Local Music

One busy bee: Local musician to write a song a week

Zach Fountain of Rushmore Beekeepers is planning on writing one song a week for the rest of the year.
Carrie Hawkins

Have you ever sat down to write a song? How about a poem? Everybody's at least done the obligatory English class essay. Which means we all know what it's like to experience writer's block — that frustrating experience when the words just won't flow and your tempted to throw your computer and/or pencil out the window.

But potential lack of inspiration, also known as any artist's worst nightmare, isn't stopping local folk singer/songwriter Zach Fountain — who performs under the moniker Rushmore Beekeepers — from embarking on his latest mission: to write and record one song a week for an entire year.

"I'm really worried about that, actually," Fountain says of the threat of writers block putting the breaks on his project. "There was a period maybe between 2002 to 2004 where I was writing nonstop, but its slowed down since then. I haven't done as much writing in the past few years, and I'm hoping [writer's block] doesn't happen ... but it could make for some interesting songs."

The decision to make his latest quirky qualms accessible to the world via his personal website, rushmorebeekeepers.com, and Bandcamp,rushmorebeekeepers.bandcamp.com — his first song posted, "If I Left the Stove On," was written about his OCD fretting — is due in part to Fountain's need for a little accountability.


Band Guide
Rushmore Beekeepers

Audio Clip

"If I Left the Stove On" by Rushmore Beekeepers

"I decided to have it posted, downloadable and streaming [on the two websites] because if I was the only one expecting a song a week I wouldn't do it. That sense of obligation will keep me going."

Fountain also is viewing his undertaking as an opportunity to sharpen his skills, something he says he learned from one of his idols.

"[Alternative/pop singer] Matthew Sweet said you should write a song a day just for practice," explains Fountain. "I thought about that for years, but I think that's too much for me to do. That's kind of a lot. But with a song a week there's a chance to write something decent and get it recorded."

Still in the first week of his journey, Fountain's only one song deep, but at the end of the year (assuming all goes as planned), he'll have close to 50 new songs under his belt. What's a singer to do with all that material?

"If they all turn out pretty good, I think it'd be neat to put them out on CD and some incentive to get it, like some kind of unique packaging. Or if I'm not writing a really good song every week, then maybe just a condensed CD. ... We'll see what happens."


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