Concept & Genesis | Philosophy | How It Works | Features | Are You A Country Songwriter? 

WELCOME TO GROWNUP COUNTRY!

Allow me to introduce myself and my music. My name is Steve, and I write country tunes. I’ll tell you right up front that I’m not famous, and I don’t have a big catalogue of smash hits. I’ve had some songs placed “on hold” with major label Nashville artists, so I’ve come pretty close. I’ve also had songs placed in network TV and independent films and used by indie artists in live performances. But not many in Nashville know my name.

I’ve personally pitched my songs in Nashville, and they’ve been signed and pitched by 4 different Nashville or California publishers. I’ve done that for many years, and it’s become pretty clear to me that my songs just don’t fit Nashville very well, and I’m OK with that. There may be a few reasons:

1. I don’t live in Nashville, and I don’t want to move there. Oh, it’s a great town, but I’m very happy with where I live. My wife and I both grew up in our hometown, and most of my extended family lives nearby. I just can’t justify uprooting my wife and moving away from family simply to chase my dream. Therefore I’m not readily available to co-write with Nashville writers, or to schmooze and rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of country music. But that’s OK, I’m not much of an accomplished schmoozer anyway.

2. I just can’t make myself write material that I view as juvenile, trite, or meaningless. As a general rule, what I write needs to be reasonably substantive – at least that’s what I strive for. You, the listener, will have to decide if I’ve succeeded, and if that’s the kind of country music you want to hear. Oh, I write some fun, playful uptempos, but I just don’t have a lot of interest for “teeny bopper” pop country. No offense to the songs coming from Nashville major labels – I recognize what the main age demographic is for country music consumers these days – so I don’t blame Nashville for going where they think the money is. I’m just not desperate to generate large sums of money. My day job provides pretty well, and therefore it gives me the luxury of writing what I want to. And what I want to write are songs that speak to real life.


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THE CONCEPT AND GENESIS OF GROWN-UP COUNTRY

First a little background. I grew up glued to rock stations on the radio as a kid. I played in a cool little rock garage band and gigged around my local area. Rock was king!

Well, that and classical music. My mother signed me up for classical piano training at 5 years of age, and unfortunately, I had the archetypical “Mean Old Mom!” She made absolutely sure that I practiced two hours a day. It was torture! She didn’t exactly stand over me with a baseball bat… but that’s what it seemed like at the time! Thanks, mom!

So that’s my personal musical background. How does country music play into all of this? I’m glad you asked!

I didn’t “get” country music until I matured a little. Country music speaks to the experiences of real life – to the fun, foolishness, love, lust, heartache, abuse, pain, and even death of real life. It speaks to the human condition. And it does so in the language of the everyday. It’s the poetry of the common man.

When you’re young, you don’t have enough life experience to relate to country music – at least I didn’t.

But as I grew up, I’d be idly scanning through random radio stations and find myself stopping and listening more and more to country music – and thinking to myself, “Holy cow, NOW I get it! That’s just exactly how life is!” Before long I became a solid baptized and confirmed country music convert listening to the early work of Emmylou Harris, George Jones, and others. Exquisite stuff! And I have never looked back.

The more I listened to country music, the more I became enamored with some of the songwriters. I was drawn to the writing of great tunesmiths like Gary Burr, Gary Nicholson, Vince Gill, Delbert McClinton, and Hugh Prestwood. They wrote material that wasn’t fluff. And eventually, inspired by those and other similar writers, I began writing myself. But, as I mentioned above, Nashville and I just didn’t click.

So, this is my way of getting my material before the ultimate judge and jury – you. You, the listener, are the person I’ve always wanted to get my material heard by.


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MY COUNTRY MUSIC PHILOSOPHY

I like traditional-to-mainstream country. I’ll say it again; I am NOT a fan of pop country. If you want to hear pop music, you oughta listen to pop artists, not “country” artists who are trying to imitate what comes out of LA.

I like country with some meat on its bones – country with some substance, both musically and lyrically. I don’t like dumbed-down country or country written for the “least common denominator” audience. I don’t like cotton-candy fluff country. But I do like a little flavor of the blues mixed into my country. So, if you’re a teeny-bopper, this is probably not your site. You’re wasting your time here. But if you’ve got a little life under your belt and want something you can sink your teeth into, welcome to Grown-Up Country!


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HOW THIS WEBSITE WILL WORK

I’ve posted a fair number of songs and will add a couple every few weeks or so. So feel free to keep checking back from time to time.

Originally I just posted song clips, and all full songs had to be purchased. Well at the present time, I’ve decided (with my publishers’ permission) to post full songs that you can listen to without purchasing. If you wanna buy some songs, that’s still possible – and thank you! But if you just wanna listen, that’s perfectly OK too. Hope you enjoy ’em! And if you like ’em, don’t be shy about telling your friends about Grownup Country! The purchase price for any song is one whole buck. You will receive purchased songs via a downloadable link sent to the email address you have linked to your PayPal account.


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UNIQUE FEATURES

Have you ever heard a very cool song and wondered how exactly the songwriter came to write it? What life event inspired the song? What is he trying to convey? What was the creative process like? Did it take months or one afternoon? Did he write the music first or the words?

Well, with each song I post here, I’ll include some “writer’s notes.” And there will be some production comments as well. I’ll talk a little about the song and how I came to write it. I’ll point out some instrumental licks and riffs throughout the song that I think are pretty cool and worth listening for. And I may, in the course of all that, talk a little about commercial songwriting in general – for those who are interested in learning the craft. Finally, I will say something from time to time about the marvelous vocal artists who have lent their talents to my songs.

So I hope you like what you hear. I hope you decide that there’s some pretty cool stuff out there beyond what we’re all fed by radio and major record labels. This site is for those who don’t necessarily want to be told what they’re supposed to like!

Thank you for listening.

Steve

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ARE YOU A COUNTRY SONGWRITER?

At some point in the near future, I plan to extend an invitation to other interested country songwriters to submit their songs for inclusion on the Grown-Up Country website. If you are interested, the terms and conditions for such song submissions are listed HERE.

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