STORY SONGS WITH ERNIE HILL

 While thinking about events for the 2015 John Hartford Memorial Festival, I came up with this concept purely out of curiosity. What if I selected three or so songwriters who specialize in story songs, and host a presentation/panel discussion consisting of original story songs and individual processes? The idea being, give the audience (and me) an idea about the individual creative process. I have an idea how mine works and I am curious to the extreme that I wrote a book about it.

 I presented the idea to the committee and got the green light. They decided to call it a Story Songs Workshop. I explain in the program that is not a "hands on" workshop. The first year was a hit and each year since has grown in popularity as folks who love stories are given a look inside the heads of folks who "make them up". Now we are on our 5th JHMF Story Songs Workshop. In 2017, I premiered  Story Songs at the Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield Kansas and am I ever tickled to return to Walnut Valley this September with Story Songs and very special guests, Chris Jones and Gina Furtado (Clowes)! Past participants have included Chicago Farmer, Ryan Spearman, Juni Fisher, Wil Maring, Colin O’Brien, Old Man Luedecke, Ginger Boatwright, Nathan Blake Lynn, Giri and Uma Peters, Micahlan Boney, Kenny Cornell, and Mike Oberst.

 How does it work? I start the set with an original story song and then open up a discussion. We pass it on down the line and in the time allotted we each perform original story songs with enlightening discussion.

 Aren't all songs Story Songs? Well, no. A large percentage of top 40 mainstream songs are "feeling" songs. Songs that express love or the opposite. A story song is just that. It tells a story, sometimes taking you to a different environment. It's that simple, but where do they come from? How does a songwriter "get" their story? That's what these sets are all about. It really is different with each songwriter. I've written a book, a short introspective look inside my own mind, the minds of a few others, and some research opinions. It's called "The Cosmic Path to Melody and Lyric". Click here to read more about it. This little mind journey is illustrated by the artist Jon Griffin. Please ck it out and consider talking with me about presenting this concept at your event. 

Chris Jones and Gina Furtado with the Night Drivers

Chris Jones and Gina Furtado with the Night Drivers

Story Songs on Stage 3, 2017 Walnut Valley Festival with Juni Fisher and Kenny Cornell

Story Songs on Stage 3, 2017 Walnut Valley Festival with Juni Fisher and Kenny Cornell

Left to right- Ernie Hill, Ryan Spearman, Cody Diekoff a.k.a. Chicago Farmer

To read more about past Story Songs sets, click here.

2018 JHMF 8 Story Songs- L to R, Ernie, Micahlan Boney, Mike Oberst and Cody Diekoff a.k.a. Chicago Farmer

2018 JHMF 8 Story Songs- L to R, Ernie, Micahlan Boney, Mike Oberst and Cody Diekoff a.k.a. Chicago Farmer

Story Songs, 2016, John Hartford Memorial Festival. L to R, Ernie Hill, Wil Maring, Colin O'Brien, Old Man Luedecke.

Story Songs, 2016, John Hartford Memorial Festival. L to R, Ernie Hill, Wil Maring, Colin O'Brien, Old Man Luedecke.

JHMF 2017 Story Songs from Left, Giri Peters, age 12,  Uma Peters age 10, and Micahlan Boney, age 16. The future of songwriting is in great hands with these three!

JHMF 2017 Story Songs from Left, Giri Peters, age 12, Uma Peters age 10, and Micahlan Boney, age 16. The future of songwriting is in great hands with these three!