I’ve decided that this year I’ll be participating in the 2020 FAWM (February Album Writing Month) Song Challenge hoping to do much better than what I had done last year.

Personally, participating and completing the FAWM Song Challenge has been one to the most rewarding creative experiences I’ve ever experienced.

It has allowed me to shake off the shackles of fear and doubt and just get some songwriting shit done.

It’s kick-started the momentum I needed to get my songwriting mojo back on track and it’s (most importantly) made my self confidence and belief as a performing songwriter/artist go through the roof.

I believe that every songwriter should try this challenge out at least once in their lives and experience first-hand the overwhelmingly supporting community of songwriters, musicians and lyricists that reside within the challenge.

At the end of the day, it’s a great way to connect and possibly network and collaborate with other like minded individuals and each participant has a slightly different interpretation of what FAWM means to them.

For me, it’s a chance to really give SongMachine (my home recording studio) a thorough thrashing and along the way, learn more about the recording process and how to get the best sound possible with the recording gear I have at my disposal.

It also gives me the opportunity to go through my archives and finish off all of the random song titles, half finished verses, choruses and voice memos that I have scattered on pieces of paper, my hard drive or, on my phone.

I also take pride on using the challenge to write songs from a starting position of having nothing prepared. Those are the songs in which their existence always amazes me.

If you have any questions regarding FAWM that you want to ask, then feel free to contact me otherwise, just go to the FAWM website and sign up. It’s free to join but there’s only a few more days to go before it kicks off for another year.

I’ll also be blogging about my FAWM experiences as well so watch this space.

Hope to see you in the challenge. Good luck…


Corey 🙂

I’ve got to say, RUSH is one of my favourite bands, definitely up there with The Police as one of my favourite power trios of all time.

To me RUSH was the epitome of the sum being greater than the parts. Each member bought their uniqueness to the mix…

There was Geddy Lee‘s amazing voice and virtuosic bass playing which was one of the reasons why I persevered with singing and playing bass at the same time in my early years.

Added to that was Alex Lifeson‘s insanely riffy licks and his well thought out and textured guitar solos.

It was however, Neil Peart‘s intricate, metronomic but groovy as fuck drumming that (as a bass player) really caught my attention. In addition to his amazing drumming prowess he was also THE BAND’S LYRICIST

Now THAT is amazing.

Here is a great video from Rick Beato, one of my favourite YouTubers waxing lyrical about the man, the drummer and the legend, Neil Peart.

Vale Mr Peart, you will be greatly missed.


Corey 🙁

Today is January 7th which is my birthday.

This means that today I celebrate my 49th year on this planet and because of this, I thought it would be a good time to reaffirm to myself (and the rest of the world) my primary musical goal.

And that goal is this…

“To develop, maintain and sustain a career as a songwriter, musician, producer and blogger utilising the internet as my primary tool of promotion, networking and marketing.”

Now, this goal doesn’t mean that the more traditional face to face music business related activities will get neglected along the way. No way!

I actually love the cut and thrust of getting out there and networking, securing my own gigs and using the power of word of mouth advertising to create a community around me, my music and any other projects that I’m involved with but I know that I’ll be starting again almost from scratch so the question I ask myself is “how am I going to achieve this goal?”

Well, I’ll be well on my way to achieving by doing these three things:

1. Simplifying my life

I know that I have the tendency to over-complicate and over-think aspects of my life and work which paralyses me through having too much choice.

I’ve started on the road to simplicity a few months ago by deciding that this site is the main focus for all of my musical endeavours and pulling all of my content into it. I will be having a closer look at ways in which I can streamline my online presence in the near future and (of course) it’s my intention to blog about it.

2. Focusing on my activity

As well as over-complicating and over-thinking aspects of my life I also fall into the habit of doing far too many things at once under the guise of needing to “diversify my income.”

Now, income diversification is not necessarily a bad thing in the modern music industry. I know that I need to wear a few hats to ensure that I maintain and sustain a music career however, doing the old jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none thing too much will get really boring when I realise that all I’ve been doing is running around in circles not achieving anything.

I know I can do a lot of things but I need to be mindful of what I’m really doing every time I decide to take on another job here, another role there.

Which leads on nicely to the last point…

3. Internalising my efforts

I know, I admit it, I’m a people pleaser and in the past, I’ve done anything for anyone because I wanted to be seen as the “nice guy” and would do whatever I could to protect that stance, even at the cost to myself. Well, as of today there will be no more of that.

Helping others is fine as long as it doesn’t get in the way of my own stuff.

One of the things that taking some time off from gigging has enabled me to do is give me a fresh perspective on what I will say yes and (more importantly) no to if asked.

I am first and foremost, my own client in my music business and even though I’m open to any opportunity that comes my way, if I have time spare to work with anyone else in the same capacity I’ll do so but, if I don’t, I won’t.

It doesn’t get any simpler than that and I hope you’ll understand that if you happen to be the one doing the asking.

This year is about creating and maintaining some balance in life. I’ve had my break and now it’s time for me to get back into it but this time I’ll be working smarter (not necessarily harder) towards achieving my primary musical goal.


Corey 🙂

I have a confession to make… I am a tragic hoarder of information.

I love collecting information, researching or any activity that can be used as an excuse to not move forward with something. I don’t know where this affliction comes from but this is something that I do every single day.

My Evernote account has now over 37000 bookmarks on topics such songwriting and other music related stuff through to web design and online marketing, all of which have been set aside so I can read it later.

Now, THAT is a lot of reading…

The ironic thing is that as soon as I am in a position where I need to take some action on something my brain immediately tells me that I can’t make the next step because I don’t have enough information to move ahead.

It is then that I get paralysed, unable to move forward with what I want to do and mistake that as a sign that I need to start collecting even more information.

On one hand I don’t want to move on with things because I don’t have enough information at my disposal and when I feel I’m finally ready I’m paralysed by too much choice…

Too much information…

Too much information, running through my brain…

Talk about setting myself up for failure. The next question I need to ask myself is “how do I get around this strategy and move myself forward?”

I suppose I have to answer the first question which is “is there any real benefits using my present researching strategy?” and the answer is YES.

I do come across a lot of really good information that I can use but I just need to learn to research and take action at the same time. Researching and action can be two concepts that can move parallel with each other.

So, I admit it, I am an information hoarder. I collect information under the notion that the more info I collect, the more knowledgeable I will become…


I collect information because I’m scared of making the next move. Collecting information is my preferred method of PROCRASTINATION.

No amount of information collection will make me a better songwriter, musician, producer or blogger because information alone is useless unless action follows it.

This is one of my goals for 2020, to use all of this information to my advantage.

To actually learn something from all of the information I’ve collected and to take action on it without fear.

Can you relate to this? Is information hoarding something that you do to delay the inevitable? If so, let me know and perhaps we can help each other break the cycle of information hoarding (or, at the very least trade some info).


Corey 🙂

I’m one of those people who go a little bit overboard when it comes to setting goals, intentions and resolutions, especially around this time of year.

I get all excited around this time because a new year means a brand new clean slate to start from but because of this, I get caught up in it all and set goals, intentions and resolutions that are way, way too ambitious.

It’s like I’m setting myself up for failure.

I came across an article illustrating the concept of “Microsteps” as it relates to goal setting and this caught my attention. The article titled New Year’s Resolutions: Why Microsteps Have More Impact Than Grand Plans sets itself up for the reader by saying…

We like to set ambitious goals every January, imagining how much more amazing we are going to be about everything in the coming year — healthier, happier, more successful…January comes and goes and, lo and behold, we are much the same as when the year started.

While lofty goals sound impressive, they don’t always work. The gyms are packed in January and empty in February. Sound familiar? Perhaps this is a good year to try a new approach!

Now, I’ve been there many, many times. All good intentions in January, resolutions down the toilet in February. I didn’t want that to happen this year so I read the article and it blew my mind.

How can something as simple as breaking down lofty, ambitious goals into smaller “microsteps” escape me I don’t know, but that was my epiphany for 2020.

The essence of the article reminded of an old saying…

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Now that I’ve read and absorbed New Year’s Resolutions: Why Microsteps Have More Impact Than Grand Plans I’m now looking at the goals, intentions and resolutions I’ve made for 2020 and seeing if there’s anyway to break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

I know I have a lot of things that I want to achieve this year and with this micro-stepping technique under my belt, I have much more of a chance of “getting shit done…”

That’s my mantra for 2020.


Corey 🙂

Check out the original link: New Year’s Resolutions: Why Microsteps Have More Impact Than Grand Plans

Since the mid nineties I have had a very keen interest in studying meditation. Around that time I was exposed to a number of philosophies of mainly the new age kind through the bands I was in and through the company I kept.

This created a healthy environment of wonderment and questioning about what life is about and what makes human beings (especially me as I point the finger inwards) do the things that they do. Out of all the books I read, the people I had spoken to and the philosophies I was exposed to, it turns out that for me, Buddhism was the only thing that really made sense.

Now, there were periods of time where I was right into the study and other times where I had let it lapse but if I was ever asked what religion I adhered to, I would answer Buddhism. However, there was always one thing that confused me about Buddhism and my relationship to it. I have never seen Buddhism as a religion but more of a method of living.

Now, some schools of Buddhism seem to have a more religious or doctrinal approach to them while others not so but all I wanted to do at the end of the day was practise this method of living without any of the superstitious or religious overtones. It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered that my “Buddhism without the religion” actually has a name… Secular Buddhism.

Now when asked about my religion (mainly through other religious people who knock at my door from time to time) I can reply “I don’t have one, but I am a Secular Buddhist” (much to the amusement or confusion of the questioner). According to Wikipedia, Secular Buddhism is

“… a broad term for an emerging form of Buddhism and secular spirituality that is based on humanist, skeptical, and/or agnostic values, as well as pragmatism and (often) naturalism, rather than religious (or more specifically supernatural or paranormal) beliefs.”

It’s also referred to as Western Buddhism or Buddhist Atheism. Once I found a name for my rediscovered path, everything else just started to make sense. Therefore, my Buddhist study would be of a secular nature and my meditation and mindfulness study would come from the disciplined Zen Buddhist tradition of Japan. In future posts, I’ll be writing about what I discover on this particular path but in the meantime I’m just happy to “be” in this very moment.


Corey 🙂

After a very long break (and a few false starts), I’m now ready to get back into playing gigs locally with the view of branching out into country areas as well as touring interstate.

I’ve put together a playlist on SoundCloud called CS Acoustic Demo 2019 which highlights five covers and five of my own songs played by me and an acoustic guitar.

If you’re interested in new local music then check out the five originals and let me know what you think.

Any feedback is most welcome.

If you are a venue owner or booker and you’re on the lookout for another songwriter/acoustic soloist to join your roster of performers then check out the whole demo package below to hear if what I do fits in with your venues aesthetic.

If there is a fit, you can contact me here.

I’m currently working on a new bio, one sheet and EPK which will be uploaded to this site as soon as it’s finished. In the meantime enjoy my acoustic demo.


Corey 🙂

Yes, Mara and I got ourselves a puppy. His name is Charlie, he’s a Groodle (a Golden Retriever/Poodle cross) and he’s very, very, very CUTE!

We’ve had Charlie for almost three weeks now and the change in the household has been nothing short of amazing.

There’s less stress (except when the odd accident appears on the floor), more love and an elevated sense of happiness in the house and this in turn, has been good for our overall health as well.

Pets have been proven to lower blood pressure and decrease stress levels which is something that I definitely need in my life at the moment.

As you might imagine, having a puppy in the house when you’re so used to your own company has been quite a challenge and I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging and songwriting front because of this.

I wasn’t able to complete this years FAWM and my Song A Week Challenge has been put on hold for the time being. I just couldn’t sustain the output of music and content plus, look after a demanding puppy at the same time.

Initially, this situation was messing with my head but I’ve gotten past the feelings of guilt and am now just getting on with things.

I’m amazed at how fast Charlie is growing already and I know there will be a time very soon where I’m able to get back to (almost) where I was before with my blogging and songwriting but until then I’ll do the best I can with what time I have at my disposal.

In the meantime, here’s another picture of Charlie just to let sink in how wonderfully cute he is…


Corey (Charlie’s Dad) 🙂

Each and every Monday for 2019 I’ll be uploading a song as part of my self imposed Song A Week Challenge.

Song number 5 of the challenge is an instrumental that I call Return To North Star.

This piece of music was inspired by a collaboration between Robert Fripp and Darryl Hall called “North Star” which was from Hall’s 1980 album “Sacred Songs” in which Roberet Fripp produced.

SAW05 – Return To North Star
© 4/2/2019 C. Stewart

It’s an instrumental…

If you have any comments, feedback, encouragement or even song ideas that I could use to keep this challenge going then either comment below or, let me know here.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get a move on with SAW06…


Corey 🙂