Bob Marshall

There are two, very different Nashvilles.  There is the one that folks see in the bars on Broadway and on the television show "Nashville", and there is the real, behind the scenes city.  

Four years ago I wondered into Nashville, without a plan and without any idea of the "real" Nashville.  I went to a NSAI Songwriting camp and was fortunate in meeting with Marc.  The past four years have seen a major change in my songwriting abilities and my connection to Nashville through personal contacts.  Marc is the impetus for those positive changes that have put my music career on a brand new, accelerated trajectory.

If you want someone to blow smoke and feed you lies, MARC IS NOT THAT GUY.   However, if you want a thoughtful and honest evaluation of your present talents and abilities, I can not recommend Marc highly enough.  And...on top of all of that, he is a genuinely nice guy.  

Bob Marshall
Performing Singer/Songwriter/Cowboy Poet

Dave Mininberg - NC

Marc-Alan Barnette probably saved me three years on my learning curve in Nashville.  I was lucky enough to be introduced to him on my first night there and I can honestly say I had NOT A CLUE! With his insight into everything from sharpening my writing skills to understanding how the business actually I figured out a direction.  He opened doors for me.  I now have places to play when I come to Nashville and have met so many kind, helpful songwriters and other people through Marc-Alan. 
While all the introductions to places and people have helped tremendously, it won't matter unless you have quality material.  Marc-Alan helps you find the song within the ideas.  One example is the song "My Second Mom". I had a chance to make a videa of the song before my "second mom" passed away:
Like many songwriters, I have a lot to say.  Some of my songs are longer stories.  That works for live performances in certain venues.  But the difficulty is learning to say a lot in a short window of time.  The goal is to figure out how to tell a real story with real emotion in a format that will work for publishers. Maybe once you have "made it" you can pitch whatever you want but for most of us, that is not an option.  On one of my "tours" with Marc-Alan I was running through some of my songs.  He stopped me when I got to "My Second Mom".  The idea was already there but it wasn't focused yet. My best friend's mother was very important to me while growing up.  She gave me stability and helped keep me grounded through difficult times.  I loved her very much and she was sick with cancer.  I wanted to give her something.  I decided I would, for the first time in my life, create a real video with a song recorded in Nashville.  The problem of course was in finishing the song. We ran through the lyrics I already had which were considerable but still scattered.  With his knowledge and experience, he helped to boil it down to the essential points and come up with the format. The song is my ideas but without his help, I don't think I would have been able to say so much in just such a way as to make it work.  Because of Marc-Alan's help, I was able to finish the song and get the video done before she passed away.  I will be forever grateful for this. He is a coach, a mentor, a tour guide and a friend.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at

Dave Schwalm - New York

Anyone trying to make inroads to Nashville as a songwriter or entertainer without help, should reconsider. We (my songwriter partner and I) have been traveling to Nashville for over 15 years. We have played many venues, at open mikes at midnight, meetings with publishers and producers and lawyers, songwriting camps 1 & 2, BMI meetings, etc, etc, etc. It didn’t do much but waste a lot of time and money, for over 10 years. We had hit a wall. Find some help or quit.

We made contact with Marc Alan Barnette, who we refer to as MAB, through the NSAI web site. We thought what the hell. We’ll spend some more money and give it a shot. Nothing to lose. We set up our first MAB tour. It went so well that we just finished our 5th!

MAB opens doors that an outsider can’t breech and has many, many connections. On this last tour we met 3 hit Nashville songwriters...and not just a hand shake. We got to sit down with each of them for at least an hour and pick their brain. One was a breakfast meeting. One played us our own little concert of one of his hit songs. We had a blast and they are all great people with a lot to give. Our first 10 years, we never meant a hit writer. Try that on your own and good luck.

MAB has set us up playing at several venues around Nashville for us over the past 5 years. As an outsider, forget it on your own. Over the past 5 years we have written several songs with MAB. Some of them are basic and a few are actual hit songs. Wait and see. He teaches the art of songwriting and I consider him a master writer and not a lot of those exist. He has written over 3,000 songs. You will leave your writing session with a real Nashville song.

MAB has introduced us to several local Nashville writers and now when we come to town we co-write with them. Again, try it on your own. It will take years for contacts, if ever.

MAB has taken us to ASCAP and BMI meetings, NSAI and any other place you would like to visit, just ask. He has studio connections and publisher connections and…well…..he’s just connected.

How’s that for a TOUR of NASHVILLE?!

Do yourself a favor. Sign up for a MAB tour. We have spent a lot of money in Nashville, Thousands of dollars. The MAB Tour is the best money we have ever spent
It will save you years of aggravation. There are a lot of scams and scammers in Nashville and this is not one! As a matter of fact, we are bringing MAB and his tours to Central New York, so everyone can learn from his MABness.

If you have any questions on a MAB Tour, you can reach me at

And no, I’m not being paid and no, he’s not my brother.

Steve "OD" Harris - Ohio

RE:  Matrimony....... I mean Testimony

By:   The Old Dog (Steve Harris)


Okay, I was just teasing with the matrimony part (it rhymed so I couldn't resist).  Actually, working with Marc Alan Barnette (MAB) is almost like a marriage in some ways.  It's a love affair of music creating a life long partnership through song.   Ha!!!   Okay, even I agree that was a little creepy, so overlook that part.  The real comparison to marriage and working with MAB; is how you can easily become part of his music family and circle of friends; just like in a marriage.   The relationships with Artists and songwriters through working with MAB, is a benefit seldom spoken about; but the best part of my journey and worthy of a mention.


I'm an older guy from Ohio that loves music, like all of you.  I have a background in music by being a bass player for several bar bands, for over 40 years.  I was a good enough singer to sing harmony parts; but never good enough to sing lead and be a front man in any of those bands.  I barely played rhythm guitar good enough to give me any aid to make the songs I wrote sound worthy of a listen; but I couldn't help but write those songs because of a desire to express my creative side.  I also worked a job, to pay the bills, that I recently retired from; so my newly found interest in wanting to write better songs was not an attempt for a career change by me.


So why on earth would some old guy like me; with limited talent, even think of spending time and money taking a MAB Tour???   My reply:  Why Not!!!


As I read the other "Testimonials" on MAB' webpage, I hear from very talented artist's and songwriter's; most of them professionals in the business.  They give MAB credit for being a positive influence during the early part of their career, and I know for a fact that is true.  That gives MAB a tremendous amount of credibility for his services to help those with a great talent take the necessary steps to further their career.  What about someone with limited talent???  Should they do a Tour???


The MAB has helped me become a much better writer and I have also increased my catalogue with some really good songs, co-written with MAB and a few others.  I also have a long list of friends in Nashville that are like family to me; yes, the MAB family.


So; if MAB can help someone like me, imagine how much he can help all of you with more talent than I will ever have.  So to all of you sitting on the fence about whether to take a MAB  Tour or not.  Regardless which side of the fence you fall; if you get up, brush yourselves off and sign up for a Tour, you will have landed safely.


Steve "OD" Harris - Columbus, OH

Jimmy Bielkiewicz - Nashville

Why Work with a pro writer?

Why would anyone want to spend their hard earned cash to have someone else tell them what to do?

You are living the dream, becoming a songwriter, your family and friends love your songs, however, when you play them for strangers they ignore you. How can this be? You read several books on songwriting, read countless online articles and even forums. Your songs have everything that all those sources say they are supposed to have, yet people just don’t connect with your songs. Now what?

First you are not alone! Every songwriter has been exactly where you are right now!

I thought I could pen a great song, pay $700 to have it demo’ed, and Nashville would come knocking at my door. $700 later I had a great CD of an average song, a song that could be heard all over Nashville and even all over the world, NOT my song, but millions of songs just like mine. Different titles, lines and rhymes but the same story told just a slight bit different.

Heart broke and lost I searched for what to do next. I found “Write with a pro” web sites where I could spend $200 and write one song with a pro, well this would not help me write better. I found a camp that cost $2500 and I got 20 minutes with a pro writer at the end, seemed kind of crazy.

Then I found Marc Alan Barnette, $225 for a whole day and he calls it a tour. Tour? Am I going to see the city of Nashville? NO just the opposite it is a tour of ME, my past, present, and future of songwriting, the mistakes I made in the beginning and why I made them, the songs I am writing now and what can make them better, and then where I wanted my songs to be in the future, which included writing a song with a pro (he has had songs on the radio, in movies and won lots of awards). Sounded very interesting, and three days of one on one with a pro teacher would still be less $$$$ than what I wasted on that first demo.

After my tours with Marc, (which did not happen on 3 consecutive days) I had 5 songs that were my ideas written professionally and “Radio” ready. These songs are still teaching me almost a year later. I often look at them when writing a new song to see how Marc said what I wanted to say. We have all heard the saying the “Gift that Keeps on Giving”, well this is what a few tours with Marc have done for me.

Additionally, Marc introduced me to many of his friends, set up co-writes with writers that could continue to teach me more and help me grow as a songwriter. (No additional cost, it is like your tours never stop)

I still have a lot to learn but now my songs are drawing attention instead of driving it away.

If you are feeling frustrated or stuck, It may be in your best interest to look up Marc, he is on several internet forums giving free advice to anyone just for the asking, however if you are serious about learning to write better songs than the millions of other songwriters out there I would seriously consider spending your money with Marc. In the long run it becomes an investment that saves you cash and grows. Through Marc I have met many “Hit” writers who all say “Nashville is a 10 year town (takes 10 years to make it here), one day with Marc knocks 3 years off of that.”

I hope this helps you in your Journey

Jimmy Bielkiewicz -

Norman Bradley - Nashville