Yo, What’s Up?…
Greetings, Songwriters and Open-Mic People, I hope that all of you insanely talented people are playing and singing your hearts out, loving your music, having fun, and doing well!
I just wanted to provide everyone with a whole lotta love to tide us all over as we patiently await all of the scoring to be tallied for season-1 of the Songwriters Challenge, and then, of course, to announce our winner.
Hmm, you might be thinking, he said “season-1,” so does that imply that there might be a season-2? ...Yes, you may be right, and yes, we may be crazy, but we just might be the lunatics you’re looking for. ...Just keep shining your lights, and don’t try to save us from such madness. ...You could be wrong for all you know, but you may be right!
What I’ve been inspired to curate for you today is my version of the very BEST OF THE SONGWRITERS CHALLENGE (Season-1). In addition to taking you on a (lightning-fast), week-by-week journey of all my top picks amid the memorable 8-week stretch, at the bottom of this post, I am also going to provide you with a convenient “YouTube Playlist” containing all 24 of my favorite songwriter hits from season-1! PLUS a passion-ground BONUS TRACK, which was needed to get a thumbnail as you'll later learn.
Below is a list of 27 of the most incredibly talented artists across the realm of "Steemit Music", each of whom earned themselves a highly coveted scoring slot over the course of season-1. And these fine artists are, - in no particular order:
@lucybanks, @vera.carla, @cabelindsay, @senzenfrenz, @g10a, @fitzgibbon, @elisonr13, @lk666, @onetruebrother, @stevesully23, @guitarlots, @tarotbyfergus, @wilins, @ausxen, @basilmarples, @luisferchav, @melavie, @kayclarity, @afrao0, @chrisroberts, @jaybird, @anniemacleod, @chaifm, @pechichemena, @ivan.atman, @paulhallman, and @miguelarl.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. To each and every one of you, I tip my hat and raise my glass in toasting your extraordinary levels of diverse, consistent, and incredible artistry! Each of you in your own unique way has wooed and entertained us with your unique creative abilities and special brand of musical genius that each of you readily possesses.
Cheers, my gifted friends – for without you, none of us would be here right now celebrating such a profound achievement. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, you guys are simply sensational in so many ways! It has been an honor. Thank You!
BEST OF Songwriters (Season-1)
WEEK ONE: Broken Mirror
Firstly, if I’m not mistaken, English is by no means @g10a’s primary language – yet he wrote the lyrics for and sang this rather impressive song in a language somewhat foreign to him! The instrument he’s playing is not his own, and this borrowed instrument he’s using doesn’t have the greatest “sound” to it. I suspect that the prospect of winning a nice guitar he can call his own is something that’s very much motivating @g10a. Despite such motivations and desires, one has to deliver the goods regardless of how much one may want or deserve something, and by golly, Sir @g10a came out of the gate in week-1 swinging for the fences! His incredible voice and the creative thematic melodies he’s created here with “Scars” is a force to be reckoned with.
What can I say… This is “Melavie!” and she is so incredibly talented that words simply cannot describe just how much in awe I am of this girl’s creatively intense skills and artistry. I told her that the other songwriter contestants are going to be quite thrilled and relieved to learn that she’ll be on a remote island without an internet connection for the better part of December and as such, unable to make all the entries. Melavie clearly nailed this week’s theme with seemingly effortless melodies and striking lyrics. I most certainly recognized the immense beauty in her song, Broken Mirrors.
Although Lucy was one of my honorable mentions in week-1, I simply had to include her outstanding performance here in my “Best Of” Season-1. Just click “play” and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
WEEK TWO: Lost & Found
Firstly, you all need to know is that @chaifm is a “CFOM”, which stands for a “Close Friend Of @Melavie” – which in turn, means that she is likewise - a rather formidable creative force to be reckoned with. Secondly, “No” – I do not find my own facial expressions entertaining – but I very much find @chaifm’s facial expressions rather pleasing at that. But way, way beyond the superficiality of facial expressions, I most certainly find @chaifm’s interpretation of this week’s theme “Lost & Found” most gripping. Her composition, exquisitely depicted lyrically thru her creative graphics in concert with her intense performance thereof leaves nothing else to the imagination beyond utter brilliance. You’ve got a special home here at the Open-Mic for sure!
Firstly, I wish to say directly to Pechiche – that I hope you never ever write a “normal” song. There is no normal brother – there is only you, me, and the rest of us who get it – and that’s all that matters. Brother, you can carve arrows in my chest all day long, and all I’d do is be begging and pleading for more! You are one special “Navigator” @pechichemena! You are the Captain, brother – keep us all on that special course that only you can plot.
The Fitzgibbon’s knocked me off my feet with several of their entries. This is a particularly outstanding “honorable mention” from week-2. I sure hope we hear more from them. They truly have that special something!
WEEK THREE: Stolen Soul
Whatever you do, do not be dissuaded by the deceptive guitar intro, which to my ear almost sounded like the beginning of an episode of “Breaking Bad,” or “Better Call Saul!” Trust me - this guy’s got a whole lot of passion to spread around, and I can really relate to that on the highest level. Soon after his guitar intro, which makes perfect sense as his song progresses, @elisonr13 simply breaks out into a most soulful and unrelenting plea for understanding, stating his case, and getting you on his side and way of thinking by the time the song ends. His passionate vocals in concert with his thematic interpretation and rhythmic persistence simply won me over hands down.
Hey man, this is “onetruebrother,” dude. He’s our go-to “James Taylor” handyman of Open-Mic and the Songwriters Challenge! “Canstille my Soul” – So we all know that the actual lyric is “Can’t Steal My Soul” – but there’s just something about the way that this lyric transposes itself to the ear that makes it that much more magical and irresistible!
In my opinion, Cabe has delivered quite a gem here, and his performance in my view is one of the most improved amid our regular and steady entrants. Quite similar to the lyrical effects described in “onetruebrothers” review, Cabe’s lead chorus line “Heradiance Adores,” within “The Pearl,” which of course translates to “Her Audience Adores” – has that same special auditory effect of something quite magical. Though this type of lyrical effect happens purely by accident in most instances, it nonetheless manifests itself as having a significant ancillary impact that, IMO, just adds tons of value to the allure of a given composition. Cabe’s vocals and unique melodic tapestry far outshines the basic chord progressions that make up the foundational construct of this rather fine composition.
WEEK FOUR: Because We Can
@afrao0 and his lovely companion most certainly delivered an original composition that wholly captured the essence of this week’s theme. The passion and harmonies set forth in their performance was compelling as was the song’s positive message of hope, love, and togetherness.
@wilins passion and love for music are quite clear. His composition this week was filled with all of the hope, love, and joy that can envelop us with song. The vibrant and contagious feelings he expresses amid his most passionate performance of “Porque Podemos,” is what compelled me to place him near the very top of my list.
If I’m not mistaken, @luzcypher recruited Annie from a songwriter’s page on Facebook. And, WOW, I tell you what, Annie went for her gun’s and really did a great job of it. Here she is in an “honorable mention” in week 4.
WEEK FIVE: Wind-Swept Shore
I had every intention of using my two “Golden-Award” votes very selectively – saving them for week’s 7 and 8 perhaps – and reserving them only for those two select 1st place picks of mine whom I thought would be best suited and most deserving of such a power-boost.
Well, along comes Austen Ballard in week five with FOUR catch-up entries that he was unable to submit previously due to an untimely illness. The sheer volume drop of music was certainly not enough to persuade me, however, the consistent quality of each of his entries including this week’s submission simply knocked me off my feet!
Despite admitting to an occasional tendency to stray from conventional song structures, of which this is one such example, our resident musical handyman, “OneTrueBrother” still managed to effortlessly reel me into his never-ending web of musical prowess. I found his guitar intro simply captivating, bearing a subtle driving rhythm that persists with intriguing variations throughout. The transitions he creates in concert with the meaning behind his song together with the classic chorus returns like the one found at the end as he sings “Standing there together, waves go on forever” totally sold me on this tune – I love it! Do check out his post to get the backstory on the song's origins and to read all of the lyrics.
So once again I find myself back at the musical table of my brother from the East. What can I tell you – if the food is good, you just keep going back for more! As is the case with artists such as Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens to name just two, I’d bet the ranch that @afrao0 has a plentiful dose of like musical muses working overtime, stirring about rather comfortably and whimsically, creating the secret elixir that creates a rich well of music that magically manifests from deep within his musical soul. “Singing Winds” is just one more brilliant example of such gifted artistry.
WEEK SIX: Special Delivery
Austen's rendition of "Special Delivery" is simply phenomenal in that no matter how hard one may try, one simply cannot discern that this theme was thrust upon him when listening to this most incredible composition that he's penned. He's created this thematic marvel out of nowhere - but he has done so as though he had planned on writing it all along - that's pure freakin' magic, no matter which way you slice it, man! I'm so glad I gave him the Golden-Mic Award last week, I truly am - his "Special Delivery" performance this week only serves to confirm that my initial instincts as to Austen's musical prowess were indeed very well grounded! This rather brilliant and creative performance was indeed "the shit" by every possible measure! As such, Sir Austen has found himself in my number one slot for a second consecutive week! Keep rockin' it, Austen - and don't back down!
Kay took this week’s theme as an opportunity to express the universal and familiar pain that we all feel when we are heartbroken over a lost love. She has adeptly woven her lyrics around waiting for a letter from her lost love, which captures the essence of the theme rather effectively. The rest of her story is melodically told thru her wonderful emotion-filled vocals and guitar playing. It is a sad and painful song but within it, radiates the beauty of a sensitive heart and soul; something many of us can readily identify with.
What can I say, I love this guy! If I’m not mistaken, I believe that he is a music teacher in Germany, and he is quite talented and diverse in his musical skills and creative abilities. Fortunately, for each and every one of us, he’s taken quite a fancy for the Open-Mic venue here on Steemit! Here in week #6 of the songwriters challenge, he graces us with his interpretation of “Special Delivery,” which takes on somewhat of an anthem-like dark 80’s or 90’s musical feel coupled with lyrics warning of the largess of the “State” running amok in its never-ending quest to grow ever-larger and imposing its will upon the people to whom they should be serving vs. relentlessly trying instead to control vs. nurture. At least that’s my take on it anyway… Nonetheless, this is a spectacular creative interpretation of this week’s theme, and for that amongst many other reasons, I could not help but place my dear friend, @senzenfrenz within my top-5 picks for this week’s challenge.
WEEK SEVEN: Right Place/Right Time
The sheer power, passion, and artistry resident throughout @wilin’s “Amor Violento” left me no choice than to open the floodgates of my final Golden-Mic vote and shower it upon this tenaciously talented artist and fighter with all of my love and respect.
In answer to what Austen asks at the opening of his post, “yes, brother – I’m still loving all of your sh!t!” The fact that Austen went to great lengths to produce and record all of instrumentation back-tracking to accompany the live piano and vocals for his song, simply pales in comparison to the brilliance of the melodies he’s created and the composition as a whole. It’s quite clear that my man, Austen has no intention of backing down from this challenge as he heads into the final week #8 in good standing. Great job, Austen!
This fine couple from Croatia, Ivan and Ava, are new the Steemit. They’ve been here for less than a month and this is only their third musical post. I noticed them straight away. When they entered this song in this week’s challenge, however, I instantly perked up and took much greater notice. It’s a simple song reminiscent to my ear - of the late 60’s early 70’s. What took me by the most surprise however, were the incredibly pleasing vocal melodies and musical dynamics created amongst the two of them – especially in their closing chorus. I totally enjoyed this performance, as well as listening in on their little chat after they had finished. They did an exceptional job in capturing the essence of this week’s theme. Great job you two!
WEEK EIGHT: Right Place/Right Time
Here, @onetruebrother dedicates his inspiration and final entry to another challenger, @basilmarples, who back in week-5 shared a personal entry, which touched many of us deeply. The intellectually rich and profoundly emotional feelings many of these artists are able to express in both their written words and the music and lyrics they create - is simply astounding.
Wow! Talk about the strength, courage, and confidence required for sharing deeply meaningful experiences. One needn’t look any further than @kayclarity’s sorrowful “January” for a more incredibly touching example of such beautiful expression. Again, I’m mostly speechless in my ability to describe this performance. Quite honestly, I am of the opinion that no one can say it quite better than Kay. So I’d simply ask that you read her post and then click play – and be taken and amazed by her heart, passion, and artistry just as instantly as I was.
Surely, most everyone in the Steemit musical community knows Kendra by now. Here she is in an “honorable mention” placement in week 8. Like most all of her other compositions, this one is definitely worthy of a listen!
The only reason I included this bonus track was that it was the easiest and fastest way for me to get a “custom” thumbnail image attached to the YouTube Playlist featured in the final video section of this post.
Apparently, YouTube functionality does not feature the ability to use “custom” thumbnails for “playlists,” so; this is why you are being graced and/or otherwise offended with this impromptu “Jam,” which of course is very much in the spirit of the Open-Mic venue – so I thought, what the heck, I’ll just use this to get the thumbnail.
So, this local singer-songwriter guy contacted me via “Bandmix” over the summer and we got together and jammed-out in my loft one night. Yes, we pretty much suck, and the whole thing is just so raw and gritty, but it was loads of fun! It’s always great whenever I get the chance to jam with other musicians.
YouTube Playlist - @passion-ground’s - "Best Of Season-1"
Dang, I'm so pissed off! Just spent the last hour trying to figure out how to embed an entire YouTube playlist on Steemit - and I got freakin' NOWHERE! If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know. The best I came up with is the above link, which should take you right to a full-screen of the entire playlist for Season-1.
Well, anyway, despite some technical challenges, there it is, my Master YouTube Playlist for “The Best of the Songwriters Challenge (Season-1) - just click up above where the green bold caps says "click here," and you should be good to go.
I sure hope you enjoy the convenience of having this memorable collection of hits right at your fingertips to play right thru whenever the spirit and inspiration moves you.
It sure would be great if I could edit out my last trashy bonus track (just gotta have my custom thumbnail though, ha!), and yeah, for sure, it would also be quite cool if I could somehow edit out everyone’s intro announcements and just have one solid playlist of JUST the music. Oh well, such is life at the moment.
Well that about wraps it all up for now. Thank you for reviewing my BEST-OF Songwriters Challenge (Season-1). If you find this curated content entertaining and of value to you, then please consider up-voting and/or re-steeming it.