FBISF Songwriter Festival 2009

Frank Brown Songwriter Festival 2009

This year was different. Due to a down economy the list of invited performers had been cut in half. Neither I nor my brother Robert were on it. I was a bit depressed about that but Robert was all excited and wanted to go anyway. On the way down I was feeling guilty about going there uninvited but when we walked in the door they were glad to see us, hung a badge/pass around our neck and invited us to eat. We had brought food from home and a cook stove just in case but thank goodness we didn’t have to use it.

Breakfasts were a bit sparse but lunches were great. We burnt the candle at both ends while we were there, staying out till 3, 4 or 5 in the morning and back up the next day sometimes at 7:30. I think about 9am is as late as we ever slept and we weren’t taking naps during the day. We saw lots of famous songwriters: people like Aaron Barker, Marc-Allen Barnett and many others. We got to perform at Newcomers Showcase at the Silver Moon several times, at the FloraBama Lounge several times and at open mics at Tipseas and the Market. We also went to after hours jams at the River House. I had my picture made with Aaron Barker and I met a lady named Peggy who wanted her picture made with me. Just as Robert snapped the picture she raised her top and – well, you get the picture. One of the mornings Robert had gone fishing along the beach while I got a cup of coffee and relaxed in the outdoors hot tub. We usually headed to the Silver Moon an hour or so before lunch so we could socialize. I love being around other songwriters. They run the gamut in talent levels. I don’t think we sold any CDs but we gave a few away. Sometimes you have to do that to promote yourself and your music.

I found myself a couple of times talking gardening instead of music. Right now those are the two biggies in my life. My neighborhood association wants me to put my garden on next Springs first Tour Of Gardens. I don’t have any grass in my front yard, just fruit trees and flowers but I think they’ll like it.

I started going to this event several years before Robert decided he wanted to join in. He is better at learning people’s names than I am. He takes pictures of lots of the fellow musicians and posts them on his myspace page:

I am pleased to see Robert taking it all in and learning about the music business and the social aspect of it all. He also is exposed to what it takes to lift his music to the next level, although, I think on a lot of his songs he is already there. He doesn’t realize how good he is. When he gets onstage and puts that smile on his face and sings those beautiful love songs he’s as good as anybody out there. I tell him “Listening songs have to have substance, dancing songs mostly need sound.” As if I knew more about songwriting than him. But I am the older brother so I do get to offer my advice. Robert has a ten song CD and every song on it is great. Problem is, he doesn’t offer it for sale on MySpace or CD Baby. You HAVE to promote your music in order to sell it. My goal is for me and Robert to be invited to perform at the Silver Moon during the late hours where they charge admission and the place is packed and no one talks because they’re hanging on your every word -sometimes singing along. Your dreams can’t come true if you don’t have a dream to start with. Robert is working on the artwork for the cover of my second CD titled Universal Love which should be released early 2010. It’s perfectly okay to pre-order yours now and maybe I can get it to you before Christmas. (You can still say Christmas can’t you?)

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