If you have a news item of interest, please let us know and if possible, we'll include it here. Email to the address shown at the foot of the page.
5th February 2017
ISG member Kathy Crinion has been playlisted on Ireland’s RT1 for four weeks with Rock “n” Roll Banjo, written by Jan Buckingham and Chris Delisle. This follows winning the coveted Hotdisc Single Of The Year 2016. Well done to everyone
involved! You can listen to and purchase Kathy’s music here at the ISG retail shop.
4th January 2017
Below is a recent review of Rowdy McCarran’s “Eyes Wide Open” album. Who supplied the songs? Why we all did of course! Congrats to all our wonderful ISG writers.
Country and Bluegrass America’s Music review: “This is a great album chock full of good songs, both ballad and rocking country. If you like ballads checkout “Show Some Respect”, “I Should Have Danced” and “Say You Will”. If you like some rocking country then “Trailor Made”, “Eyes Wide Open”, “Chick A Boom”, “Burn That Bridge” and “Won’t Be Fast Enough” are the ones you really need to listen to. Great album, looking forward to more music from Rowdy…”
You can listen to and purchase Rowdy’s music here at the ISG retail shop.
5th November 2016
We are pleased to announce the arrival of the ISG retail shop on our sister site at www.isgmusicgroup.com. The site has only a couple of remaining teething issues and is live now with an initial selection of CDs and downloads. Buy Kathy Crinion’s album “Lovin’ What I Do”, right now. Find exclusive imports like the wonderful Rowdy McCarran, Check out the exotic tones of Larissa Tormey and in just a couple of days time our very own Christmas single by Lorraine T Hyland. Don’t delay, come on down, and say hello!
We would like to present selected albums imported from around the world and we will give priority to our ISG members, so if you think you have a completed album that might be suitable, then please get in touch either here or using the enquiries form on the shop site. we’ll be very happy to discuss this further with you.
27th May 2016
Great news. Mary Duff enters Irish mainstream album chart (IRMA) with “Changing Lanes, coming straight into the top twenty at a very respectable 19. Well done to Mary, to all of our ISG writers whose wonderful contributions are so important to the success of this project and to everyone working hard at ISG Records to make this happen. Time for some bubbly!
20th March 2016
Congratulations to Kathy Crinion on her second week at Number 1 in the Hotdisc Top 40 and for a third week at number 1 in the British & Irish Chart with “Rock n Roll Banjo” written by ISG’s Jan Buckingham and Chris DeLisle.
Here’s the link to the chart: http://www.hotdisc.co.uk/charts1.htm
The Sky TV show (Channel 389) is below.
8th March 2016
It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Mary Duff has signed with ISG Records for a series of album releases over the next three years. The ISG Records label, which is the offshoot of the International Songwriters Guild (with a membership listing some of the world’s greatest songwriters), has already overseen the successful launch of Kathy Crinion’s debut album, “Lovin’ What I Do”. ISG Records strong songwriting alliance guarantees that the very best songs are made available for Mary’s recordings. “We are delighted to have a “marquee” signing like Mary on the label and we already have great plans for Mary’s brand on a worldwide scale” stated label boss Howard Dee. Mary’s label debut album will hit the shelves in April.
25th January 2016
Kathy heads out on tour in April with much loved Mary Duff who is also coming aboard ISG Records and there is also a new album for Mary in the pipeline.
ISG writers’ will feature hugely in this new project, with a few nice surprises along the way. Well done to all concerned.
7th January 2016
The ISG,s new baby sister ISG Records is growing fast. The first CD album – Kathy Crinion’s “Lovin’ What I Do” has been widely acclaimed since it’s release last October, see the news item below and there is a new website too: http://www.isgmusicgroup.com/
There will be exciting announcements and signings as we move into 2016, more opportunities for our songwriters too, so pop over and visit the new website, but do come back to find out what else is new from the pens of our wonderful writers. Happy new year everyone!
28th December 2015. RIP Tore Andersen.
This is Tore Andersen and Wood Newton outside the Nashville Songwriters Association’s building. “We had just finished writing “I’m just not that lonely any more”, which became a single from Kathy Crinion’s acclaimed album “Lovin’What I Do” said Wood. “What a great talent and human being. I’m so glad we had the chance to work together. Rest in peace my friend.” We at ISG would like to add our condolences.
21st August 2015
The ISG is now in its third year and is broadening out. Step forward ISG Records! There are few details at present, but keep an eye here and you’ll be first to know as our new record label develops. First release is set for October 2015 and will feature ISG member Kathy Crinion and an album of songs from the pens of some of our most popular ISG writers. More details soon.
25 Jan 2015 Our first ISG sponsored writers night at Ri’chards, Nashville. Many more to come!
21 Jan 2015 Rowdy McCarran
Nick Nichols posts: Hey everyone check out Rowdy McCarran on Treasure Isle Records!! Our friend Gerhard Krause just shared! He’s in some fantastic company and “Too Far Gone” written by Amy Chenoweth and myself ! Just awesome! Still can ‘t believe I have 4 songs on this fantastic project. !! We are soooo blessed !!
Thanks again to Fred Vail at Treasure Isle for believing in us, Rowdy for cutting the songs and the International Irish Songwriters Guild for putting the deal together. Sean Andrew Murray and Peter Ware!!
12 Jan 2015 Exclusive new release.
Supertalented ISG members Amy Chenoweth and Nick Nichols release “There’s Always Michigan” – You can buy and download it right now, direct from the ISG shop here.
29th Dec 2014 Website problem.
We have experienced some problems with menu headings on this site, namely the loss of visibility of some pages. Although the site has been restored, it is possible that links to songwriters’ pages may have changed, so if you have linked yours to other websites, please check the link URL and update as necessary. ISG apologises for any inconvenience caused.
1st Dec 2014 Country artist Gary Quinn takes home TWO awards.
Northern Irish singer-songwriter and prominent ISG member Gary Quinn has been celebrating after picking up the ‘UK Song of the Year’ AND the ‘Songwriter of the Year’ honours at this year’s British Country Music Awards ceremony in London. Gary also performed the award winning song; ‘The Power Of Me And You’ (a co-write with fellow writer David C Banning, Texas) at the country music gala in the Concorde Suite at Heathrow where he was nominated in an unprecedented six categories.
Gary said after picking up the awards “It’s a great honour to be nominated alongside such an abundance of talent but to come away a double winner feels amazing.”
This is the third year that Gary has been nominated for a British Country Music Award. Last year he also scooped the prize for ‘UK Song of the Year’ with ‘He Don’t Show Her Anymore’. This year saw him nominated in the ‘Album of the Year’, ‘UK Song of the Year’, ‘Songwriter of the Year’, ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’, ‘Band of the Year’ and ‘Radio Act of the Year’ categories. “It’s a big night for the UK country music industry. The place was a sell out once again with a lot of influential people from both sides of the Atlantic represented.,”
26th July 2014
As a result of keen interest from a growing number of music publishers, The ISG is adding a publisher’s section to the site. Interested parties can email for more information and to become involved. [email protected] There will be more great songs and more great writers joining us, so please keep visiting.
6th March 2014
ISG member Lorna Flowers RIP.
“So deeply saddened to hear of the loss today of one of Nashville’s most talented songwriters, Ms Lorna Flowers. Heartfelt prayers and blessings to her family and all who knew and loved her. Music City’s loss is surely Heaven’s gain.” – Nick Nichols.
4th March 2014
2nd March 2014 ISG is delighted to announce: Nashville Writer and Artist Nick Nichols joins Premier Records. Nashville is home to many songwriters and artists but Nick Nichols stands above the crowd with his extraordinary writing skills and performing talent. “Premier Records has signed many artists since the labels beginnings just one year ago. Some were signed by Premier’s A&R staff through social media contact, while other’s songs were noticed through posting on the poplar Facebook group Musicians United, but Nashville songwriter and artist Nick Nichols came to Premier’s attention via his connection to the Irish Songwriters Guild. Sean Andrew Murray, an Irish rock artist, songwriter and lounge guitarist who lives within eyeshot of the Mediterranean on Spain’s Costa del Sol formed the Guild as an online home for Irish songwriters, a place where demos could be posted and sampled, with Nashville as the target. Nick Nichols after spending 30 years as a guitarist in Greenville, S.C., with rock band Southern Crescent – as well as spending his days as a corporate recruiter, while squeezing in some songwriting on the side – he was pretty discouraged until he heard from Sean Andrew Murray. Nichols was among the first writers in the Guild after Murray was cruising a website which hosts Music City writers – NashvilleUniverse.com – and heard what Nichols offered. It was Murray that called Laura Marie Patterson, Founder and A&R Director for Premier Records in California through his association with Janey Kirk, a Scottish songwriter and singer that recently had joined Premier Records in the UK. As a result of that conversation Premier Records contacted Nichols and not only offered an opportunity as a writer but signed him as an artist to their label.”
24th February 2014
ISG member Fergal Flaherty breaks new songwriting ground with “Hey Son” topping the Hotdisc charts. Visit here. “I am really flattered to be No 1 three weeks in a row in the British & Irish Hotdisc International country music charts and No 4 in the international charts with my song “Hey Son” says Irishman Fergal from his sunny Canary Island home.
20th December 2013
“Songwriting guild connects Irish, US artists”
Fantastic article about the ISG in the Nashville Ledger. Written by Tim Ghianni
(See also his remarkable book…“Shoebox Full of Toads: Farewell to Mom” )
“I’ve been coming back and forth to Nashville for years,” says Nichols, a full-time resident of Clemson, S.C., who only recently began renting an apartment in Gallatin to forego so much highway wear-and-tear on his 57-year-old bones. “I couldn’t get anybody to give me a single break. I’ve had songs pitched to most of the major artists in town, but it’s hard to crack that lineup. It’s hard to break in as an unknown.” After spending 30 years as a guitarist in Greenville, S.C., with rock band Southern Crescent – as well as spending his days as a corporate recruiter, while squeezing in some songwriting on the side – he was pretty discouraged. His attitude changed after he heard from Sean Andrew Murray, an Irish rock artist, songwriter and lounge guitarist who lives within eyeshot of the Mediterranean on Spain’s Costa del Sol.
Murray had come up with a plan. He and British artist Pete Ware, also an expat in Spain, had started the Irish Songwriters Guild. The idea: To take the songs made popular by artists and songwriters in Ireland – a magical land that in the name of love is crazed for traditional country as well as jigs and U2 anthems – and pitch them to American artists. During that first phone call between the two, both men found what they were looking for: Murray wanted a Nashville writer to add to his roster, while Nichols just wanted someone to listen to his songs and give him a chance to get some cut by legitimate artists. It was something of a turn for Murray, though. He and Ware had formed the Guild as an online home for Irish songwriters, a place where demos could be posted and sampled, with Nashville as the target.
“I was pushing for deals in Nashville and other areas with my own songs, and it seemed to make sense to get all the writers together as a sort of co-op and move forward together as a team. “If I didn’t have a song to suit, then someone else would so better to get the deal with one of our writers than to lose out completely.’’ Murray had plenty of Irish artists in his fold, but no songs had been picked up yet to be cut. But after Nichols agreed to sign with the Guild, two of his songs – Hero and Back in Love Again – were picked up by Irish country mainstay Sean McAloon, the latter as a duet with the Emerald Isle’s Lisa Stanley. It turned out that Murray’s first success story was not – as planned – getting an Irishman’s song cut on Music City Row. It was getting a Nashville writer’s songs cut in Ireland.
‘It’s a tough game’
The Irish Songwriters Guild – hatched by Murray and Ware in October 2012 – quickly began to morph into the International Songwriters Guild. And Nichols has found writing success both in Nashville and overseas. As for Murray, he began using the success of being the American abroad as another tool in his network building to get Irish wordsmiths’ tunes heard and selected on Music Row. It’s an exhausting process, but one in which he is willing to invest the time and energy to become an Across-the-Ocean, Internet-based song plugger. After an evening of gigging in Spain – he never has a night off – Murray stares at the Mediterranean Sea and describes how this Guild idea got started and ponders where it might lead. “I used to play with the top British band in Europe,” he says.
“I took up songwriting,” he says. “I’d never really concentrated on it. I’d always been working as a musician. … Quickly I got a lot of interest and got a couple of publishing deals in Nashville. But it’s a tough game. “Of course, I didn’t expect things to happen overnight, but I got to know quite a few of the guys over there. And I’ve been pitching songs in Ireland as well.” Irish songs stuck in Ireland The problem, at least the way Murray saw it at the time, was that the rich vein of material by Irish country songwriters was not being mined in Nashville. “I got in conversations and all these top Irish writers had hit records in Ireland, but they never were released outside of Ireland. “So I contacted the writers and I said ‘If you are interested, I would represent your work. We might be taken a bit more seriously if we are doing it as a group.’” It seemed a simple idea. And the Irish writers answered faster than a Leprechaun who spots a pot of gold (or a bottle of Jameson) at the end of the rainbow. These Irish writers had dealt already with plenty of recording industry blarney, but with Murray, they saw the potential for their own pots of gold, in terms of royalties for songs cut beneath the Nashville skyline. “Most of the top writers in Ireland came on board and we set up the website (www.irishsongwritersguild.com),” says Murray, noting he handles the plugging and the music while his partner, Ware, takes care of the IT that goes into making an attractive website for not only the songwriters but for artists or label executives who might want to sample some of these songs, for free, in privacy.
The basic premise/promise?
‘Everything on trust’ In other words, if a writer – some Bono clone or imitator of The Edge, perhaps – makes $1 million in royalties for a song that’s posted on the site, then the Irish/International Songwriters Guild gets $100,000 … after the writers get paid. “We do everything on trust. There are no contracts. I have contracts here from different guys I’ve come across in the business and they’re not worth the paper they’re written on,” says Murray. “I’ve never been to Nashville …. There are sharks over there, but we are trying to do it a wee bit differently.” Wood Newton – among Nashville’s most prolific and successful songwriters, McCabe golfers and nice guys – is greatly impressed by Murray. “There’s no written contract, just a handshake deal,” Newton says. “It’s the best deal I ever had, an agreement between two people.” Newton, too, has had one of his songs – “Great Minds Drink Alike” – cut by McAloon, whom he describes as “an Irish Randy Travis.” Newton knows all about the travails of plugging and rejection. He’s had to build up a tough hide. He said he believes Murray’s new way of plugging songs on a website where everyone can pick and choose and listen to portions by various writers is innovative and could even be the way of the future. “Sean makes it easy. He’s got it all up in the cloud, on his site. You go there and it’s like going into a record store and listening to songs. What could be better than that?”
He laughs, too, when noting that while he spends most of his life on Music Row, plugging and producing; an Irishman based in Spain “is hooking me up with people right here in Nashville. I love that stuff.”
‘We do the job first’
There is a lilt in Murray’s voice when he talks about his just-now-fully hatched song-plugging Guild and the fact that, once people find out about it, they are receptive. “From my experience in Nashville, there is plenty of money up front there,” he says. He neither asks nor wants any front money. “We do the job first instead. It’s exciting crazy. There is no model for it.” While praising the Nashville music community as generally good people, he notes that – as in any industry – there are fringe elements up to no good. “There are so many people who have ripped off the writers over the years, we had to come up with a concept that is different,” says Murray. The former rocker from Dublin has not made money from the venture, since his writers have not been cashing checks yet. But he’s got more than 40 writers on his roster – Irish, continental Europeans and Music Row tunesmiths. They, like Nichols and Newton have invested their faith – not coin – in the Irishman in Spain. “It’s about trust,” Murray says. “It’s about honesty between all the ones involved. We are prepared to do the work. A lot of guys get scammed. It’s not just in Nashville, but everywhere. I’d be in Nashville tomorrow to do this if I could. “But I can’t. I have my young family here to take care of. So we do it by putting 1½ minutes of writers’ songs on the website and plugging them from here.” Touring the website proves Murray’s assessment of the talent level that’s invested hope in him. “These guys are fantastically talented writers. I’m listening to these songs and their writing just blows me away.” His payoff, and the writers’, may be forthcoming. “We’ve got at least 25 songs on hold or being recorded right now, between Ireland, Holland and Nashville.” Legendary Nashville producer Fred Vail, whose Treasure Isle Recorders in Berry Hill has attracted the world’s best singers for three decades, is enthusiastic by the way Murray is doing business. “I’ve been really impressed with the overall quality of the music (on the site),” says Vail, whose ears have been treated to the best and the worst songs in the world since he broke in by pushing The Beach Boys in the early 1960s. “You’re not going to impress me with every song, but the amount of stuff he sent me and the amount I put on hold is pretty impressive.” One thing he notes is that the stuff pitched by and posted online by Murray is fresher to the weary ears of people who select songs for artists. “I don’t think they (songs by Murray’s Guild members) are over-pitched, as some of the songs that are pitched around this town month after month, year after year.” Vail is leaning on songs from Murray’s website for a project he’s doing on singer Kristi Warner. “We hooked up and I heard a few demos and I heard an EP she had made with somebody some years ago. “She has a great voice, great phrasing, enormous range, great pitch. She’s a cutie, great entertainer on stage. “ Vail had a deal to get Warner into the studio for an EP this autumn, but he had to find songs to suit the freshness of this new voice. The Irishman in Spain became his resource. “To find these songs, I ended up getting ahold of Sean. I know his songs have not been overworked….” Of this relatively unknown group of writers, he picked work by Irish songwriters. He also picked work by Nichols. “For years I was going back and forth to Nashville and I couldn’t get anybody to give me a single break,” says Nichols of that development. “I was looking for someone to help me do something with my songs. I thought I had some good songs. Sean gave me a break.”
The online advantage
Nichols was among the first writers in the Guild. Murray was cruising a website which hosts Music City writers –NashvilleUniverse.com – and heard what Nichols offered. He reached out. “I was just ecstatic that somebody felt I had something worth doing something with,” says Nichols, who has four cuts on an upcoming album by Irishman Shane O’Neil, “a new Irish singer making headway.” He said he had been discouraged by local politics. “When you go to somebody in this town, if you want to plug a song, everybody’s got their hand out.” Now a lounge singer from Spain’s Costa del Sol not only previews Nichols’ work online, he reaches out to plug it with artists here and in Europe. “There seems to be a market for the kind of country music I write today. There is a hunger for traditional country in Europe and mine is the kind of stuff that’s being picked up,” Nichols says. Because of the handshake agreement with Murray, Nichols feels vested in a partnership, a sort of mini-revolution, a quixotic quest led by the fellow from Spain. “As this thing grows and makes a success, it’s going to launch itself,” he says. “I think our success kind of speaks for itself. “We’ve barely tipped the iceberg. I don’t think we’ve smelled it yet.”
A huge shout out and many congratulation to both Gary Quinn and Pete Kennedy, both winners at the British Country Music Awards, BCMA. Gary won the song of the year award and Pete scooped the Best Album. Both hugely talented writers and we´re proud to have them both on the ISG.
24th August 2013 We are proud to welcome Billy Arr to ISG. Check out his page here
6th August 2013
- George Strait has announced that this latest tour will be his last! He has called it, THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY tour after one of his biggest hits of the same name. We are proud to announce that THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY was written by ISG member Casey Kelly. You can check out Casey´s page here for more songs. As well as being a fantastic writer, he´s also one of the nicest guys in the business. Congratulations Casey. ISG .
- The ISG would like to welcome Eric Halbig as a new member and look forward to working with this fantastically talented writer. Eric is guitarist with hit band Thompson Square and has a couple of songs on their latest album. He also has numerous other cuts to his credit, great to have you onboard Eric. You can check out his page here. ISG
1st July 2013 ISG member Alan Fullard wins the Music Express TV award for ‘Best Original Song’. This song appeared originally on Alan’s album ‘Out Of Nowhere’ and is featured on Alan’s ISG page here. There is a new album nearly completed, which will be released soon. Great work Alan. ISG
May 17th 2013 ISG welcomes Bob King, affectionately known as “British Country Music’s Gentle Giant”. Bob manages to combine his live performances with songwriting, journalism and his radio show. Go and check his page out here.
May 11th 2013 Don’t forget to visit our featured song page as this is updated regularly. This time it is Tony True and Sherwood Lumsden’s “Take Me For A Fool”. If you want to jump straight over, click here. We have been receiving lots of comments on featured songs, these are moved to each of our writer’s own page as the song changes.So, why not drop us a line or two and encourage our writing community.
April 27th 2013 Finally, we have found a shopping system that integrates well with the site and is compatible with all devices including iPhones. It wasn’t our primary aim to sell music directly, but as there have already been a number of downloads, we plan to let this side of the site grow “organically”. So, ISG writers, if you have suitable material and permissions and you would like to sell from here, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to oblige you. Email: [email protected]
April 13th 2013 Canadian singer songwriter Tony true joins the ISG. Tony has an impressive and diverse catalogue of songs, so please go and have a listen here right now! ISG
March 28th 2013 ISG is pleased to welcome our first group of Associate members for 2013. Uploads have started today with the inclusion of Alex Birnie with some great songs! Please go and check Alex’s page here right now.
March 27th 2013 Breaking news, a new single “All You Said And Done” by Justin McGurk has just been released. This fantastic song, co-written by Justin and ISG member, Gary Quinn can now be requested at all good radio stations. Also, Gary won the grand prize in the Nashville international song contest for Christmas 2012. His was the winning song from over 2000 entries, Congratulations Gary. ISG.
March 17th 2013 ISG has had such interest in Nick Nichols and Ken Grant’s “Back In Love Again” performed by Sean McAloon and Lisa Stanley (featured song this week) that we have arranged to make it available as a download. Just head over to our Shop.
March 12th 2013 Each week the ISG promotes a song from one our writers in our ‘Featured Song’ section. This week it is Nick Nichols and Ken Grant’s “Back In Love Again”. But, here’s the twist. This is a brand new version sung as a duet by Sean McAloon and Lisa Stanley (brokered by ISG). This is just about to be released. When we gets download links and website information, we’ll post it. Meanwhile check out the song here: Back In Love Again
February 17th 2013 The ISG has passed the 150 song point (151 at the time of writing), so there is already a huge range of diverse song styles for you to listen just a mouse-click away. For further information on how you can be recording some of these fabulous songs, email [email protected]
February 16th 2013 We are delighted to welcome guests Casey Kelly, Leslie Ellis and Wood Newton to ISG. The pedigree and artistry of these people is indisputable – their track records and their music speaks volumes. Lots of songs will be uploaded soon, so be sure to check back as soon as you can. ISG
January 30th 2013 ISG has had a number of enquiries regarding Tip Sheets (regular listing of artists looking for new songs). We are looking at the possibilities, but the service would rely on artists supplying us with their song style requests. Please let us have your views on how we could organise this effectively. Thankyou. ISG
January 26th 2013 Take a look at the article on ISG member Gary Quinn in Up Country Magazine’s February 2013 issue here: http://www.upcountrymagazine.co.uk/ Nice work Gary!
December 3rd 2012 Congrats to Vic Holdroyd, Member of the Irish Songwriters Guild and No.1 on the UK Country charts. Vic actually has 2 in the charts right now. ISG member Gary Quinn has 2 listings and John Farry has 1. That’s 5 in the top 40. Fantastic! These guys are the best of the best. http://www.ukcountrychart.co.uk/