Most songwriters I know at one time or another have a difficult time getting off the starting blocks with their writing. My song this month imagines what that must have been like for some writers I admire. Join me in the kitchen as I share “Empty Paper and a Pen.”
Tom at Club Passim.
Photo: © 2016 Dan Tapppan
This month my family and I are headed to California to participate in the wedding ceremony for my son Andrew and his fiancé Christine. So happy for them both!
This Month’s Music
Empty Paper and a Pen
Empty Paper and a Pen
© 2016 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Lyrics in the comments section below.
This past July 4th I re-read The Declaration of Independence and found myself in a reverie of admiration for Thomas Jefferson’s words. This happened to coincide with a time when I was feeling unproductive as a song writer. I wondered whether Jefferson also had times when he found it difficult to get out of the starting blocks. Thinking about the pregnant moment when Jefferson first dipped his quill pen into ink and paused prior to writing the first words of his first draft on that blank parchment became the foundation of my new song “Empty Paper and a Pen”. The second verse gives a nod to Maya Angelou, another writer I admire. Imagining these great writers experiencing frustrations with writing helped me feel better about my own struggle.
Last week I recorded this song at the open mike at Amazing Things Arts Center where Dan Cloutier has built a great community of musicians and spoken word artists. I am so grateful to Dan and other wonderful open mike hosts and community members in Southern New England. They inspire me to continually improve my writing and performance. If I were asked to offer just one suggestion to aspiring writers, it would be to join a community of writers.
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
November 4, 2016 @ 7:30 pm: Sandywoods Center for the Arts, Tiverton, RI
Sharing the evening Grant Maloy Smith, an American Roots songwriter, Dawn Kenney a wonderful writer with Nashville ties and Lisa Couto whose eclectic style incorporates Pop, R&B, Rock and folk influences. Each of us will perform a 30 minute set.
November 19, 2016 @ 7:00 pm: Not Just Another Coffeehouse, Sharon, MA
Split gig with my songwriting friend, Diane Battistello. Special guest Seth Connelly will provide accompaniment on a variety of instruments. He can make anyone sound good!
December 31, 2016 @ 10:00 pm: The Rounders @ Homegrown Coffeehouse, Needham, MA
The Rounders return to The Homegrown Coffeehouse to help celebrate New Years Needham. I join my good friends Chris Pahud, Cheryl Perreault, Steve Rapson and special guest Bill Thibodeau for an in-the-round evening of music and spoken word. Lots to do on New Year’s Eve in Needham during the day and evening. Then join us at 10:00 pm to bring in the new year in folkie style.
Click to view details for all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-profit: Ample Harvest
Ample Harvest helps connect gardeners with local food pantries in order to donate excess harvest to folks who otherwise get very little fresh produce in their diet. From their web site:
“A Nationwide Solution to Food Waste With “No Food Left Behind”
1. Gardeners harvesting more than they can use results in food waste.
2. Food pantries nationwide desperately need that fresh food.
AmpleHarvest.org helps 42 million home and community gardeners end food waste and hunger by educating and enabling them to donate their excess garden produce to one of 7,800 nearby food pantries across America.”
Please join me in supporting AmpleHarvest.