Pictured at the Writers Jam (l-r): Jonny Lang, Hillary Lindsey's guitarist, Hillary Lindsey, Lindy Robbins & Priscilla Renea
The Writers Jam was, by far, one of my favorite experiences from last year’s EXPO (who could forget Ingrid Michaelson singing a brand new song “End of the World” months before her album came out – or Dan Wilson singing “Someone Like You” just as it was climbing the charts on Adele’s 21 album) so there was no way I was going to miss it this year. Slightly bittersweet though, because it is the final event in the epic experience that is the ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO. Being surrounded by so many fellow music creators, all electrified with inspiration and excitement, is a truly unique experience.
This year’s Writers Jam included the best of the best in the songwriting world – both young and upcoming stars, along with tried and true hit writers who have been around for decades. Enter Jonny Lang, incredibly talented blues singer-songwriter, with the vocal depth of someone who has been performing many lifetimes. It was immediately clear why he’s been chosen to tour with the Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Blues Traveler…the list goes on.
Sitting beside Jonny was Hillary Lindsey, a Nashville songwriter responsible for “Jesus Take the Wheel,” taken to the top of the charts by Carrie Underwood, and “American Honey” performed by Lady Antebellum. Hearing Linsdey sing these songs and more was as smooth as honey. Her writing has its own beautifully unique charm, and I could listen to her songs all day!
Lindy Robbins has a resume that goes on for days. The amount of songs she’s written is daunting – and she remains on the top of the pop charts, currently with “It Girl” performed by Jason Derulo and the recent smash hit “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae. Robbins summed up the writing of the latter: “We were just acting like a bunch of idiots and having fun.” She was hilarious!
Last, but surely not least, Priscilla Renea shared songs she has written in her young career (she was discovered off YouTube in 2008) and her voice gave the room chills. Renea performed “Lovespent” which was recently featured on Madonna’s new album, “Who Says” made popular by Selena Gomez and my personal favorite, “California King Bed” performed by Rihanna. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of Ms. Renea, not only as a songwriter – but a performer/artist as well.
As always, an incredible end to an incredible week. See you all next year!