting to craft something more modern.

The instruments change. The way records are mixed changes. Listen to 3 or 4 country hits from the 60’s, 70’s 80’s etc. on up to current hits. you’ll hear dramatic differences every 10 to 20 years.

Lyrics change. The culture changes. If your lyrics are conjuring up stereotypes from a decade or more ago, it’s not likely your song will get very far.

One thing to be very careful about is when you attempt to reference something familiar and universal in your song. If you reference a famous movie star, will the younger people who buy most of the records even know who you are talking about? Stadiums and teams get re-named. Products go out of production, stores go out of business. Slang and cliches fall out of favor and new terms take their place.

Even a dated approach can lessen your chances. Mailing in a cassette tape for example. Cassettes have not been popular or used much in the music industry in over twenty years. Even CDs have largely given way to mp3 files. Most communication these days occurs via e-mail, not the postal service,. Mailing in a cassette will impart the impression that you are old, out of touch and clueless.

Review your catalog or have it reviewed by someone who won’t pull punches. Be sure your songs are similar in terms of lyric content and overall sound to what’s getting played on radio right now. If not, updating is in order.

The best way to stop living and working in the past is simply to listen to more modern music regularly. In your early years you probably listened to a steady diet of what are now oldies. Can you honestly say you’ve embraced the modern music you are hoping to get a break with in that same way? Are you listening to it the same number of hours? If not, that may part or all of your problem.


Life Is So Unfair! Releases this week!

The Thompsons, a family band from Canada had Nashville Trax produce this track titled, Life Is So Unfair, this past winter and it’s finally being released, you can hear it on Spotify.

Danielle.jpg

Lead singer Danielle.

“Life Is So Unfair” written by Danny and Danielle Thompson.

Produced by Bill Watson for Nashville Trax.

For more about this exciting band visit

The Thompsons

And be sure to attend one of their shows listed on the site!


Welcome! To The Play It Again Demos and Nashville Trax Blog

performing band silhouette

Welcome to the Nashville Songwriter’s Blog sponsored by the song demo service, Play It Again Demos and the recording studio, Nashville Trax.

Nashville Trax is our physical recording studio , Play It Again Demos is our online demo service.  We offer high profile Nashville session musicians to play on your music projects.

We can add specific instruments to your already-started project or produce your demos, singles and albums.

Interested? Text or call us: 615-319-8616 or e-mail us at nashtrax@bellsouth.net

Here are some MP# samples of our work. We produce Country, Christian, Blues, Americana, Bluegrass, Pop, Rock… you name it.

If you haven’t had much success with your music in the past using other studios and producers, hop on board and hold on. Things are about to change!

We have  been in business producing demos, master recordings and instrument tracks for songwriters and producers since 1991.

This blog contains numerous posts about songwriting technique,. music theory, artists seeking songs, song publishers seeking songs and more!

Text or call us: 615-319-8616 or e-mail us at nashtrax@bellsouth.net or at piademos@bellsouth.net to inquire about:

  • Having a demo, master quality single or album produced
  • Adding instrument tracks played by Nashville session musicians to your self-produced project.
  • Live stage performance tracks made of a cover song or original

Here are indie and major label song pitch opportunities

Not computer savvy? No time? No connections? You’d rather focus on song writing than on song promo? Here’s how we can promote your song for you. What a great time to be a songwriter!

Play It Again Demos is a service for songwriters who need high quality demos made of their work using Nashville session quality musicians and singers.

Nashville Trax is a project recording studio for singers and songwriters who live in the area, those who wish to come to the Nashville area from other locations to record Or we can also work with you remotely without you ever having to leave your hometown. we have successfully worked remotely with songwriters and singers from every state in the U.S. and countries such as Norway, Sweden, Australia, Japan, Czechoslovakia and more.

. Nashville may be known for country and bluegrass but these guys can play anything.

This blog is about songwriting, producing, recording and life. If we think it will help you out in some way, we post it. It’s free of charge and access is unrestricted, stop by anytime. Subscribe if you like, that’s free too.

Enjoy!

Would you like to contact us about YOUR project?

E-mail:
nashtrax@bellsouth.net

Text or phone:
615-319-8616


The Thompson’s Band Video- Music Cut At Nashville Trax- Released!

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered For the Canadian Women’s Trucker Association, by producer Bill Watson of Nashville Trax:


The Greatest Gift Wins NCMAI Gospel Album of the Year, Produced at Nashville Trax

Wins Collage

Gospel music trio, The Greatest Gift. won the Gospel Album of the Year at the North American Country Music Association International 2019 competition on March 19th, with Bill Watson of Nashville Trax, who produced their “Closer than Ever” album music and sound tracks.

“We give all of the glory to God for giving us our talents and opportunities to praise Him,” they proclaimed.

They landed several other awards as well:

New Gospel Adult Vocal Group of the Year

Gospel Video of the Year

Wayne Patterson:

New Gospel Songwriter of the year for “Walk with Me”

New Gospel Male Adult Vocalist of the year

Most Promising New Gospel Male Adult Entertainer

Mike Biasin:

Traditional Gospel Adult Instrumentalist of the Year

Krys Smith:

Traditional Gospel Female Adult Vocalist Horizon Award

Traditional Gospel Female Adult Entertainer Horizon Award

Vocals and mixing for their album were done by Bob Catalano of Bobcat Studios.

Would you like to contact us about YOUR project? E-mail:
nashtrax@bellsouth.net


Sean Morton Cashes $4,900 + Royalty Check, “Thank you Nashville Trax!”

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Sean hails from Canada, Nashville Trax has been supplying specific tracks for his projects for about two years now.

We have added drums, bass guitar, fiddle, guitar and more to his projects, whatever he thinks it needs, or he’ll send our producer, Bill Watson, a stereo mix and ask for Watson’s input on what might be beneficial.

When Sean started mentioning that he was receiving royalty checks for these projects, enough to fund additional track work on multiple songs, we became curious, thinking it might benefit our other clients and potential clients to know how he achieved this.

Sean gladly and unselfishly obliged.

We didn’t ask for it, we really just wanted to know the facts of how he went from recording at home to getting substantial airplay, but we received a bonus, it reads like a testimonial of our work:

“When I finished my EP (using a blend of my own work and tracks by the world class Nashville Trax musicians) I published it through CD baby which enabled me to get it onto all professional download and streaming services. The last step I took was to release it to country radio in Canada through DBDS service.

They picked it up and started playing it on satellite. That picture is the very first royalty cheque I received and I have received even more cheques since then.”

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Songwriter Sean Morton. He can now preview the word “songwriter” with “Successful!”

Sean continues, “Utilizing Nashville Trax and getting the privilege of having some of the greatest studio players in the world play on my material ( I’m a country player “hack” up in Northern Alberta ) they inspired me to start writing again and more. They gave me the gift of recording and writing professional sounding music that was only made possible by having a cadre of professional artists readily accessible at a reasonable cost.

They gave me the confidence to risk pushing and exposing my music to the world because of the level to which they elevated things.

Even if I didn’t get those royalty cheques, Nashville Trax was worth the investment into myself. They allowed me to achieve a goal that was always on my bucket list for life. Release some quality sounding songs that I could be proud of.

I look forward to continue making great music together with Nashville Trax!”- Sean Morton, Northern Alberta, Canada

Would you like to contact us about YOUR project? E-mail:
nashtrax@bellsouth.net