Why You Shouldn’t Trash Talk In Nashville

Man vs Row

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Imagine it’s your 1st month after moving to Nashville and you’re at 12th & Porter catching a local band. You strike up conversation with a guy by the bar. Of course, the conversation turns to music, and you comment how the band you just saw has songs a lot better than “that crappy song that just went #1.” The guy gets a funny look on his face and says, “Hi, I’m the guy that wrote that crappy song that just went #1.”

Think you’ll get a cowrite out of that?

Nashville is a big city, but Music Row is a small town.

If you walk around spouting off about how this hit is a piece of junk or that writer is a hack, it’s gonna come back around and bite you in the backside.

Even if you don’t insult the writer to his or her face, your comments might be overheard by that writer’s friend, publisher, or cowriter. It’s a relationship business, and badmouthing somebody or his work is no way to build strong relationships of your own.

If you want to point out how your music is different from what someone else does, that’s fine. Say how you’re different. But appreciate the success of others even if you don’t like their songs.

The fact is, like it or not, that writer and those songs have obtained a level of success that most never will.

Trying to learn how they got their success is going to serve you a whole lot better than hating on them ever will.

What about you? Have you ever learned from a song that isn’t your musical cup of tea? Or have you been like the poor soul at the beginning of this post who stuck his boot in his mouth?

God Bless,

Brent

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6 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Trash Talk In Nashville”

  1. Spot on Brent: And…

    Think of your first job out of school….you’ve been hired by the hot new corporation…it’s your first day….you go to the company cafeteria and to no one in particular but with a few ppl within earshot you criticize the company’s latest Tv ad…

  2. Now in my case, if someone said “that crappy song by Roger Vines just went #1”, I would take it as a compliment. Listen to this You Tube and you will understand why. (I wrote a song called “This Song Is Crap”)

  3. You can be sure that if you say something to someone in their office on 17th, about a industry person, that it will get back to that person before you get to your office on 16th.

  4. Brent, thank you for your good words of advice. There are other areas that we make the same mistake and bad-mouth our world-renown Music City. We should be full of gratitude and show our pride for the accomplishments of others and that of our city fathers.

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