REO Songwriters Retreat - July 23-28, 2017
Our 18th Annual with Marty Dodson, Clay Mills & Special Guests
|6-Day REtreat from $870 US - Book by March 30|
Join songwriters from around the world for a truly amazing week! Nashville #1 hit writers Clay Mills and Marty Dodson lead this years retreat, our 17th annual.
Amazing songwriting mentors in the coolest setting on the planet....Imagine an incredible setting right on the edge of a beautiful jade-green river canyon. Then add:
- Two of the best songwriting mentors on the planet: Marty Dodson & Clay Mills
- A low instructor-to-student ratio to enhance intimacy and one-on-one time with our instructors and songwriters.
- 12 master classes and workshops over 5 inspirational days
- A private 20-minute critique session with your choice of instructor/mentor.
- Co-writing sessions, daily social hour & open-mics.
- Snow-capped mountains, rushing rapids, wildflowers and wilderness serenity (with modern amenities!).
- Free guided canyon hike along river's edge (1-hour)
Clay Mills, a ten-time ASCAP award-winning songwriter and producer, grew up surrounded by music in the Blues-rich Mississippi Delta. Over the course of his songwriting career, Mills has penned Number 1 hits for Darius Rucker, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” Diamond Rio, “Beautiful Mess,” and Kimberley Locke, “Fall”. He collected Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” and Trisha Yearwood’s “Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love.”
Clay has had over 75 major artist cuts, three Number 1 hits, six Top 5 singles, and 12 Top 40 singles. His love of all types of music shows in the diverse list of artists who sing his songs: Babyface, Lady Antebellum, Easton Corbin, Reba, Bill Gaither, Lone Star, Darius Rucker, Trisha Yearwood, Clay Walker, Kimberly Locke, and Joe Nichols. Clay’s latest string of singles, co-written with Country superstar and ground-breaker Darius Rucker, include the song that introduced Darius to the world of Country music: “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” More hit singles, “History in the Making” and “I Got Nothin’,” soon followed.
Mills believes strongly in songwriters and their value to world. He has served on the NSAI board and lobbied Congress on behalf of creators and copyrights. In 2012, Clay co-founded SongTown, a 6,000 plus group of aspiring songwriters. He is personally involved in helping members advance their craft and make connections in the music industry.
Marty Dodson“Growing up in a recording and song center can be intimidating!” says professional songwriter and Nashville native Marty Dodson. “We moved to Nashville when I was five years old, I remember that it seemed like everyone who ever worked on our air conditioner or waited on us at a restaurant was trying to get into the music business.” After earning a Psychology degree, Marty worked as a youth minister for several churches in Nashville. Songwriting was still just a dream until he ran into his father’s friend Gordon Payne, songwriter and lead singer for The Crickets. When Marty said that he wrote for fun, Gordon asked to hear his songs. “Weekend Cowboy” caught Gordon’s ear, and he saw Marty’s potential. Gordon helped Marty “commercialize” and demo the song, and then set Marty up with other co-writers in town. This eventually led Marty to a 5-year writing deal with Sony Music. While writing at Kim Williams Music, Marty co-wrote his first top ten single – Rascal Flatts’ hit “While You Loved Me.”
Since then Marty has had cuts by such artists as Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Emerson Drive, Julianne Hough, Bucky Covington, Joe Cocker, Johnny Reid and Darryl Worley. Marty’s Billy Currington smash, “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right,” spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts. His Kenny Chesney single “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven” entered the Country Chart at # 22 and spent two weeks at #1 as well. “Let Me Down Easy” , became Marty’s 3rd #1 single in 2011. Marty also has current cuts on Carrie Underwood, The Plain White T’s, Saving Jane, Joe Cocker, Dierks Bentley, Rory+Joey and Charlie Worsham. Marty currently writes for ole Publishing and resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
All-Inclusive Retreat Packages: One low price includes everything........
All-Inclusive of tuition/workshops, evening sessions, 5-nights camping or glamping, 14 meals, beverages, snacks, daily social hour w/ wine & appetizers & all amenities of REO's river retreat.Canadians: Apply for Factor Funding
Advanced Booking Prices: For Bookings by March 30, 2017
|All-Inclusive Rate Per Person (5 nights)||$US||$CDN|
|Base rate, no lodging (camping in own tent/RV or offsite)||$870||$1145|
|4-SHARE glamping tent w/ linen (1 Queen, 3 twin beds)||$985||$1280|
|2-SHARE glamping tent with linen (2 Twins or 1 Queen)||$1085||$1415|
|Spouse/Partner or Family/Friend - Non-Songwriter (Base Rate)||$675||$875|
Single Supplement Rates: For Bookings by March 30, 2017
|Single Supplement Glamping: Rate Per Person (5 nights)||$US||$CDN|
|SINGLE QUEEN (1 Queen bed): add to base rate; $80 US/night||$1295||$1685|
|SINGLE LUXE KING tent (1 Luxe King bed): Add to base; $120 US/night||$1500||$1950|
Note: only two single supplement units available for each type of unit above. Please add 10% government tax/fees to above rates. $US prices based on Feb 2017 exchange rates.
Retreat Contact: Bryan Fogelman, 604-307-3122 or email Bryan
Add-ons & Transportation from Vancouver International Airport
|Whitewater Rafting Day Trip, Sun July 23 (1:15 - 6 pm); Reg $120 US||$62||$80|
|Shuttle Vancouver to REO (depart YVR @ 10 am, arrive 1:15 pm, Jul 17)||$77||$100|
|Shuttle REO to Vancouver (depart REO @ 10 am, arrive 1:15 pm Jul 22)||$77||$100|
Reservations: 1-800-736-7238 Email: Bryan
Check out the pictures from previous songwriting retreats in our photo gallery.
Our SettingEnjoy an intimate songwriting retreat in the beautiful Canadian wilderness at the REO Rafting Adventure Resort. Perched in a canyon overlooking the beautiful jade-green Nahatlatch River, we are surrounded by forests of pine, cedar, spruce and fir and the majestic coastal mountains.
REO is a recreational paradise for rafting, hiking, kayaking, biking, and relaxing. After a day of inspirational songwriting, unwind on the private beach, walk the picturesque nature trail or soak in the riverside hot tub. Our wilderness cooks will impress you with their daily creations. Evenings are special with a fun and relaxing night of campfire entertainment.
Start times, Travel, Airport Shuttle and Retreat InfoCheck-in opens at 5 pm on Sunday, July 23. If arriving at Vancouver International, please allow 3.5 hours drive time. SEA-TAC airport is 4 to 4.5 hours south of REO, requires a border crossing and car rental. If choosing SeaTac, arrive no later than 11:30 AM on Sunday.
The evening social hour begins each day at 6:30 pm. Wine, beer and soft drinks are served with appies. All meals are included in your retreat package from Sunday dinner to Friday checkout at 11 AM (July 28).
REO will offer an optional shuttle departure from the YVR airport on Saturday and Sunday with a minimum of 3 passengers. Please add $75 US/$100 CDN pp one way. A pre-retreat extension is popular with international songwriters who choose to add a day or two at the river prior to the start of the retreat, from $119 US/$159 CDN pp with glamping & meals.
A return shuttle to the YVR airport will leave REO at 10 am on Friday July 28 with a minimum of 3 passengers. We recommend you book flight departures from Vancouver after 4:30 pm to allow for potential traffic or airport delays.
Please note that we do try and arrange car pools for songwriters that can take other songwriters. If you can help drive a songwriter to REO, please let us know when you book.
Please call for details on our amazing pre and post-retreat package options. Many retreat guests arrive early or extend their stay to take a weekend of fun at the river!
Retreat OrganizerBryan Fogelman is a songwriter/entrepreneur. He has organized and hosted the retreat for the past 17 years. Bryan's song Crosby, Staals & Nash still receives radio airplay across Canada. He released a 9-song CD with composer Jack Boomer and classical crossover artist, Marc Devigne. Sample Bryan's songs: (www.soundcloud.com/bryanfogelman or www.bryanoryan.com).
REO Songwriter Retreat Instructor AlumniJason Blume
Jason has songs on three Grammy-nominated albums and, in total, his songs have sold more than 50,000,000 copies. He is one of a few writers to ever have songs on the pop, country, and R&B charts….all at the same time! Superstars from Britney Spears to the Backstreet Boys have recorded his songs. Others include Jesse McCartney, Scandinavian star Christian Ingebrigtsen, Tomohisa Yamashita (#1 debut), and country stars Collin Raye (6 cuts), Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Azar, and John Berry. “Change My Mind”, a top 5 single, earned a BMI “Million-Aire” Award for garnering one million airplays.
Praised as one of the world’s top songwriting instructors, Blume developed and teaches the BMI Nashville Songwriters workshops. He presented an acclaimed master class at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (founded by Sir Paul McCartney) and has taught throughout the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Jason Blume is the author of 6 Steps to Songwriting Success: The Comprehensive Guide to Writing and Marketing Hit Songs, Inside Songwriting: Getting to the Heart of Creativity, and This Business of Songwriting, Revised 2nd Edition (2013). www.jasonblume.com/
Mary Gauthier (2014)
Mary Gauthier brings a whole new dimension to our song retreat. Join us for this rare and special opportunity to mentor with one of the great American songwriters. Mary's six albums have received countless accolades. 2005’s Mercy Now earned her the Americana Music Association’s New/Emerging Artist of the Year title, and 2011’s The Foundling was named the #3 Record of the Year by the LA Times. Her songs have been praised by both Bob Dylan and Tom Waits and recorded by Jimmy Buffet, Blake Shelton and many others.
Gauthier recently hit another major milestone “Live at Blue Rock”, her first live recording. "As a songwriter, I’m always trying to go to the deepest possible place inside of me. Past the naval-gazing, past the self-conscious, to get to that 'we,' " Gauthier explains. "Cause deep inside of all of us is the universal."
Pat Pattison (1998 - 2012)
Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Pat developed the first Songwriting Major in the USA. He has published four best-selling books on songwriting including Writing Better Lyrics. Pat has hosted nine Songwriters Retreats at REO since 1997. Pat teaches across the North America, Australia and New Zealand and is involved with TAXI, NSAI, SAC and many other songwriting associations. www.patpattison.com
#1: The Songwriters Guide to Metaphor. "How, then, do we break through the barriers of the well ordered conscious mind and get to where the honest impulses, the richest ideas, the deepest passions live? Waiting on the muse to ascend is a fool's errand." - Mike Reid (from his foreword to Songwriting Without Boundaries http://www.patpattison.com/books/?id=8).Metaphor opens a portal beyond what’s in front of you; it opens your vision, allowing you to see the world as something more. This seminar will help you develop the most creative part of your voice: your ability to see one thing as though it were another your ability to create metaphor. Aristotle called it, "the only truly creative human act."
#2: Phrasing: The Body Language of Your Song. This seminar will give you important keys to phrasing your lyrics for the most impact and support of meaning. Working with rhythms and placements, you'll learn how to make sure that the line, like body language, helps to really deliver the emotion you intend. This is another "can't miss" seminar -- it's bound to take your writing to the next level.
#3: Tools and Strategies. Sharpen your lyric writing skills and discover the techniques that have helped Pat's students, including John Mayer and Gillian Welch, win Grammys and write number one songs. In this seminar, you'll learn how to craft more vivid lyrics by mastering the elements of structure and the process of building great lyrical ideas into great songs. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned writer, this course will help you structure your lyrics more effectively.
Karen Taylor-Good (2013)
Karen Taylor-Good is a Grammy-Nominated singer-songwriter, ACM-nominated "best new artist" and SESAC Songwriter of the Year. She has sung on recordings and movie soundtracks with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Elvis and many others. Her songs have been recorded by Melissa Manchester, Al Jarreau, Patty Loveless, Collin Raye (11 cuts) and Diamond Rio. Her songs have been chosen as “Flagship” songs for organizations like Childhelp USA, the National Hospice Foundation and Compassionate Friends. Her Grammy nomination for the Patty Loveless hit “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” went to #3 on the Billboard charts. Karen also had a #1 song on the Billboard Dance charts..."If It Don't Fit" by Abigail. Finally, Karen was a staff-writer at Warner/Chappell for 9 years, and was sent to Europe many times to cowrite with European W/C artists. www.karentaylorgood.com/
Don Osborn (2011 - 2012)
Don Osborn has seen many sides of the music business. Don has been a professional musician, published songwriter, indie recording artist, SOCAN member representative, music publisher, artist manager, indie label head and film/TV music supervisor. He's worked with recording artists in developing marketing plans and securing financing, developed and launched a recording school, developed and taught college music business courses. combining years of music experience with the revolution going on in the music business, Don is currently creating an on-line career development training and organizational tool designed to help music artists prosper.
#1: Social Media Management for Songwriters
#2: Web Marketing for Musicians
Steve Leslie (2012)
Steve is a Grammy-winning songwriter, educator, music publisher & songwriting mentor. As a staff writer for EMI Music Publishing he had cuts with Kenny Rogers, Mark Chesnutt, George Strait, Darryl Worley and Neal McCoy. He received a Grammy for "Brand New Strings", the title cut to Ricky Skaggs' 2004 Bluegrass Album of the Year. Steve is an Adjunct Professor of Songwriting at Belmont College in Nashville and currently rehearsing his new musical “Umbrella”, a romantic comedy with 14 original songs. www.steveleslie.com
#1: Chords as Adjectives: Along with the lyric, chords are responsible for conveying the intended meaning and emotion of the song. Chords can support the adjectives in the lyric, supply the adjectives, and work against the adjectives to produce irony. Knowledge of chord substitution will help you do this by expanding your choices of basic chords to include more subtle alternatives. This class has proved helpful to songwriters of all levels.
#2: Writing the Big Chorus: How to set up and deliver a "knock-it-out-of-the-park" chorus- the hallmark of many Hit Songs! Which chord progressions do this most effectively? How can you make your melodic and lyric choices really "pay off"? These questions and more will be answered along with a little human psychology thrown in!
#3: The Art of Crafting the Country Song: The authentic (traditional) Country Song is as much an art form as the Blues and Jazz- you know it when you hear it! I'll uncover the characteristics that make a Country Song what it is, and show you how to craft your own.
#4: Modulation: It's more than just your typical "American Idol" moment! Modulation- a change of key that occurs within a song- is an extremely effective harmonic device that can add interest and emotional excitement to your song, and not just during the Chorus sections! With artful handling, modulation can be great, and it's easy to do. Warning: It can also come across as a little corny, so learn to handle with care!
Clare McLeod (2012)
Clare is a master vocal instructor and mentor. As the Head of Voice at JMC Academy (Melbourne, Australia) from 2009 to 2011, she taught Voice, Composition, Arranging, and Professional Practice. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in 2004 and is a member of the Australia National Association of Teachers of Singing. She works with vocalists in all genres in any stage of their singing life, helping singers to develop both their craft and their artistry, deepening their connections with their instrument, their material and their audience.