More music…

hey guys,

today’s been a big day. Picking up David Cook’s “This Loud Morning” at the record store (yes, they still exist-ish) and listening to the album from top to bottom was a great ending to what has been an 18 month journey. David and i started writing the first week of January 2010 for this album, & 10 songs, 100 ping pong games, and a handful of epiphanies later here we are. 4 of the songs ended up on his album, 1 on the Arrows to Athens album (yes, you will here it soon), & at least 1 more that i feel sure you’ll hear some day. as for the other songs, they weren’t great (hey, they can’t all be winners), but we definitely had a good time writing them. i remember in May 2010 listening to the demo of Circadian (we had written Rapid Eye Movement 2 months earlier & felt like it needed to find it’s other half) & knowing we had made something special. i’m really proud of those songs.

and then hearing Javier Colon sing Stitch by Stitch on The Voice tonight was icing on the cake. i wrote that song with 2 good friends and super talented writers Lindy Robbins & Dave Bassett. the process to get that song to the show tonight was crazy intense, but watching it go from “hey, this song could really work for Javier” to “and now performing his first single” literally in a matter of days was quite a rollercoaster. we got to spend a little bit of time with Javier along the way, but i’m really looking forward to making music with him in the coming weeks & months.

besides that, there’s been a lot happening recently. nothing’s set in stone yet, but i just finished a couple of songs with Brent from Shinedown that were pretty epic, Tristan Prettyman & Steve Miller & i continue to write stuff that makes me hit repeat, Hedley is in the studio now cutting a song that we wrote that we really dig, The Cab is finishing up an album and the guys & Smiller & i snuck one more song in at the end that is dope, and i wrote what i think would be considered my first blues song with a girl named Jayme Dee (and Smiller) the other day – she’s a new artist on Universal Republic that is quite cool and can seriously sing. oh, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear a song i cowrote on Lauren Alaina’s new album. the last few months have been full of too many stories to tell and songs to mention, but i’ve got to write with some great old friends and some amazing new ones as well.

more news soon,

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It’s been too long…

Hello all,
I’ve been spending most of the last few months keeping up with you guys through Twitter, but I thought I’d start updating on here more regularly so I could fill you in on what’s going on in more than 140 characters. This blog will let you know what i’ve been up to in the songwriting world in the last 12 months or so, and I’ll write another blog updating Avox, Arrows, & other stuff later:

2010 was a lot of writing for projects releasing in 2011, so while not a lot of music came out last year, some of the best songs I’ve ever been a part of writing were created in 2010. One song that did come out last year was the last track on Lee DeWyze’s album (“A Song About Love”) – we wrote and recorded the whole song in about 6 hours, so what you’re hearing really is the creation of the song as it’s unfolding.

Also last year, Carrie Underwood released the end credits song for The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (“There’s a Place for Us”). Writing with Carrie again, screening the film, and being part of an international movie and timeless story like Narnia was pretty amazing. And then we were nominated for a Golden Globe for the song, which was incredible. Let me just say, the Hollywood Foreign Press knows how to throw a party.

In February, a rock band called Rev Theory released their album Justice. I worked with Rich, Julien, & Matt a lot last year and we wrote 3 songs together for the album (“The Fire”, “Guilty By Design”, & “Enemy Within”) and I also did addition production on half of the album. It was a great change of pace to just make loud, aggressive, unapologetic rock music with Rev. Love those guys, love that album.

This week has been amazing because Christina Perri’s album lovestrong came out on Tuesday (May 10). So far it’s stayed in the top 5 on iTunes & the reception for the album has been amazing. Christina & I started writing last fall, and the first song we wrote together (“Arms”) is now the single (after “Jar of Hearts”, which really blew up and put her on the map over the last 12 months)! I love how all the songs we wrote together (“Arms”, “Distance”, “The Lonely”, “Miles”, & “Interlude” – an instrumental piece that we did while tracking the record), as well as the rest of the album, turned out. I also join CP & her band to perform on Jimmy Kimmel (airs May 18) & Ellen (airs today, May 13), which was great. I really can’t say enough about CP as an artist & a person – so talented & gracious & honest & kind…I hope you guys love her album as much as I do.

Also next month David Cook’s new album This Loud Morning comes out next month (June 28), and he and I wrote a lot of songs on that album together. More details to come as we get closer to the release of his record.

That’s all the stuff that is concrete, but recently I’ve been writing with Jason Derulo for his sophomore album (such a cool guy & killer singer – we’ve written some great stuff that I can’t wait for you to hear), working with Carrie Underwood for her next album (ever since the Narnia sessions, I feel like we keep writing better stuff each time we’re working together), & got to meet and write a couple of songs that I can’t stop listening to with Tristan Prettyman (you can check out “Say Anything” on her blog:

Thanks guys for all your supportive words over the years; they are constant reminders why telling stories & writing songs are important. If this recap shows anything, I think it’s that genres are becoming less important to me. The relationships I’ve gotten to build with these artists (and others) over the past 18 months have really been woven into the art that we’ve made together…and I think (or hope) that that gives the songs we’ve written more weight than just a good melody or a clever lyric. As my buddy Jamie Tworkowski (I’m name-dropping a lot, aren’t I?) always says, “Stories matter.” I think I’m starting to believe him.


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Arrows to Avox

Hey guys, loving all the feedback we’ve gotten from the Avox album. Thanks for your enthusiasm & continuing to spread the word. Wanted to give you guys a little teaser for the Arrows to Athens album – these are demos of a couple of the songs that we are putting out early next year. Hope you like it.

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AVOX is here!

So excited about releasing the debut album for Avox this week. I couldn’t be more proud of what John Campbell and I have created. It is an indescribable feeling to see something like this come to life; I think what we have made is very powerful and truly unique. Can’t wait to hear feedback on The Fragile World.

Get AVOX now on iTunes.

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