Great Advice From Our “Play For A Publisher” Event

Play For Pub

The 10 songwriters to join us for our first “Play For Publisher” event were great- but they weren’t the only ones to write really good songs!

I want to share some of the “honorable mentions” among the dozens and dozens of submissions.  If you’re one of these writers, keep going!  If you’re NOT one of these writers… KEEP GOING!

The 10 “Honorable Mentions” songs are:

“The Captain” by Kris Krumal

“Hand It Down” by Dave Udis & Michael Skottle

“Welcome Home” by Tami Dove

“Easier On Me” by Megan Brennan, Brett Sheroky, Tommy Cole

“Just One Night” by Dave Quirk & David Hill

“Olivia” by Colleen Brown Keenleyside

“Drinking With You” by Jeff Hodge, Palmer Lee, Blaine Younger

“My Happy Place” by Steve Probst

“Where Jesus Lives” by Dale Mercer & Briahnna Sullivan

Good work, ya’ll!

Chris Oglesby of BMG Chrysalis dropped some great advice on us all (including me).  Here are just a couple of the gold and platinum nuggets from the night (paraphrased):

“Assume the girl you’re singing about is in the audience and listening.  Especially when it’s a positive love song, make sure to weed out the lines that might offend her.  Just assume she’ll take things the wrong way.”

“Heart beats clever.  Don’t get so wrapped up in writing to the theme that you neglect to hit us in our emotions.”

“Be sure that it’s clear from the beginning of your song who you’re singing to.  Don’t take me out of the song by making me try to figure it out.”

“Don’t be too safe.  A publisher can always rein you in, but we can’t pull you out if you don’t go far enough.”

“Play songs for publishers that YOU love.  Don’t just play what you THINK the publisher will love.  After all, you probably don’t really know the publisher personally, so you don’t really know what they’ll like.  But songs that YOU love will tell the publisher a lot about YOU, and that’s valuable.”

The Play For Publisher event was so much fun, and the feedback was so good… let’s do it again!

Really, was it good?  Well, let’s hear from a couple of the participants.

“The combination of Brent’s talent as a songwriting teacher with some of the best ears among Music Row’s publishers makes this an indispensable event for any aspiring writer.” – Joe Slyzelia “Vinyl Afternoon”

“I just took part in Brent Baxter’s Play For Publisher event with Chris Oglesby of BMI. This was a great opportunity for me to get one of my songs in front of Chris and also to meet him personally. Chris listened to my song (and everyone else’s) start to finish and gave very useful and specific feedback regarding each. Chris and Brent took a lot of time throughout the night to answer everyones’ questions. This was very educational, helped me get my face and name in front of a prominent figure in the Nashville music industry, and honestly was a lot of fun. Thanks Brent and Chris for a great experience!” – David Hill “Are You Awake”

So, here’s the scoop:

Our next Play For Publisher event will be on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.  Our special guest will be Tim Hunze of Parallel Music Publishing!  Tim works with a staff of pro songwriters including Lance Carpenter (“Love Me Like You Mean It” – Kelsea Ballerina), Jon Mabe (“The Climb” – Miley Cyrus), Jenn Schott (“Two Lanes Of Freedom” – Tim McGraw) and more!  Tim is a real pro, and he has a lot of wisdom to share from his years in the music business.  And, I’ll be honest.  He’s a heck of a nice guy, too!



God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,


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


4 thoughts on “Great Advice From Our “Play For A Publisher” Event”

  1. I loved congratulating all of the incredibly talented winners this first round, and would like to thank you so much Brent, for the honorable mention; much appreciated. I’m getting excited about the next round and look forward to hearing from several friends that plan to enter again and for the first time as well. Congratulations to you on a successful venture!

  2. Great work everybody! I’m so motivated here that I wanna’ slam these pen and paper weights down and run through the streets like Rocky! Thanks for the workout and a shot at the title Brent. -Looking forward to it!

  3. Tim is one of the coolest guys in the business… I admire the fact that he started out in the tape copy room of a prominent publisher years and years ago, (where I met him writing with Chuck Jones, who wrote for that publisher) and now is the head honcho of one of the best publishers in Nashville. This is a fantastic opportunity! Well done BB!


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