Creative Voices Interview with Connie Mims

CONNIE MIMS PINKERTON began her career in Houston in the seventies with the Texas band WHEATFIELD which evolved into the band ST. ELMO’S FIRE. WHEATFIELD appeared in the first season of the PBS TV series Austin City Limits. After disbanding in 1979, Connie pursued a solo career as a performing songwriter and studio vocalist, appearing on numerous radio ads and in the classic Blue Bell Ice Cream TV commercial, “Texas Musicians”. Her comedic vocal impersonations of well-known recording artists were made popular on the nationally syndicated Q-Zoo in the Morning radio network. She has served on the Board of Governors for the Texas Chapter of The Recording Academy (GRAMMYS). She has facilitated songwriting workshops for The Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Career Day and for the Ozark Folk Center and the Kerrville Folk Festival. She was the founder and workshop coordinator for both the North Houston and East Texas Chapters of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). She continues to write, record and tour with Craig Calvert, Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood (Trout Fishing in America) as WHEATFIELD.

In addition to her songwriting and recording credits with WHEATFIELD, her discography includes two albums, “Go Deep”(2008), and “Gettin’ There” (2012). In 2009, she was awarded “Singer/Songwriter of the Year”, by the Academy of Texas Music, the first woman to receive the honor and in 2015, she was voted The Best Singer/Songwriter of Upper East Texas by a reader’s poll in County Line Magazine. A songwriter and publishing affiliate with BMI, Connie enjoys co-writing and producing various projects, as well as assisting others in their creative pursuits. She lives near Tyler, Texas, with her husband Jeff.

My conversation with Connie focuses on how to know when your song is finished. I hope you enjoy our chat.

Creative Voices: Interview with Dawn Kenney

Raised on the traditional country greats, Dawn Kenney has been making music since before she could walk. She weaves together her love of bluegrass, country, folk, and gospel music to create her own unique genre-defying sound.

In April 2015, Dawn and co-writers David Morris and Mitch Matthews took first prize at the esteemed Merlefest Chris Austin Song Contest Winner for their song, “Something About A Train”., and placed 2nd in the 2016 Annual Hazel Dickens Song Contest
with co-writers David Adkins and David Morris for their song, “Turn and Burn”.

In our interview together, we focus on the co-writing process. We hope you enjoy our conversation and give co-writing a try!

“My SongC.R.A.F.T.” Book Review

How wonderful to receive such a glowing review from a couple of awesome songwriters! Jim and Lynna Woolsey are making a huge name for themselves in the Bluegrass world, topping the charts and churning out expertly crafted songs and recordings, and stacking up accolades along the way. We’re grateful for the kind words about our book!

“I was so excited to read Nancy and Laura’s book SongC.R.A.F.T. Writing Songs in Your Authentic Voice. I just knew this was going to be a great read, not just because my husband and I are both songwriters, but because we have written with Nancy as a co-writer. This book says it all in such an incredible and authentic way. I loved how they used the word craft as an acronym for chapters in this book so you remember what it takes to be successful. Both Laura and Nancy have spelled out the secrets to successful songwriting or any creative venture. Even I came away with some things I had never thought of that truly are necessary for the creative process to occur, and I am an art teacher. This book is a must-have for any inspiring songwriter or even a visual artist. I for one took notes and intend to use these insightful tips that Nancy and Laura have given us as a guide to stop putting off your dreams, and start creating!”
Lynna Woolsey

Creative Voices: Interview with George Ensle

George Ensle is a Song-painter. Sometimes he paints landscapes with broad strokes, hilltop sunsets or tree-lined rivers. Sometimes he paints portraits describing characters like Uncle Jack, who is a young boy’s rough and rowdy hero, or like the elderly widow sitting by a window with the sun streaming in, pondering her life. Ensle song-paints with reverence and compassion mixed with a healthy dose of wit and wisdom.

George Ensle began his career in 1967 sharing stages with legends Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Billy Joe Shaver. He was inducted into the Houston Folk Music Archives in 2017 and has won numerous awards throughout his career. 

I had the chance to sit and chat with George at the 2018 SWRFA conference in Austin. Watch now as he tells us about his creative process, songwriting, and life.




Tom Smith – In The Space Between Your Words

Tom grew up in rural Pennsylvania in a family where music was part of the fabric of everyday life. As a young man living at the epicenter of the folk-quake that was Cambridge, MA in the 1960’s, Tom solidified what has become a life-long love of self-made music. Deeply rooted in the old-school folk tradition, his timeless stories are told with a voice that is honest and sincere with melodies that you will remember forever.

SongC.R.A.F.T.  is so pleased to share the song Tom wrote using the method in our book. “In The Space Between Your Words” is a poignant reflection of the relationship of a son and his father; one longing to hear caring words, the other unable to speak them.

Thank you, Tom Smith, for sharing this beautiful song with our readers and songwriters.


Creative Voices: Interview with Artist Brenda Freed

Brenda Freed has performed and worked in music-related professions all her life.  From age 6 through her college years she sang at every opportunity. She received a BA in Music Education/Music Therapy.  She taught K-12 music, then pioneered the music therapy program at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics while earning her Master’s Degree.  Brenda has published articles and presented her music therapy techniques across the U.S. and in Germany.  All the while she performed in bands.  A 9000-mile bicycle tour led her to Texas in 1991 where she has been songwriting, performing and teaching since. Brenda has released 10 CDs and tours throughout the U.S., England, and Ireland.

Nancy had the opportunity to interview Brenda about her creative process at the 2018 SERFA Conference in Austin, TX.