Google Plus: matt.gray
Just Plain Folks: mkgray
Make a Wish Foundation – Bay Area – My Father’s favorite Foundation for Children
Purcella is on Spotify!
History of Projects:
Stop Running Away! – As I’ve referenced in my About page, this was the beginning of my Lyric Writing career, really. Chris Harrington asked me to be a part of it and I really enjoyed being part of such a great group of people putting on a show that probably shouldn’t have happened but did. Charlotte Asbury was the Drama teacher at WHS who worked with the Theatre Group to really get everything going. It was a lesson for all of us to keep on keepin’ on with our creative selves and so much fun. Fun Fact: The script ended up on Liz Heller‘s desk in Beverly Hills during my Grammys Host Committee Internship. Whether there was interest in it, I never really knew. I did get it back.
The original funfolk- Matt and Phil’s Band website: This was one of the first incarnations of our band’s website and I link to it here to acknowledge and appreciate the past. The past is what brought me here to this creative place in my life and I totally accept it as it is. You’ll find old lyrics there and discover some interesting things about our creative efforts that go way back to Watsonville High School days and after. It covers some of the “missing years” like the memories and songs Jonathan Fesmire, Anthony Fesmire, Chris Harrington and I wrote. Those songs were the precursor to the work Phil and I have done so I give props to them and feel great about those efforts just like I feel great about all the work Phil and I have completed.
Matt and Phil Songs: Here is a Podcast I put together of songs that Phil Harrington and I wrote together. Our process was pretty simple actually. I would write lyrics and send them to Phil Harrington, who then “cleaned them up a bit” and voila – songs! We have written more songs than listed but only a handful have been recorded due to various reasons. Phil has put up a Bandcamp website for us and you can find that here.
Performing Rights Organization Memberships:
BMI Writer Membership: Thanks to Janet Berry Landrum, I transferred over to Broadcast Music, Inc. as a Writer Member. What this did was then propel my friend Phil Harrington into membership as well as my other co-writer, Barbara Lopez. I have then registered songs with other friends who I have co-written with but I am unclear if they are interested in joining.
ASCAP Publisher Membership: In 2010, I signed a publishing company contract with ASCAP and created “Grandma’s Mantel Music”, but unfortunately, I could not move over my BMI Writer Membership right away. I was off only by a few weeks. Evidently, there is a time frame where you must send in a letter before the resignation is accepted. This became quite a hassle but I agreed to hold off until the following available dates to resign. In 2018, my goal is to completely return to ASCAP as a Writer AND Publisher Member. I am fond of BOTH organizations, but I think ASCAP is the perfect fit for me as a Songwriter and Music Publisher. Their long-standing support and heritage is what I appreciate and treasure about the company and I can’t wait until I join their ranks.
Other Songwriting Projects:
Barbara Lopez is a Piano Teacher and Composer who I met when she was working for Cabrillo College as an Instructor. Anthony Fesmire had introduced us. She and I wrote a handful of songs that she performed with various combo groups in the Greater Monterey Bay Area. Unfortunately, she and I had a falling out due to our agreement on what to do with the songs. We just didn’t agree for her to separate the lyrics from the music so she could then claim the instrumentals or re-write them. This evidently can be very common with songwriters, but my take on this issue is that the songs should not be split apart, especially when they are written for a commercial purpose in mind. She then proceeded to perform the song on KPIG and we BOTH lost out on performance royalties from BMI for the song “Love on My Mind.” This is an important lesson for whoever comes to this website and sees this. Register your live performances that you perform on the Radio or on Stage! That way, you’re not only getting paid for the gig but you will get paid for the performance of your songs. Do not cheat yourself or your co-writers from this potential income.
I Couldn’t Agree With You More is a song I wrote with ASCAP Songwriter and Publisher Lisa Aschmann. I posted the demo on the YouTube website because Lisa told me to “do whatever I wanted with it.” What I wanted was to co-publish the song or for it to be performed & recorded. Instead of that happening, nothing did. I then thought about it and rather than keep it in a drawer, I thought I’d put it out there for everyone to enjoy and if it was considered to be cut by an artist, you CAN. Just contact me, but better than that, please just credit us when you cut it. I’ll eventually do an official demo, but this is the raw stuff. I think the way it’s presented here is ultimately what Lisa is about anyway. I’ve always heard that she would do her songs live a capella. She and I met through Michele Rivard at a live final down by the Santa Cruz main pier. Michele was a teacher we both had taken classes from at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA. Lisa has gone on from Cabrillo and UCSC to develop her career in Nashville, and fit right into the community. I fondly remember doing song circles in her house with my friends and she was nothing but nice to us when she was just starting to make a name for herself. When I talked about Lisa to John Braheny, while I was attending Trebas Institute of Recording Arts in Hollywood, he looked at me square in the eyes and said, “She is a GREAT writer.” I agreed.
Wet Shaving Times is a website where I discuss the Wet Shaving Community and by writing these essays, I got interested in developing a Novella project. We’ll see how it pans out. I have created Playlists on Spotify for the blog as well as many different Social Media accounts to develop a “Wet Shaving Times Universe”. It’s been a lot of fun! I often say “Wet Shaving saved my life” because it snapped me into a creative community to participate in beside Songwriting. It put me into a perspective of following my heart over anything else and that’s why I credit them for pumping me up to pursue my dreams. I think the process of investigating Wet Shaving Times as a huge project brought me back to my initial plans. This is why I really appreciate their role in my life.
BloNoDad is more of a Personal Blog, where I discuss Parenthood & Life in the Heartland with kids. I haven’t put a lot into this blog but I will link to it here just for posterity. I think as I develop more ideas for it I will continue to write essays for it.