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Behind the Song

"All I Know"

[Diann’s Take] I attended my second Global Songwriters Connection (GSC) Focus  Event in August 2017.  This time around we had the good fortune to have Jeffrey East as one of the pro writers we would have an opportunity to work with.  Jeffrey East is a prolific writer in any genre, who has had songs recorded by artists like Dierks Bentley, Sister Hazel, The Farm, RaineyQualley, Chuck Wicks, Dailey & Vincent, The Grascals, Allan Hall, Point Of Grace, and many more. Peermusic signed Jeffrey East to their writer roster in 2015.

“All I Know’ started out with a different title but as we dug into our ideas this is the song that emerged. At the end I think we were all surprised and delighted by the outcome of our collaboration. Thanks to Jeffrey East and my peer write, Michael Rhodes for creating such a beautiful song with me.


"Beach Towel"

[Diann’s Take] In September 2016 I was invited to attend the GSC Focus Event along with other GSC members. The event is an incredible opportunity to spend a weekend co-writing with industry pro writers, meeting with publishers who provide feedback on your songs, and learning about the music business. Each morning we met with a different pro write right after breakfast from 9:00 a.m. to noon with the goal of co-writing a complete song.”Beach Towel” is the song produced during my session with pro writer Kessy Timmer and my peer, Nancy Moser. This was the first time I every wrote with a pro. It started with just the title and took off from there. Kessy Timmer is an accomplished songwriter. Most recently her co-wrote “Yeah Boy” with Kelsea Ballerinai and Forest Glen Whitehead which was released on her album The First Time. Kessy, thanks for making this a perfect first-time pro co-write for me.


"Bottle Or The Bible"

[Diann’s Take] My second GSC Focus Event in August 2017 did not disappoint. Pro writer, Victoria Banks generously gave her time to offer her coaching and expertise. Now a staff songwriter at Nashville’s RareSpark Media Group, Victoria has penned ASCAP, SOCAN, CCMA and Covenant-award-winning songs for over 50 artists. Notable cuts include Jessica Simpson’s Billboard record-breaking single “Come on Over”, Sara Evans’ hit “Saints & Angels” & duet “Can’t Stop Loving You” (with Isaac Slade of the band The Fray) and Johnny Reid’s smash “Dance With Me,” for which Victoria was named 2010 CCMA Songwriter of the Year. What an honor to have written this song with her and my peer writer Michael Rhodes who started it all by providing us with this great title.


"Caffeine"

[Diann’s Take] In September 2016 I was invited to attend the GSC Focus Event along with other GSC members. The event is an incredible opportunity to spend a weekend co-writing with industry pro writers, meeting with publishers who provide feedback on your songs, and learning about the music business. Each morning we met with a different pro write right after breakfast from 9:00 a.m. to noon with the goal of co-writing a complete song.”Caffeine” is the song produced during my session with pro writer Steve Dean and my peer, Nancy Moser. It started with just the title and took off from there. Steve Dean has co-written eight number one hits, including the most played song on Country Radio in 2007, “Watching You” for Rodney Atkins. Many thanks to Steve Dean for sharing his years of experience with us and producing the demo for our song. My cup of coffee is forever changed!


"Feeling You Everywhere"

[Diann’s Take] If you know or live with a songwriter, than you are aware that they collect slips of papers, various notebooks with their scribbles and they save it all. We call these pearls of wisdom our song snippets. I make an attempt to type all of the snippets and save them on my computer because you never know when you might need one. On my more delusional days, I think how cool they would look when they’re put in the showcase of our museum, just like at the Johnny Cash museum or the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in Cleveland. To make a long story short, we had been writing a different song and we were having quite a time with it. Something just wasn’t working—the story did not hang together, the hook wasn’t really there. So we went to the snippet well to see what we could find. In the well we found a great line from a partial song, “I’m feeling you everywhere” and it sent shivers up my spine. I said to Mitch, didn’t that ever happen to you after a breakup? It’s so crazy when that happens and from that snippet came “Feeling You Everywhere.”

[Mitch’s Take] I remember we were trying to create lyrics for a song about a guy wanting to get next to a girl he met at a bar (I know, a too predictable storyline, which is one reason we didn’t make any progress). When Diann found our snippet, “I’m feeling you everywhere” and connected this image to what happens after a breakup; the “lightbulbs” went on. We dropped any further work on the original song, and explored how we felt when a past lover invades your mind for that one-night moment in time.


"Feeling You Everywhere (Unplugged Version)"

[Diann’s Take] This is another song that I fell in love with just the piano version and the power and soulfulness of Clayton Jone’s voice. I love the production demo but the unplugged song takes you to another place.


"I’m Cool With It"

[Mitch’s Take] In September 2016 I was invited to attend the GSC Focus Event along with other GSC members. The event provides a unique  opportunity to spend a weekend co-writing with industry pro writers, meeting with publishers who provide feedback on your songs, and learning about the music business. This song, was born out of the collaboration with Kessy Timmer and my peer, Kevin Rowe.   Kessy Timmer is an accomplished songwriter. Most recently her co-wrote “Yeah Boy” with Kelsea Ballerinai and Forest Glen Whitehead which was released on her album The First Time.  Special shout out to Kessy for sharing his experience and writing tips during our session.


"Let You Go"

[Diann’s Take] Where do I start. It is fitting that we have this song ready in June 2017. Last June, I had my kidney removed as the only treatment option for kidney cancer (it was a success and I am now cancer free). It was discovered in late May and after receiving the news I started writing this song. The experience left me feeling quite vulnerable and I could not finish the song for some time. I shared this with my friend and mentor, Sheree’ Spoltore’ who wisely advised me that I was too close to the experience to see it. She put me in touch with the gracious and talented Victoria Banks http://www.victoriabanks.net/music, who agreed to co-write this song with Mitch and I. It had a different title the day we met to write, but in the end this title is the right one.  A most special shot out to Victoria Banks for her sensitivity and thoughtfulness during this co-write. You helped us both heal that day.


"Listen"

[Mitch’s Take] In September 2016 I was invited to attend the GSC Focus Event along with other GSC members. What an awesome experience to spend a weekend meeting with publishers and co-writing with several Nashville pro writers. It was hard to wrap my head around the idea that we would take three hours each morning with the goal of completing a song by lunch but we did! “Listen” is the collaboration with my GSC peer Kevin Rowe, myself and pro-writer Brian White. With over 300 cuts under his belt, Brian White has had numerous songs recorded by Christian artists as well as such artist as Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, and the Thew Swon Brothers to name of few.  A special shout-out to Brain White for his encouragement and sharing his years of experience.


"Magic"

[Diann’s Take] When we first started this song we were at a place that we were working almost 24/7. As small business owners we were trying to be everything, do everything to grow our business. We were like ships passing in the night with little steam to make it to shore. Unbelievable as it sounds, this is the time we started to work on our songwriting (that was the fun part of being so busy). I remember seeing Mitch’s desk with post-it notes everywhere especially around the monitor and wondered how he was ever going to get all those things done. “Magic” reflects a time when there was little or no time for us. After numerous rewrites and suggestions by evaluators we were fortunate to team up with Clayton Jones as a co-writer for the final version and music.

[Mitch’s Take] This song, as Diann says, reflects the time when we “lived to work” instead of “worked to live.” Writing this song was both a catharsis for me and also a testament to the idea that we can do our songwriting AND the sky will not fall with our businesses. I particularly like the first two lines, “too many nights working double shifts”, “too much to do on a sticky note list.” I don’t know how many songs actually use the words “sticky note list”, but for me it’s kind of cool.


"Magic (Unplugged Version)"

[Diann’s Take] By now you know I am a big fan of the uplugged version of some of our songs. The acoustic rendition of “Magic” is just fun and playful. I can picture myself performing it at some point once I dust off the cobwebs from my voice and guitar.


"Night Ride"

[Diann’s Take] I am a very early riser, up around 4:00-4:30 am each day. I often work on my songwriting and research at that time. One morning I was flipping between the music video stations and I noticed that on one station some of the song videos had cars in them and were filmed at night and on the other there were still cars driving around but it was daytime. It was just a lot of cars! Then the switch in my head flipped on and the title “Night Ride” came to mind. From there I thought about those times when going “parking” with your guy or girl was a thing you looked forward to. Mitch and I had a great time working up the story later that morning (during reasonable hours).

[Mitch’s Take] “Night Ride” captures those times in our lives when we meet someone and just want to spend all day (and night) getting to know that person. You don’t always know where this beginning relationship might go, but you trust your instincts and are willing to ride it out; kind of like taking a “Night Ride.”


"No One Knows"

[Diann’s Take] One day I looked over at Mitch who was sitting in the chair reading the newspaper. For some unknown reason I started to think back to the time when we first met. Previously, I had escaped from an abusive relationship and I never thought I would trust or love again. But then the stars aligned and Mitch came into my life. We have shared much during our life together, but only Mitch knows my whole story—he is the only one I trust with my heart. This song is dedicated to Mitch, who knows me like no other and who has, (and continues to) selflessly dedicate his love and understanding to me every day.

[Mitch’s Take] “No One Knows” is one of our most personal songs we have written. It was an intense process, one in which we had to dig deep in the emotional well to capture the vulnerability and the power of love and healing that was very real for us.  We both knew that the “truth” in the song is that moment that exists when we all are at our most vulnerable and also most trusting.


"No One Knows (Unplugged Version)"

[Diann’s Take] The day that Clayton Jones emailed us the piano version work tape of this song, I played it over an hour and cried and cried the whole time. In the “unplugged” form he had captured all the emotions and feelings that were inside my heart when we wrote this. I will never forget the healing powers of his voice and how it moved me to tears. 


"She Gets Me All"

[Mitch’s Take] In September 2016 I was invited to attend the GSC Focus Event along with other GSC members. The event is a rare opportunity to spend a weekend co-writing with industry pro writers, meeting with publishers who provide feedback on your songs, and learning about the music business, sponsored by Global Songwriters Connections. As a participant you meet with a different pro writer and one of your peers each morning to collaborate and write a song. ”She Gets Me All” is the song we wrote during my session with pro writer Steve Dean and my peer, Kevin Rowe. Steve Dean has co-written eight number one hits, including the most played song on Country Radio in 2007, “Watching You” for Rodney Atkins. Many thanks to Steve Dean for his patience and sharing his years of experience during our write. Steve is a consummate pro who really “gets it all” as a songwriter. 


"Shock Me"

[Diann’s Take] We were fortunate to be in Hendersonville, TN for the eclipse on August 21, 2017. The next day Mitch and I met up with Lauren (“Lo”) Miller.  We had worked up some ideas for the title, “Shock Me” a while back but never got back to writing the song and we asked Lo to lend her expertise to the mix. The three of us had such a fun time writing this song. Lo graciously agreed to create the demo tracks and sing the vocals. 


"Song Of The Summer"

[Diann’s Take] This song is in part, inspired by the Jimmie Fallon show. One of my favorite parts of his show are the artist he showcases each night. I have to admit, that thanks to Jimmie Fallon he keeps me abreast of new artist and top hits. It is clear he is a music lover as he is looking to discover his best “new jam.” During many of his summer shows he would talk about a song he thought was the best and wondered if it would be the song of the summer. That notion of the song of the summer stuck in my head.  I recalled fond memories from summers as a teenager where a certain song captured all the sun, fun and romance of the season. It was a song you played over and over that stuck in your head. Later when summer was over and the winter rolled in, if  you heard  your song of the summer it brought you back to that magical moment in time.

[Mitch’s Take] When Diann said to me, “how about this for a song title: Song of the Summer” I thought it was brilliant. We wrote down a number of story ideas, images, and some initial lyric lines about a person who is your “song of the summer.” The first verse begins with “flipping through the FM stations . . .” You can just see a guy driving and gamely searching the radio for the “perfect song” that connects to his summer love. I really like how it kicks off the whole song.


"Sunset View"

[Diann’s Take] Well what can I say? This one holds a special place. If you have heard it than you know that the chorus has my name in it (Lady Diann). We have a house by the beach and have enjoyed many magical sunsets together by the bay and in part, that is why Mitch thought of the title “Sunset View.” He really wanted to tell everyone about the beauty and the wonder of this special place, and like the true romantic that he is, let me know how much I am a part of it. What woman doesn’t want a boat named after her in a song written with her husband!

[Mitch’s Take] We decided to go to Fager’s Island (a great bar and restaurant) up in Ocean City, Maryland (where we have a beach house). Fager’s is well known for its absolutely perfect, bay-view sunsets. We were sitting on the deck, talking about how special and relaxing it is to watch the sun go down. Sunset is my favorite time, when the colors of the earth and sky are most vivid—when nature is telling all of us to take a minute and let this moment between light and dark fill us with hope and joy. And there is also nothing better than anchoring a boat and simply watching “as the day surrenders.”


"Terms And Conditions"

[Diann’s Take] If you read my bio, you may recall that my day job is working in our family business. Part of what I am in charge of is operations and protocols. It seems that a day does not go by without some one asking me about a policy or the need to create one. When we were developing a new online website I was asked to create terms and conditions for the site. Easier said than done. For a time there, most of the subject lines in the emails about this project mentioned terms and conditions. I heard is so often that it stuck in my head and one morning I woke up and thought it made a great title for a song.  So this song is born out of the fine print that no one reads found on most sites.  Never know where you might find inspiration. We co-wrote this with Clayton Jones, https://claytonjonesmusic.com/, on one of our trips to Nashville. It was so much fun putting this song together.


"That Guy"

[Diann’s Take] OK, come on we all know one of those guys. I loved this term when I first heard it and put it in the title vault. At the September 2016, Global Songwriters Connection (GSC) focus event, we had the opportunity to have Kessy Timmer, https://soundcloud.com/keesytimmer, as one of our prowriters.  Kessy is an explosion of energy, writes killer melodies and is a very accomplished songwriter (he co-wrote “Yeah Boy” with Kelsea Ballerini and Forest Glen Whitehead that went to number three on the charts!!).  After working with him at the focus event we just knew we wanted to write with him again. Luckily, he agreed and we wrote this song from the ground floor up. It is too fun–just like Kessy.


"Tidal Wave"

[Diann’s Take] This one tugs at my heart. It was our anniversary and Mitch and I were talking about how we first met. He told me that he was so overwhelmed with a flood of feelings when he first saw me and that even years later he still feels the same way. I told him I remembered feeling like it was just like a tidal wave between us and the idea was born.

[Mitch’s Take] We wrote the lyrics to the chorus in about 30 minutes; they just flowed once Diann said it’s like a tidal wave of emotions. I remember we took about 20 minutes to just free-form describe all the images, feelings, etc. of a tidal wave. Once we finished, we had a rich two-pages of images to work with. At that point, it was easy to finish the chorus.


"Traction"

[Diann’s Take] I know I have said it before, but is worth repeating—you never know where your inspiration will come from.  I came up with this title during the winter slipping and sliding around on the icy roads. I filed it in the title bank waiting for a time to co-write it with someone. Mitch and I met Johnnie Mikel, http://www.johnniemikel.com/about/, at the Global Songwriters Connection (GSC) focus event in September 2016 and asked if he wanted to try co-writing the next time we came to Nashville. We all got together and had a blast putting this song together. Johnnie splits his time between Nashville and L.A. and we can’t wait to work with him again.


"What’s Your Story"

[Diann’s Take] In September 2016 I was invited to attend the GSC Focus Event along with other Global Songwriter Connection members.  At the event, participants have the opportunity to write a song each morning before lunch with a pro writer from Nashville. This song was created on the morning of the last day of the event with pro writer Brian White, who has over 300 cuts under his belt, Brian White has had numerous songs recorded by Christian artists as well as such artist as Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, and the Thew Swon Brothers to name of few. I had been kicking around this title for some time and presented it to the group for consideration. I explained that the inspiration came from all the times that total strangers had shared many personal stories about their lives to me without my even asking. Some were very painful and others joyous. We bounced some ideas around and landed on writing about the struggle for sobriety and forgiveness. Special thanks to my peer writer Nancy Moser and pro writer Brian White for their willingness to embark on this emotional journey.


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