The Naked Vibes Show features conversations with musicians, artists & healers to ignite your creative genius & elevate you in your spiritual growth.
This episode features Grammy-winning songwriter, Wood Newton, a veteran of the Nashville music scene, a performing artist & activist. This audio was taken from a Naked Vibes TV episode where Wood joined me to play live & to share conversation about the creative process, his insights on the importance of commitment in relationships, his activism on behalf of songwriters’ constitutional rights, & more. Wood is well-known in music circles as a lyricist adept at turning a phrase. He has a great sense of humor, so we enjoyed some good laughs!
Enjoy the show on NAKED VIBES TV:
1:55 – SONG – LIVE PERFORMANCE: “Private Malone” performed live by Wood Newton at the Bluebird Cafe, Nashville.
6:31 – We’re recording our conversation in the studio of painter, Gloria Newton. Wood respects this as her sacred space. We all need sacred space for our creativity to blossom.
7:04 – Wood has over 2000 songs in his catalog, recorded by Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Steve Wariner, Oak Ridge Boys, David Ball, B.J. Thomas, Anne Murray, George Jones, Restless Heart & many more.
7:42 – Everyone is creative. As a songwriter, Wood’s antennae are always up for new phrases & ideas. Inspiration comes from everywhere. It’s amazing what people say on Facebook. Watch out – that could end up in a song!
9:00 – Wood respects the ideas that other songwriters share as part of their own creative work. Though inspiration is everywhere, ideas shared as titles or “works in progress” are not up for grabs.
9:35 – Tim & Miles Thompson had the idea for the song, “It’s Time For Me To Go” & Wood helped them phrase it. One of his strong suits is creating phrases that work easily for the singer. Great video on YouTube.
10:33 – Wood has collaborated with so many other songwriters. He talks about the benefits of collaboration & the way that process continues to benefit him even when he’s writing solo.
11:40 – When you’re writing with another artist & the hair on your arms stands up, you’ve probably got something! The intuitive nature of creativity is where the power lies – & that comes into play in business, relationships, & every other endeavor.
12:26 – Wood relies on his intuition as his editor in writing & business. He’s been published by Sony, Jerry Crutchfield at MCA, Kenny O’Dell & Bob Montgomery at House of Gold Music, Jim & David Malloy, Even Stevens & Eddie Rabbit. Wood counts on his intuition to alert him to what direction to take, even moreso now that he runs his own publishing business.
13:30 – Wood pays close attention to his emotions about an idea when writing. Joy, sadness, & fun are all guides. He loves the comedy of Roger Miller. What a laugh!
13:58 – Miller’s song “Husbands & Wives” brings forth strong emotions. Wood talks about the premise of this song, pride, being the demise of many good relationships. Celebrating his 42nd wedding anniversary on the date of this video shoot, we discuss the richness of lasting relationships.
15:09 – There’s freedom in commitment. Wood tells the story of meeting a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary & telling them, “That’s a good start!” He also tells of marrying Gloria in Oklahoma because there was no waiting period. When he shared their story on Facebook, it got more “likes” & comments than anything he’s ever posted – & he has over 5000 fans there. That says something about the fact that people ultimately want good, lasting relationships. Wood talks about never taking your relationships for granted.
16:57 – Many young men have come forward searching for answers to that these days. Wood is happy to share his wisdom with them in these personal areas & is also open to creative collaboration with writers getting their start.
17:53 – Wood is very real & open, not interested in shallow relationships. That kind of openness is what brings success – in every area. Trust is developed over time & too many people jump because they think things will be better on the other side. Wood put it in a song, recorded by Conway Twitty (& several other artists), called “Every Time I Think It’s Over, I Think It Over Again”.
18:42 – Wood opens himself to creative inspiration from everywhere, but doesn’t have to live everything he writes about – at least not in this lifetime. If we get another go ’round, he says he’s in “deep trouble”!
19:05 – Creativity gives you the opportunity to explore other lives, without having to live them. You have to get over the worry of what others will think about what you’re writing. Wood has covered just about everything!
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22:08 – Wood has had a rich life & he talks about music as spiritual experience – aside from, yet in addition to, religion. Jesus used parables because he could share a broader message that relates to more people without going down a rabbit hole.
23:39 – Songwriting challenges Wood to bring a 2-3 minute story to people that they can digest. When he’s writing, he’s very aware of feeling what it’s like to perform that message on stage because another artist is going to be doing just that. They have to be able to feel it & translate it. Grammy-winning songwriter, Wood Newton.
24:40 – Collective consciousness. Wayne Dyer did a PBS special & talks about getting the ego out of the way in order to access the creativity of the collective. Wood talks about keeping his antennae up all of the time, in order to grab the ideas when they come – sometimes as fast as lightning & then gone!
26:36 – Wood was always a fan of music. He didn’t know, growing up in small-town Arkansas, that songwriting was a profession. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle & you don’t have to know what’s going to happen or how to get it started. You can just start anywhere & see where it wants to go.
27:40 – If you have conversations, you’re creative! It’s not scripted. So, you can allow the magic to come through you, instead of having to “think it up”. Grammy-winning songwriter, Wood Newton.
28:08 – I’ve been painting a symbol for many years that just seemed to come out of the ether – an even-sided cross within a circle. It’s seen in many traditions from the Celts & Medieval Christians to Native Americans. Wood had carved the same symbol on a wooden archway for his garden, along with a Lakota Sioux phrase, Mitakuye Oyasin, which means “All Things Are Related”. (see it in the video). He tells a beautiful, & funny, story about the lettuce from his garden & the cycle of life.
29:29 – History Channel or National Geographic Channel had a special about the way plants communicate & are aware of their surroundings. They, like us, have to have each other to thrive. The Secret Life of Plants is another great book/study.
30:29 – Prayer & meditation translates a vibration of love.
31:29 – Success in the music business is about being in it for the long haul. You have to stay healthy. It comes back to commitment. Some contestants with “overnight success” stories through American Idol & some of the other shows, don’t know how to capitalize on their success because they haven’t had the time to learn & grow.
32:45 – A lot of young people don’t feel like they’re getting creative training in school, that they’re getting mostly left-brain training for jobs they don’t enjoy, but will supposedly make them a lot of money. In Nashville, however, the odds of one of your teachers being a songwriter is very high! Wood is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Assoc. & really believes in the organization’s goals. The Grammy & Country Music Hall of Fame organizations also have some great programs for working with kids in schools.
33:49 – Wood has visited elementary classes & sees kids who already know what’s up. They have their lyrics ready & he puts them to music, shows them how to edit & polish & make them into a song. You might think it has to come out very finished, but it doesn’t. It’s like seeing an old fallen tree – with a little carving & a coat of varnish, it’s a table!
35:04 – Wood also does a lot of carving, creating sculptures & furniture from wood. The same creative skills apply across the board. He works with Destination Nashville when they put conventions together for major corporations, taking groups & helping them craft a song within 45 minutes. “They’re as much fun as the second graders!” Creative skills create success in all careers & areas of life.
37:01 – Grammy-winning songwriter, Wood Newton, is an activist. He testified before Congress in Washington on behalf of songwriters & the protection of their intellectual property. He took the words from the U.S. Constitution – “to promote the progress of the Sciences and the Arts, by granting, for a limited time, to authors and inventors, the exclusive rights to their writings and discoveries” – & put them to music. He performed the song as his testimony.
37:49 – When working with corporations to help employees learn to use creative skills & collaborate, the rule is “leave your ego at the door”! Even the bosses know they may not be the best at crafting lyrics in these exercises.
38:51 – I’ve known Wood my entire life! He’s my uncle – my mother’s brother. He’s a masculine man who has no fear of tapping into his feminine side – the creative, emotional side that makes a man stronger & better for the awareness & willingness to engage this energy. Wood talks about being comfortable with letting his emotions show, including tears, when he hears stories of other people’s lives & experiences.
40:49 – I learned, when I was grieving a miscarriage, about the scientific benefit of allowing tears to flow. They carry an enzyme, that when allowed to flow, are reabsorbed through the skin, releasing endorphins that bring relief & even pleasure. So, let ’em flow!
41:19 – Wood began his college career, as did I, in Pre-Med. Doctors were seen as heroes. Now, he’s a song doctor! Music is a healing tool & has been used since the dawn of mankind for that purpose. Shamans & healers of all kinds have always used drums to heal.
42:12 – Cave paintings in Utah of Kokopelli, who played the flute. Wood is convinced it’s Willie Nelson in a previous life. He shares a hilarious story about the revelry of the shamans & tribe that parallel the baby-making vibe of Willie’s concerts.
42:53 – The Bible talks about man being made in God’s image. So we create. The creative impluse. What happens between the poles of our sexuality & spirituality? Creation of songs, books, etc. Sometimes creativity means destruction & we don’t much like that, but it may take that in order to build again.
43:49 – Wood’s wife, Gloria, breaks his heart when she destroys one of her paintings that he thinks is beautiful, but that’s part of her process. Now, there are X-ray machines that show the layers under the art of the Great Masters & how many times they destroyed their work before getting to the famed pieces we know. (I’ll be talking with Gloria about this in the next episode of the Naked Vibes Show).
44:38 – One of the reasons for art as a help to us is that it can bring to the surface things we don’t want to deal with. It can be ugly & difficult.
44:58 – In order to make art, you have to focus on one thing & get away from the “poor, poor, pitiful me” stuff. Wood says he knew “poor, poor, pitiful me” would never get him anywhere, so he doesn’t focus on that in his songs. He says even sad songs inspire people because they hear that someone else is worse off than they are!
45:56 – Wood’s song “What I Didn’t Do” became a hit when Steve Wariner recorded it. Wood tells the story of getting to hang out with George Jones when George’s wife, Nancy, called to see if it was okay for George to record it, too! He talks about the down-to-earth nature of the great artists he’s had the pleasure of working with, including George, Marty Robbins, Eddie Arnold, Conway Twitty, & so many more. These artists know that, when it comes down to it, everyone’s just in it together – workin’. Grammy-winning songwriter, Wood Newton.
46:58 – SONG – LIVE PERFORMANCE: “What I Didn’t Do”
49:50 – A great message about not taking relationships & people we care about for granted. The message also applies to every life situation & to success in general. Successful entrepreneurs talk about going ahead & making mistakes, learning from them & recovering – because it’s not about what you did; it’s about what you didn’t do. You didn’t go for it – that would be the mistake! You have to let rejection roll off of you or it will hold you back. Wood knows many talented people who have allowed rejection to cripple them & lose opportunities because they couldn’t handle it. When you hear “no”, listen to your inner “yes” instead.
51:38 – Wood was born “Nekked”!
52:33 – Introducing Gloria Newton on Wood & Gloria’s 42nd Anniversary. Don’t miss the conversation with this wonderful artist on the next episode of Naked Vibes TV.
• The Naked Vibes Show is sponsored by RockItU – Get a Free Video to help you hone your intuitive skills for practical use in everyday life.
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