At this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, six artists were paired up and tasked with a herculean feat: to create a fully realized song, from concept to fully produced recording, in just one day.
The collaborative challenge was based on the popular web series SongCraft Presents, produced by Dubway Studios in New York City, and is presented in partnership with Acoustic Café, an independent syndicated radio network program.
From developing the concept and lyrics to its actual composition and arrangement to performance, the pressure was on to make not a good song, but a great song. A video team was with the artists every step of the way to document the trials, missteps, successes, and eventually, the magic that lives in a great song. Dubway Studios producer and engineer Mike Crehore and artist Ben Arthur supervised the song development, while Acoustic Café’s Rob Reinhart interviewed the artists as the process unfolded. Taylor Guitars provided a selection of its popular acoustic-electric guitar models, including its new Grand Orchestra guitar, to offer sonic inspiration to the songwriters as they pursue their task.
One of the first artists to participate was Sean Rowe. An Anti Records recording artist with a voice that’s been described as a modern-day Leonard Cohen, Rowe wears his heart on his sleeve in this folky song of loss, “The Coat.”