Jerry Silverstein

Story

I have a long standing friendship with a Nashville publisher, Michael Martin, who currently is the creative director at ASCAP in Nashville. A couple of years ago when I was visiting with Michael in Nashville, he suggested that I connect with a talented singer from Alabama who was currently studying in the Clive Davis music program at NYU. I called Jenny and we first met for a session in one of the practice rooms at NYU, and we have been writing in person and by Skype ever since. She hails from the area around Muscle Shoals, and she since has graduated and moved to Nashville. We have a great synergy, and I love how she takes our songs and makes them her own. Nothing pleases me more than to have a phrase that Jenny interjects into a lyric that simply isn't part of my vernacular like this line in "Things I Left Behind":

"Moved to the City to take on the world, so I could be the legend kind of girl."

When I play the song out myself, I flip my hair (such as it is) after singing that line.

Jenny is a talented singer songwriter with a beautiful voice who is totally dedicated to her craft. She has worked hard to learn everything that she can about songwriting as well as the industry as a whole, and I'm confident that she will make her mark in the years ahead. I'm looking forward to maintaining our collaboration as part of her journey.

To follow Jenny on the web, go to JennyRayMusic.com

Jenny Ray
Jenny Ray/Jerry Silverstein

Story

This is the first song that Jenny and I wrote in a rehearsal cubical at NYU. I had the hook "That difference made all the difference" but we didn't know where it would take us. The first day of a co-write is a little bit like a first date, very tentative but also wonderfully revealing. The talk was definitely about relationships past and present, and the magic of collaboration is that two writers with very diverse backgrounds can lend their experiences to create a song that neither of them would have written on their own. Something else that is important in an initial collaboration is giving each other the permission to say something foolish, because it's easy to over-edit and by doing so quash creativity. By the end of the first session Jenny and I had discovered our rhythm and a degree of trust, and that has only blossomed and grown over the past year.

The song ended up being about the quirkiness of love and the unexpected qualities that can make one relationship work and another go off the rails.

"Because you get me like nobody has before

You looked out for my heart every time you had the chance

And that difference made all the difference"

Jenny Ray
Jenny Ray/Jerry Silverstein

Story

The hook actually came from a conversation between Jenny and Michael Martin at ASCAP. Jenny told me about it and we brainstormed about how to approach the hook. Most of our co-writing comes from digging deep into our personal experiences and extrapolating from them, never letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

"I thought I had to leave it all to see what I could find

But my heart was one of those things I left behind"

Performer: Jenny Ray
Writers: Jenny Ray/Jerry Silverstein

Story

"Love can start with one beat of the heart

Like an ocean from a drop of water"

What I liked about this song was that it went from the general to the specific. After Jenny and I wrote the first verse that made a "philosophical statement," we shifted directly to a specific moment and added the "furniture" that the first verse was lacking. Hopefully the shift makes sense and listeners can connect the two.

"Just another cold December night

Roaming downtown streets with you

Though I've walked by your side a million times

Something about this night felt new"

We wrote this song for Jenny's voice, and when she sings it (beautifully, I might add) you're transported and placed in that moment.

Jenny Ray/Jerry Silverstein

Story

This song is about how sometimes you don't appreciate what you have until you've given it up. When a relationship develops tensions, sometimes the reflexive reaction is to  think that by splitting up everything will be made better, Sadly, that's not always the case and many people have found that they can't live or without someone they love. This is a hook that Jenny brought to a Skype session when she was staying in Nashville the  summer of 2014, and the song flowed pretty quickly.

"I can scream or slam the door

Nothing matters anymore

‘Cause no one’s there to tell to me to calm down

The fighting used to be just you and me.

But now I’m just fighting lonely."