Last year, most of the Passenger Profiles printed in the
Meter represented professional songwriters and musicians who toiled
at their day jobs as a means to an end. That end was the fulfillment
of a dream--the elusive recording or publishing deal. This year we're
gonna shake things up just a little.
Dave Cady is
a deputy Sheriff, a member of the SWAT team and a 4th degree black belt
in martial arts. He's been a cop since 1992 and loves his job. Oh yeah--he
writes songs in his spare time. Through his experiences with the martial
arts, Cady has learned patience and he exercises patience when it comes
to developing his craft and career as a songwriter.
"The aim here,"
says Cady, "is to show other songwriters that to keep flourishing and
to keep learning, you don't need to be a professional. You can play
out here and there, as long as you're working on your craft and trying
to perfect it. I've read books that say if you're not working on your
songwriting every day, you're not gonna be a good songwriter--and I
find that hard to believe."
by the likes of Jim Croce, James Taylor and the Eagles, Dave Cady has
been a musician for over 25 years, playing everything from disco to
rock. But at live gigs, he was always true to his spirit as a singer/songwriter.
"I learned to use my music as a means to reach other people," he confessed,
"or to take what I see every day and make some kind of lesson or positive
thing out of it."
Like most fledgling kages. Cady explains the frustrating process: "Every
year since 1992, I bought the Songwriters Yearbook and read it cover to
cover, circling the companies I'd be sending my packages to. Being a business-minded
person, I even broke down the cost of the packages into postage, tapes,
envelopes, lyric sheets, etc. It came to about $2.33 each. I budgeted
myself to send out 20 packages a month. Mostly what I got back were the
very same packages that were refused by the companies, or, letters asking
me to buy lists of other industry personnel so I could send out even more
| Dave Cady
Boonville, New York
with the results, Cady called his friend to vent: " I told him that I
was sending out packages but never hearing back from anyone. At best,
they'd send my package back to me. I asked him if there was anything I
could do to get my music heard. He told me about some friends of his that
were dealing with TAXI and had nothing but good things to say about the
independent A&R company."
Having been professionally
trained at investigative procedures, Dave spent some time doing a thorough
check into the Woodland Hills company. "I spoke with a TAXI member, called
for their free information package and did a really good background check
on them because I wanted to know where my money was going. I spoke with
enough people, researched them on the Internet and checked with the Better
Business Bureau--and then I joined."
Once he received
his membership package, it didn't take Dave long to get into the swing
of things. He began sending in tapes and studying the critiques, always
trying to learn how to improve his craft: "I've always set my goals and
accomplished them. It was an accomplishment to get my black belt. It was
an accomplishment to become a police officer. It was an accomplishment
to be selected for the SWAT team. I set it up as a goal and work to attain
that goal. As far as my songwriting is concerned, it's just a matter of
time. I've got to perfect my craft more so I can compete, but I'm learning
that through TAXI."
Dave Cady is
also a realist. He understands that with some talent and imagination,
a songwriter doesn't need an expensive pro studio in which to record his
demos: "You don't need thousands of dollars of equipment to make the tapes
you're sending in to TAXI. I have a simple 4-track studio with a mixer,
some effects and good instruments and I've been getting good production
ratings on my critiques for my tapes."
TAXI, Cady admits that his songwriting has really improved and he attributes
that to the critiques he receives from the staff of TAXI tape screeners.
"Since I joined TAXI I'm a much better songwriter than I was before and
that's probably because the critiques are helping me learn the craft even
better. I don't have time to go to seminars--and they're not even held
near where I live. People should realize that if you can't go to Nashville
with your songs to go knockin' on doors because you're back here working
a job that you like, that TAXI is one way to knock on those doors. I've
got to have somebody that's in this business listen to my songs and tell
me what's good or bad about them."
Using much of
the advice he received from TAXI screeners, Dave is in the midst of co-writing
a tune called "Lost Generation" with his 13 year-old son. "We got together
on it and got some really good ideas," he confessed, "but the thing I
learned from TAXI is to take those ideas and constantly build on them
rather than just using the first ones we come up with."
to learn something new and improve, Dave Cady's advice to other songwriters
is as sound as the day is long: "Listen to the critiques. Believe in yourself
and your material. You need to honestly sit back and look at that material
and feel that it's as good as anything out there today. I'm working on
a new song that I'm very excited about. It incorporates all of the things
in my critiques that the screeners asked me to fix. I wouldn't have been
able to put this song together if I didn't have the knowledge I got through