Hunter Moore

By Mary Washburn

At the April 20 meeting of the LASC, Nashville songwriter Hunter Moore joined us to share some of the insights gained and lessons learned during his twelve years on the Nashville music scene. Hunter has been involved in the writing and publishing sector of the music business in Nashville for the last ten years. A Bluebird regular, he has cuts by such artists as Don Williams and Ricky Skaggs. He has just signed a co-publishing and writing agreement with Lee Greenwood.

Hunter began by reminding us that the "nuts and bolts" of songwriting are very important and that many of us have attended seminars that teach us how to write and pitch our songs. Hunter's talk focused on what he believes is the most important aspect of songwriting, which occurs before you get to the "nuts and bolts" stage: the part of writing that comes before you ever put your pencil down to that piece of paper. What inspires you to write what you do?

Hunter told us that we must learn who we are as artists and creative people in order to know what inspires us. He shared with us some ot his struggles that enabled him to grow as a writer and artist. Some of the major lessons he has learned are: first, stop worrying about whether or not you will be successful. You must believe in yourself as an artist and write what you like. Technique is not as important as inspiration.

Second, do not look outside yourself for the direction you should go in musically. Write what you believe in and what comes naturally for you. One way to help you discover your natural musical direction is to look at your own record collection. What records have you bought two copies of because you wore out the first one? Third, take positive steps to get your songs recorded. Once again, believe in yourself and don't look for positive strokes or affirmation of your talent from anyone else before you feel you can pitch your songs.

Hunter reminded us that even established professional songwriters in Nashville get only one out of ten songs cut. So before you walk out the door with your song, ask yourself, "Does this song really excite me? Do l believe in this song?" If you don't believe in your song, you will give up too easily after the first few rejections.

Hunter also advised us that the most commercial thing we can all do is to be unique. While this may seem like a contradiction, he pointed out that looking at the charts for what to write is looking outside yourself and as a result, your songs probably won't be very good. Although the music scene in Nashville in recent years has become one-half business and one-half art, he feels that the pendulum is swinging back to the art side. So be unique..

To sum up, get in touch with yourself as an artist, write what comes naturally tot you, believe in yourself and your songs, and don't give up.,

After a short critique session, Hunter entertained us with a half hour set of his' songs. He plans to start performing more: and would like to visit the "Rud" again. It hope we'll all come out to support him on his next visit.

Now get your pencils out and write something that inspires you. As a big fan of Diana Black's "The Beet Goes On" cartoon strip, the thought of her impending move to Miami already has me suffering from "beet withdrawa|." (Somehow I don't think the red variety available at Kroger's will do). So I'm inspired to write:

Will the "beet" go on

without Diana Black?

Oh, who will we find

To take up the slack?

For now that she's headed for sunnier climes,

We are all sure to

miss her and her RHYMES!...