The Austin Songwriters Group is in its 30th year of serving songwriters. ASG is a non-profit organization created by songwriters for songwriters. In its earliest incarnation, ASG history has it being originally founded by singer-songwriter, Christine Albert, who long ago handed the reins off to others who continued to administer ASG in the many forms it took over the years.
In the early years, ASG was mostly an ad hoc kind of organization that held its meetings and events in public venues, such as restaurants and music clubs, as well as the borrowed office here and there for song critique meetings. For many years, it was a loose affiliation of volunteers here and there that mainly focused on song contests and critique sessions, as well as the less tangible benefit of serving as a support group of sorts for songwriters.
In 2003, ASG’s current Executive Director, Lee Duffy, joined the board and ASG begin moving into a new era of its history with an expanded slate of activities and events. In the last ten years, under Lee’s leadership, ASG has gone from holding songwriter meetings at Threadgill’s and a borrowed law office, to having it’s own standalone locations throughout South Austin, which also included The Mockingbird Cafe stage. Recently, ASG gave up its most recent lease and expects to be mobile for the next year as it seeks a new potential home more conveniently located.
In 2004, Lee founded the ASG Songwriter Symposium, which is about to celebrate its 13th year anniversary in January 2017. From the beginning, the ASG Symposium brought in platinum songwriters, publishers, producers, PRO representatives and more to create a weekend experience for songwriters that offers something for everyone at every level of development. The ASG Symposium has gained a well-founded reputation for being one of the best songwriters conferences in the country.
In addition to the ASG Symposium, Lee Duffy and ASG President, Rick Busby, have also maintained the annual songwriting contests that have been the legacy of ASG since the beginning, while expanding the overall slate of events and activities to include the weekly Song Doctor Sessions, Monday Night Live at Threadgill’s, recurring songwriting workshops with platinum songwriters and music publishing professionals, and the increasingly popular annual Merle Haggard Birthday bash, which celebrated its 12th year in April 2017.
In the past, ASG has produced several 12-hour workshop experiences, in connection with Robert Cross of KUT Radio, including the Business of Songwriting Seminar Series and a GarageBand recording workshop. The real work of ASG is to give a home to songwriters at all levels where they can not only grow their skills at the craft of songwriting and their personal relationships with music industry professionals, but also to grow creatively in a supportive environment where the opportunities to connect with other like-minded creatives are boundless.
ASG is still a volunteer run organization and we are grateful to each and every single person who has ever contributed to ASG’s success, whether member or community supporter. We could not do what we do without you all and it is our great pleasure and honor to serve you all.