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Welcome Back Howard and Monica Benson!
February 16, 2012

Welcome Back Howard and Monica Benson!


NEWS FROM THE MARRIOTT: We have gotten an extension from the Santa Ynez Marriott of our deadline to book rooms at the special Expo rate. The new deadline is February 20th. Click here to book now!

Welcome Back Howard and Monica Benson!

Howard Benson is an LA based hit record producer with over 30 million in record sales on projects he's produced. including records by Daughtry, My Chemical Romance, Papa Roach, Hoobastank, and Seether, among many others. Howard has been incredibly successful and always stresses melody and the song. We're thrilled to have him at the upcoming Santa Barbara Wine Country Expo, Mar. 1-3.

Monica Benson is head of BOK Music Publishing, based in Calabassas, CA. As a publisher, Monica has placed songs with the late, great Whitney Houston, Misteeq, etc., and the Lizzy McGuire Soundtrack. Her numerous television placements include Ugly Betty, The OC, One Life To Live, South Beach, The Ghost Whisperer, CSI, Miss Congeniality, etc. We're equally proud to have Monica involved again, quite the power couple, don't you think!

Special Offer From Erickson Sound Labs!

Just down the street from the Marriott we are fortunate to have a fantastic recording studio, Erickson Sound Labs owned and operated by Bear Erickson! Bear has made a terrific offer to Expo-ites. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT...SCHEDULE SOME TIME WITH BEAR!  

"My studio will be open Friday and Saturday from 10am-10pm the weekend of the Expo (March 2-3). I will be engineering and doing free quick mixes of peoples tracks for them to take away on a CD...I will have a 1926 Steinway L miked up and an acoustic guitar mic setup, as well as a great tube Vocal mic. Anyone with an Expo badge or proof can come and lay down 1 free song to take home!" —Bear Erickson

ABOUT ESL: Nestled in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country, Erickson Sound Labs is the central coast of California’s premier recording studio for artists and musicians.

Capturing and creating audio through analog and digital techniques, Erickson Sound Labs is able to help shape sound for any media format: radio, high-fidelity home sound systems, television, and film.

Bear Erickson has shared the stage and studio with David Crosby, Toni Childs, Jim Pugh and many more.

Erickson Sound Labs
100 Los Padres Way #6
Buellton, CA 93427

Bear Erickson

Welcome Back Rich Goldman!

From the DSE: Rich Goldman will be attending the 2012 Expo and will be sitting in on the Film/TV panel. Rich has been with us a number of times and his companies have found many songs through the Expo that they have been able to place. Rich is the person who ultimate decides the winner of the Write With A Hit-Maker Film/TV category that will be ending Feb. 17th 2012. It's a good way to catch his ear but you'll find Rich most amiable in person as well! Thanks Rich!

Rich Goldman is founder and President of RipTide Music, a leading music Synchronization/ publishing company in Los Angeles. RipTide has solid success in licensing for television, movie trailers, films, video games and advertising. He is also President of Pacifica Music, a modern genre production music library.

Read more about Rich Goldman.

It's just getting better and better! Amy Dalley is back with a new record! And appearing for the first time is the wonderful Alice Peacock! Rumour has it both gals may show up for our Durango Nite in Nashville this Wednesday the 17th at That's Cool! JOIN US!

Nashville-based country singer/songwriter Amy Dalley is set to release her new album, Coming Out Of The Pain, via Rock Ridge Music on March 27, 2012. Coming Out Of The Pain is Dalley’s second full-length and combines classic pop-country with the edge of heartland rock, as well as Dalley’s intimate lyrics and dulcet vocals. The album was produced by Dalley and husband/engineer/writing partner Jack Sizemore (also a member of Jason Aldean’s band), along with New Voice Entertainment.

Read More about Amy Dalley.

Nashville based singer/songwriter and recording artist Alice Peacock has released five albums as a major label and independent artist. Her eponymously titled album Alice Peacock featured the hit “Bliss”, a duet with John Mayer and her most recent CD, Myrick/Peacock is a duo project with long time collaborator Danny Myrick. Many of Peacock’s songs have appeared in TV shows including Because of Winn Dixie, Men In Trees, The Ghost Whisperer, Pepper Dennis, What I Like About You, Dawson’s Creek and Smallville; feature films Because of Winn Dixie and Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and TV commercials such as Hershey’s product launch of Bliss chocolate.

Read More about Alice Peacock.

The 2012-1 WWAHM contest ends next week at 12:00 midnight PT on Friday, February 17th.

More About WWAHM

Write With A Hit-Maker, or WWAHM, is more than a songwriting contest. Yes that is the grand prize, getting to write with a bona fide hit songwriter, but we've added a lot of extra value!

WWAHM is also a database of all songs that have been entered into our contests. (Unless the entrant specifically opts out of that feature.)

When the contest songs are entered, we collect relative keywords (and the list will always grow) for the purpose of archiving the songs for others to find and listen to (and perhaps license). If you have written a song about cars, and NPR's Car Talk is looking for a song about a corvette, they will be able to find it here. Even if your song was entered in a WWAHM contest years before. In most contests you are one and done.

Over time, will become a well-known song bank for anyone looking for music in a particular genre or a song about a particular topic.

Email if you have questions.

EXPO SB 2012 IS MARCH 1-3!. Have you registered? Room reserved? DON'T WAIT TOO LONG!

Write With A Hit-Maker contest ENDS THIS WEEK! (see below for details).

Special Offer From Larry Beaird!

The Expo is thrilled to have Nashville recording/producing stalwart Larry Beaird back conducting his 9:00AM Saturday (March 3rd) "Arranging the Hit" class!

IMPORTANT: Please read this note about Larry's "Arranging The Hit" special offer!

While great songwriters focus on lyrics and melodies, professional arranger and producer Larry Beaird thinks about intros, tempos, solos, grooves, unique chord progressions, modulations, dynamics and musical hooks that will make those lyrics and melodies sound like hits. Twenty years of experience have taught Beaird the value of great arrangements, and how successful songwriters benefit from that value every day. In his workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to observe how techniques of skilled arrangers can be used to enhance the sound of your songs. Writers can submit songs in advance, which may be possibly included in the class discussion. Please send mp3s to

WWAHM Public Portal Live


WWAHM! Who wants to write their next song with Shawn Mullins (writer and performer of the #1 "Lullaby")? Or how about writing your next song with Bridgette Tatum (co-writer of Jason Aldean's #1 "She's Country")?

Or maybe your music is more suited to Film and TV projects. Want to work with LA's Riptide Music, one of the premier placement/licensing firms in Hollywood?

Here is your chance! Act now, deadline to enter is February 17th, 2012.

(The cost? Just $45 for one category, $30 for each additional category - enter up to two songs in each category.)


"Winning the Film and TV category for WWAHM contest has opened up many doors for me. Rich and the Riptide crew were not only excited about signing my winning song, but they also were highly interested in representing a few of my upcoming projects as well." —Dave Hedin

Reserve Your Room!

Make sure when you make your reservation at the Marriott that you MENTION THE EXPO GROUP or use THIS LINK. We have a block of rooms reserved at a special price.

Congrats Meghan!

Meghan Trainor, already a veteran of the Expo—even at age 17—has signed a publishing contract with our friends at Big Yellow Dog Music! Writes her Dad Gary, "She is pumped up and writing like crazy!" Way to go Meghan see you in Nashville!

Do you have an update for us? Post it here.

About the Durango Songwriters Expo: We connect musicians with industry to create placements, relationships, music and a better understanding of the contemporary music biz. Since 1996.

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