These are tough times for everyone and our beloved songwriters are no exception. If you want to show your support, make sure you are checking in with your favorite writers. They may be doing livestream shows with virtual tip jars you can fill. They may be releasing new music you can purchase or at the very least, stream. You may also be able to support them via services like Patreon. What you may not know is that many songwriters are talented in other areas! I’ve compiled a short list of songwriter side hustles you can check out and support if you feel so inclined. Let’s keep the music going!
* Jeff Anderson. Jeff plays a bunch of instruments, produces, engineers, mixes and masters, plus he’s a great singer/songwriter. I may be a bit biased (he’s my producer) but I’d recommend him to anyone. Find him here.
* Kris Bradley. She sings, she writes, she plays, she produces, she does it all! This former front-woman of all-female cover band Lez Zeppelin is onto a new venture—demystifying and simplifying music production! You can learn from her here and follow her on Instagram here.
* Barbara Cloyd. Hit songwriter, Open Mic Host and Bluebird staple Barbara Cloyd LOVES helping songwriters! She offers everything from workshops to personal consultations and song critiques. Barbara’s the one to talk to if you want to step up your songwriting game. Also, until “safer at home” is lifted, she’s offering song critiques for only $10! Visit her site for more info.
* LaLa Deaton. Have you ever met a country singer/songwriter who can also write & arrange big band jazz? LaLa Deaton does it all, including studio vocal work. LaLa Deaton has one of those voices that producers love. With an unusually good ear and ability to blend, she’ll find you vocal parts you didn’t know were there. And she’ll probably get it on the first take. Consider her for your next session. You won’t be sorry. Find her on Soundcloud here.
* Jeremy Drinkwine. Jeremy is a brilliant singer/songwriter but he’s also a brilliant craftsman. He makes beautiful, “quality crafted goods sold for the purpose of giving back, letting that gift grow and repeating the process. #GiveGrowRepeat = #FarmTheory”. Learn more about Farm Theory here.
* Steve Goodie. Our own Steve Goodie (you know him as our funny, vivacious Sunday Writers Night host) has a great studio, Quality Recording. He has always offered one-stop, easy recording of masters and demos. He plays a dozen instruments and works quickly with the best equipment. For the duration of the quarantine, he is cutting his prices in half for all remote recording work. You can send him an MP3 of the rough version of the song and he’ll record tracks with real drums, real piano, guitars, bass, steel, dobro, mandolin, banjo…whatever you like! And you can do the singing at home. It’s easy and fun and there’s never been a better time!
* Joe Hendricks. Joe is a great singer/songwriter and photographer. Right now he is generously offering photography consultations for whatever you can pay here.
* Adam James. Adam is a Bluebird crowd favorite for sure. But he also makes these super rad hand-painted boom-boxes. All the cool kids have them. Check them out here.
* PJ Ju. If you’re looking for a talented singer/songwriter who also produces great pop/country tracks & demos, PJ is a Jane-of-all-trades. Check her out here.
* Kaela Kinney. Kaela is a singer/songwriter/blogger/TV host/entrepreneur and creator of those cool blingy guitar straps you see everywhere. Kelsea Ballerini, Raelynn, Lindsay Ell, Maggie Rose and more love these customizable guitar straps and you will too! Start shopping now.
* Jon Langford. You’ll probably recognize singer/songwriter/painter Jon Langford’s artwork if you’ve been to the Bluebird in the last year or so. In his words, “For me the art and music have been bubbling out of the same part of my brain for a very long time so when I’m not on the road touring I’m usually in my painting studio creating visual work. The art inspires the songs and vice versa. On my tax returns it says artist/musician but that sounds so boring... (Once I went into Norway and it said rock singer on my work permit. I like that much better). One of the most memorable days of last year was having my work up on the walls of the beautiful Bluebird Cafe & being able to perform in front of it with my fantastic Nashville band”. We love you too, Jon! Find his gorgeous paintings with a punk rock flare here.
* Sarah Peacock. Multi-award winning singer/songwriter Sarah Peacock teaches private online voice, guitar and songwriting lessons. All lessons meet via Zoom. Ages 8+up. Adults welcome. Sarah has a Bachelor of Music Degree from Belmont University (commercial voice) and 6 years of teaching experience (voice, piano, guitar, directing group ensembles)
* Ray Stephenson. GRAMMY-award winning, platinum selling singer/songwriter Ray Stephenson is a rare talent who has mastered more than one art form. Go to his website and check out some of his amazing artwork. I have so many favorites. Also, if you were at any of our Alive at the Bluebird shows in January, you’ll recognize the gorgeous poster Ray created for the event.
* Tonya Lynette Stout. When Tonya isn’t writing songs, she’s busy making really cool religious artwork from blessing beads to candles to hand-painted Bibles. Check her out: Kingdom HeArt Design.
* Bridgette Tatum. Bridgette is a hit songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, boxer (you read that right), “South Cackalacky” all-around awesome human being. I’m pretty sure she could do anything she put her mind to. Right now, she’s offering songwriting mentoring at a discounted fee via FaceTime. She’s also offering a few rare production slots (she only does a few a year) to new artists. Additionally, her own Tatum Town Management is up and running and she has room for a couple artists. If that’s not enough, keep an eye out for her own Fino Tequila, which will launch as soon as we’re allowed to leave our houses! For all things Bridgette, visit her website or email email@example.com.
* Chris Wallin. Hit songwriter/producer/Bluebird favorite Chris Wallin created a hilariously true coffee mug called Songwriter Life. He’s doing a 15-day campaign. Check them out here. Additionally, Chris and his wife Camille founded a really special company called Hug MEmories. They make teddy bears and pillows out of clothing from a lost loved one so you can have them with you whenever you need them. Find out more about it here.
* Karleen Watt. Okay, so I had to add my own shameless plug! My little side-hustle is wood-burning. The first one I did was the Bluebird in the heart that you see when you first walk into the club. I like to burn positive statements into wood planks. But mostly, I just like smelling like a campfire. You can find my Etsy shop here.
* Amanda Colleen Williams. Awarded songwriter, publisher, educator, entrepreneur, non-attorney copyright expert and spokesperson Amanda Williams has been a Bluebird family member for most of her life. She has generously offered her private events space to a wonderful company. Uselton’s Catering Meals to Go offers pre-cooked meals, fresh ingredients, pre-packaged in their catering kitchen. Pickup is at 7695 River Road Pike between 3pm and 6:30pm. Pre-orders only. No drive-up orders allowed in the curbside pickup for everyone’s safety. Check them out at here.
Thank you for supporting our songwriters and we hope to see you all at a Bluebird show again soon!
About the Author:
Karleen Watt has been in Nashville for 17 years and is a regular performer at venues all over the Southeast including shows at the Nashville Ballet and of course, The Bluebird Cafe! Her album, “Blue Sky Girl” was released in 2019. Karleen recently detailed her Nashville experience, one that mirrors that of many songwriters, when she co-wrote “Nashvillianaire” with Charles Esten and performed the song with him on the Grand Ole Opry.