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2024 BIOS


Steve Bloch - publisher

Steve brings 25 years of experience as a publisher (Southern Cow Music, Writer Zone Music LLC), consultant (Artist and Repertoire LLC), and A&R Rep (Gian Records to the ambitious young company, Demolition Music, where he proudly serves as Creative Consultant, focusing primarily on strategy planning, writer development and song plugging services. He also provides independent song scouting services for Doug Johnson, the creative head of Black River Entertainment.

Steve is a frequent guest of the West Coast Songwriters Association, the Durango Songwriters Expo, the AZ songwriters Association, TAXI, the Austin Songwriters GroupSymposium, Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival, the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival and various SGA and NSAI events. He was an NSAI Pro-on-the Road, lead two on-line classes for, and was the country music mentor for Middle Tennessee State University’s acclaimed Writers Loft program.

Ted Branson - radio personality

Ted Branson has been in Austin Texas since 1974 and has been involved in volunteer radio 11 years. He programs and hosts three music radio programs every week on KOOP 91.7 FM Community non-profit radio here in Austin.

KOOP Radio has been on the airways and Internet for 18 years. Ted has been an avid record collector all his life and a part time, non-professional musician. Using his vast record collection and his musical experience, Ted programs and hosts the KOOP programs “A Blues Groove,” “Under the X in Texas” and “Strictly Bluegrass,” which keeps him busy programming music and booking in studio guests. Ted recently received a 2013 Texas Music Award nomination for "Radio DJ of the Year" and KOOP received a nomination as "Broadcast Radio Station of the Year." The awards will be announced in March. KOOP Radio Website:

Rick Busby - songwriter

Soon after the release of his sophomore album, Strawberry Moon, in late 2012, Rick Busby’s label, Private Angel Records, merged with DBM Entertainment, an integrated creative services company, which is also home to sister label, Atticus Records. After the merger, Busby was taken on as Creative Director for DBM, which includes project management responsibility for both Atticus and Private Angel. Since then, he has overseen the releases of Arizona, the critically-acclaimed Stephen Doster album on Atticus Records, Bob Cheevers’ On Earth As It Is In Austin on Private Angel Records, and is currently prepping Americana artist Devin Jake’s new record for release on Atticus in the fall of 2016.

On top of those projects, he is overseeing Atticus’ vinyl release of Doster’s Arizona as well as his own Strawberry Moon vinyl release on Private Angel, both of which should be ready in late 2016 or early 2017. Busby also expects to return to the studio in late 2016 with Doster on board again to produce the follow up to Strawberry Moon, which will be released later in 2017.

In early 2016, Busby and Doster launched The Atticus Report, a monthly, music-themed podcast series they produce and co-host together. The series, which is available on iTunes, Google Play and on The Atticus Report website surveys the world in search of music that’s good for something, bringing attention to famous and unheralded music, while visiting with interesting artists who are telling great stories begging to be told.

In addition to all of those projects, Busby, who is also a licensed teacher of metaphysics through the Unity Institute, is a regular speaker and musical performer at Unity and New Thought churches throughout Texas. He maintains Soul Diving, a website of his spiritual and creative writings, which will soon be relaunched as a podcast series and is working on his first book.g on his first book.

Louie Carr - music consultant

Louie Carr is an independent Music Manager and owner of Own Path Media Group based in Austin, Texas.

Currently Louie is the day to day manager for award winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Jackie Venson, who just made her national television debut on the historic program, Austin City Limits. Under Louie's guidance and through the use of social media and digital marketing, Jackie's growth has exploded from 10k+ followers to 200K+ with almost 8 million monthly organic impressions and a dedicated fan base that helped both Jackie and Louie pivot in a turbulent 2020.

Outside of managing Jackie Venson, Louie also consults with other independent artists and small businesses to help them maximize their reach and impact, while being smart with their money.

Bob Dellaposta - publisher

Owner and Creative Director of My3Kids Music Publishing. Bob has secured multiple cuts and placements for SongU members on indie artists, international artists, commercials, movies, and television. He holds a B.S. in Music Education and has over 20 years teaching experience in public and private schools where he has served as Band Director, Voice Coach, and Choral Director. He is currently teaching a music publishing class at Nashville State Technical Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a founding member of the swing band "Bada Bing Bada Boom" which toured nationally as well as a songwriter himself with over 1200 songs recorded. Bob is an instructor of Publisher Feedback and Mentoring at

Specialties: Business Feedback: Songwriter Contracts (disclaimer, Bob is not an attorney, this is non-legal advice only.) Also, thinking outside the box to promote yourself and your music, Tips on marketing (movies, TV, commercials), how to approach music supervisors and how to negotiate deals, how to pitch for artists, how to make your song more commercial to pitch to publishers, music publishing and copyright issues, Song Feedback for Country, Pop, Jazz, Swing, Rock, R&B, Urban, Blues, Singer-Songwriter, Christian, Instrumentals).

Cash Edwards - publicist

Cash Edwards is a publicist, writer and career consultant. She has been working internationally with independent American music artists since 1984, including the legendary Hot Tuna, and a long list of Texas-based artists. Cash has the knowledge, experience and contacts to help artists focus their immediate message and promote it. Through her company Cash Edwards Music Services, she creates opportunities for artists, making and sustaining a visible presence through positive marketing. Cash will be available for one-on-one mentor sessions on Friday afternoon, July 17th from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM.

Freebo - songwriterebo is a genuine folk, rock and blues icon who, after over 40 years of recording and touring with many of the great artists of our time (Bonnie Raitt 10 years, CSN, Maria Muldaur, John Mayall, Ringo Starr, Dr. Freebo’s compassionate concern for the world and people around him, as evidenced both in his lyrics and his open stage banter, has helped him connect with listeners worldwide. He will take an audience from insights about what kind of positive mark we hope to leave on the world upon our own passing with “Standing Ovation” to where you stand with your pets and your partner with "She Loves My Dog More Than Me." A musical evening with Freebo will be astute, insightful, clever, and truly melodic.

Here's what critics are saying about Freebo:

"Freebo's intimate and go-down-easy personable vocals tie in light-hearted fare, social commentary and spiritual quest with love-sweet-love, and make it sound seamless." (Janet Goodman, Music News Nashville)

"Standing Ovation is an astounding song which encompasses a profound view of life, destined to become a classic." (Russ Paris,

"Listening to Freebo is like riding on a cumulus cloud of peaceful awareness, a cosmic blend of folk/country/rock/soul ear-pleasing genre-defying music." (Walt Falconer, Cool Album Of The Day)

"Freebo sounds as if he's not really singing to you; he's talking to you. One of the best albums of the year." (John Shelton Ivany,

Doug Freeman - entertainment writer

Tech startup marketing @ Jones-Dilworth, Inc; Writer @ Austin Chronicle; Editor of The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology; Advisor, Arch Mission Foundation; Advisor, Project ATX6

Michael Hearne - songwriter

Michael Hearne’s destiny has been tangled in wire and wood since he first laid his hands on a guitar at the age of seven. With a natural ear for harmony and an aptitude for picking, it wasn’t long before a young Michael Hearne was a fixture at parties and local events in his childhood hometown of Dallas. By the age of sixteen he had honed his skills on the guitar and, without a doubt in his mind about his destiny, he hit the road as a touring musician.

Michael’s career over the next few decades would take him across the southwest and beyond. Calling the mountains of northern New Mexico home for many years, Michael shared his talents as a singer, songwriter, and picker in bars, listening rooms and dance halls throughout the region. In the 1980’s, he toured as a member of Michael Martin Murphey’s band, recording on Murphey’s 1982 self-titled album for Liberty Records. Hearne has penned songs for Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary P. Nunn (“Lesson to be Learned from Love”) and his New Mexico anthem, “New Mexico Rain,” was recorded by country music legend Johnny Rodriguez as well as by his uncle and aunt, Bill and Bonnie Hearne. Michael has also co-written with Mentor Williams, Andy Byrd, Shake Russell, Keith Sykes, and many others.

Making a name for himself in his chosen hometown of Taos, New Mexico – Michael’s signature sound on the guitar and beautifully distinctive voice became an integral part of any two-stepping event in the area. Still a local favorite and a multi-time winner of Taos News ‘Best of Taos’ award for performer and singer – Michael wrote and recorded some of his best work during his years at the feet of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Recording countless albums both with his band South by Southwest and as a solo artist, and writing such classic tunes as the fan favorite “New Mexico Rain” and “High Road to Taos,” Michael found endless inspiration in the culture and natural beauty of the area.

After hosting years of informal barn dances, Michael officially began his Big Barn Dance Music Festival in 2003. Now a three day event featuring the best songwriters and performers in Americana, Bluegrass, Country, Singer-Songwriter and everything in between, the event draws music aficionados from across the United States. Throughout the event, Michael is found either on-stage – adding his signature sound to the music of his friends and peers, or just to the side- soaking in the music and preparing to introduce the next talented act to his enraptured audience. 

After recording several albums in the early 2000s – including the critically-acclaimed concept album Sight and Sound: Songs Inspired by the Fine Art of Northern New Mexico (winner of seven awards at The New Mexico Music Awards), Michael made his way to Nashville, Tennessee. There, he wrote and recorded 2011’s Life in America – after surviving the historic Nashville floods in 2010. The album not only showcased some of Michael’s best songwriting to date, but the talents of producer Mark Fain and some of the top pickers in Music City, including Bryan Sutton, Stuart Duncan, and Andy Leftwich. 

With this new album in hand, Michael packed his bags for the nation’s other country music mecca – Austin, Texas. There, he teamed up with renowned Americana songwriter Shake Russell, touring throughout the year and recording a duo album as well as another solo album, Red River Dreams, in 2016. Still occasionally found performing with South by Southwest – made up of long time members Carmen Acciaioli, a musical master of the steel guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, and hammered dulcimer; and the extremely talented Zeke Severson on stand up and electric bass – Michael makes a point to spend some time in his New Mexico homeland as well. 

Now with many miles behind him and countless stages beneath his feet, Michael has amassed a dedicated and ever-expanding fan base. After many busy years of touring, recording, and promoting his Big Barn Dance Music Festival, Michael Hearne still has no doubt in his mind about his calling. Whatever he might be doing, Michael is sure to be found with a guitar in hand, his destiny intertwined as ever in wire and wood.n wire and wood.

Kathleen Hudson - music historian


  • B.A., Texas Christian University

  • M.A., North Texas State University

  • Ph.D., Texas Christian University


  • 1985 to Present: Schreiner University, Kerrville, TX
    Rhetoric, Creative writing, Drama, Mythology, Survey of Literature, World Literature, Technical Writing Director of the Freshman Experience


  • Book: Telling Stories, Singing Songs; an album of Texas songwriters, University of Texas Press, 2000. (on shelves, March 2001)

  • Kerrville Daily Times – Weekly Column on Texas Music (1989-2001)

  • “Interviews: Stories That Make A Difference,” an essay in Visions Across The Americas, ed. by Sterling Warner

  • Writers on Writing: An Eclectic Approach to Teaching Composition (dissertation)

  • Equus: A Psychological Approach (thesis)

  • Atencion, Correspondent – English newspaper in San Miguel de Allende

  • Freelance Writer with stories in: Spin, Dallas Times Herald, Living blues Magazine, TravelHost, Old Time Country, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Vista, Kerrville Mountain Sun, Buddy Magazine, others


  • Naropa (Boulder, CO), summer 1992, 1993: Writing Institute

  • MIDEM (Cannes, France) 1987-1990, 1993, 1997 Young Rhetorician’s Conference in Monterrey, CA 1989-1991, 1997-2001

  • Nashville Radio Seminar 1986-1988

  • Blues Awards in Memphis 1985-1988

  • Jimmie Rodgers Festival & Country Music Seminar 1989

  • National Oral History Conference, Galveston, TX 1989


  • Executive Director — Texas Heritage Music Foundation (1987-2001)

  • Producer – Texas Heritage Living History, Kerrville, TX (1985-2001)

  • President/owner of Pegasus Press (one book, A Further Being by Kirpal Gordon)

  • Elderhostel leader: Creative writing/Texas Music and Heritage, 1990-2001

  • Keynote speaker at English Council of California Two-Year Colleges, October, 2001, “The Power of Stories in Teaching and Learning”

  • Keynote speaker at annual Phi Theta Kappa meeting, July, 2001 “The Power of the Stories We Tell in Building Community”

  • Workshop and seminars on writing, power of stories, education as transformation, teaching and learning with stories, PIP, and more


  • Trainer, Past is Prologue, 1997-2001 Spring Writers Conference at Schreiner University (1989-2001) April 18, 2002, features Sandra Cisneros

  • Texas Music Coffeehouse at Schreiner/monthly showcase

  • Sponsor of The Muse, the creative writing magazine at Schreiner University


  • 2010 Minnie Piper Stevens Award

  • Research, Scholarship and Creativity Award, Schreiner University, 2001

  • Harriet Garrett Teacher of the Year Award, Schreiner College, 1992, 1993

  • Whitehurst Creative Teaching Award, Schreiner College, 1990, 1994

  • Texas Press Women, newspaper column, first place, 1989

  • Texas Press women, personality profile, first place, 1989

  • “On Stage” Award, Texas Music Association in San Antonio, 1989

  • Small Business of the Year, Kerrville, 1987

  • Schreiner Professor Awarded Prestigious Piper Award

Ted Lowe - Choice Tracks

Ted Lowe began his music business career at the age of 18, securing a summer internship in Warner Bros. Records A&R Department after his first year at Berklee College of Music. After proving that he could identify a hit song (landing cuts on albums for Chaka Khan, Ray Charles, and others), Ted was awarded a second internship, and after graduating Berklee with a B.A. in Professional Music in 1991, landed a full-time job in the A&R department under legendary music business figure Benny Medina. During his tenure at Warner Bros., Ted worked on projects for artists such as Prince, Ray Charles, Take 6, Tevin Campbell, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Queen Latifah and, Roger Troutman.

In 1995, Ted Lowe left Warner Bros. to accept an A&R position at Sony Music’s Epic Records Group, where he worked with Babyface on his double-platinum/4x Grammy-nominated album “The Day” which contained “This Is For The Lover In You” and “Every Time I Close My Eyes,” both of which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Jon B. on his Top 10 pop hit and Grammy-nominated duet “Someone To Love” (featuring Babyface) as well as Jon’s double-platinum sophomore release “Cool Relax”, which generated two Top 10 urban singles, including “Are You Still Down,” a duet featuring Tupac Shakur. Additionally, Ted worked on albums with Stanley Clarke, MC Eiht, remixes for Michael Jackson’s HIStory album, as well as numerous Compilations and Soundtrack Recordings including “The Great White Hype” and “Money Train.”

While at Epic, Ted discovered his passion for matching a scene with the perfect song. After leaving Epic in 1998, Ted began supervising music in indie films, and quickly discovered that music budgets were very low compared to what he was used to while working at the majors. Never one to run from a challenge, Ted pooled together a bunch of great indie artists and licensed their music in to his films, and then offered the music to other film and TV supervisors.

In 2000, Ted formally opened the doors of Choicetracks, Inc., a music publisher and indie label focused on Film and TV licensing. Songs from the Choicetracks catalog have been featured in numerous ad campaigns for brands such as AFLAC, T-Mobile, Pantene, XBOX 360, Dannon Yogurt and Days Inn, Movie Trailers such as “The Other Woman,” “The Internship,” “Ice Age 3, “Happy Feet 2,” and “Up,” and thousands of Television placements, most recently: “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol,” “Bones,” “Vice,” “Jane The Virgin,” “Top Gear” and “Gypsy Sisters.” For nearly a decade, Choicetracks has partnered with synch licensing powerhouse Position Music, and Kobalt Music (ex. U.S.) for exploitation and administration of its Catalogs.

A life-long Los Angeles native, Ted recently relocated to Austin with his wife Rebekah, daughter Ellery, and dog Tortilla. In his short time here, he’s discovered that Tacos DO make an awesome breakfast, Queso is good with anything, and it’s not unheard of to go grocery shopping while being serenaded by a live cover-band.

Jim Photoglo - songwriter

Jim Photoglo has had a varied career bouncing between being an artist, songwriter, and sideman.

As an artist in the early 80's, Jim had 2 top 30 Pop Hits, as well as several on the Easy Listening charts.  In the 90's he recorded 2 albums for a Japanese label, and in 2000, launched his own label, producing 4 albums which fared well on Folk Radio.

His songs have been recorded by Dusty Springfield, The Everly Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Faith Hill, Michael McDonald, and James Ingram. 2 songs, Fishin' In The Dark (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and Hometown Honeymoon (Alabama) went to #1 on the country charts.  Several songs have been featured in movies and television.

As a sideman, he's worked with Carole King, Dan Fogelberg, Nicolette Larson, Wendy Waldman, Andy Gibb and Vince Gill.  He has been playing bass and singing backup with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band since 2016.

Roger Polson - radio personality

Roger Allen programs the weekly Texas music radio show Lone Star State of Mind on KGSR which airs weekly on Sunday evenings from 10 p.m. to midnight. He has been active in Austin radio since 1974 and has been in radio broadcasting in some fashion for 40 years. Roger has been a music director, record producer and booking agent and is currently the music coordinator for the Texas Book Festival.  He is a Grammy member an award-winning radio producer. Lone Star State of Mind is an originally produced program that just received an Emmy Award for “Radio – Excellence in Content.”

Gabe Rhodes - songwriter

Perhaps best known as an electric and acoustic guitar player, Rhodes is a multi-instrumentalist who has also performed and/or recorded playing piano, dobro, bass, theramin and percussion.

His contribution to Willie Nelson’s The Rainbow Connection was noted in the review of the record by the Austin Chronicle“Most Valuable Prodigy goes to fleet-fingered Gabe Rhodes, who continues to hit in the big leagues”. A Dallas Observer review of Owen Temple‘s Dollars and Dimes, commented on “the moody, understated accompaniment from producer Gabriel Rhodes and backing players [that] fits the mood like an old pair of Levi’s”.

He has produced and recorded projects for Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, Kimmie Rhodes, Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Emmylou Harris, James Burton, Jimmy LaFave, Owen Temple, Paula Nelson, Dick Rivers, Paula Nelson, Beth Nielson Chapman, Kieran Goss, Folk Uke, and Calvin Russell,among others. He has contributed to more than 17 nationally distributed albums in the last ten years. He also contributed production duties to Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster, which won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2005,songwriting and performance!

His composing and arranging work for film includes composing the music for the PBS-aired documentaryWrit Writer and co-producing music with Bob Ezrin for the feature film, Babe: Pig in the City.

In 2020, Rhodes contributed guitar solo work along with Mark Knopfler, Peter Framptonand Duane Eddy as part of an all-star charity recording of Ben E. King’sclassic song “Stand by Me” performed by “some of the finest musicians on earth, all contributing their parts from isolation in locations across the world."

Kimmie Rhodes – songwriter

Kimmie Rhodes is a Modern Renaissance Woman. She has a proven array of skills and expertise, from songwriting to gourmet cooking, from playwright to humorist, documentarian to ambassador, and more. A native Texan, Kimmie Rhodes was raised in Lubbock, where she cultivated the spirited mix of talent and determination that still fuels her success. Kimmie was inducted into The West Texas Walk of Fame for her “outstanding contributions  in the field of art music and entertainment” on September 28, 2023.

In her three-decade-plus career, the Austin-based singer-songwriter has released 18 solo albums; written and produced three musical plays; published a novella/cookbook and a memoir; and written many multi-platinum songs, recorded by such stellar artists as Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood, Amy Grant, CeCe Winans, Joe Ely, Waylon Jennings, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, Emmylou Harris, and others.

Along the way, she has become an international ambassador for the Buddy Holly Education Foundation, recorded with a host of national treasures; written cookbooks and food articles for national publications, been a costume designer for major motion pictures, and built a strong following in the United States and Europe.

Personal life

Kimmie grew up in Lubbock, Texas and began her singing career at the age of six with her family gospel trio. She moved to Austin in 1979, where she met DJ at the legendary KOKE-FM and producer Joe Gracey, an instrumental figure in the Austin progressive country scene, who she eventually married. Joe was her constant companion, muse, bass player and general “partner in crime” until he died of cancer in November 2011.

Early career

In 1981, she recorded her first album, Kimmie Rhodes and the Jackalope Brotherswhen Willie Nelson invited her to use his studio. In 1985, she recorded her second album, Man In the Moon. Her third album, Angels Get the Blues, recorded at the original Sun Studio in Memphis, was released in 1989. These records led to a series of British and European tours that received rave reviews. Kimmie’s 1998 CD release is a compilation of original songs from these three albums called Jackalopes, Moons & Angels. This Jackalope Records release marked the first time these songs have been available as one collection.

Kimmie’s promotional tours created a solid fan base in the U.K., Ireland, and Europe. She has headlined with her band at festivals all over the world and has appeared on many European and American TV and radio broadcasts. She has also appeared at many of Willie’s Farm Aid concerts and Fourth of July Picnics. Willie dubbed Kimmie “an undiscovered superstar” and together they recorded two of her originals for his album, Just One Love, and a duet album, Picture in a Frame.


Kimmie appeared on Austin City Limits with Emmylou Harris, Dave Mathews, Patty Griffin, and Buddy & Julie Miller, where she and Emmylou performed their song “Ordinary Heart.” She guested on Late Night with David Letterman, performing “West Texas Heaven” at his request. Kimmie’s TV appearances also include a songwriter “guitar pull” Austin City Limits show with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Billy Joe Shaver. New West Records recently released a DVD of that show titled Outlaw Country.

She performed in two segments of The Nashville Network’s Legend Serieshosted by Willie Nelson, and another segment hosted by Waylon Jennings. Waylon said, “When I hear Kimmie sing it makes me know what the phrase ‘pulling on your heart strings’ means.”

Kimmie co-wrote a song, “Lines,” with Waylon for his Justice release, Right for The Time.  At her own Sunbird Studios, Rhodes hosted some of the Austin’s finest singer-songwriters to film a segment of Bob Harris’ iconic Back Toseries for WBBC-TV.

Motion Pictures and Documentaries

Kimmie’s movie soundtrack credits include “A Heart That’s True” for the Babe: A Pig in the City album; “I’m Not An Angel” featured in the soundtrack of Mrs. Winterbourne;  and a song in the  Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got theWill soundtrack. Her song “Shine All Your Light,” co-written with Beth Nielson Chapman, was recorded by Amy Grant for the Touched by an Angel TV series soundtrack and album release, which reached the Top Ten in Billboard’s charts. Beth chose the song to be the first single off her new CD, Prism. Kimmie co-wrote “Ordinary Heart” with Emmylou Harris which was featured in the soundtrack to the movie, Happy Texas. Emmylou’s performance of the song was nominated for a Grammy®.

Kimmie served as an associate producer on filmmaker Eric Geadelmann’s six-part documentary, They Called Us Outlaws. Dedicated to the memory of Joe Gracey and Waylon Jennings, it is being presented in association with The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Outlaws and Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ‘70sexhibit which opened May 2018 and will run through the end of 2022.

Bobby Rymer – publisher

Bobby Rymer is a hands on publisher with an incredible ear and vast knowledge of music from all genres. Bobby spent many years at Almo-Irving working under publishing superstar David Conrad, taking over the top position when Conrad retired. At this boutique agency he represented diverse catalogs from rockers Peter Frampton and Bruce Springsteen to Americana icon Patty Griffith and Country legend Kent Robbins. After Universal absorbed Almo-Irving Bobby became director of the publishing arm of Writer’s Den Music Group. Their focus was previously unsigned writers and their roster of newcomers included Adam Wright who received a Grammy nomination for Alan Jackson’s “You Don’t Have To Love Me Any More.”

In 2012 Writer’s Den was restructured and Bobby is currently signing some of the previous Writer’s Den staffers plus a veteran writer or two as well as working with songwriters from out-of-town. The Writer’s Den integrates in all facets of the music business and encourages creativity in a fun, relaxed atmosphere while inspiring long lasting relationships. The philosophy of Writer’s Den Music Group stands clear; A commitment to focusing on every single song, creating a unique hands-on style experience for both the writers and publisher. Over the past two years, Writer’s Den Music Group has earned prominence with cuts featured in movies and hit TV shows.

Bobby has been an ASG supporter for the past eight years, making 2-3 trips to Austin each year, including the annual Symposium, to hear ASG songwriter’s songs. Over the years, many ASG members have developed relationships with Bobby that afford them a professional publishing contact to pitch their songs to, while giving Bobby access to potential hit songs outside the traditional Music Row channels. It could be you and your music that gets Bobby excited, but you have to be present to win.

Gwen Seale - entertainment

Gwendolyn (Gwen) Seale practices entertainment law at Mike Tolleson and Associates in Austin, Texas, and primarily represents artists, songwriters and professional wrestlers. Gwen advises her clients on and negotiates contracts related to their music and sports entertainment careers and counsels her clients on copyright and trademark matters. In addition to her practice, Gwen is passionate about the intersection of music and technology and social media law, having authored articles on topics such as demystifying YouTube’s monetization policies, the innerworkings of the major music aggregator companies and legal issues pertaining to livestreaming music. Gwen regularly presents lectures on copyright and novel entertainment law issues for the State Bar of Texas, The University of Texas, the Austin Bar Association and the Dallas Bar Association, and has spoken on panels for the American Bar Association, Midem and the Music Biz Conference. Each year, Gwen also teaches courses on copyright, trademark and brand-building to professional wrestlers at Rhodes Wrestling Academy in Austin.

Gwen is currently the Chair-Elect for the Entertainment and Sports Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (TESLAW), serves as an attorney consultant for Texas Accountant and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA), and is actively involved in advocacy efforts for artists and songwriters.


  • Austin College, magna cum laude

  • SMU Dedman School of Law ‘16

  • Admitted to practice in Texas.


  • “More Than Words: The Evidentiary Value of Emoji,” For the Defense (DRI 2015) (co-authored with John Browning)

  • “Facebook Face-Offs: Artist Fights Over Social Media Rights and the Need to Address Page Roles in Contract,” 

  • State Bar of Texas (Nov. 2017)

  • "Making Sense of YouTube’s Monetization Policies,” Entertainment Law and Finance (Jan. 2019)
  • “Being A Dick May Cost You: The Significance of Texas’ New Anti CyberFlashing Law,” Circuits (March 2020)
  • “Emoji Evidence in Family Law – Nothing to :) About,” SBOT Family Law Section Report (April 2020) (co-authored 
  • with John Browning)

  • “Social Media Marketing Strategies: Tips for Promoting Your Practice Online,” Texas Bar Journal (May 2020)
  • “Alligators or Aggregators? In Either Case You’ve Got To Watch Your Step,” International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (Chapter in 2021 book)
  • “Legal Issues and Monetization Strategies in a Quarantine-Streaming Music World,” Entertainment Law and Finance (Jan. and Feb. 2021 – two part series) (re-published in International Association of Entertainment Lawyers 2021 book)

  • “A Foreseeable Result of the Phonorecords IV Private Settlement: Opening Pandora’s Box,” The Trichordist (June 2021)

  • “A Potential Solution in Phono IV To the Streaming Services’ “Lowest In History” Rate Proposals: Withdrawing The Settlement To Freeze,” The Trichordist (October 2021)


  • The DRI’s G. Duffield Smith Outstanding Publication Award for “More Than Words: The Evidentiary Value of Emoji”


  • “More Than Words: The Evidentiary Value of Emoji,” Texas Bar CLE Webcast (Jan. 2017)

  • “Lights, Cameras, Hashtags: Cutting Edge Social Media Issues For Today’s Entertainment Lawyer, State Bar of Texas Entertainment Law Institute (Nov. 2017)

  • “Show Me The Money: YouTube Monetization Policies Explained,” State Bar of Texas Entertainment Law Institute (Nov. 2018)

  • “Legal Aspects of Producing Entertainment Projects,” University of Texas (Nov. 2018; ongoing)

  • “Creativity Meets Copyright,” Austin Music Foundation (Apr. 2019)

  • “Making Sense of YouTube’s Monetization Policies,” Midem (June 2019)

  • “When Good Festivals Go Bad and Other Legal Issues Surrounding Live Music Performances,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting (June 2019)

  • “Alligators or Aggregators? In Either Case You’ve Got To Watch Your Step,” State Bar of Texas Entertainment Law Institute (Nov. 2019)

  • “The CASE Act: Power to Creatives or Copyright Trolls,” Austin Bar Association (Dec. 2019)

  • “New and Novel Sources of Evidence,” State Bar of Texas 3rd Annual Technology and Justice For All CLE (Dec. 2019)

  • “The Show Can’t Go On: Entertainment Industry Disputes During Covid-19,” Austin Bar Association (May 2020)

  • “Buyer Beware: What Does the Legal Future Hold for TikSoft, TrillTik or WalTok,” Music Business Association (Sept. 2020)

  • “From Live Events to Quarantine Streams: Exploring Live Streaming Legal Issues,” State Bar of Texas Entertainment Law Institute (Nov. 2020)

  • “Making Sense of the New Blanket Mechanical License and the Mechanical Licensing Collective,” (Jan. 2021)

  • “Introduction to Intellectual Property and Professional Wrestling Contracts,” Rhodes Wrestling Academy (Feb. 2021; ongoing)

  • “The Sitch at Twitch, Triller, and TikTok: the Rich Fail to Properly License Music,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting (June 2021)

  • “What is the Copyright Royalty Board? An Overview and Update on Recent Rate Proceedings,” State Bar of Texas Entertainment Law Institute (Nov. 2021)

  • “Radio Royalties and the American Music Fairness Act,” (Dec. 2021)

  • Copyright Essentials for Musicians” (in partnership with the U.S. Copyright Office) (Feb. 2022)

  • “Monetizing Your Music, A Two Part Series” (June 2022, July 2022)
  • An Overview & Update on Recent Phonorecords Rate Proceedings at the Copyright Royalty Board,” State Bar of 
  • Texas Entertainment Law Institute (Nov. 2022)

    Will Sexton – songwriter

    Will Sexton, whose writing credits range from work with Waylon Jennings and Stephen Stills to Joe Ely and Bill Carter, is shaped by the unique diversity of the Austin music scene. Fate and his own sheer talent placed him on stage with local legends before he’d lived out his first decade. Will and his big brother, Charlie, started playing together at the Continental Club when Will was 9 and Charlie was 11. Many of the sounds of his childhood still resonate in his current work. Will received early success in Austin and was signed by MCA at age 16. He has survived in the tough Austin music scene by playing gigs with a variety of notable artists. It is never unusual to go out to catch a show featuring an Austin singer/songwriter and see Will onstage.

    Will’s credits as producer and songwriter range from collaborations with Waylon Jennings to psychedelic pioneer Roky Erikson to Steve Earle and punk legend Johnny Thunders. Will has written for MCA and Almo Irving and recorded for MCA, A&M, and Zoo Entertainment. Will was in the New Folk Underground with David Baerwald, which resulted in the co-produced (w/ David Kitay) Lost Highway release Here Comes the New Folk Underground. Will names Terry Allen and Sheryl Crow hitmaker David Baerwald among his favorite writing partners. 2009 marked the completion of new production credits, including Randy Weeks’ Going My Way, and Ruby James’ CD, Happy Now, co-produced with his brother Charlie Sexton. Will also enjoys performing with Charlie Faye, Sahara Smith, and Shannon McNally.

    Will has amassed an impressive collection of songs over the years, releasing his first independent album, Scenes From Nowhere, in 2001, which received a four-star review and was honored in the Top 5 Releases of 2001 by the Austin American-Statesman. Bus Stop Gossip, a previously unreleased recording from 2004, was unearthed and released in 2009 and was followed up by Move the Balance in 2010.

    Things came to a temporary halt in December 2009 when Will suffered a mild stroke. Though he had a remarkable recovery, he was unable to remember much of the music he had written and played almost daily as a working musician. For him to be unable to connect with those songs mentally since the stroke was a setback few musicians could even imagine. The Austin music community has always been known for taking care of its own and came out in full force for a music benefit in honor of one of Austin’s golden sons to raise money for Will’s living expenses and medical bills.

    While Will was working through the recovery process, Move The Balance was released two months later without much notice and to very little fanfare. This is an album not to be overlooked. It includes eleven new songs recorded by Mark Hallman and Andre Moran in twenty-two hours at Congress House studios in South Austin. Musicians on the CD include Will Sexton on vocals, guitar and bass, Mike Thompson on piano, guitar and trombone, Bukka Allen on B3 and accordion, Dony Wynn on drums and percussion, Ray Bonneville on harmonica, and Bill Carter on additional bass. Additional guest vocals were provided by Mark Hallman, Ruby “Red” James, Charlie Faye and Nöelle Hampton.

    Lee Starr - songwriter

    Rising singer-songwriter and producer Lee Starr has signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Sony Music Publishing Nashville and KP Entertainment.

    Originally hailing from Arkansas, Starr arrived in Nashville in 2014 after spending time as a working musician in and around Austin. He has worked with up-and-coming artists as a songwriter and producer, penning songs for 
    Elvie Shane, Ashland Craft, Conner Smith and Drew Green.

    Starr co-wrote Shane’s debut single, “My Boy,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. In the same week, “My Boy” reached the No. 4 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs with 6.6 million U.S. streams.

    “I couldn’t be more excited for Lee and the team at KP Entertainment,” says Sony Music Publishing Nashville CEO 
    Rusty Gaston. “Lee’s songs are full of heart, and his work ethic is second to none. His potential is endless and I’m looking forward to all that is to come.”

    Russell Sutton - songwriter

    Born and raised in Austin, Texas. He grew up around the country music scene with his dad who played guitar and tour managed for Austin native, Rick Trevino. After graduation from Texas A&M and spending 6 years working at Dell Computers he cashed in all his chips and moved to Nashville to pursue his songwriting dream after a weekend at the Austin Songwriters Group Symposium.

    In 2018, Russell signed his first publishing deal, and spent the year touring the country as part of the duo Grass Roots Revival, sharing the stage with the likes of Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Billy Currington, Brothers Osborne, Cole Swindell, Aaron Watson, Walker Hayes, and others.

    As a songwriter, 2021 brought his first number one single “My Boy” by Elvie Shane as well as a joint venture publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing and Droptine Publishers. Russell currently has a single climbing the charts with Nate Smith’s “Whiskey On You”.  

    He resides in Nashville, Tenn. with his wife, Melissa, daughter Phoebe, and their dog Bubs.

    Mike Tolleson - Mike Tolleson and Associates Entertainment Law

    Mike Tolleson & Associates serve as consultants for clients in connection with business structuring, financing, industry contacts, marketing, networking, product placement and business development. We also provide legal services with regard to all types of transactions and disputes including contract negotiations, document production, dispute resolution, licensing of rights, copyright and trademark issues, acquisition of rights, formation and financing of business entities, and litigation.

    We associate with other attorneys and non-attorney experts as needed on a case-by-case basis so as to bring the best match of experience and expertise to bear on a given problem, with consideration to time, place and cost. This allows us to move quickly to handle a client’s business anywhere in the world regardless of the nature of the work involved.

    Russ Zavitson - publisher

    Russ Zavitson began his career in 1979 at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. In 1980 Russ founded Desert Rose Music and two years later had his first number one record. In 1987 he moved to Nashville to serve as president of The Music Mill complex which included a production company, publishing companies and two state of the art recording studios. Over the course of ten years Russ won SESAC publisher of the year and amassed over 25 BMI, ASCAP and SESAC awards including the prestigious Burton Award from BMI for 1992's most performed song, "Achy Breaky Heart." In 1997, he developed and co-produced The Kinleys on Sony’s Epic label. The album produced two top ten hits, one a song he co-wrote, a gold album and the top new vocal group award from the Academy Of Country Music. The following year he co-produced the top ten single from the hit TV show Touched By An Angel soundtrack, “Somebody's Out There Watching,” and the number one record, “26 Cents” on “The Wilkinsons which yielded a gold record for Giant Records. More recently Russ established Song Planet and Zavitson Music Group which published songs recorded by Keith Urban, Thompson Square, Rodney Atkins and Chris Young and signed newcomers Walker Hayes and Kiley Morgan.

    Office: 1+(512)698-4237                  P.O. Box 17786 Austin, TX 78760   Email:

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