Taxi Road Rally songwriter convention

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First post from the west coast.

I’m writing from the 12th Annual Taxi Road Rally, a mecca for serious songwriters. In this post I’ll give you an overview of what goes on at a typical Road Rally. Over the next few days I’ll share some of the goodies I learned.

If you are not familiar with it, the Road Rally is a convention for songwriters, those who are recording artists themselves (singer/songwriters and the like) as well as those who don’t perform, but who write songs for other recording artists and music for film and TV.

The convention is limited to Taxi members and their guests and it is free. As someone who is now attending his 4th Road Rally, I can say without qualification that it’s a truly an easy way to meet industry people and peers, learn a boatload of ‘insider’ information in a few short days and have a great time doing it.

The information I’m talking about is not only about songcraft fundamentals, writing melody, chords, lyrics, how to re-write, collaborate, record and mix demos (and much more), but also info on the business side: how to build a fanbase, use email to sell more merch, how to pitch songs, indie marketing and PR, etc.

This info came in the form of workshops, panels, one-on-one and small group mentoring sessions, plus all the random interactions at meals, in the hallways, in song circles, open mikes and late night jams.

One particularly inspiring moment was when Taxi CEO Michael Laskow presented the Living Legend Award to Lamont Dozier, co-writer of such Motown hits as Heat Wave, Where Did Our Love Go, How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you), Baby Love, Come See about Me, Stop in the Name of Love, I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch), I Hear a Symphony, It’s the Same Old Song, This Old Heart of Mine, Jimmie Mack, You Can’t Hurry Love, Standing in the Shadows of Love, Reach Out I’ll Be There, Band of Gold, Give Me Just a Little More Time and many more, but my fingers are getting tired. After the Motown Era, he continued to write hit songs for himself and other artists.

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