July 8th, 2013

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Songwriters Circle: MONTY POWELL

Urban Country News – July 7, 2013 (by Liv Carter)

An in depth interview with Monty Powell about the songs that make up his debut album “47 Minutes of Your Time”.

Lyrics & Liner Notes for “47 Minutes of Your Time”

March 19th, 2013

51 and 47 are big numbers for me. …First, it took 51 years before I recorded an album on me as an artist. Second, the record is 47 minutes long. I am asking those who can, to relax, sit quietly and listen top to bottom for 47 minutes like albums were listened to in the old days.

I wrote, sang, played, engineered, mixed everything on the record and I have never been happier with anything that I have been a part of. For me this collection of songs was a chance to write with out having to think about the industry, or money, or someone else’s artistic vision. I have been as personal, poetic and introspective as I wanted to be.

For me, I was always happiest when artists left themselves at the center of the process and I got to have a listener’s voyeuristic view of their world. Invariably I would find my story, my answers and myself in their work no matter how personal it was. John Denver, Harry Chapin, James Taylor, Don Mclean, Joni Mitchell and many others sang precise and poeticsongs about personal journeys that informed my youth and led me to becomea songwriter. When they opened their hearts, my heart opened as well. I hope the same is true for my listeners.

These songs are my personal stories. Every line references something either real or literary or both and they often have multiple meanings and references. I have tried to bring all of my craft and experience to the table, exploring complex rhyme and alliteration schemes while telling my story through the visuals that I have experienced or created from cobbling together my past as it collided with pop culture and literature along the way.

1. Cranesong- We named our house in Utah “Cranesong”, because of the 4 large Sand Hill cranes that were in the front yard on the day we bought the house. They still fly by morning and evening during the summer as we look out across the valley that we love. I grew up in a family that yearned for the American west. I now live here more than half the year and truly feel like I was “just a mountain meadow seed, some western wind blew south”.

It’s dark outside.

The snowflakes glide then settle down

Wistfully, gently kiss the ground.

Like winter moths they swirl around

The lights of Eden valley’s towns.

Without a care, without a sound

It’s dawn outside.

The new sun rides the ridge above.

Kindling hearts and diamond dust,

As aspen groves and burning bush

Lie quiet beneath the gentle touch

Of winter’s pearl tipped artist brush

Where home becomes more than a word.

And dreams take wing like graceful birds.

In songs of silence Love is heard.

And life becomes living once more

It’s eve outside.

As two cranes cry their vesper hymn,

The monastery bells chime in.

The junipers kiss the blushing rim of

Pastel heavens drawing in

The starlit curtain of days end

And home becomes more than a word.

Our dreams take wing like graceful birds

In songs of silence Love is heard.

And life becomes living once more

You plant your roots, you settle down

You grow your money tree

You plan your end around

You fight the great divide

You finally figure out

You were just a mountain meadow seed

Some western wind blew south

2. JOY- My mom’s name was Joy. I wrote this for her when she was ill and got to play her this recording just prior to her passing. The first verse is informed by the great American play “Our Town”. The second by the long line of singer poets, the third by the life changing experience that music had on me growing up and the generational passing of the torch to my two daughters.

Oh darling Emily You got it right

This world is just too big and bright

Our town could never contain the light

Even the universe is too small

Ye poets are portals that mere mortal men

Turn to for comfort again and again

It takes fire and rain to comprehend

The fiction, the fear and the fall

But life’s in the knowing and loves in the chasing

And I’ve chased it since I was a boy

Never knew there was so much sadness

I never knew there was so much joy.

Oh, FM radio how did you know?

Left and right you split my soul

Into beautiful tragical clear stereo

Tore my Gemini twins apart

Just to be reunited by rhythm and rhyme

In muse’s own daughters in music’s own kind

Forget who you are and just look who you find

On that Southern Cross nailed to the stars

‘Cause life’s in the singing and love’s in the writing

So I’ve written since I was boy

Never knew there was so much anger

I never knew there was so much joy

Oh, flee as a bird; no you’re not weary yet

Time to relinquish regret

Peacefully forget

That old rugged boss soon you will lay down

To become fire or wind

Or rain or sky

or cloud or sea or ground

‘Cause life’s in the dying and love is the answer

To the questions since I was a boy

Never knew there was so much heart ache I never knew there was so much joy

Never knew there was so much of you in your boy…never knew there was so much joy

3. Their Time- A decade at a time autobiographical journey of the high and low points along the way, with a final reflection of gratitiude for the generation that brought us into the world as they quickly pass from it.

61 dawned sun (son) and light

Dawned black and white

Dawned left and right

The pins reset, the planes would fly

The mills would hum, the babies cry

They made their love, they built their shrine

On the mountain of their time

89 broke fresh and green

Broke like Dancy’s dream

Broke at the seams

The tide would rise, the boats would sail

The crowds would hum, the try would fail

I leveraged love, I dug my mines

In the gold vein of…my time

The 21st rose dun and grey

Rose a new bouquet

Rose a less travelled way

The pawns were moved, the queens were took

The bishop vainly, fell to the rook

We learned of love, buried our crimes

In the fresh red clay….of our time

Twenty twelve dawned bright and blue

Dawned white and new

Dawned and then withdrew

The pins reset, a soul would fly

The choir would hum, we would cry…and say goodbye

We raise our love, kneel at the shrine

So thankful of…thankful of….their time

4. Magic Man- Written for Buddy Autry, who took me under his wing in the late 60’s in north Georgia and taught me sleight of hand and allowed me to be his magical assistant at local talent shows and carnivals.

He was an old magic man
He could pull a rabbit from a hat
He could make four aces fly
Circle the room, and land in your lap
With a wave of his wand, a pretty lady, he just sawed in two
Would sing and dance as he pulled her apart
Oh, Mr. magic man
Wish you could fix my broken heart

He used to ride thru town
In stagecoach pulled by an old grey ox named blue
He promised miracles and for two bits he perform a trick or two.
I watched him like hawk
But never caught him with something up his sleeve
I believed that quarters came from empty ears
Oh, Mr. magic man
Wish you could make the love that left me re-appear

She was my everything
So everything is lost now that she is gone
The cards are blank, these turtle doves just don’t belong
The patter is all wrong….

He was an old magic man
And flowers would bloom in his trembling hands
And he could pour pure water in, turn it into gin
And then rain confetti out
One frosted night on Halloween
He leaned in to me and said the carnivals begun,
Then whispered, son…as the trumpet fanfare blew
Oh, Mr. magic man …I miss that kid. And I miss you
Oh, Mr. magic man …I miss that kid. And I miss you

5. Snowvember- My “Little Martha”, I wrote this instrumental while at my house in Florida. It contemplates the first tentative snowfalls that blanket the mountains of Utah while we are still enjoying the last rays of summer on Cape San Blas. It was recorded on my front porch with the sound of the wind and the water on a cheap guitar into a laptop microphone, but it captures that freshness of a song just written and played down for the first time.

6. One More Christmas to Remember- My personal reminiscing about childhood and the Christmas traditions I grew up with. The names and the images are from my life, but hopefully everyone will find their families and their traditions lurking beneath the surface.

Chocolate chip cake, Russian tea

Warming our pajamed feet by the old gas glass furnace

Fake spray snowflakes from a can

The tree trunk tightened in the stand

Charlie Brown and Linus

White Lights unraveled down the hall

Blinking, beckoning to crawl

Around each limb, and branch and bough remind us

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

Spindle dropping 45’s, Ed Ames, Elvis, and Burl Ives

God it must be him

Six strings strumming silent night

As the little drummer boy outshines gold and frankincense

White elephants and Rudolph’s hooves

In fact and actually on the roof

But just out of the frame for proof in our Polaroid prints

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

Clarence says a bell will ring

Each time an angel gets their wings

But there’s been too many tinkling bells here lately

I feel their presence in the room

Their eyes so bright their minds renewed

An unbroken chain of love down thru the ages

As we let memories wander thru our own back pages

Bricks of rim fire 22’s, plush white carpet living rooms

Papa’s envelopes

Breyer horses, Addy’s trunk

Priceless memories, worthless junk

Bo on a towrope

That Mama’s paintings, mother’s poems

Harmonicas, chrome, never blown

And a song for Georgia, ribbon tied and rolled up

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

The good book says that angels sing,

Each time a new soul gets their wings

But there’s been too many angel bands here lately

The heart’s not built to reminisce

About some bright place beyond this

So we wrap each precious memory in fine paper

Then once a year we pull them out

Weigh them shake them, turn them round

And wonder what forgotten year

What long lost loved one will appear

To share a laugh to dry a tear

To remind us while we all are here

To keep each other near and dear

And to stoke into a fire love’s glowing ember

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

7. The Day We Went Out on the Ice- Suzannah, Rebekah and I went walking out on the frozen lake in front of our house in Utah. Being from the south it was very unnerving and exhilarating to walk a 1/2 mile out on to the frozen surface. We each had cameras and took some amazing photographs as we laughed enjoyed a perfect moment in time together. As I was mixing this cut, my long time friend and guitar buddy from back home called me to say his father had passed away. Rather than quickly fade the song after the last line, I picked up my ’73 Strat and played the long outro in honor of him, his dad and the thousands of hours that we have given over to the guitar only to get back in tiny slivers the magic that we seek each time we pick one up…this time the magic made it.

The day we went out on the ice

Time stood still

We were frozen in the moment

The sun just giving back the sky

To the evening chill

The stars milling around backstage

Behind night’s black curtain

Waiting for the show to begin

Once again.

The day we went out on the ice

Love was real

As solid as the mountains

No need to ask, no need to try

Just enjoy the thrill

Laughs spilling down bank

Knee deep in fear and wonder

Too soon to be scattered by the wind….once again

Oh, the wise men and sages say we’re all eternal

No beginning, no end

Then why is my soul haunted by the constant thought of dying?

And losing my best friends….my best friends

The day we went out on the ice

I felt complete

And completely in the moment

On how just when the peace arrives

The tide recedes

And we trudge on with the journey

These pictures as our witness

That perfect is place where you’ve already been…amen

8. I’m Not Ready- Nothing consoles a young heart, broken over first love, like a guitar and a song. At 15, I found myself in a reverberating empty stairwell at Georgetown University singing to ease what at the time seemed to be a mortally wounded heart. That experience informed this song of decision so many years later.

It’s gonna take more than just a razorblade

My skin’s so thick I don’t think it will slice it up

Or cut the cord that flies me to the great unknown

Unbinds me on my journey home

Defines me even when I’m gone

As we should have known along

That suicide is wrong

It’s gonna take more than just pill or two

To ship me out, somehow I doubt they have the strength

To drown the voice that calls me from my soul within

Implores me to begin again

Ignores me even when I’m in

A stairwell with a cheap guitar

To serenade my broken heart

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

It’s gonna take more than just a lover’s leap

With jagged stones to break my bones and crack the code

Expose the God inside me circle black and white

That guides me in the way of light

Designed me with the will to fight

And with the power to let it go

But with the wisdom when to know

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

And if by chance my life is taken

Before I feel my time is thru

Will all the universe be shaken?

Or will I be just one more soul shot out into the blue?

Well I think I know the truth

But I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

9. Curtain Call- For all the theatre rats and musical buffs out there. Just as “Glory Days” traces the arc of aging athletes, this song traces the arc of the people in my life who had a love affair with the stage and the classic musicals. For many, the brightest moment of that elusive dream came in High School or community theatre. Try and count all the references.

Memories stacked liked chairs

Behind the darkened high school stage where

We butchered hair, limped thru guys and dolls

Whispered break a leg…lights out, pratfalls

Now just empty halls

Too bad we could not make it last

Grease paint a new smile on our past

Too bad we all fell back to earth

Too bad the perfect bubble burst

But God bless us all

Who ever heard the curtain call

King Arthur’s cardboard sword

Anastasia’s wig that our own princess wore

The lion that roared, one music man trombone

Joe cable’s radio….Falstaff, El Gallo….Cyrano

Too bad the world is not a stage

And we were merely players at that age

Too bad we took our bows too soon

Too bad the wizard took the last balloon

But here’s to one and all

Who ever heard the curtain call

When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way

From your very first play, til your last dying day

Pity the crowd, but drink their applause

let ‘em hold their breath

With each well timed pause

Let the bard rewrite

On each opening night

Your own character flaws

Memories stacked liked chairs

Behind the darkened high school stage, where

We were all OK, the slipper fit just right

We defied gravity…exit left and right

Then said good night

Too bad we could not make it last

Grease paint a new smile on our past

Too bad belief just can’t suspend

Too bad the last act had to end

But God bless us all

Who ever heard the curtain call

10. I Fell- For Anna…the love song that I heard in my head.

All these years and thousands of songs later, this is the one I was always trying to write.

Easter Sunday in a southern storm

Just like a perfect rose found in full bloom

I caught her silhouette across the room

I felt a silent power I’d never felt

Oh and like the April shower on that asphalt shingled roof

I fell

That sunbaked summer was one sun bathed kiss

I laid my head across her rising chest

A prayer for new beginnings in each whispered breath

Rose with the padre’s clear twin tower bells

And just like the July fireworks in the Santa Barbara sky

I fell

Love is a chance meeting in a parking lot

Love is at the corner table counting change

Love is in the vase you break the store clerk makes you buy

It’s in your waiter’s eyes…always such a sweet surprise

November never felt so fresh before

Two shadows stroll as one around the park

Somewhere in twilight, neither day or dark

We stopped beside an antique wishing well.

And like the shiny penny down the waterfall

I fell

Love is checking books out just in front of you

Love is selling jewelry on the waterfront

Love is taking tickets at the turnstile for ride

It ‘s in your baby’s eyes, such a sweet surprise

The Christmas cold turns all our words to smoke

A midnight kiss that claims my heart again

A single flake lands on my true love’s chin

A passing stranger hums the First Noel

The lights flickered and glowed. I held my baby close

And like the feathered snow

I fell

Love’s behind the curtain when the show is through

Love rolls down the window in a raging storm

Love’s the smile dismissing your rehearsed goodbye

It lives there in her eyes…always

“47 Minutes of Your Time” Monty Powell new on iTunes!

March 19th, 2013

Golden Globe Nomination “Best Original Song”!

December 13th, 2012

Monty Powell and Keith Urban have been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture for their song “For You” from the movie “Act of Valor”. The film highlights the work of active Navy Seals who try to stop a worldwide terror plot. The awards will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 and air Live on NBC. Powell says, “As happy as I am for myself and Keith with this Golden Globe nomination, I am even happier for all the men and women in uniform whose ultimate sacrifices provided the true heart and soul for this song.

Those earning Best Original Song Motion Picture nods from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are:

Music by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban
Lyrics by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban
Music by: Jon Bon Jovi
Lyrics by: Jon Bon Jovi
Music by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
Lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
Music by: Adele, Paul Epworth
Lyrics by: Adele, Paul Epworth
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by: Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil

Keith Urban/Monty Powell’s song “For You” Nominated Best Song Critics’ Choice Awards

December 13th, 2012

Keith Urban‘s song “For You” has been nominated for Best Song at the Critics’ Choice Awards from The Broadcast Film Critics Association. “For You” was co-written by Urban and Monty Powell. The winners will be announced live during a ceremony on Thursday, January 10, 2013 from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. The show will broadcast live on The CW Network at 8:00 p.m. ET.
“For You” – performed by Keith Urban/written by Monty Powell & Keith Urban – Actor of Valor
“Skyfall” – performed by Adele/written by Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth – Skyfall
“Still Alive” – performed by Paul Williams/written by Paul Williams – Paul Williams Still Alive
“Suddenly” – performed by Hugh Jackman/written by Claude-Michel Schonberg & Alain Boublil & Herbert Kretzmer – Les Miserables
“Learn Me Right” – performed by Birdy with Mumford & Sons/written by Mumford & Sons – Brave

Songsmith Monty Powell Takes The Stage At Wolf Mountain!

August 23rd, 2012

Billy Dean Rolls In For Pioneer Days

July 17th, 2012

Billy Dean rolls in for Pioneer Days
Story by Linda East Brady , Standard-Examiner staff – Jul 13 2012 – 12:58am
Billy Dean will perform at 8 p.m. July 18 at the Ogden Amphitheater.
Billy Dean
When: 8 p.m. July 18,
Ogden Amphitheater
343 Historic 25th St.
Admission: $10.
Tickets: Smith’s Tix
Wed, Jul 18 – 8:00 pm
Group: Ogden Pioneer Days 2012
Story: Join special session of pioneer school at Treehouse Museum
Story: Cherie Call performs inspiring music for Pioneer Days
Story: Billy Dean rolls in for Pioneer Days
Story: Root beer on tap at new Western fest saloon
Story: Pickleball becomes part of Ogden’s Pioneer Days
Story: No, pickleball was not named after a dog

Billy Dean may locate out of Music City, aka Nashville. But he has also left part of his heart in Utah.

He is coming to play a show on Wednesday, July 18, at the Ogden Amphitheater to launch the city’s Pioneer Days celebrations. Dean is performing with his own band, as well as Monty Powell, a hit songwriter who lives in Huntsville.

The Florida-born Dean has been playing the Beehive State for many years. It all started almost two decades ago, when he came to scout the Sundance Resort as a guest, thinking he might like to play there.

“I met a kid there who took my luggage up to my room,” said Dean, calling from his farm outside Nashville. “He was a sweet kid. He sang, and I thought he was pretty good. I invited him out to Nashville, to stay on the farm and check it out.”

Dean’s young friend died a few years later in a Utah snowmobile accident. Dean attended the funeral.

“He was a member of the Mormon Church. I was very touched by them, kind of fell in love with his family and friends. So then I started working out there more often. I’m glad I did, because my music seems to really work out there.”

Utah connections

In Nashville, Dean became friends with singer Anna Wilson and her songwriter husband, Monty Powell, who now base out of the Ogden Valley.

“They’ve moved out there (to Utah) more or less permanently,” he said. “So we made a vow we would try and get together out there and play more.”

Wilson had a scheduling conflict that week, but Powell is onboard for the show.

“He is amazing,” Dean said, who admits to enjoying his own songwriting craft, but struggling at times. “Monty is the real thing — wrote ‘Days Go By’ and ‘Sweet Thing’ for Keith Urban, and ‘One of These Days You’re Gonna Love Me’ for Tim McGraw and a bunch of other stuff.

“And he is a good musician, too. We’re going to have a fun band and a big jam session out there at the amphitheater.”

Dean hopes to see one or two other musical friends with Utah roots while in town. He mentioned his admiration for the music of Thurl Bailey, whom he met at a Jazz game, and whose work Dean admires.

“And then one of my buddies –we actually met years ago in Atlanta — Marvin Goldstein? We ran into each other at an airport a few years ago. And he said, ‘I got to talk to you. You know, I am LDS now.’ ”

Dean, unfamiliar with that nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he responded with, ” ‘Hey, don’t you worry about it, I am ADD.’ ” He laughed. “Well, then he explained it to me, and I was real happy for him. And it was great, because we got together and did some religious songs.”

The resulting album was “Christ (A Song for Joseph),” released in 2005. It was well-received by the LDS community, so much so that Dean was invited to play with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir last New Year’s Eve.

“I really do love it out there — a lot of fun and a lot of good people. They appreciate good music, purpose-driven but not preachy. Fun, positive, cool and clever songs — they get it. In Nashville, it is almost like you have to have a little whiskey in your music — and that is fine, too, but out in Utah, I get inspired to write about things like going though life as a dad, a husband, a family guy, as well as a musician.”

DIY guy

Dean has had a successful music career; his single “Somewhere in My Broken Heart” was the Academy of Country Music Song of the Year in 1991, and he also was recognized then as New Male Vocalist of the Year. He also won the Country Music Television Rising Star Award, Nashville Songwriter Association International’s Song of the Year, and a Grammy for his work on a country gospel album, “Amazing Grace.”

He has made 12 albums and has his own music publishing company, Billy Dean Music Group. He’s been honored by the Tennessee House of Representatives with a day in his name.

After that run, Dean stepped back a bit, taking eight years to be with his young family by mostly leaving the road until returning to touring in 2009.

“Now my kids are grown, I am ready to have some fun, lighten up and play music,” he said.

The music world has changed since Dean was first signed by a major label — back when the company’s staff would take an artist under its wings and handle the fine print.

But the DIY nature of today’s music business suits Dean. He is now working to get his previous albums more readily available again.

“In our world, you better own everything you can of your work,” he said. “And really, this is the busiest I’ve been in a long time, getting it all done. We are manufacturing all my old catalog, the original CDs. They’ve been on iTunes and all, but physical copies have been out of circulation for a while.”

The CDs will also include bonus tracks never released before. And Dean will release a new record with 10 new songs.

“It is a huge project — 17 new songs I have to get together. But it is fun. I have a home studio to rough things out. And then, for the live recording, I like to get a bunch of musicians in a studio, on the edge of their seat, playing live together. Something fresh and new — it starts there.

“These days, the more authentic and raw it sounds, the better. You can still make it that way, even if overuse of technology in recent years may make you think different. What I tell my engineers is, ‘When the hair stands up on your arms, quit turning the knobs.’ The job is to connect — and that’s when you can tell you’ve done the job right.”

Grammy On The Hill Video, Monty Powell, John Mayer etc.

June 29th, 2012

Montanna Mix Room Earns 2012 Best of Class Studio Design Award

June 29th, 2012

Once Again, Carl Tatz Design (CTD) Goes to the Head of the Class as Mix Magazine Honors CTD with the “Class of 2012” Studio Design Award June 22nd, 2012

— Nashville’s MontAnna Mix Room personal studio, featuring the Carl Tatz Design Signature Series by Auralex and CTD PhantomFocus™ System monitor tuning protocol, is chosen as one of the hottest new studios for Mix’s annual “Class Of” Studio Design Issue —

Nashville, TN: “It’s clearly the leading technology in monitoring,” comments uber-successful songwriter/producer Monty Powell about the new-generation PhantomFocus™ System (PFS) in his new MontAnna Mix Room designed by Carl Tatz Design LLC (CTD). “If I build ten more studios, which I hope I don’t,” jokes Powell, “everyone of them will have a PhantomFocus System in it – I can’t imagine mixing without it.”

Multi-award-winning, Billboard chart-topping songwriter/producer Monty Powell and wife, jazz artist Anna Wilson, called on personal studio guru Carl Tatz for a second time when they decided to downsize and move from their beloved Nashville home that housed a beautiful Carl Tatz Design studio with 20’ tall ceilings in the tracking room into a posh new townhouse mix room nearby. The mix room design features a custom application of the Carl Tatz Signature Series by Auralex acoustic treatment system, with its now-familiar trademark Acoustic Lens™ modules.

“We started with a small upstairs bedroom and broke through the rear wall to create a very effective wide-band low frequency absorber partition that separates the mix room from the equipment room,” explains Tatz. “And then we broke through the left wall into the former laundry room to add a very comfortable vocal/overdub booth with floor-to-ceiling glass that is mimicked on the right wall with the Acoustic Lens.”

The fit and finish of the room is very polished, but as Carl points out, “Even without the high customization that Monty and Anna requested, the combination of the PhantomFocus System along with my basic Signature Series by Auralex, audio professionals can have a truly world-class mix room, way beyond anything they could imagine, at an affordable price point.”

Since this successful couple is spending most of their time now in their Utah home when they are not gigging around the country at various jazz venues with Anna or songwriting on the road with the likes of country superstars Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and others, it makes perfect sense to make this transition. The move reflects a trend where many personal studio owners prefer to track in a commercial studio that has all the amenities you would expect in a professional tracking room and spend the remaining 90 percent of the time overdubbing and mixing in their own facility.

“It’s always a great compliment to be asked back by your client to design a second room, and Monty and Anna are so much fun to work with, both being very creative people with lots of enthusiastic ideas,” says Tatz. “And upgrading their PhantomFocus System was the maraschino cherry on top of the cake. They were very happy with their existing PFS, but when I convinced them that they should experience the new system at another studio, their mouths dropped – it sold itself.”

John Mayer, Monty Powell GRAMMY’S On The Hill Awards is to amplify the voice of music creators among national policy makers.

May 2nd, 2012

News >> Story

John Mayer & Buddy Guy Jam 2012 GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards; Rep. Howard Berman Honored!
By Daniel Swartz on April 26, 2012
John Mayer and Buddy Guy jammed together on-stage for nearly 30 minutes at the 2012 GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards.
John Mayer and Buddy Guy jammed together on-stage for nearly 30 minutes at the 2012 GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards.
Be sure to check out all 249 of our photographs from this event HERE!
The Guest List:
Brendan Kownacki, Daniela Kelley, Jen Richer, Nikki Schwab, Todd Flournoy, Tommy McFly
CAPITOL HILL — Over a dozen sitting members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, united on Wednesday evening in the pursuit of stronger intellectual property rights for artists, songwriters, and other music makers, at The Recording Academy’s eleventh annual GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards.

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, John Mayer, and Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow.

Returning to the grand ballroom of The Liaison Capitol Hill hotel for another year, yesterday’s ceremony honored U.S. Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) and eight-time GRAMMY-winner John Mayer for their respective roles in advocating on behalf of the music community and leveraging the power of music to improve the lives of others.

Senator Orrin Hatch, Monty Powell, and Anna Wilson (not pictured) collaborated on a song together for the night.

In addition to a sea of Congressional members, including Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY), special guests for the occasion included Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen (who performed the National Anthem), Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, GRAMMY Award-winning producer Jimmy Jam, and event host Luke Russert.

The evening struck the right chord between the serious and the humorous, with Congressman Berman even quipping that the title to the Mayer song ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland’ was the perfect way to describe how “the House feels about the Senate.”

Congressman Howard Berman.

Yet it was Mayer who struck perhaps the most somber tone in his remarks concerning his experiences in working with returning combat veterans.

Paul Wall and Jimmy Jam.

The first and foremost goal of GRAMMYs On The Hill is to amplify the voice of music creators among national policy makers. And while the awards ceremony is perhaps the most glamorous part of the occasion, even more important is the day of advocacy that follows the event inside the walls of the Capitol itself.

Buddy Guy.

But policymaking nevertheless was the last thing on the minds of guests yesterday, as soon as six-time GRAMMY-winner Buddy Guy took the stage for the event’s closing performance. Accompanied by his backup band, he performed a nearly 10-minute set for the audience before asking Mayer to join him. And together, they then proceeded to carry-out a nearly 30 minute jam session, including a handful of guitar ‘duals’ (no winner emerged).

John Mayer.

Audible proof that the music community is indeed something worth fighting for!
Be sure to check out all 249 of our photographs from this event HERE!

Tags:Liaison Capitol Hill

Keith Urban/ Monty Powell “For You”/ Act of Valor Movie

January 11th, 2012

Keith Urban is venturing into film — at least with his music. Urban and frequent co-writer Monty Powell recently penned the song “For You” for the new Navy SEAL action thriller Act of Valor.

The song, which will be featured during the film’s end credits, marks the first time Urban has written and recorded a song specifically for a movie.

“I loved the challenge of writing for a film,” Urban said in a statement. “I’ve never done that before. After seeing Act of Valor, my co-writer and I wanted to capture the essence of not only what these men and women do so extraordinarily, but how that relates to all of us.”

Act of Valor, which stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs along with Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle and Nestor Serrano, will be in theaters Feb. 24.

ole Writer Monty Powell In Good Company With Chart-Toppers Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum

November 29th, 2011

If you’re known by the company you keep, prolific songwriter and producer Monty Powell, whose catalog and futures came to ole in the late summer of last year as part of a worldwide co-publishing deal, has a profile that’s platinum-plus. His hit songs have been responsible for driving the sales of more than 50 million albums in total by artists like Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Restless Heart, Diamond Rio, Billy Ray Cyrus, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw and Chris Cagle.
SESAC’s annual Nashville Music Awards presentations, held this year at the impressive Pinnacle at Symphony Place in downtown Nashville during CMA Week, saw Powell continue his award-winning ways as he picked up a Country Performance Activity Award for the Keith Urban hit song “Til Summer Comes Around.”
For Powell, who was named Songwriter of the Year and took Song of the Year honors at the SESAC Awards in 2009 for another Keith Urban co-write, “Sweet Thing,” this continues a very successful writing collaboration. Powell’s relationship with Urban dates back to 1993 when Urban was in the critically-acclaimed band The Ranch, which would ultimately record for Capitol Records with Powell as their producer. Last year, Powell and Urban picked up SESAC awards for three Keith Urban recorded songs including “Til Summer Comes Around,” “Sweet Thing” and “Kiss A Girl.” That trio of hits was also the recipient of the CMA’s prestigious Triple Play Award, which honors songwriters who pen three chart-topping hits in a 12-month period.
Currently, Powell also has two co-writes – “Stars Tonight” and “If I Knew Then” – on Lady Antebellum’s triple-platinum CD, Need You Now and two on their current platinum album, Own the Night, including “As You Turn Away” and “Somewhere Love Remains,” both co-written with the reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year. When the group performed “As You Turn Away” for the taping of a Bravo! Canada Live at the Concert Hall TV special that aired on November 5, lead vocalist Hillary Scott noted that the Monty Powell co-write “was her favourite song on the album.”
Of late, besides continuing his writing collaboration with Keith Urban who has started work on his next album, Powell has also been writing with a new act, the Lunabelles. The group was recently signed to Sony Nashville through co-producer, Jeff Coplan, the person who put together the group Love & Theft, with whom ole had a single last year, “Dancing in Circles.” Powell also has the co-write “I Thought You Knew” on the recently-released MCA Nashville album, The Sound of a Million Dreams, by Grammy-nominated vocalist, David Nail.

C lazy U Ranch Hosts Grammy Winning Monty Powell

July 17th, 2011

• C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colo. After the ropin’ and ridin’, join two Grammy-winning singer-songwriters for a live performance and the opportunity to discover how you might pen or perform an award-winning tune. Pros Monty Powell and Anna Wilson will be on hand for this one-time event July 24-31. That week and throughout the season, families relish time spent horseback riding in stunning Colorado country, gourmet dining, fly-fishing on private water, trap shooting, archery, plus yoga and spa activities. The ranch is well known for its kids’ adventure program.

Contact: 970-887-3344;

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Monty Shares in Keith Urban, Lady A Success

February 24th, 2011

ole Writer Monty Powell Shares in Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum Success at Grammys

The recent 53rd annual Grammy Awards turned out to be another milestone moment for a trio of hit songs co-written by ole writer Monty Powell and chart-topping country artist, Keith Urban. On the night, Urban picked up the award for Male Country Vocal Performance for “’Til Summer Comes Around.”

“Keith actually texted me from the Grammys while the show was on,” says Powell. “He said, ‘I just won my fourth Grammy, this time for ‘Til Summer Comes Around.’ You know that two of the four Grammys that I have won have come on songs that you and I wrote together in the same week.’ The other one was ‘Sweet Thing.’ He picked up a Grammy for that song in the same category last year.

“We wrote ‘Til Summer Comes Around’, ‘Sweet Thing’ and ‘Kiss A Girl,’ which were all number ones off his last album, Defying Gravity, if not on back-to-back days, it was definitely in the same week within a three-day period. We were really on a good roll there and the feeling was good in the studio. We were just locked in that creative space. It was cool to see ‘Til Summer Comes’ Around’ finish out that album with a Grammy.”

In October of last year, those same three songs earned Urban and Powell a prestigious Country Music Association (CMA) Triple Play Award, which honors songwriters who pen three chart-topping hits in a 12 month period.

Back at this year’s Grammys, Monty Powell was also able to bask in the reflected glow of Lady Antebellum’s big night as the country crossover group picked up a leading five Grammys, including Best Country Album, for Need You Now on which Powell has two co-writes: “Stars Tonight” and “If I Knew Then.” The set, which has been certified triple platinum, had also been nominated as Album of the Year.

“They had such a huge night,” notes Powell. “It was just great to have two songs on the album which has been so successful. I’ve got things that are going to be on the new Lady Antebellum record that they’re in the studio recording right now. I also have a wonderful song on the new Keith Urban record called ‘Shut Out the Lights’ that I’m really excited about.”

Powell, who concluded a catalog purchase and worldwide co-publishing deal with ole in the late summer of last year, has also been responsible for hit songs that in the past have helped drive the sales of more than 50 million albums in total by artists like Restless Heart (“Dancy’s Dream”), Diamond Rio (“Norma Jean Riley,” “Nowhere Bound”), Billy Ray Cyrus (“Could Have Been Me”), Brooks & Dunn (“I Am That Man”), Tim McGraw (“One of These Days”), Chris Cagle (“What A Beautiful Day,” “Miss Me Baby”) and Keith Urban (“Days Go By,” “Tonight I Wanna Cry”).

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Grammy Award Keith Urban Til Summer…

February 13th, 2011

Keith Urban & Monty Powell co-write Wins Grammy!y
Grammy Awards 2011: Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban early winners

* February 13th, 2011 6:34 pm CT

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Lady Antebellum picked up two Grammy Awards Sunday night in the pre-telecast ceremony in Los Angeles. Keith Urban also won best male country vocal performance in the early ceremony.

Lady Antebellum won best country song and best country performance by a duo or group with vocals for their smash hit, “Need You Now.” Urban won for his single, “Til Summer Comes Around.” Other early winners included the Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson for best country collaboration with vocals for “As She’s Walking Away,” and Patty Loveless for best bluegrass album.

Lady Antebellum is nominated for several more awards during the live telecast, including Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Album of the Year. The group will perform during the live ceremony, along with Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Drake, Katy Perry and Mick Jagger.

Lady Gaga caused a stir on the red carpet when she arrived encased in an egg carried by four models. She is set to debut her new single, “Born This Way” during the awards. Other celebrities walking the red carpet were Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Selena Gomez and Adam Lambert.

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards air live on Little Rock’s KTHV at 7 p.m. CST.
Click here to find out more!
By Kristi Gray

* Little Rock Pop Culture Examiner

Kristi is a freelance writer and editor in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has written book reviews for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and has won…
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Lady A Kicks Off Super Bowl “Stars Tonight”

February 1st, 2011

“Stars Tonight” Co-Written by Monty Powell
Are you ready for some football and an all new season of Glee?

Lady Antebellum has been selected by Westwood One Sports to kick off the official NFL pre-game radio coverage of Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, February 6 beginning at 3pm CT. Broadcasting on over 640 radio stations, including the American Forces Radio Network, which provides programming to America’s military forces around the globe. The coverage will feature a special version of the fan favorite song “Stars Tonight” mixed with highlights from the Packers’ and Steelers’ winning seasons.

Immediately following the big game on FOX, Lady A’s “Need You Now” will be featured on the highly anticipated post Super Bowl episode of FOX’s Emmy award winning musical comedy, Glee.

Be sure to listen to the NFL pre-game radio coverage and then Glee’k out!

Grammy Nomination “Till Summer…!

December 2nd, 2010

Grammy Nomination Announced Today for “Till Summer
Comes Around”….written by Keith Urban and Monty Powell !!

Monty Powell Wins Big at SESAC

November 11th, 2010

CMA Triple Play Awards Video

October 25th, 2010

RIAA Certified Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” Triple Platinum!

October 19th, 2010

RIAA Certified Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” Triple Platinum!

Things really have been happening in 3s for Monty. First the Country Music Association awards him a Triple Play Award for his hat trick of hits with Keith Urban and now LADY ANTEBELLUM’s “Need You Now” CD is certified Triple Platinum! Monty co-wrote two songs on the mega release—“Stars Tonight” and “If I Knew Then”. Just in from a recent run in the northeast, the band and Monty have been stocking up on a stash of great new tunes! More to come!

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World Premiere of Keith Urban’s “Put You In A Song”

October 15th, 2010

See the world premiere of the “Put You In A Song” music video NOW here
Monty makes an appearance! See if you can spot him!

CMA Triple Play Awards given to Artists & Writers with #1 Hits in a 12 month period

October 15th, 2010

The CMA Awards are still a few weeks away, but the Country Music Association has already presented several trophies at a special ceremony paying tribute to some of country music’s most successful artists and songwriters in the past year.

Triple Play Awards were bestowed upon those artists who have achieved three No.1 hits in a 12-month period, with Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and Dierks Bentley all on hand to personally receive the honor. Speaking to a room full of CMA executives, hit songwriters and fellow artists, each recipient used their turn at the podium to express gratitude to those who have helped them achieve their success.

All quotes via CMIL:

Ole Signs Hit Songwriter Monty Powell!

September 2nd, 2010

CMT Music Awards Vote! Till Summer…

May 11th, 2010

The CMT Music Awards pride themselves on being the only fan-voted awards show in country music. On June 9, all the winners will be announced on Country Music Television at 8 p.m. ET, in a live ceremony hosted by Kid Rock.

The nominees:
Male Video of the Year
• Jason Aldean – “The Truth” • Billy Currington – “People Are Crazy”
• Toby Keith – “American Ride”
• Tim McGraw – “Southern Voice”
• Keith Urban – ” ‘Til Summer Comes Around”
Fans can vote online at through June 8 to determine the winners. The final nominees for Video of the Year will be announced at the beginning of the live show, and fans can then vote at and via text message throughout the live broadcast (ET/CT only) to determine the night’s big winner.

Keith & Monty’s song goes #1 in Canada!

April 16th, 2010

Keith’s latest single, “Til Summer Comes Around” goes #1 on the Canadian radio charts. Thank you for all of your support!

“Til Summer Comes Around” Vote!

April 16th, 2010

“Til Summer Comes Around” is nominated for 2 CMT Awards; Video Of The Year & Male Video Of The Year! Please vote today @