Back to Back Issues Page
Great Connections - Closing in on Wine Country!
May 18, 2006

Santa Barbara / Wine Country Updates

Hi everybody, Jim Attebery here with a few important announcements about the upcoming Durango Songwriters Expo Santa Barbara (June 1-3).

First of all, regrettably Michelle Branch will not be performing at our Expo this year after all. As many of you know, Michelle has expressed interest in being part of our event for the last couple of years and was one of the very first to confirm for this year's Wine Country Expo. She had wanted to come to Durango last year but was about to have a baby, which made it infeasible for her to be there. Now, she has a new album coming out May 23 with Jessica Harp, they're called The Wreckers, and the record is slated to be a big success.

The Wreckers were just added to the Rascal Flatts summer tour, which begins June 2 in Florida. Consequently, she can't be at The Expo. It is a big disappointment for us and for her and we know that "one of these days" Michelle will make our event. She sends her apologies and best wishes.

But, having said that, we have another fantastic Expo planned for Santa Barbara Wine Country, featuring the likes of Tony Scalzo (Fastball), Dan Wilson (Semisonic), Jeffrey Steele, Al Anderson, Gary Baker and Frank Myers (just to name a few)...and we've also added legendary Nashville hit songwriter Bob DiPiero. It will be a wonderful weekend of music, education and inspiration! I look forward to seeing you all there.

One final note: The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, which hosts the Expo, is filling up fast. In fact, there may not be any more rooms available there as of this writing. We've blocked off rooms with two other hotels, The Quality Inn and the Days Inn, both within walking distance of the Marriott. Here is their contact information:
Quality Inn - 805.688.0022
Days Inn - 805.688.8448

(A point of interest for some of you perhaps: If you've seen the movie Sideways, The Days Inn, listed above, is the "Windmill Hotel" featured in the movie.)

Jim Attebery
Co-founder, DSE

PS. You can call me directly at 970-259-9747 if you have any last-minute questions.

2006 Durango/Santa Barbara Music Industry Attendees

Marshall Altman, LA: A&R Columbia Records, singer/songwriter.

Al Anderson, Nashville: Formerly N.R.B.Q. Mega-hit songwriter with #1s "The Cowboy In Me," "Trip Around The Sun," "Unbelievable" and many others.

Gary Baker, Mussel Shoals: Hit Songwriter/Producer. With hits including "I Swear," "Already There," and other big crossovers.

Hanna Pantle, LA: BMI Executive Director Media Relations/West Coast.

Tony Ferguson, LA: V.P. of A&R at A&M/Interscope Records.

Michael Laskow, LA: President and founder of TAXI.

Linda Lorence, New York: V.P. Writer-Publisher relations with SESAC.

Steve Markland, Nashville: V.P. Creative Affairs - Windswept Pacific music pub.

Ralph Murphy, Nashville: V.P. ASCAP and hit songwriter.

Jeffrey Steele, Nashville: Grammy-Nominated and BMI Songwriter of the Year with a bevy of hits including "My Town," "These Days," "Help Somebody" and others.

Al Moss, Nashville: Americana Radio Promoter working with major and indie labels.

Dan Kimpel, LA: Acclaimed writer for Music Connection, other music periodicals.

Loretta Munoz, NY: ASCAP - V.P. of memberships and special projects.

Shannon Neece, Nashville: SESAC - Director of Writer/Publisher Relations.

Steve Smith, Chicago: VP of A&R Aware Records. Works with Liz Phair & Glen Phillips.

Jack Hayford, Nashville: Writer, Promoter, Co-founder of

Jimmy Muffin, LA: VP of Creative Development and Staff Writer - Ash Street Music.

Bill Attebery, Ojai: MC, musician, and founder of The Recovery Broadcast Network.

Mark Ferrari, LA: President Master Source Music Library. Placed 2,500 songs.

Steve Garvan, Boulder: Garvan Management. Works with Walt Wilkens among others.

Chris Cole, Dallas: President Main Gate Music Group and Soundbridge PAs.

Kevin Williamson, LA: Senior Exec. Maverick Records, works with Michelle Branch.

Julie Newton, Nashville: Creative Director for Magic Mustang Music.

Barry DeVorzon, Santa Barbara: Publisher, songwriter, president MasterWriter.

Frank Petrone, LA: National Director Creative for peer music, largest indie pub.

Steven Melrose, LA: A&R Virgin Records President leftwing recording/mgmt.

Dan Wilson, Lead singer/writer for Semisonic. Hits include "Closing Time" and "Secret Smile." He's written with Jason Mraz, Dixie Chicks, Glenn Phillips.

Tony Scalzo, Austin: Lead singer/writer for Fastball. Big Hits include "Out of My Head" and "The Way." He is currently working on his solo record.

Stacy Jones, LA: Producer/Writer who formed American Hi Fi and wrote the big hit "Flavor of the Weak." He also played with Veruca Salt and Letters From Cleo.

Chris Blake, SB: Partner, Blake and Bradford Mgmt. Worked with Toad the Wet Sprocket, Marcy Playground, the Old 97's, among others.

Jeff Rabhan, LA: Works in management at the LA/Nashville based co., The Firm. He manages and discovered Michelle Branch.

Ben Marguiles, SB: Santa Barbara based Hit Songwriter/Producer whose had huge hits with Mariah Carey, including the Grammy winning "Vision of Love."

Rick Barker, Solvang: Works as the West Coast A&R Rep for Toby Keith's Big Machine Records and manages BrittonJack.

Rich Goldman, LA: President Riptide Music. He places songs in film/TV/video.

Frank Myers, Acclaimed Hit Songwriter with many big Country Hits including "I Swear" and "Already There."

Sara Kapuchinski, Chrysalis Music LA, works with new artists/staff writers.

Beka Callaway, NY: A&R with Columbia Records New York, formerly with BMI and several Nashville Publishing Companies.

Melanie Howard, Nashville: Started Harlan Howard Songs in 1989. Works with Mary Gauthier, Lori McKenna and the Harlan Howard catalogue.

Featured Sponsor - DISC MAKERS

Welcome DISC MAKERS Official DVD Replicator of Expo 2006 / Santa Barbara!

New For SB '06 -- The Expo Goes to Town!

Virtually every year we try to do something a little different, something to further expose our event and our community of songwriters to more people, and to integrate more and more into the communities that open their doors to us.

This year at Santa Barbara, the Expo and are hosting a get-together IN Santa Barbara (for you new folks, our "Santa Barbara" Expo is actually in Buellton/Santa Ynez, about 30 miles north of Santa Barbara). There will be more specifics provided in the next Newsletter which will arrive in about two weeks. But, the gist of this new event is that it will be a showcase, happy-hour meet-and-greet at Soho Restaurant and Music Club, 5ish-8ish PM on Wednesday, May 31st (the day before the Expo). SoHo is located at 1221 State St., Suite 205, Santa Barbara CA, 93101 (805-962-7776). This is a just-added event. We will be sending out another newsletter in about a week with the specific time of this show and more information. Stay tuned!

Congratulations (Once Again) Alissa Moreno and Felice Keller!

This year's winner in the Pop/Rock Category of our "Write with a Hit-Maker" Contest, Alissa Moreno, will write a song at the Expo with hit songwriters Ben Marguiles and Stacy Jones (American Hi-Fi).

The winner in the Country Category, Felice Keller, will write a song with hit songwriters Gary Baker and Frank Myers.

We'll keep you posted on the co-written songs!

Going Strong: Durango Writers Night in Nashville!

As part of our ongoing efforts to promote our Members,'s co-founder Jack Hayford co-hosts a monthly Writers Night in Nashville. Whether you're a Nashville resident or are coming in for a visit, if you are an EXPO alumni, or a Member (or both), you are invited to showcase your original (only) music.

The THIRD MONDAY of each month, the lovely and talented (and multiple EXPO veteran) Amanda Williams, co-hosts the special Durango Songwriters Night at Nashville's Blue Bar and Rack Room. The Blue Bar (it's a pink building!) is located just off Music Row at 1911 Broadway, Nashville. Telephone: 615.327.8001.

If you would like to showcase at the Blue Bar, please email

What is

Not everyone can join us in Durango each year to be educated and inspired by our panelists and hit songwriters. But every songwriter can now have access to the next-best thing- and benefit from many of the same resources provided each year at the Durango Songwriter's Expo. offers Members a chance to hear writers, publishers, producers, managers and executives who decide what songs and artists make it to the big leagues.

Annually, we record the EXPO Panel Discussions and make them available in our subscription-based Backstage. If you can't make it to the EXPO in person, you can still get the same information from our ever-growing library of recorded discussions, as well as songwriter interviews and other special features.

Check us out!

Back to Back Issues Page