In January, singer/songwriter/musician Shawn Byrne scored the Grand Prize for the 2020 American Songwriter Lyric Contest. The winning lyric, “Love Was Just a Word” won 1st place in the July/August bi-monthly contest. Each year, all six bi-monthly contest winners (coinciding with each print issue) are re-evaluated, and a single Grand Prize winner is chosen.
Byrne collected his once-in-lifetime, experiential prize package, which included a round-trip flight, a two-night stay at Union Station Hotel (Autograph Collection), a “Dream Session” at OmniSound Studios, and a “Dream Co-Write” with hit songwriter and music publishing entrepreneur Dallas Davidson.
“I just wanted to thank you all again for one of the coolest experiences,” Byrne recaps. “First off, Dallas was cool as can be. I brought in some ideas I had for him and we finished a song that he thinks could be a hit. Not only that but we had some extra time I showed him some more stuff and we got a couple more started and we booked another write to finish those. So I’d say it couldn’t have gone any better than it did. The session at Omni was exactly what I expected. Just bad ass session dudes nailing my song in two takes. Never ceases to amaze me. The video crew was awesome too. Just total pros and nice people. I just wanted to thank you guys for being top notch and for giving me this opportunity.”
“I had a great time writing with Shawn,” adds Davidson. “It didn’t take long for me to see why he won the contest! He’s super talented.”
Byrne and Davidson got together for the “Dream Co-Write” on March 2nd at the hit songwriter’s publishing company, Play It Again Songs (PIA Songs). On that same day, as fate would spin it, Luke Bryan’s “Down To One” (co-written with Justin Ebach and Kyle Fishman) would become Davidson’s 26th No. 1 song, not a bad way to kick off the writing session.
“I used to write with artists and tell them, ‘if this song goes #1 I’ll give you one of my vintage guitars,’” says Davidson. “After giving away five or six guitars I learned the hard way a congratulations would suffice!”
The two writers hit it off and polished off a tune called “Song About A Girl.” The PIA Songs staff and American Songwriter are eagerly awaiting the song demo, and both will be pitching it to country’s elite artists as well as worthy up-and-comers.
Next on the agenda was OmniSound Studios to record a demo for Byrne’s song “Love Me Like A Saturday Night.” OmniSound has been a longtime American Songwriter partner for the Lyric Contest, and they never fail to deliver with the best, world-class studio musicians in town who show up ready to make the experience memorable, fun and rewarding for the Grand Prize winner each year. This time was no exception. Click here to go behind the scenes of Byrne’s “Dream Co-Write” and click here to get a glimpse inside the “Dream Session” at OmniSound. Stay tuned for the final song mix, coming soon!