I didn’t get to chat with Donna Ulisse this year at the World of Bluegrass as I often do, though she has recently shared some news with us about a venture she is launching in 2015. She is calling it Songwriting Escape, her name for a weekend workshop that focuses on the creative side of the songwriting process.
The plan is to choose locations that accentuate the escape part of the equation; places that instill creativity and allow all the participants to get away from their regular lives, and surround themselves with music.
Donna says that they have chosen one such, in northern Florida, and will host their first event in January 2015.
“I have discovered a new passion for my songwriting these days, and it’s through teaching and sharing what I do to construct a song. I have been so inspired to talk about my songwriting that it led me to write a book about my creative process.
Funny but, writing a book changed my music world. When The Poor Mountain Boys and I were part of the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival this year in Alberta, Canada, I had the chance to do a workshop with Rick Stanley and Brad Davis set in a charming old church on the grounds of the festival. The acoustics were incredible, the vibe was magical… but what was truly undeniable was the chemistry between myself, Brad and Rick. The workshop danced like a well timed waltz and gave us the brainstorm to join forces and take this show on the road.
Rick Stanley, Brad Davis, Greg Davis, and I will be bringing our brand of songwriting workshops across the country and hopefully in a few years across the world. In addition to a 3 day songwriting workshop we are also going to be offering a Thursday packed with opportunity to hone or learn the mandolin taught by Jon Martin, the upright bass taught by Bill Baldock, the banjo taught by Greg Davis, the guitar taught by Brad Davis while the duet team of Rick Stanley and me will be offering an 8 hour class on harmonies and how to strengthen your voice and apply that to live singing.
Our first event will be January 22-25 2015 and will be held at Flagler Beach, Florida.
The ocean has always been a wonderful place for me to create. Rick and I visit this location a couple times a year and usually leave with a few new songs that we’ve written. In fact, we have two recent cuts by other artists that were both penned by this beautiful shoreline: the song, Come To Jesus Moment, recorded by my very good friend, Larry Stephenson, and one that I can’t tell you about yet but will hopefully be released by another hero of mine sometime this coming January.”
More details about this first Escape can be found online.