Out here in Nashville, when you say you’ve got a song on hold, it’s as foreign to Seattle folk as it is to Nashville folk saying, “I’ll have a double skinny no foam cap”. So for those back home, let me break it down for y’all.
Jason and typically one other writer will get together to write a song over the course of a few weeks. Once the song is finished, Jason will then go into the guest bathroom with his guitar and microphone and lay down what we call a “rough cut” (because as we all know, bathrooms have the best acoustics). From there, this “rough cut” is oftentimes taken to our friend Jason Roller and he will lay down all the instrumental tracks – like literally ALL the instruments himself. Roller then mails the instrumental track back to us and Jason will hire a demo singer and schedule a demo session at Aaron Sherz’s recording studio. Once the vocal track gets laid down, we wait a bit for Aaron to work his mixing & editing magic and we end up with a fabulous demo track to pitch to publishers, record labels and artists. These would be the songs that you find on Jason’s MySpace page for example.
At this point, Jason starts to set up meetings with various publishers on Music Row and pitches his latest songs, leaving them with their own copy.
And then we wait….and keep on waiting.
During this time of waiting, whoever has been pitched to, is mulling over whether to put our song “on hold”. You have to remember, there are thousands upon thousands of songs out there being written every day. So getting a call that your song has been put on hold, is not only rare but very exciting when it happens. When a publisher, record label or artist puts a song on hold, it means that we are not to pitch it to anyone else until we receive a decision from them on whether they will cut it or not. This may sound unfair, but let me tell ya – these people have the potential of earning the writer some serious dough, so really, they can do whatever they want as far as we’re concerned. Now if Jason had been signed by a Publisher at this point, then his publisher would be the one pitching his songs and they would be in a better place to call whoever it is that has put the song on hold and ask where they’re at with it. But as an unsigned writer – any hold is awesome and rare and we’re grateful for it.
Now to explain how we got to where we are today. Jason was writing with Aaron Sherz on a song called “That’s How I’d Do It”. Aaron is a signed writer and had shared some of this song to his publisher. His publisher loved it and pushed for them to hurry up and finish the song so he could pitch it. So there we were flying out to CA to see Jason’s parents, and Jason and Aaron are texting one another song lyrics. They eventually finished the song, hired a demo singer and Aaron set about to mix & edit the finished track. The song was done Friday morning. Aaron gave it to his publisher Friday afternoon. His publisher pitched it to Rodney Atkins’ people on Monday and by that afternoon they put the song on hold. The song is less than a week old, pitched to only one artist and we’ve got a hold. Have I mentioned it’s a fabulous song?
Some of you may remember back to the Billy Currington days when he told Jason he loved his song “Right Where We Belong”. Well we waited, but Billy nor his people ever called to put the song officially on hold. The reason being…he decided to write all his own songs for his new album. And can you blame him? Between him and his label, they’ll make all the royalties without having to dish out to a writer their share.
All we know right now is that “That’s How I’d Do It” is officially on hold for Rodney Atkins and that he was scheduled to start recording his album in May. So we should have an answer on whether they’ll want to cut it or not hopefully within the next few weeks….Lord willing. Rodney's doing great as an artist right now as well. He's had two #1 hits recently "Watching You" and "If Your Going Through Hell". and he was also named Best New Male Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music Awards this year.
Please keep us in your prayers. Even if this turns out to not be a cut, it continues to encourage us, because its another positive step forward in the right direction. Jason’s writing only gets better and better and more and more people are sitting up and taking notice. It’s only a matter of time – and the important thing is, is that its in God’s time.