Bluegrass Music Songwriting

More About Songwriting/SPBGMA 2023

A bit of a follow-up from last week.

First off, I did get a 2004 printing of The Songwriter’s and Musician’s Guide to Nashville this morning. Thumbing through it, I can see a lot of updates. They even put in a cartoon-style map of Music Row and which record/publishing companies are in each building. The chapters are set up more as an overview of each aspect for the aspiring songwriter (record companies, publishing houses, management, etc.), then lists the names and addresses. Alas, as the information here is 18 years old, it is mostly outdated again. Looking at the map, I can tell you from my recent years of visiting Nashville that most of Music Row is different. I guess that if one were to follow this book, the best bet would be to search the internet as well to see if there are any address changes, or if the business even still exists.

Even though I am no longer a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), I still get the monthly e-newsletters. This includes the monthly IBMA Songwriter Newsletter put out by the Songwriting Committee. Most of this month’s newsletter is about the songwriting panels at the September World of Bluegrass Conference in Raleigh. I’ve missed it now for about eight years, ever since it moved to Raleigh and now that the IBMA has thrown its hat into the political ring, and I don’t miss it. However, I noticed that they are taking advertisements for the newsletter now, and the one particular company that has an ad this month is called Buy Demo Tracks (

This company promotes itself as a stopping place for songwriters to either download or request a recording of a song for a demo, which is uploaded on the site to market to artists. In turn, artists can surf the site for possible songs to record, or even get karaoke-versions of song to sing to for a demo or audition. The three founders of the company are songwriters themselves, and a “staff writer” is Rick Lang, an IBMA board member. I will have to do some more research on this comapny, but at first glance, it is either a great resource for songwriters to get noticed, or another way to get money out of songwriters’ dreams.

No more pussy-footing around for me, I am setting aside the last weekend in January 2023 for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) conference in Nashville! I haven’t had a vacation in three years now, and this seems like the perfect get-away to get ready for. I have been wanting to attend for the past few years, but the pandemic and a new job has screwed my time up. No more! I’ll be getting a room at the Sheraton and perhaps spending some time jamming as well as marketing some of my songs. In the meantime, I need to sort out my own demos, perhaps record or re-record some demos, and get back to marketing myself! Anyone out there reading this, let me know if you will be there as well January 26-29. I cannot wait!

Chew on it and comment.


By Matt Merta/Mitch Matthews

Musician and writer (both song and print) for over 30 years. Primarily interested in roots music (Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk). Current contributing writer for Fiddler Magazine, previous work with Metro Times (Detroit), Ann Arbor Paper and Real Detroit Weekly, as well as other various music and military publications. As songwriter, won the 2015 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (Bluegrass Category, "Something About A Train," co-written with Dawn Kenney and David Morris) as well as having work performed on NPR and nominated for numerous Detroit Music Awards.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s