Taking a Song to Live Performance with Bill Payne and Dennis McNally

All Levels

Bill has written nine songs with Robert Hunter over the last few months. He will share with you that experience and provide an in-depth view as to how those songs were composed. Bill will provide illustrations on the keyboard.

Bill will also share insights on taking a song to live performance. As a member of Little Feat for the past forty years and a side-man both in the studio and on the road for an array of artists, he is in a unique position to take you through some amazing musical history as well as giving you guidance on the art of thinking creatively, whether writing songs, performing songs, and working with other musicians, which is where the real magic starts.

Finally, Bill will have Dennis McNally, author and former long-time publicist of the Grateful Dead, there to round out the discussion.  Dennis will be able to discuss all the ins-and-outs of navigating the publishing world and taking a finished product to market.

They make a great team.  The stories and insights between the two of them could fill several books.


About Bill Payne

Founding member, keyboardist and co-writer for Warner Brothers recording artists, Little Feat. He is considered by many to be one of the finest American piano rock and blues music artists. In addition to his trademark barrelhouse blues piano, he is noted for his work on many different keyboard instruments, particularly the Hammond B3 organ.

Also recorded with:  Jimmy Buffett, Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris, bob Seger, James Taylor, Robert Palmer, Randy Newman, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Doobie Bros, Jackson browne, JJ Cale, John Cale (Paris 1919), Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart….

Also toured with:  Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, Emmy Lou Harris, Phil (Lesh) & Friends, Bob Seger, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt…..

Provided keyboards for  iconic recordings such as:  Against the Wind, Like A Rock, Hollywood Nights (Bob Seger), Everything I Do; I Do It for You (Bryan Adams), China Grove (Doobie Bros.), Don't Cry Out Loud (Melissa Manchester), Hey Good Looking, License to Chill (Jimmy Buffett), Here Come Those Tears Again (Jackson Browne)…..

Film Soundtracks:  Heart Burn / Arranger and Player (Composer:  Carly Simon), Love Field  / Composer and Player, Smooth Talk / Composer and Player…

Produced / Co-Produced:  Let It Roll, Down on the Farm, Join the Band  (Lilttle Feat), Toto, Leftover Salmon

Contributing Columnist (4 yrs) - Player Magazine (Japan)


About Dennis McNally

Dennis McNally journey with the Grateful Dead began in October 1972 when he attended his first Dead concert in Springfield, Mass., and became hooked. After his first book, Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America, was published, Dennis sent a copy to Jerry Garcia. Garcia was immediately impressed with his historical approach, and at one of their first meetings said to Dennis, "For the sake of history, or whatever, as a member of the Grateful Dead, and as a person who's consciously involved in some kind of historical process, right, it's very important to me that somehow some essence of what we're doing is accurately that some representation of us is undertaken." Shortly after, as Dennis tells it, Garcia said, "Why don't you do us?" After an exhaustive 18 years of research, Dennis began writing in 2000.



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