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Carole Mikita ReportingThe Bluebird Cafe is a Nashville landmark, and for several weeks this summer many of Music City's most laurelled songwriters have been entertaining Utahns at the Sundance Resort in a unique partnership.
Since mid-June several groups of world-renowned singer/songwriters have showcased the songs country superstars have made famous.
Radney Foster, Singer-Songwriter: "I'm always flattered when somebody wants to do one of my songs. And the checks aren't bad either, nah, the paycheck's not bad at all."
Coordinators from Sundance and the Bluebird put together a diverse group of writers for the seven-week series. This week the men who've written such blockbusters as Don Henry's Grammy winning "Where You've Been", to the Bonnie Rait song "I Can't Make You Love Me written by Allen Shamblin are performing in the Owl Bar.
Steve Seskin, Singer-Songwriter: “The power of music, we're constantly reminded not just with our work of the power of music in our society."
Radney Foster, Singer-Songwriter: “I want to move them in some way. I don’t care if it’s to go drink beer on the beach or to pull the car over and call your mom. Either one of those will work for me.”
Steve Seskin and Radney Foster are two of the four singer-songwriters playing at the Sundance Resort right now. You may not recognize their faces, but if you listen to country music radio or watch CMT, you know their songs.
Radney Foster, Singer-Songwriter: “I realize there are guys out there like Keith or the Dixie Chicks or whoever else that sell a lot more records than I do.”
These writers say the inspiration for songs comes from every day life and their surroundings and the music muse has been active at Sundance.
Allen Shamblin, Singer-songwriter: “Steve and I went for a walk yesterday and I was purposefully not trying to write, and as we were walking we started writing. Oh man, there’s two ideas right there that will keep us busy for a while.”
These songwriters say they don't have a formula or a time frame when it comes to the creative process.
Radney Foster, Singer-Songwriter: “For me ‘Raining on Sunday’ took an hour and half to write, and ‘Texas in 1880’ took seven months.”
Steve Seskin, Singer-Songwriter: “There are a lot of songs that are finished in Nashville that could be tens, but they end up sevens.”
These writers say they collaborate over a cup of coffee and conversation and let the ideas take over. Ironically, they say it's the songs they least expect that make it big.
Radney Foster, Singer-Songwriter: "I wrote a lullaby for my little boy that I never expected to even record myself and all of a sudden it’s going to send all my kids to college.”
There's a rumor and a hope that this experience will get an encore performance during the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance confirms it is being discussed, and it's something these songwriters would love to see happen.
Don Henry, Singer-Songwriter: “I really think a lot of our songs would be great in movies or movie concepts, and it would be great to play for those people.”
Radney Foster, Singer-Songwriter: “I’ll come back any time they ask me.”