CRD (Cumberland River Dogs)
CRD (Cumberland River Dogs) Creative is a Nashville based collaborative songwriting and production group made up of Klare Essad, Nikki Wyatt, and myself. It started in 2014 when Klare learned that I was a songwriter as she was as well. We had met in grad school and both of us had been writing songs for years prior to meeting for the first time to write in my apartment to write our first song together. I’m not sure how well it went, but if it means anything, we’ve been writing almost weekly for the last 5 years.
As Klare and I were writing songs and trying to write a really good song, we learned that a friend and classmate of ours, Nikki, was also a songwriter. So we decided to start writing songs with her as well and thus CRD Creative was complete. We each had ideas that we wanted to write and we would meet weekly to craft songs that we could pitch to publishers in Nashville.
A Little Bit of Magic and A Dog’s Heart
Then one day we struck some magic. We met one day in my apartment to record a simple demo when Nikki said she had an idea. I was working on getting levels for microphones so Klare and Nikki went into my living room to has out the idea. Once they were finished they insisted that we put down a quick demo. I obliged, grabbed my phone, and we recorded the song. We set it aside, finished our work for the day, and went our separate ways for the week. However, the idea didn’t die and we couldn’t get the idea out of our head. So we decided to get the song professionally demoed by Songwriter’s Paradise. They did a GREAT job! We were so proud of the song and I think the song speaks for itself. It has tens of thousands of plays, dozens of comments, and has affected people who have suffered the loss of a pet. The song is called A Dog’s Heart and you can listen to it below.
More Demos and Learning New Things
A while after that was finished, Nikki moved away to New Orleans pursue her dreams so it was just down to Klare and me again as songwriters. Then with a stroke of luck, Klare joined a running group and met Bryan Russel, owner of Redwire Audio Productions. He was able to help us learn how to realize our songwriting ideas and make them sound radio-ready. This is where I also learned the process as to how I work in my job as a music producer.
We started with pre-production of the songs. I learned that planning is one of the most important parts of making a record. We brought Bryan the songs and he helped us focus on how to bring them to life. He asked us about tempo, melody, chords, vibe, reference tracks, key, and rhythm. We laid out the songs to him and it was up to Klare and me to make the decisions so we could come back to him and get started. I immediately started taking notes on this process.
Klare and I did our homework, came back to Bryan, and spent a whole weekend working on these songs. Through that I learned how to try new ideas, evaluate tracks to see if they fit or not, how to follow instinct, let people have dumb ideas, communicate why something fits in a track or not, how to treat a vocalist and coach them, and so many more little intricacies it’s hard to explain. Throughout this whole process I took notes and came up with my own version of a step-by-step process on how to make a country demo I have been using since then. My country demos when from awful to almost radio-ready overnight. It was amazing. I continue to impress myself by the tracks I am recording.
Looking to the Future
Klare and I continue write weekly, honing our craft, and continually writing better and better songs. Our goal is to write songs that move people and hope to one day get songs in movies, TV shows, and radio.
If you would like to hear songs Klare and I have written, or use any of our songs, or would like to reach out to me to produce your country demo, fill out the form below. I would be more than happy to work with you!