My song, “How Easy It Is” won the Pop/Film/TV category of the Write With a Hit-Maker competition, and it is quite an honor. At this weekend’s Durango Songwriter’s Expo I will be meeting with composer Adam Zelkind and we’ll write another big hit!
Congratulations to Frank Maroney, who won the Country category. It is an honor to be among such amazing talent. Go have a listen to all the songs. They’re amazing!
“Just To Say We Did” – Frank Maroney
“Bringing Me Back To Life” – Donna Valentine “Without A Doubt” – Josh Tangney “Backwards” – Scott Miller
“How Easy It Is” – Andy Ard
“Only One You” – Billy Schafer “Slo Mo” – “Rachel James” “You” – Diane Waters
Recorded entirely in my underground bunker studio, this little bundle of songs represents several transformations – as a songwriter, as a recording engineer, as a musician, as a project manager, a father and husband, ex-couch potato, seeker of zen, what have you.
I started out with the simple mantra “music for people who want to be happier”, and this is the result. I hope it can in some small way help you on that journey.
If you enjoy the music, please share it! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, mix tape, it’s all good.
Why not hang out with everybody else who’s skipping it? Get down to Highlands Cork & Coffee on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 7 to 9 and enjoy some drink & snack specials while your truly fires up the Jukebox O’ Spite. I’ll be taking requests, but you can certainly count on some done-me-wrong classics.
Broadcasting from the ship the â€˜Jenni Bayntonâ€™ moored in Harlingen Harbour in the Netherlands, Radio Seagull can be heard on 1602 KHz AM in the Netherlands, across the North Sea and along the East Coast of England.
The Summer Brew Fest at Mile High Station will celebrate craft beverages from around Colorado and other U.S. microbrews and feature; live local music, food, and other vendors. This event benefits Swallow Hill Music Association. Swallow Hill serves a large community with instruction and performance of musical art forms such as folk, blues, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, world, roots, and dance.
Kick off your Independence Day weekend with a celebration of quintessential American songs performed by Trinity Demask, Andy Ard, Lauren Brombert and Steve Jantzen. From immigrant influences, America’s musical legacy was defined by the blending of cultures, rhythms, and experiences. What emerged over two centuries are musical genres and stories that weave a tapestry as colorful and vibrant as the nation’s people. Trinity and friends will share their own interpretations of folk, country, blues, and jazz tunes that are both timeless and distinctly American.
CHUN Capitol Hill People’s Fair June 4 and 5, 2011 Civic Center Park Denver, Colorado Saturday – 10am to 8pm Sunday – 10am to 7pm FREE Admission!
Andy and his ragtag band of Dangsayers (Steve Millin – Bass & Carl Sorensen – Drums) take the Muve Music Stage on Saturday, June 4 at 3:40 pm. That’s going to be at the corner of Broadway and 14th, but make a weekend of it and get down there to see more of the 130 or so artists performing all day Saturday and Sunday!
We made a little video to preview some of the songs we’ll be playing. Enjoy!
First I must give credit for the title to my friend and fellow composer, Matthew “Melle” Johnson for coming up with that title. About a year ago, we conspired to start the Denver chapter of the Immersion Composition Society, and he coined the term that perfectly captures what ICS is about.
Put simply, you coop yourself up in your studio for 12 hours, and emerge with 20 songs. Quality is of no concern for the purposes of this exercise, only quantity. No pre-existing material. We get together and listen to the songs that night.
Wrote a song about it. Wanna hear it? Here it go…
This idea generally elicits horror in the eyes of songwriters when I tell them. Make no mistake, the ICS 20 Song Game is meant to be an ass-kicker. You will find no better way to obliterate creative block, though, because despite what your inner voice tells you before or during a session, you have committed to churning out a huge volume of material in a (relatively) short amount of time.
I can attest that someof mybest songs so far have come from these sessions. Usually, I have a pile of disjointed ideas, and have to go back later to fix up the keepers. Sometimes, I get nice little gems that turn out in ten minutes or so, and those have done better than songs that took weeks or months to polish. The main thing is to keep creating, because that’s the best method for getting better at it. I’ve done four sessions so far with several of my favorite writers, and can’t wait to do more.
Sure, you get bathroom breaks and meals. You have to clear your agenda with the powers that be. You’ve never done anything like it before. You’ll run out of ideas. A spate of little things pop up to prevent you from even starting. That is the whole point.
Doing a 20-song session will have you confront your darkest fears. You will learn immediately what shortcomings exist in your project studio and your work flow, and you will fix them or perish. You will start gleaning lyrics from candy wrappers. You might bark for three minutes and call it a song (we call this “taking a mulligan” – if it’s got a track number, it’s a song). You might cheat and use an existing melody or lyric. You will get loopy and seriously consider why you agreed to this in the first place. It’s all good, and I promise, if you want to write songs, it’s worth it.
The idea came from The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook by Karl Coryat and Nicholas Dobson, by way of Jody Mulgrew, a fantastic songwriter who recommended it. I do recommend the book, even though the authors themselves will tell you it’s more important to get started immediately.
Just find one or more people who will hold each other accountable, and who want to be songwriters. Stop saying you want to be songwriters and be songwriters. Call yourself a chapter of the ICS. We named ours the Superfly Bungalow Lodge. And you’re ready to go. Schedule a session, and get started. If you’re in the Denver area, look us up on Facebook.
More information is on the ICS Forum (you won’t find us listed there, we’re pretty slack).
Full disclosure: I’ve only ever gotten to about 7 or 9 songs in a session so far. Even so, failure is a pretty meaningless idea in that context.
January 1, 2010 (New Year’s Day) was the “Hangover Helper” Show at The Toad Tavern in Littleton, so Andy & the boys whooped up a set of boozy songs from Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Billy Joel and more. They’re on the Andy Ard Music playlist over at YouTube.com: