Thursday, 16 May 2013

My Love for Singer/Songwriters + GIVEAWAY!

I love music. We all know this. I create playlists for everything in life--I have playlists called Move, Dance, Smile, Cry, Girls Night, Football, name it, I've probably created a playlist to cover it.

I'm not a hipster. I like it all. My iTunes library has everything from The Black Eyed Peas to The Black Crowes to Blakroc. I can find something to appreciate in most songs (even that newish Britney- song where she has that ridiculous accent--it's awful, but I can TOTALLY dance to it).

(Also if you happen to know WHY she has that accent for this one specific song, please share. It literally creeps into my mind at the worst times and I simply need to know.)

While I'm not particularly attached to any certain genre, I always always always love singer/songwriters. There's something about knowing that the person performing a song designed every piece of it, you know? From the melody to the lyrics to the instruments involved--the song is exactly how he or she planned it. That song MEANS something to the artist, and it changes the listening experience for me completely. I have so much respect for a person who can find inspiration in something--an idea, an emotion, an event--and turn it into art.

I can do that with words. People who can do it with music fascinate me.

My friend Chris Weiss is a local singer/songwriter and an award-winning guitarist. He plays fingerstyle steel string guitar and sings as well. His music includes sounds of bluegrass, folk, jazz, gospel, classical, and blues. As a musician, Chris has been influenced by everyone from Bill Monroe to Dave Matthews and from Cole Porter to John Scofield. His music has been compared to the likes of Alex Degrassi, Phil Keaggy, Waylon Jennings, and James Taylor. "I take those as great compliments, but you really need to hear it yourself," he says. "My music means different things to different people."

Chris gave me a copy of his album, Reflections, and I've spent the last week listening to it while I outlined my next book (aka, BETWEEN PART DEUX). At this stage in the process, when I need to seriously focus and plan out a story, I like to listen to something laid back and meaningful, with as few lyrics as possible. Instrumental is best, so the lyrics don't distract me from what I'm working on. I typically turn to jazz or classical playlists to get me through this part.

Chris's CD came at the perfect time. The majority of the songs on Reflections are instrumental and it's exactly the type of album I love to plot to--smooth rhythms, great melodies, and filled with emotion.

As a matter of fact, I liked it so much, I'm giving one away! To win, just leave a comment on this post with either 1. your favorite singer/songwriter or 2. your favorite type of music to listen to when you're writing. (And also the answer to that Britney question I had earlier.) Don't forget to include your email address or twitter handle so I can track you down if you win.

I'll use to pick a winner from the comments. This giveaway will close Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 12:00pm NOON EST.

If you'd like to get to know Chris better, (and you do--in addition to making good music, he makes me laugh all the time, plus he's just a super nice guy), you can follow him on Twitter and check out his Facebook page!


  1. My favorite singer songwriter, besides Chris of course, is Stevie Knicks. And Britney talks like that because it worked for Madonna and she is grasping at straws to become relevant again.

  2. My favorite singer-songwriter is Florence from Florence + The Machine. You know me as @bridgetashep on twitter.

  3. I'm totally cheesy but my my favorite music to write to bounces between Disney songs and Pitch Perfect Soundtrack while writing :) And I have no answer to the Britney accent thing - she's just weird like that I guess .... @Lamoreaux_R (reb.bec.lam (at)

  4. My favorite singer right now is Imagine Dragons. I love their song and just sets my mood. Just like The Lumineers, mumford and sons, Fun, Civil Wars. I love all typed. The Brittany thing I think was done because she is crazy and we love crazy Brittany! @ TawneyBland

  5. My favorite singer/songwriter is Andrew McMahon (originally in Something Corporate and then Jack's Mannequin and now solo) But I totally listen to every spectrum of music! Email: jawardwrites [at] gmail [dot] com ...and Twitter @jawardwrites !

  6. Sounds awesome!

    I used to write to instrumental movie soundtracks (The Patriot, Braveheart, Last of the Mohicans, Titanic - while skipping the Celine Dion song) but now I'm getting into a zone where I want to listen to songs my characters might listen to (dorky!) Haha.

  7. My favorite singer/songwriter is Tristan Prettyman. I love her song, "Say Anything" and listen to it on repeat while writing. Also, Britney says she just felt like popping out that accent and Will.I.Am said to go with it :)

  8. My writing soundtrack varies depending on which manuscript I'm working on. One of the first things I have to do when planning a new manuscript is to figure out the favorite music type for each of my main characters... then I compile a "soundtrack" for each character, so I can get into their heads when I'm trying to write their stories. My current wip has been a little more difficult than usual, because my MC enjoys instrumental music, & it's tough to find songs with just the right feel for her various moods.

  9. Other than my own, as yet unpublished work, I would say Paul McCartney is my all time favorite singer/song writer and I love to listen to the Moody Blues when writing. Miss Britney is out of my knowledge range but I would agree with other posts here that she is most likely exercising advice on a market strategy. However perhaps the song simply came into her head that way. I would love the opportunity to listen to Chris's music and will check it out whether I win or not. Thank you for sharing. @moireoasis