MEDIA RELEASES

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, Mo Pitney, Songwriter, SMSWF, Gatlinburg, TNArtist/Songwriter Mo Pitney “Country” Curb Records

Scroll down to read all media releases concerning the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.

June, 2016

2016 SMSWF Song Competition Winners

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival was once again a great success. Over 150 free shows with over 350 songwriters telling you the stories behind the songs you hear on the radio were in Gatlinburg and at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort for 4 days. There were also 4 different groups in the SMSWF Rocky Top Co-Writing Experience Project with Hit Writers, workshops and mentoring sessions were also offered.   Venues participating in Gatlinburg this year were The Park Vista Doubletree, The Glenstone Lodge, Courtyard at the Marriott, Dick’s Last Resort, The Gatlinburg Inn, Tom & Earl’s Grill, Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill, Three Jimmy’s Eatery, The Ship Pub, Country Cobbler Leather Shop in the Glades, American Sideshow in the Glades, and The Covered Bridge in the Glades. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort also had it’s own SMSWF mini festival inside its resort with two ticketed concerts being held, a matinee with hit writers and aspiring songwriters welcome their guest as they arrived Friday and Saturday. Next year’s festival is scheduled for Aug 16-20, 2017.

The Grand Prize Winner at the 2016 SMSWF Song Competition is “I’m Going To Save You” a Gospel/Inspirational song by Bruce Michael Miller from Nashville, TN. Bruce won $500 plus a Premiere Demo from Beaird Music Group in Nashville. The Listener’s Choice Winner is “He’ll Lead You Home a Bluegrass song by Doug Smith from LaVergne, TN. Doug won $250 and a Johnson guitar donated by David Earle West at Ciderville Music on Clinton Highway in Powell, TN. The Lyric’s Only Winner is “Almost Missed It” by Cyndee Gray Harr from Blountville, TN. Cyndee won $200 plus a handmade leather lyric’s satchel crafted by Doug McCrossin at the Country Cobbler in the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. All the finalists received recording time from Steel Strings Production Studios in Friendsville, TN.   Entries for the 2017 SMSWF Song Competition will be accepted starting November 1, 2016 thru April 30, 2017.

The Category Winners are: Bluegrass 1st Place “He’ll Lead You Home” Doug Smith, LaVergne, TN; Bluegrass 2nd Place “I’m Finally Going Home” Kevin Hale, Westlake Village, CA; and Bluegrass 3rd Place “The Chattanooga Train” Edward Brown, Dunlap, TN. Country 1st Place “Screen Door” Pamela Lack, Nashville, TN; Country 2nd Place “Zero to Hillbilly” and Country 3rd Place “Summer High” Scott Miller Washington, DC. Folk 1st Place “My Baby Girl” by Sol Knopf, Smyrna, DE; Folk 2nd Place “Gunpowder and Gasoline” and 3rd Place “Leaving Each Other (for The Rest of Our Lives)” Fish Fisher, Toledo, OH. Gospel/Inspirational 1st Place “I’m Going To Save You” Bruce Michael Miller, Nashville, TN; Gospel/Inspirational 2nd Place “Love Wins” Joe Hash, Santa Fe, TN; Gospel/Inspirational 3rd Place “This Side of Sunday” Scott Parker, Oliver Springs, TN.   Jazz/Blues 1st Place “Made You Look” Molly Jeanne, Poughkeepsie, NY; Jazz/Blues 2nd Place “The One” Fish Fisher, Toledo, OH; Jazz/Blues 3rd Place “You Know I Love It” April Estes, Knoxville, TN. Pop 1st Place “Just Saying” Lucy Rose George, Kingsport, TN; Pop 2nd Place “Boomerang” April Estes, Knoxville, TN; Pop 3rd Place “Craving Water” Fish Fisher, Toledo, OH. Rock 1st “When I Breathe”, Place Scott Parker, Oliver Springs, TN

Venues with live music in Gatlinburg include Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill, Sugarlands Distilling Company’s Back Porch, The Smoky Mountain Brewery, Three Jimmy’s A Good Time Eatery, Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, The Ship Pub, Hoggs Tavern Downtown, Tom and Earl’s Back Alley Grill and Loco Burros.

Every 2nd Monday of the month there is a SMSWF Songwriters Showcase at Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill 6-9 PM. If you are a songwriter who would like to share your songs, please contact John Condrone in this regard 865-898-7301.

Jared Hard a songwriter from Nashville, TN, who performed in the festival will be returning to Gatlinburg twice in September to perform at the The Ship Pub (170 Glades Rd) Sat. Sept. 3rd and Sat. Sept. 24th. Starting at 7 PM both nights.

 

August, 2016

AUG 24-28, 2016 SMOKY MOUNTAINS SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

The 5th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival will be held Aug 24-28, 2016 in Gatlinburg, TN and at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.   There are over 125 free live music shows happening for 4 days.  Plus 3 ticketed concerts and one show that requires a reservation.

For tickets and reservations go www.smswf.com.  Tickets are also available at Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill or the Historic Gatlinburg Inn. Children Tickets (under 12 over 5) are available.

Country Artist and Songwriter Keith Anderson “Wildflowers” #1 Video and “Lost in The Moment” for Big and Rich will Kick-off the 5th Annual SMSWF on the lawn at the Historic Gatlinburg Inn Thurs. Aug 25.

Performing in the Garth Brooks’ Hit Writers Concert Sat Aug 27 at the Glenstone Lodge are Pat Alger “Thunder Rolls, Tony Arata “The Dance”, Kent Blazy “If Tomorrow Never Comes” “Ain’t Going Down (Til The Sun Comes Up)”. Pre-Show is Sylvia, the artist in the 80s who took “Nobody” to the top of the charts.

At the 2016 Bluegrass Music Awards, the Farm Hands were named for a second consecutive year Bluegrass Music’s Gospel Band of the Year as well as Vocal Group of the Year. In 2015 when they received Entertainer of the Year. The Farm Hands Quartet Concert will be at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort Sat. Aug. 27.

The EmiSunshine Concert will be held at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort Fri. Aug 26. Pre-Show to feature Molly Freer, Sam Hatmaker and Lucy George. Emi and her mother Alisha Hamilton are presenting a workshop 10AM – noon Sat Aug 27Inspired Beginnings In Songwriting”.

Legendary Jim Glaser “Woman, Woman (Do You Have Cheating On Your Mind)” for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap will be in Bobby’s Living Room Show, with Grammy, CMA, and ACM award nominee host Bobby Tomberlin “One More Day” Diamond Rio.  Joining them are Carrie Tillis, Mel Tillis’ daughter, and Grammy Award Winner Bill LaBounty “Rock My World Little Country Girl” Brooks and Dunn “Some Where In The Vicinity of The Heart” for Allison Kraus and Shenadoah Aug. 26th in the lobby Courtyard at the Marriott. Free show but you MUST HAVE RESERVATIONS.

2016 SMSWF Song Competition Finale and Awards Show is Sat. Aug. 27th 2-5 PM at the Edgewater Hotel. Over 350 songs entered with 24 songs competing in the Finale for Grand Prize and Category Winner Awards. Public Invited. A Listener’s Choice Award will be chosen by the audience.

Throughout the weekend you will hear and meet songwriters who wrote songs like “Three Wooden Crosses” Randy Travis, “Blink” Kenny Chesney, “That’s What I Love About Sunday” Craig Morgan, “She’s Everything” Brad Paisley, “Watching You” Tracy Atkins, “Retired” Ray Stevens, “Love Me” Colin Raye, “If You Stole My Heart” Kym Simon, “He’s Already There” Darin & Brook Aldridge, “How Forever Feels” Tony Mullins, “Someday” Blue Highway, “Just to See You Smile” Tim McGraw, “Fit For A King” Garth Brooks, “When We Both Say Good-bye” Sir Elton John, “Oh What A Perfect Day” and “Check Yes Or No” George Strait.

Official SMSWF free live music venues in Gatlinburg from open to close during the 5th Annual SMSWF are: Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill, Park Vista Doubletree Lobby, The Historic Gatlinburg Inn, Dick’s Last Resort, Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill, Three Jimmy’s Eatery. The Official SMSWF venues in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community include: The Ship Pub, the Country Cobbler, American Side Show Front Porch, and The Covered Bridge.

The 2016 SMSWF songwriters will also be performing at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort during the 5th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival starting Friday 26th thru Sunday morning Aug. 28th. The SMSWF Musicians and Lyricists Weekend ‘Mixing Music with the Words’ at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort event starts at 11 AM Fri Aug 26th.

The SMSWF is a great place for songwriters and musicians to hone their craft of songwriting and network with music industry pros. For songwriter opportunities go to www.smswf.com.

 

July, 2016

Farm Hands Quartet to perform at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

The Farm Hands will be performing at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort Sat. Aug. 27th during the 5th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival. For more information on how to get tickets go to www.smswf.com.

The Farm Hands are one of the most exciting and talked about bands in Bluegrass Music. At the 2016 Bluegrass Music Awards, the Farm Hands were named for a second consecutive year Bluegrass music’s Gospel Band of the Year as well as being named Vocal Group of the Year. This followed up an incredible 2015 when they received one of the industry’s highest honors Entertainer of the Year. Since their inception in 2010, they have received over 40 awards and nominations including 2014’s Album of The Year.

In 2015, Grammy award winner Tim Graves became the newest inductee into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.  Tim has over 30 years of professional music under his belt, including 20 years as part of the world famous Grand Ole Opry. Tim has toured extensively across the U.S. both as a sideman and with his own group. Tim plays his signature ‘Tim Graves model’ Red Line guitar and is the reigning Dobro Player of the Year in bluegrass music, a distinction he has held 11 times and the last 8 years in a row.

Gospel music icon Bill Gaither calls Farm Hand’s bass player Daryl Mosley “a poet-and we don’t have many poets left.” As a multi-award winning songwriter, Daryl has written songs featured on ‘American Idol’, ‘The View’ and “True Hollywood Story’, and has several #1 songs to his credit, including the southern gospel classic, ‘(Ask the Blind Man) He Saw It All.  Daryl is a four time nominee as bluegrass music’s Male Vocalist of the Year and in 2016 was named Songwriter of the Year.

Two time Guitar Player of the Year nominee Keith Tew has toured with his band High Strung, Vassar Clements of the Grateful Dead, Rock County, and performed on the Grand Ole’ Opry as a member of Rhonda Vincent’s band.  Keith is a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter who has written songs recorded by many artists including Mountain Heart and Lou Reid and Carolina. The Lonesome River Band’s recording of Keith’s song, ‘Am I A Fool’ was named Song of the Year a few years back.

Although Bennie Boling is a multi-instrumentalist, most of his time with the Farm Hands is spent on the banjo. His tremendous talent has been recognized by the bluegrass industry by nominating Bennie as Banjo Player of the Year the past three years in a row. Bennie, who sings bass in the Quartet, is also a talented and successful songwriter, having written songs recorded by country music legends The Oak Ridge Boys, Gene Watson, Jeanie Seeley and many others.

Also coming to this year’s Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Aug. 24-28, 2016 are the hit songwriters who wrote the songs with Garth that made Garth Brooks GARTH.   Pat Alger “Thunder Rolls”, Tony Arata “The Dance” and Kent Blazy “If Tomorrow Never Comes” will be in a ticketed concert at the Glenstone Lodge in Gatlinburg Sat. Aug. 27th at 7 PM.   Sylvia who took “Nobody” to the top of the charts will be the pre-show for this great evening.

Emi Sunshine is also going to be in concert on Fri. night Aug. 26, 2016 at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.

The 5th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is a 4 day event with over 120 free live music shows being performed throughout Gatlinburg.   The songwriters will tell you the stories behind the songs you hear on the radio and perform them as they were originally created. For information about this great event go to www.smswf.com

June, 2016

Garth Brook’s Hit Writers Showcase is Coming To Gatlinburg

The Hit Writers who made Garth Brooks GARTH will be performing in a ticketed concert at the Glenstone Lodge during the 5th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Aug. 24-28, 2016.   Included in this line-up will be Tony Arata who wrote “The Dance”, Pat Alger who wrote “Thunder Rolls” and Kent Blazy who wrote “ Ain’t Going Down Til The Sun Comes Up”.   Sylvia, who sang the #1 hit song “Nobody”, will open the Garth Brook’s Hit Writers Showcase.

Emi Sunshine will also be performing in a ticketed concert at this year’s Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival on Fri. night Aug. 26th at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. Doors open at 7 PM. Show starts at 8 PM.

To get tickets to both of these concerts go to www.smswf.com. “You might want to make reservations to be back in Gatlinburg when you check out this week,” suggested SMSWF Director and Founder Cyndy Montgomery Reeves.

The SMSWF is hosting a weekend of prosody during this year’s festival called “Inspired Beginnings” where musicians who mainly write melodies on their instruments can meet and work with lyricists who do not play an instrument. “A prosody is where the music marries the words” explains Reeves. Any musician or lyricists can sign up for this great weekend at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. For more information on this weekend, contact the SMSWF at smswf@yahoo.com or 865-604-9066.

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is held during August every year to celebrate our Appalachian musical roots”. The craft of songwriting from songwriters and musicians will fill venues with ongoing performances for four days throughout Gatlinburg and at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.  There will be over 125 free live music shows to choose from. Public is invited.

You will hears songs like: “One More Day” Diamond Rio hit.“I Cross My Heart” George Strait hit, “Papa Loves Mama”, “Ain’t Going Down Till the Sun Comes Up” and “Fit for a King” Garth Brooks hits;  “She’s Everything” Brad Paisley hit; “Three Wooden Crosses” Randy Travis hit “Every Which Way But Loose” Eddie Rabbit hit and Clint Eastwood Movie Soundtrack; “Woman, Woman” (Do You Got Cheatin on Your Mind) Gary Puckett and the Union Gap; and “Love Me if You Can” Toby Keith hit and many more hits cut by Barbra Striesand, Reba McIntire, Ricky Skaggs, Trisha Yearwood, Alison Krauss, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Kenny Rogers and Jason Aldean to name a few.

This week free live music in Gatlinburg can be found at the venues below:

Neesee on the keyboard Wed. thru Sun. 5 PM to close at Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill. Ben Stroupe is there 3 different Mondays each month except the 2nd Monday which is the SMSWF Songwriters Showcase. Steve Carr is on the guitar every Tuesday.

Three Jimmy’s A Good Time Eatery offers live music, DJ, and karaoke. Every Tuesday is BAMM JAM night 9 PM till close. Wednesday is Open Mic with Mark Meyer, Thursday and Friday are DJ/Karoke, and Saturday is dance band night.

The Ship Pub in the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community hosts a SMSWF Spotlight once a month with Songwriters not from the immediate area. Robby Hopkins from Chattanooga, TN will be the songwriter spotlighted 7-10 PM Sat. April 11th.

Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill has Denver Evans on the keyboard entertaining every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday weather permitting.

The Smoky Mountain Brewery, Hoggs Upstairs Tavern and Loco Burros have live entertainment on the weekends. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillery and Sugarlands Distillery host live music throughout the day every day of the week.

 

April, 2016

Live Music Venues In Gatlinburg

Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill is becoming known for #1 Hit Songwriters and Country Music Artists that seem to pop in and out of the restaurant from time to time. A very familiar face is CMA and ACM nominated #1 Hit Songwriter Bobby Tomberlin who wrote “One More Day” for Diamond Rio and a “Good Day To Run” with Darryl Worley.   Sometimes Bobby brings guests with him like Bill LaBounty “Rock My World Little Country Girl” for Brooks & Dunn and “Somewhere Within the Vicinity of the Heart” for Alison Kraus and Shenadoah, 80s Artist Sylvia, new country Artist Mo Pitney, Hilary Williams – Hank Jr.’s daughter just to name a few of the names that PJ’s has on the wall in the entrance of the restaurant. It is the rule if you are a #1 Hit Songwriter and sing a song at Crystelle Creek you will be asked to sign the wall.

Probably one of the greatest shows to take place at Crystelle Creek happened after the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Showcase featuring Darryl Worley. Worley and his family were supposed to have eaten dinner at Crystelle Creek prior to the Darryl Worley Up Close In Person Songwriters Round at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. Unfortunately they made a wrong turn and were not able to make up the lost time, so PJ West and Brent St. John said they would feed them after the show.   Which didn’t get started till after everyone in the audience had chance to meet Darryl Worley, shake his hand and have pictures made.

By the time everyone got to Crystelle Creek it was a few minutes after mid-night. The dinner party consisted of the SMSWF volunteer staff and supporters, Worley, his wife, daughter and in-laws, Jerry and Erin Salley, Bobby Tomberlin, Phyllis Williams, Robby and Donna Hopkins, Tony and Misty Justice, PJ, Deana, Brook and Brent.

After Darryl finished his meal, I asked him if he would mind performing a song for Brent and Brook since they had not been able to be at the show and Brent had single handedly prepared the food for this late night party. “I never dreamed he would play a 30 minute mini-show comprised of four songs that he had written which meant a lot to him,” commented Cyndy Reeves SMSWF Director and Founder. There we all were; sitting there listening to a very humble, talented and famous songwriter/artist as if we were in someone’s living room. The show ended at 3 AM.

Neesee can always be found on the keyboard Wednesday thru Sunday 5pm – close at Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill. Ben Stroupe is there 3 different Mondays each month except the 2nd Monday which is the SMSWF Songwriters Showcase. Steve Carr is on the guitar every Tuesday.

Three Jimmy’s A Good Time Eatery offers live music, DJ, and karaoke. Every Tuesday is BAMM JAM night 9 PM till close. Wednesday is Open Mic with Mark Meyer, Thursday and Friday are DJ/Karoke, and Saturday is dance band night.

The Ship Pub in the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community hosts a SMSWF Spotlight once a month with Songwriters not from the immediate area. Chris Long from Kingsport, TN will be the songwriter spotlighted 7-10 PM Sat. April 16th.

Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill has Denver Evans on the keyboard entertaining every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday weather permitting.   Sunday afternoons from 2-4 PM you might catch John Condrone, Chris Long, Jason Ellis, or Fish Fisher performing.

The Smoky Mountain Brewery and Loco Burros have live entertainment on the weekends. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillary and Sugarlands Distillery host live music throughout the day every day of the week.

Mar. 23, 2016

Winner of the SMSWF T-Shirt Design Contest Announced

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, 2016 T Shirt Design, Songwriters, SMSWF, Gatlinburg, TN(Gatlinburg, March 23, 2016) Roger Vines is the winner of the first Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival’s T-Shirt Design Contest. His design was chosen from 17 entries. The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival announced the contest in mid-Dec. 2015 which ended Feb. 1, 2016. Prizes include the contestant’s winning design to be printed on the official SMSWF fifth annual T-shirt, a three night stay during the festival, honorable mentions, VIP access and a $100 cash payment for being the winning design.

When Roger Vines found out his design entry had won, his reaction was “Wow, that is really exciting… so happy that you all liked the design and plan to use it for the T-shirt this year.”   Vines added “I am looking forward to attending another great festival and I appreciate all that everyone involved has done to make this event a reality.”

Roger Vines is a singer/songwriter from Rockford, Alabama and co-coordinator for the Sylacauga Chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Roger has released one CD entitled “Kudzu Kountry” and many of his songs are on YouTube. He performs locally at festivals, restaurants, and other venues. His music is mostly country with a twist of humor, like his most popular song titled “Walmart Woman”. Roger also enjoys creating chainsaw art sculptures.

Vines participated in the 2014 SMSWF Song Competition where he took home two honorable mentions for his songs “Honey You Don’t Need a Six Pack” in the Country Category and “Man With the Gibson Guitar” in the Folk Category.

Vines said, “It is such a thrill to have our design selected for the 2016 SMSWF T-Shirt Design Contest. Last year was the first time for me and my wife Laurie to attend the festival and all I can say is we are hooked”. The shirt design was a joint effort by Vines and his nephew, Allen Oakman.

The Fifth Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is 4 days of free live music venues with over 100 shows to choose from throughout downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee August 24-28, 2016.   Public Invited. This year’s ticketed concerts include The Hall of Fame Songwriters who made Garth – Garth Brooks Sat. Aug. 27th. Emi Sunshine and The Rain are scheduled as the Fri. night ticketed concert.

Opportunities for songwriters include: a songwriting workshop, songwriting competition, seats in a round, stage spots and a co-writing project with Hit Writers. For details go to www.smswf.com.

 

Feb. 28, 2016

Remembering one of East Tennessee’s Greatest Songwriter

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, Kim Williams, Songwriter, SMSWF, Gatlinburg, TNNashville Hall of Fame Songwriter Kim Williams had already written a fitting epitaph in the lyrics of what may be his most enduring song before he passed away Feb. 11, 2016.

“Three Wooden Crosses,” co-written by Doug Johnson and recorded by Randy Travis was #1 in both Country and Christian genres. It was selected “Song of the Year” by five music industry groups—the ACM, CMA, CCMA, GMA, and NSAI—an unprecedented accomplishment. “Three Wooden Crosses,” ends each chorus with these lines: “I guess it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you . . . It’s what you leave behind you when you go.”

Although Williams would later face long odds in finding commercial success as a songwriter, he learned persistence in overcoming even longer odds just to stay alive. In 1974, while working at a glass plant in Church Hill, Tennessee, he was severely burned in a control panel explosion. Initially hospitalized for six months, Kim faced down death during more than 200 reconstructive surgeries over the next 10 years.

In liner notes to his 2010 album, “The Reason That I Sing,” he told how his wife, Phyllis, inspired his survival. “She was the only familiar face when the one in the mirror was a stranger,” Kim wrote. “She was there for me when my world had turned into ashes and pain. If I am anything, I am what she has given me the chance to be.”

“I tell people that I got burned out on my last job and decided to become a songwriter,” Kim said in an interview with the Country Music Association’s Close Up News Service. “I don’t know if I’d ever have gotten back into music if I hadn’t had that accident . . . Maybe it was God saying ‘I’ve got to hit him hard enough to get him to go where he needs to be.’”

His first No. 1 hit, co-written with Ken Spooner, was “If the Devil Danced in Empty Pockets,” recorded by Joe Diffie in 1991.

Combining creativity and hard work, Kim succeeded in getting 16 No. 1 hits, 28 Top-10 songs and more than 500 commercial recordings of songs in his catalog. Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. Named ASCAP’S Country Songwriter of the Year in 1994. Kim’s songs helped drive sales of more than 154 million albums, tapes, and videos. Kim co-wrote Garth’s #1 singles “Papa Loved Mama”, “It’s Midnight Cinderella”, “She’s Gonna Make It” and “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til The Sun Comes Up”.

Kim’s No. 1 Country hits include “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” recorded Reba McEntire, and “Who Needs You Baby?” Clay Walker. His No. 1 hits in Christian Jeff Silvey’s “One Perfect Son” and “A Little Bit of Faith. “I’m Loving Life”. In Bluegrass, Kim’s No. 1 songs are “Brothers of the Highway” Dailey & Vincent (also a George Strait country cut), “Seven Sundays in a Row” Blue Highway, and “The Last Suit You Wear” Larry Sparks.

RIP Kim Williams – This accounting of Kim’s successes was written by David Haley Lauver, KSA Education & Public Relations. Kim Williams was on the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Advisory Board and a lifetime member of Knoxville Songwriters Association.

 

Jan. 1, 2016

SMSWF Early Bird Registration for Songwriters Ends Jan. 30th

SMSWF Early Bird registration for Songwriter Opportunities at the 5th Annual Aug. 24-28, 2016 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival ends January 30th. Anyone registering for SMSWF Songwriter Opportunities during the ‘early bird’ registration period will get their name put in a drawing for a chance to win a free 3 nights lodging stay during the festival. Winner to be announced Jan. 3lst.

The 2016 Song Competition will offer 7 genres plus a separate Lyrics Only Category. This year’s genres include Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Gospel/Inspirational, Jazz/Blues, Pop and Rock. There will be 21 songs chosen from the 7 genres to vie for the 2016 Grand Prize Winner. There will be a 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place winner named in each Genre Category. Prizes to be offered include The “Grand Prize Winner” $500 plus a premier Demo Session with Beaird Music Group in Nashville. A “Listener’s Choice Winner” will be Chosen by the audience and will receive $250. The Lyrics Only Category 1st Place Winner will receive $200, 2nd Place $125 and 3rd Place $75. Genre Category Winners will receive $125 for 1st Place, $100 for 2nd Place and $75 for 3rd Place. All Category winners will receive studio recording time from Steele Strings Production Studios.  “Other gifts will be announced as they are obtained, said Cyndy Reeves, SMSWF Festival Director. “We know Country Cobbler in the Gatlinburg Crafts Community is planning something special,” Reeves added.

Songwriters wanting to perform in a round or own their own stage spots may apply for a spot between now and April 30, 2016. A small administrative fee will be charged for processing these applications.  Rounds and Stage Spots will be assigned no later than May 15, 2016.

The SMSWF Songwriters Workshop Series is offering its great ‘Pig in the Poke’ registration price to register for all 7 workshops at $225. A single workshop is $50. Other multiple workshop packages are also available. The ‘Pig in the Poke registration period ends when all the facts and information are known regarding all 7 workshop topics and presenters. Information currently known regarding the workshops are: “Songwriter Advice From The Hall of Fame” presented by Pat Alger, Tony Arata, Kent Blazy and Kim Williams. These four guys wrote almost all of Garth Brooks #1 Hits.   Emi Sunshine and her mother, Alisha Hamilton, are going to do a beginner’s songwriting workshop. Doug Johnson with Black River Entertainment and Hit Co-writer on Randy Travis’ song “Three Wooden Crosses” is helping to put together the new SMSWF Pitch Stop/Workshop. Sandy Ramos with The Songtuner will be presenting a workshop on “Tuning Your Hits For The Pitch”.   Larry Beaird will return with his great workshop “Arranging the Hit”. Mike DeBills has agreed to do a workshop on Charting Your Songs and Your Music.

Chuck Winstead, the new SMSWF 2016 Festival Coordinator, points out, “an aspiring songwriter can’t find this kind of talent from the music industry pros at this kind of price anywhere except once a year at the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg TN where songwriting is celebrated.”

There will be two different SMSWF Rocky Top Co-writing Experiences with Hit Writers his year at the Historic Gatlinburg Inn. One is scheduled for May 13-24, 2016 and the other is scheduled Aug. 24-25, 2016 at the beginning of the festival itself.

Go to www.SMSWF.com for more details on how you as a songwriter can participate in the 5th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg, TN Aug. 24-28, 2016. Lodging facilities offering discounted room rates for those attending the festival are also listed on the web-site.

 

August, 2015

4th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is held in August every year. Songwriters will be performing free live music performances from noon to 11 PM for four days Aug. 19 – 23rd at the following venues in Gatlinburg: Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill, Gatlinburg Inn, Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill, Dick’s Last Resort, and Three Jimmy’s Eatery. Make your plans now to be at this great event.

Stella Parton will kick-off the 4th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival at the Gatlinburg Inn Thurs. Aug. 20th 8 PM. Stella is one of Sevier County’s own multi-talented & multi-awarded singer/songwriter/entertainer/artists. Opening Ceremonies will begin at 7:00 PM. Molly Freer a very talented 12 year old musician/songwriter from Poughkeepsie, NY will be featured in the Pre-Show.

The 2015 SMSWF Ticketed Concert will feature Emi-Sunshine and the Rain Fri. Aug. 21 8 PM at the Brookside Resorts Events Center. Tickets are for sale on-line at www.SMSWF.com.

New this year to the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival will be Scott Reeves a Hollywood Soap Opera TV Film Star currently on the Nashville TV Show who co-wrote Toby Keith’s “Made In America”. Reeves will perform in a round at Park Vista Doubletree in the Pavilion on the lawn Sat. Aug. 22nd 7 PM with Carrie Tillis, Mel Tillis’ daughter, Bill LaBounty and Bobby Tomberlin.

Mark Narmore who wrote “That’s What I Love About Sunday” will be performing at Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill Fri. Aug. 21 at 6:15 PM.  Benjy Gaither, son of Bill & Gloria Gaither will not only be performing with Jeff Silvey Fri Aug. 21st at the Park Vista Lobby Lounge, they will also being presenting a Gospel Workshop on Saturday at the Edgewater Hotel.

Leslie Satcher who wrote the George Strait single “Troubadour will be performing at Three Jimmy’s Eatery Fri. Aug. 21 7:45 PM. Her recent singles include Kellie Pickler’s “Tough” and Kix Brooks’ “Moonshine Road”. Leslie will be performing with Tim Stafford 2014 Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year. Tim wrote “Someday” for Blue Highway.

Danny Wells who wrote the George Strait hit, “Check Yes Or No” is also new to the SMSWF this year. Danny will perform with Hall of Fame Songwriter Kim Williams who wrote “Mama Loves Papa” for Garth Brooks, Doug Johnson who wrote “Three Wooden Crosses” for Randy Travis and Wil Nance who wrote “She’s Everything for Brad Paisley” at the Park Vista Lobby Lounge Fri. Aug. 21 8:30 PM.

Back again this year is multiple Grammy Award Winner Carl Jackson who wrote “Fit for a King” for Garth Brooks, Larry Cordle who wrote “Highway 40 Blues”, and Jerry Salley who wrote “I’m Going to Take That Mountain” for Reba McIntyre. They will perform at Three Jimmy’s Fri. Aug. 21 at 5:30 PM

Also back is Chris Wallin who wrote Blink for Kenny Chesney and more recently “People Loving People” for Garth Brooks. Chris will at Three Jimmy’s Eatery Sat. Aug. 22nd 7:45 PM with Camille Wallin and Tony Mullins.

Steve Dorff who wrote I Cross My Heart for George Strait will be back again from LA to wrap up the evening Saturday night as he performs solo on the keyboard at the Park Vista Lobby Lounge 9:30 PM

The 2015 Song Competition Finale & Awards Show will take place at the Edgewater Hotel Sat. Aug. 22nd 11 AM – 1:30 PM.

Sunday Aug 23 there will be Gospel at the Gatlinburg Inn – Sound Biscuit Productions Stage from 9:45 AM – 3:30 PM

The Gatlinburg Inn 755 Parkway will serve as the Information Headquarters for the 2015 SMSWF. For more details and schedule of who is performing go to www.SMSWF.com.

 

July 15, 2015

SMSWF 2015 Song Competition Finalists and Honorable Mentions Announced

The Smoky Mountains Songwriter Festival is proud to announce the finalists for the 2015 Song Competition! There were 242 songs entered into the 4th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Song Competition from 73 entrants. The finalists will perform in front of a panel of 7 Judges from the music industry in Nashville at the Song Competition Finale and Awards Show August 22nd to be held at the Edgewater Hotel at 11:00AM. These judges include Larry Beaird – Beaird Music Group, Larry Shell – Pier Five Music, Doug Johnson – Black River Entertainment, Sandy Ramos – The Song Tuner, Aaron Bowlin – Curb Records, Steve Bloch – Southern Cow Music, and Lisa Johnson – Razor & Tie Publishing.

Winners will be chosen from each category after all songs have been performed. A Grand Prize Winner chosen from the category winners. The audience will also be involved by voting for a Listener’s Choice Award Winner. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $500 and a Premiere Demo from Beaird Music Group. The 1st Place Winners in each category will receive a hand-crafted leather guitar strap from Country Cobbler Leather Shop in the Gatlinburg Crafts Community. All finalists will receive category placement check and recording time from Steel Strings Productions Recording Studio in Friendsville, TN. The Listener’s Choice Winner receives $250 and a Shuree Microphone from Music Outlet. Fee Hedrick Entertainment (Comedy Barn/Smoky Mountain Opry and the Hatfields and McCoys) Sponsors the SMSWF Song competition each year. Jim Hedrick will be on hand to host this year’s Finale.

“There were so many great songs entered and the scoring was close,” said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves. Reeves points out all of those that entered the competition are winners as she reminds us ‘Music is an art. It’s worth is in the eye of the beholder’.

Finalists are listed in no particular order:

Bluegrass: “Hard Times” by Doug Smith, “One Black Rock At A Time” by Jeff McClellan, “Tumbleweed” by Doug Smith.

Country: “This Old T-shirt” by Scott Miller, “Nothing Outta Something” by Mitch Townley, “Bring It On” by Scott Miller.

Folk: “Bad Bad Thing” by Sarah Motes Ashley, “China Plates” by Jess Chizuk, “Holdin’ On” by Scott Parker.

Gospel/Inspirational: “God’s Carrying Me” by Scott Miller, “I Found Jesus” by Joe Hash, “That Kind Of Love” by Scott Parker.

Jazz/Blues: “It’s About Me” by Cari Ray, “Blues Town” by Dave Travis, “Another Side To You” by Fish Fisher.

Pop: “Feel This Way” by Sarah Motes Ashley, “Let Love Take It From Here” by Cyndee Gray Harr, “Don’t Miss Out” by Sarah Motes Ashley.

Lyrics Only: “I’ve Had Enough Of You” by Michael Sledjeski, “Indiana Road” by Michael Henchman, “La-Z-Boy” by Sarah Motes Ashley.

The SMSWF is also proud to announce this year’s Honorable Mentions.

Honorable Mentions are listed in no particular order:

Bluegrass: “A Dozen Reasons” by Jeff McClellan, “The Right Thing To Do” by Cyndee Gary Harr, “A Better Game” by Jeff McClellan.

Country: “Muddin’” by Joe Hash, “Deeper Shade of Love” by Mitch Townley, “Cooking” by Robert Meza, “Lay Me Down” by Robby Hopkins, “Honey You Don’t Need A Siz-pack” by Roger Vines, “Must Really Be in Love” by Scott Miller, “Unwind” by Mitch Townley, “Every time This Cowboy Rides” by Robert Meza.

Folk: “This Cage Will Set You Free” by Fish Fisher, “Man With The Gibson Guitar” by Roger Vines, “Clean” by Davis Corley, “Save The World From Silence” by Cyndee Gray Harr, “Baby’s Gettin’ Ready to Fly” by Dave Travis.

Gospel/Inspirational: “Can’t Give Up” by Tambre Herndon, “Cussin’ & Prayin’” by Fish Fisher, “Ransomed” by David Lauver, “Heart Headed Home” by Scott Parker.

Jazz/Blues: “I’ve Had Enough of You” by Michael Sledjeski, “Be Mine” by Sarah Motes Ashley, “The One” by Fish Fisher.

Pop: “B Movie Girl” by Fish Fisher, “God Signed the World with You” by Fish Fisher, “Go” by Fish Fisher.

Lyrics Only: “I Know What I Sow is what I Reap” by Gene Blair, “You’re Feeling Love” by Mitch Townley, “40 Miles from Midnight” by Michael Henchman,”A Closed Bedroom Door” by Gene Blair.

“We encourage all of those who participated in the competition to attend the Competition Finale & Awards Show to cheer on your fellow songwriters,” says Tori Smith, SMSWF Song Competition Coordinator.

The SMSWF accept entries for the 2016 Song Competition Nov. 1, 2015 thru April 30, 2016. For details go to www.SMSWF.com

 

July 25, 2014

SMSWF ANNOUNCES 2014 SONG COMPETITION FINALISTS AND HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is proud to announce the songs that will be performed in the 2014 SMSWF Song Competition Finale and Awards Show Sat. Aug 23rd at the Edgewater Hotel at noon – 3 pm during the 3rd Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival in downtown Gatlinburg TN Aug. 21-24, 2014. Category Winners will be chosen along with a Grand Prize Winner. The Audience will also have a voice in picking the Listener’s Choice Award winner. Go to www.smswf.com for more information.

“A lot of amazing songs were entered into the 2014 SMSWF Song Competition making for a lot of winners whether they receive an award or not” said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves Festival Director and Founder.   “It will not surprise me to hear several of these on the radio, charts and hit lists,” Reeves proclaimed.

The Songs to be performed and the 2014 SMSWF Song Competition Finalists listed in no particular order are:) BLUEGRASS Category -“Somewhere In The Gray” by Anne Buckle, Nashville TN; “Molly Dear” by Jeff McClellan, Christiansburg VA; “How Mama Raised Me” by Scott Parker, Oliver Springs TN; “She’s Lying (In The Cold, Cold Ground)” by Doug Smith. COUNTRY Category – “Rock Paper Scissors” by Anne Buckle, Nashville TN, “Moving To China” by Jonathan Helfand, Nashville, TN; “This Ole T-Shirt” and “This Side of Dirt” both by Lee Johnson, Boulder CO. FOLK Category – “Orphan Train” by Joe Beeler, “Depends on The Weather” and “Ballad of A Broken Heart” both by Anne Buckle, Nashville TN and “Wiley Oakley” by Fish Fisher, Swanton OH. GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL Category – “The More I Get To Know My Lord” by Betty Brennan, Church Hill TN, “Losing Me and Finding You” by Doug Smith, Lavergne TN, “Passion of the Lamb” and “Harvest of Hope” both by Mitch Townley, Knoxville TN. POP/ROCK Category – “Away” by Anne Buckle, Nashville TN, “Yours” by Jonathan Dean, Knoxville TN, “Long Time to Be Nowhere” and “The Music Doesn’t Judge Me” both by Charlie Katt, Knoville, TN. LYRICS ONLY Category – “The Betting Man” by Peter Gilman, Cullowhee NC, “Nobody Does It Like Ella” by David Lauver, Knoxville TN, “Mommy Needs a Timeout” Sara Motes-Ashley, Maryville TN, and “Del Rio (With Your Misty Mountains High)” by Michael Sledjeski, Del Rio TN.

By awarding Honorable Mentions, the SMSWF Song Competition reflects the rest of the winners of the Top Ten song scores in each category.  Top score attainable in a performance category is 60.   Highest score achieved this year was 54; lowest was 22.  Top score attainable in Lyrics Only category is 45.  Highest score achieved this year in Lyrics Only was 33; lowest 18.

Those receiving an Honorable Mention listed in no particular order are:) BLUEGRASS Category – “Mercer County” by Randall Beggs, Summerland Key FL, “Appalacha Crawl” by Dave Travis, Durham, NC, “You Broke My Fall” by David Lauver, Knoxville, TN, “Own Worst Enemy” and “Lost in the Summertime” by Tammie Jo Dishner, Powell TN, “I’ve Got The Moon” by Anne Buckle, Nashville TN, “Hanging Loose and Holding On” and “Shiny Shoes” by Jeff McClellan, Christianburg, VA. COUNTRY Category – “I Didn’t Want To Love You Anyway” and “Am I Crazy” by Anne Buckle, Nashville TN, “Things That Will Stay With Me” by Kendra Nickles, Abington VA, “What About You” “Almost Had To Die” and “Tough Times” all three by Scott Miller, NW Washington DC. FOLK Category – “Good Things” by Lee Johnson, Boulder CO, “The Pluto Song (Me and Clyde)” by Charlie Katt, Knoxville TN, “Wright’s Corner” by Gary Hensley, Church Hill TN, “Without You” by Joe Beeler, Luttrell TN, “The Path” by Robert Bridges, Delhi ONT, and “When Coal Mountain Crier” Fish Fisher, Swanton OH. GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL Category – “My Son, My Savior (Mary’s Confession) Scott Parker, Oliver Springs TN, “The Bank Of Heaven” by Scott Miller, NW Washington DC, “Mary Saw The Angels” by David Lauver, Knoxville TN, “Saviour of Man” by Doug Smith, Lavergne, TN, “Emmanuel (Comfort and Joy) by Mitch Townley, Knoxville TN, “Learning How To Listen” by Lee Johnson, Boulder, CO, and “Its Hard To Stumble When You’re Down On Your Knees by Richard Ratledge, Knoxville TN. POP/ROCK Category –“Bringing Me Back To Life” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville TN, “Mother Load” by Jeff Lane, “Love Must Be Blind” by Steve Laciak, “Hooky”, “This Backyard’s Rockin” and “Christmas Letter” all three by Sarah Motes-Ashley, Maryville, TN. LYRICS ONLY Category – “Mountain Blood” by Peter Gilman, Cullowhee NC, “Christmas Letter”, “Halfway Married” and “There’s A Pill For That” by Sarah Motes-Ashley, Maryville TN, “Rottweilers, Pitbulls and Dobermans” by Mark Stepakoff, Wellesley MA, “Daddy Walked Me Down The Aisle” by Bruce Carpenter, Winchester VA, “He’s A Mountain Man” by Peter Gilman, Cullowhee NC, and “Mountain Moonshine” by Elysse Byrd, Forysth GA.

The panel of judges for the preliminary round of judging determining the finalists in each category were:  John Dando, Singer/Songwriter/Producer John Dando Music, Knoxville TN, Nita Graves, Singer/Songwriter Simms Records Nashville and The Dog Patch Radio Co-Host, Kodak, TN, John Condrone, Grammy nominated and Dove Award Winning Singer/Songwriter and Songbird Café Owner/Host. Judges for the Finale and Awards Show will be: Kim Williams Hall of Fame Songwriter, Doug Johnson AR at Black River Entertainment and Hit Songwriter, Bill Whyte Hall of Fame Broadcaster and Hit Songwriter, Lisa Johnson VP Creative / Razor and Tie Nashville Office, Larry Beaird Bearid Music Group Nashville.

There were 276 songs entered into the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Songwriters Contest from 59 entrants.  216 songs scored above the 50 percentile mark. Entries came from as far away as Jonkoping Sweden, Delhi Ontario, Palm Springs CA, Boulder CO, Wellesley MA, Brookline, NH and Sumerland Key, FL. The bulk of the entries came from  Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, DC and of course Tennessee.

The SMSWF Song Competition is designed to not only recognize songwriters who excel at their craft, but also provide opportunity by exposing these songs to professionals in the industry who have the knowledge and avenues to make things happen.

For more information about the 3rd annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival go to www.smswf.com or contact us at smswf@yahoo.com or 865-604-9066.

 

June 17, 2014

SMSWF Bringing Attention To Our Sugarlands’ Heritage

This year’s 3rd annual Smoky Mountain Songwriter Festival reaches even deeper into the history of the area with the opening of this year’s festival taking place at the historic Gatlinburg Inn and the addition of a new stage – The Back Porch at Sugarlands Distilling Co. Nothing has changed in the Sugarlands of Tennessee they are still making moonshine and songwriters are still gathering to write, sing, and play at the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg, TN Aug. 21-24, 2014.

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is pleased to announce we have received a Diamond Sponsorship from Sugarlands Distilling Co. “We look forward to working with the SMSWF to shine a light on the authentic craft culture that has been shared down through time here in the Sugarlands area of the Smoky Mountains,” said Morgan McMahan, Community Events and Outreach Director for Sugarlands Distilling Co. The craft heritage of this area includes the handcrafted spirits (moonshine, beer, whiskey and wine), the arts and crafts community, storytelling and the craft of songwriting.

The mission of the SMSWF is to promote songwriters and to help their original songs to be discovered not only by publishers and producers but, by all of us who simply love the songwriter’s songs that the stars perform.

Public invited. Free live music venues throughout Gatlinburg for 3 whole days. You will hear the stories behind songs like Whiskey Lullaby – Brad Paisley, Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It – Darius Rucker, One More Day – Diamond Rio, Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven – Kenny Chesney,  and Ain’t Goin Down Till the Sun Comes Up – Garth Brooks and many more.

Whispering Bill Anderson will be performing in a ticketed concert Sat. night Aug. 23rd.  For more details go to www.SMSWF.com.

“The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is a vehicle to keep our songwriting heritage ‘alive and growing’ bringing more and more people here to enjoy the richness of our mountain culture,” said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, Festival Director and Founder. “We really like the way the Sugarlands Distilling Co. promotes the Sugarlands heritage,” Reeves added.

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival has something for everybody, both young and old to enjoy. Songwriter opportunities include a song competition, songwriting workshops, stage spots, writing songs with hit writers, and a band playoff for bands with original music.    The Back Porch will be rocking with some great original songs!

 

April 30, 2014

Bill Anderson to Perform in the 2014 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is pleased to announce that Country Music Hall of Fame member and Grand Ole Opry legend Bill Anderson will be performing in a ticketed concert with Grammy and Emmy nominee, Steve Dorff and Grammy, CMA and ACM nominee, Bobby Tomberlin in Gatlinburg, TN Saturday night during the 3rd Annual SMSWF Aug. 21-24, 2014. Tickets are now available on-line at www.smswf.com or call 865-604-9066.

“Wait till you hear Bill perform his original version of the songs he wrote for artists like Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Ray Price and George Strait to name a few, “ said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, Festival Director and Founder.

Despite Anderson’s hectic schedule and the demands of his multi-faceted business enterprises, Bill has made a renewed commitment to his first love – songwriting. “I feel like I’ve come full circle, because songwriting is what got me to Nashville in the first place,” reflected Anderson.

Anderson is best known by the name “Whispering Bill”, a nickname hung on him years ago by comedian Don Bowman as a result of his breathy voice and his warm, soft approach to singing a country song. His credentials shout his prominence: One of the most awarded songwriters in the history of country music, a million-selling recording artist many times over, television game show host, network soap opera star, spokesman for a nationwide restaurant chain, and a consummate onstage performer. Bill has been voted Songwriter of the Year six times, Male Vocalist of the Year, half of the Duet of the Year with both Jan Howard and Mary Lou Turner, has hosted and starred in the Country Music Television Series of the Year, and has seen his band The Po Folks Band voted Band of the Year.

During a career that spans more than 50 years, Bill Anderson has earned seven #1 records as an artist and a pair of Country Music Association awards for Song of the Year with his co-writes “Whiskey Lullaby” – Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and “Give It Away” – George Strait which gave Anderson his fourth Grammy nomination. “Give It Away” won the ACM Song of the Year as well as the CMA Song of the Year in the same year. Bill won a Dove Award for the Country/Gospel Recorded Song of the Year from the Gospel Music Association for “Jonah, Job and Moses” a song he co-wrote with Tia Sellers.   It would almost be easier to list the Halls of Fame he doesn’t belong to, but two of the major ones that can rightfully call Bill a member are the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Bill has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1961.

Bill’s first #1 hit, “City Lights” a Ray Price hit that stayed at the top of the charts for 13 weeks, was written at the age of 19 while he was working at WJJC radio station in Commerce, GA.

“Bill Anderson began hosting “Country’s Family Reunion” on  RFD-TV over 15 years ago and still remains on that highly-rated television show today.”

 

March 20, 2014

Hilary Williams, Hank Jr.’s Daughter To Perform In Gatlinburg

Hilary Williams, Hank Jr.’s daughter who wrote the song “Sign of Life” and the book Sign of Life will be performing in Gatlinburg at Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill Sat. March 29,2014 along with Bobby Tomberlin, who co-writer of One More Day for Diamond Rio, and Bill Labounty, who wrote Somewhere In the Vicinity of the Heart for Alison Kraus and Shenandaoh. Tickets include show, dinner and gratuity and can be purchased on-line at www.smswf.com.

Hank, Jr. says “Hilary sings like a queen, like a star”. Kid Rock said about her voice, “Man, Hilary’s got the bellows!“

In 2006 Hilary was involved in a horrendous one-car accident. When the Jaws of Life finally pried Hilary’s shattered body free, she was in shock and barely breathing, suffering two broken legs, several broken ribs, a ruptured colon, bruised lungs. Her back, collarbone, tailbone, pelvis, and right femur fractured. Her hips crushed. She lost a large amount of blood waiting on the ambulance to arrive, then as EMTs scrambled to stabilize her Hilary Williams died.But that was only the beginning.

This is a story of struggle and pain. But more so, it is a story of second chances, of love and resolve and recovery. When she was pulled back into life, Hilary’s world changed. It was the beginning of a long, courageous, and inspiring journey undergoing 23 surgeries and years of therapy learning the meaning of strength, not only the strength to survive, but the strength to live with the legend, the talent, the burden, and the privilege of her place in country music’s most famous family.

When she asked Dr. Croce if she would always be in pain. He answered, “Pain is a sign of life”. As recovery continued, Hilary began to write songs again. Finally able to walk under her own power, Hilary returned to performing and recording. Hilary’s book, Sign of Life, (an autobiography tracing her experiences during her return to health), was published Nov. 2010 by Da Capo Press.

Sign of Life gives context to Hilary’s place in the world by telling the stories of her grandfather and dad, Hank SR and JR, as only a close family member could. Hilary recounts the challenges her grandfather faced and addresses his untimely death. She draws parallels with her dad’s near fatal fall from the side of a mountain that forever changed his life and ultimately led him to move out of the shadows of his famous father and step into the spotlight as one of country music’s most innovative and celebrated entertainers.

When you are 3rd generation country music royalty, the world will always see you differently, but it’s what’s inside that counts to Hilary Williams. Her definition of being beautiful means “on the inside and out, with a beautiful soul and spirit”.

Sign of Life is just a step in Hilary Williams’ journey as she carves out her own place in her family’s storied legacy. In the wake of misfortune, Hilary carried on the ‘family tradition’ writing songs and pursuing her own music career.

Join us at the SMSWF Dinner Concert Series Debut Sat. March 29, 2014 at Crystelle Creek Restaurant and Grill. Limited Seating. For details and how to obtain tickets go to www.SMSWF.com or call 865-604-9066.

 

Aug. 18, 2013

 2013 SMSWF Songwriters Competition Winners

There was a full room of songwriters and spectators at the 2013 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Songwriters Competition Finale and Awards Presentation, held in the RoseRoom at the Edgewater Hotel during the 2013 SMSWF.   “These two hours become the most awesome evening of entertainment at the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival because you hear the top 4 songs in each category entered into the competition!” remarked Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, SMSWF Founder and Festival Director.

This year’s Smoky Mountains Songwriters Competition Grand Prize Winner is “Numbered” entered by Mitch Townley from Knoxville, TN.   “Numbered” which Townley co-wrote with frequent songwriting partner Lee Johnson from Boulder, CO won the Country Category Winner as well.  The Listener’s Choice Award went to “Field of Clover” written and performed by Tammy Jo Dishner from Powell, TN.   Jim Hedrick with Fee/Hedrick was on hand to hand out the cash awards made possible by Smoky Mountain Opry, Comedy Barn and The Hatfields and McCoy Dinner Show.

Karen E. Reynolds, award-winning singer-songwriter,  host of the Writers Block on 105.3 WFIV, and judging coordinator of the SMSWF Songwriters Competition, reported that 224 songs were entered into this year’s competition with three of the song entries that later became finalists receiving a perfect score of 20 by each of the preliminary judges in the first round of scoring. “This is almost unheard of” Reynolds noted. “Very seldom do you see a perfect score.”  She added that it was an “incredible” evening.  “Not only were all of the finalists incredibly talented songwriters, but the RoseRoom completely filled up with standing room only left at the end.”

The Category Winners are as follows:

Bluegrass Category Winner – “Kickin It Old School” – Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN

Bluegrass Top of the Line “Hummingbird” – Jennifer Gillenwater, Butler, TN

Bluegrass Finalist “Lost Love” – Doug Smith, LaVergne, TN

Bluegrass Runner-Up “Field of Clover” –  Tammie Jo Dishner

Country Category Winner “Numbered” – Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN

Country Top of the Line “Get Your  Christmas On” – Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN

Country Finalist – “Counting My Goodbyes” – Mary Munsey,  Abington, VA

Country Runner Up- “Possum Trot Road” – Mark Harrell, Boca Raton, FL

Folk Category Winner “When Vernon  Moved From Tupelo” – Mark Stepakoff, Wellesley, MA

Folk Top of the Line “Rosaline” – Blair Bodine, Ambler,  PA

Folk Finalist “Hemlock Tree” – Jennifer Gillenwater, Butler, TN

No Folk Runner Up (finalist didn’t perform due to emergency surgey notified too late to replace)

Gospel/Inspirational Category Winner “Finally Home” – Scott Parker, OliverSprings, TN

Gospel/Inspirational Top of the Line “Have Mercy Lord” – Doug Smith, LaVergne, TN

Gospel/Inspirational Finalist “This Is How It Feels” – Scott Parker, OliverSprings, TN

Gospel/Inspirational Runner Up “In Just Awhile” – Scott Parker, Oliver  Springs, TN

Pop/Rock Category Winner “My Name is Lucas” – Charlie Katt, Knoxville, TN

Pop/Rock Top of the Line – “In This War” Justin Callahan, Kingsport, TN

Pop/Rock  Finalist – “Addie May” – Charlie Katt, Knoxville, TN

Pop/Rock Runner Up – “Another Time Another Place” – Richard Ratledge, Knoxville, TN

Lyrics Only Category Winner: “Cold Blood” – Mark Stepakoff, Wellesley, MA

Lyrics Only Top of the Line “Your Second Wife” – Sarah Motes Ashley, Maryville, TN

Lyrics Only Finalist “The Shady Side of The Family Tree  – “Peter Gilman, Cullowhee, NC

Lyrics Only Runner- Up “Ever Notice” – Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN

The mission of the SMSWF is to showcase songwriters of all genres.  The next Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is set for Aug. 21- 24, 2013, and will once again take place in downtown Gatlinburg,TN. Keep up with all of the upcoming SMSWF  news and announcements by visiting www.smswf.com or follow us on our Facebook page at  http://facebook.com/smswf.  For more information contact us at smswf@yahoo.com or call 865-604-9066.

The panel of judges made up of music industry professionals that help make the SMSWF Songwriters Competition Finale and Awards Performance a quality event include Barbara Cloyd-Hit Songwriter, Owner of Ready for The Row and host for the famous Bluebird’s Café; Chris Oglesby-formerly of BMG Publishing, Publisher and Owner of Oglesby Writer Management;  and Scott Southworth-Award Winning Songwriter and host of the Music Row Show on WSM in Nashville.  The preliminary judges who spent several days  scoring all the entries were Kathrine Weeks-Professional Songwriter, Concert Promoter and President of GyrlGroove; Lee Mayer-Concert Promoter, Artist Management, Booking Agent and Producer, President/Owner of Houla Entertainment; and John Condrone-Grammy Nominated and Dove Award Winner Hit  Singer/Songwriter and Karen E. Reynolds, Professional singer/songwriter, Music Industry Consultant;  co-host and owner of Writers Block Radio Show airing Weds. and Sat. on i1053 WFIV Knoxville’s Independent radio.

“On behalf of the SMSWF, we would like to extend our congratulations to the winners as well as all of the songwriters who entered this year’s competition,” said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, Festival Director and Founder of the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.  Reeves noted “These songwriters are all winners for writing their songs and getting involved in events like the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival. SMSWF wishes for all them a great future in songwriting plus SMSWF will do everything it can to help promote their songs,” added Reeves.

 

August 12, 2013

For immediate release

 Hit Writers Perform Aug. 15-18th at Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

Nashville’s Music Row moves to the mountains Aug. 15-18th when more than 30 hit singer-songwriters will perform at free concerts around Gatlinburg at the second annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.

“We’re pleased so many top writers are coming to share their songs and tell the stories behind them,” said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, festival founder and director.  “Aspiring writers also can apply to have songs critiqued by publishers and enroll in workshops to learn more about writing from the pros.”

Reeves said the festival will include three luncheon presentations on building a music career by Rick Barker, who managed artist Taylor Swift during her rise to fame.   The weekend also will feature the finals of a songwriters’ contest that attracted more than 200 entries and a daily “Battle of the Bands” with original music playoff.

For a schedule of free performances by hit writers, workshop times and enrollment costs, plus other festival events go to www.smswf.com.

Among festival pro writers from East Tennessee are Kim Williams of Rogersville and Chris Wallin of White Pine.  Williams, who wrote a string of hits for GarthBrooks and Song of the Year “Three Wooden Crosses for Randy Travis, was inducted last year into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.   Wallin, a founding writer of the festival, has topped the charts with “Don’t Blink” recorded by Kenny Chesney, “Love Me If You Can” by Toby Keith, and “Something To Be Proud Of” by Montgomery Gentry.

Other festival founding writers who will return this year are Marty Dodson (Billy Currington’s “Must Be Doing Something Right”), Clay Mills (Darius Rucker’s “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”), and Bobby Tomberlin (Diamond Rio’s “One More Day”).

The festival will kick off with “Hits & Grins,” a trio of hit songwriters Steve Dean, Lisa Shaffer, and Bill Whyte.  They will perform from 9 to 11 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 15, at Gatlinburg’s Loco Burros Fresh Mex Cantina, 735 Parkway.

Workshop sessions will be held at the Edgewater Hotel, 402 River Road, also the site of the songwriters’ competition finale from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.  The festival’s information headquarters is the Four Seasons Motor Lodge, 756 Parkway.

 

July 15, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES

FINALISTS IN THE 2nd SMSWF SONGWRITERS COMPETITION

There were 223 songs entered into the 2nd Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Songwriters Contest from 65 entrants.  Entries came from as far away as Vancouver, WA, Portland,OR, Palm Springs, Palos Verdes, Long Beach and FresnoCA, Arlington, TX, Fryeburg, ME, Bookline, NH, Wellesley, MA, Poughkeepsie, NY.  The bulk of the entries came from   Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi  and of course Tennessee.

SMSWF is proud to announce the song names of the Finalists who will perform at the Finale and Awards Night Performances Sat. Aug 17th at the Edgewater Hotel at 7 PM during the 2nd Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival in downtown Gatlinburg, TN Aug. 15-18, 2013. Category Winners will be chosen along with a Grand Prize Winner. The Audience will also have a voice in picking the Listener’s Choice Award winner. See www.smswf.com for more information about the competition.

Finalists are listed in no particular order:

BLUEGRASS:  “Kickin It Old School” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN; “Lost Love” by Douglas Smith, LaVergne, TN; “Field of Clover” by Tammie Jo Dischner, Powell, TN; and “Hummingbird” by Jennifer Gillenwater, Butler, TN.

COUNTRY:  “Get Our Christmas On” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN;  “Possum Trot Road”, by R. Mack Harrell, Boca Raton, FL; “Numbered” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN and “Counting Your Goodbye” by Mary Munsey, Abingdon, VA

FOLK:  “Rosaline (Romeo’s First Love)” by Blair Bodine, Ambler, PA; “When Vernon Moved From Tupelo” by Mark Stepakoff, Wellesley, MA; “Hemlock Tree” by Jennifer Gillenwater, Butler, TN and “Touched By The Hands of An Angel” by Richard Byford, Palm Springs, CA

GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL:  “Have Mercy Lord” by Douglas Smith, LaVergne, TN;  “This Is How It Feels”, “Finally Home” and “In Just A While”  by Scott Parker, OliverSprings, TN

POP/ROCK:  “Addy May” and “My Name Is Lucas” by Charlie Katt, Knoxville, TN; “In This War” by Justin Callahan, Kingsport, TN and “Another Time Another Place” by E. Richard Ratledge, Knoxville, TN.

LYRICS ONLY:  “The Shady Side of the Family Tree” by Peter Gilman,Cullowhee, NC; “Your Second Wife” by Sarah Motes Ashley, Maryville, TN; “Ever Notice” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN; and “Cold Blood” by Mark Stepakoff, Wellesley,MA.

“We had an amazing response and want to thank all who entered their songs,”  said Karen E. Reynolds, SMSWF Songwriters Competition Coordinator.   “This competition is designed to not only recognize songwriters who excel at their craft, but also provide opportunity by exposing these songs to professionals in the industry who have the knowledge and avenues to make things happen.” Reynolds explained.

Those songs receiving an Honorable Mention listed in no particular order are:

BLUEGRASS:  “Drifter” by Douglas Smith, LaVergne, TN; and “Wishin’s Just For Fools” by Dan Weber, Vancouver, WA.

COUNTRY:  “Keep It Down Home” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN;  “My Favorite Christmas Carol” by David Louver, Knoxville, TN; and “In This War” by Justin Callahan, Kingsport, TN.

FOLK:   “We Can” by Kenneth Willis, Chillicothe, OH; “It’s All Right That We Don’t Talk”  by Mason Reed, Kingsport, TN; “Those Two Crows” by Carl Solomon, Portland, OR; and “Blood On The Clouds” by Howard Heifner, Morristown, TN.

GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL:  “Lost But Not Forgotten” by Brandon Fulson, Knoxville, TN;  “I Need Your Love” by  Russ Nottingham, Garrettsville, OH; and “Everything I Say” by Andy Sneed, Maryville, TN.

POP/ROCK:  “Loving Meant For Me” by Tony Mikels, Braselton, GA; “Vacant Plot of Land” by Jeremiah Webb, Long Beach, CA; and “When I See You Now” by Regan and Tekeesha Odom of Bakersville, NC;.

LYRICS ONLY:  “The Highway Home” by David Haley Lauver, Knoxville, TN and  “Leavin’ Season” by Audra Hale-Maddox, Fairfax, VA

The panel of judges for the preliminary round of judging to determine the finalists in each category – Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Gospel/Inspirational, Lyrics Only and Pop/Rock/Folk –were:  Singer Songwriter, Karen E. Reynolds-professional songwriter and performer, music industry consultant, radio host/program director for the Writers Block. Lee Mayer-concert promoter, artist management, booking agent and producer, president/owner of Houla Entertainment. Kat Weeks-professional songwriter, sound technician, concert promoter and president of GyrlGroove.  John Condrone – Grammy nominated and Dove Award winning singer/songwriter, Songbird Café, owner and host.

Finalists will perform their songs live before a panel of judges during the first annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival 5 PM Sat. Aug. 17, 2013 at the Edgewater Hotel. The finals judging panel will be announced around the first of August.   The audience will have an opportunity to vote on the Listener’s Choice Award.

“We encourage all of those who participated by submitting their songs, to attend the finals during the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Aug 15-18, 2013 to cheer on their fellow songwriters, network and meet the judges. See you in Gatlinburg!” Reynolds added.  For more information about the first annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival go to www.smswf.com or contact us at smswf@yahoo.com or 865-604-9066.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  6/24/13

PUBLIC INVITED – ENJOY 4 DAYS OF FREE LIVE MUSIC

THE 2013 SMOKY MOUNTAINS SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

 “World renown “HIT” makers and singer/songwriters will fill venues with ongoing free performances in downtown Gatlinburg, TN August 15 – 18, 2013.  The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is a special event in the City of Gatlinburg to be held during the last two weeks of August every year to “Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots”. As a platform for songwriters to perform their original songs, the mission of the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is to promote songwriters and to help their songs to be discovered not only by publishers and producers, but by all of us who simply love the songs they write.  The public is invited to come enjoy 4 days of free live music in downtown Gatlinburg.  For more information go to www.SMSWF.com

Audiences can expect to see an impressive lineup including current top writers such as Bill Labounty, (“Rock My World,” Brooks and Dunn) Kim Williams, (“Ain‘t Goin’ Down Till The Sun Comes Up,” Garth Brooks; “Three Wooden Crosses,” Randy Travis) Bobby Tomberlin, (writer of hit songs including BMI’s 4 million airplay award winner “One More Day,” Diamond Rio; and cast member of CMT’s The Singing Bee) Mark Nesler, (“Just To See You Smile,” Tim McGraw) Chris Wallin,(“Don’t Blink,” Kenny Chesney), Marty Dodson, (“We Must Be Doing Something Right”, Billy Currington) and Clay Mills, (“Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio). Hot upcoming artists like Candi Carpenter and legends like Jim Glaser (former member of Tompall and The Glaser Brothers, hit solo recording artist, and writer of “Woman, Woman, Have You Got Cheating On Your Mind”).   This year we have added Hit Bluegrass and Gospel Writers to this year’s Sunday stage including Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle,  Cory Jackson, Brian White and Gospel Artist/Songwriter Karyn Williams.

Dozens of other writers will also be performing in a fun and family friendly environment. Hear the stories behind songs recorded by Reba McEntire, Johnny Cash, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, George Strait, Faith Hill, Tanya Tucker, Billy Currington, Billy Ray Cyrus, Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Chesney, Keith Anderson, Alabama and The Oak Ridge Boys, Barbara Striesand and many others!

“Mark your calendar and make your reservations,” beckoned Cyndy Reeves, Festival Director and Founder of the SMSWF.

New to the festival this year is the SMSWF 2013 Band Playoff to be held at 3 Jimmy’s .  After numerous requests last year for stage spots from bands with original music, we decided to pick 20 bands to compete in a Band Playoff this.   Ricki Landers is the SMSWF Band Playoff Co-ordinator and assisting her is Lee Mayer with Houla Entertainment.

Over 200 songs were entered into this year’s 2013 SMSWF Songwriters Competition Songs were entered from as far away as California, the state of Washington, Texas, New York and New Hampshire as well as throughout the southeast.  Category Finalists will be announced July 15th.  The finalists will perform their winning songs at the 2013 SMSWF Songwriters Competition Finale and Award Night Performances during the festival on Sat. Aug. 17th at the Edgewater Hotel.

Seven great Songwriter Workshop sessions will be offered during this year’s festival.   One of the highlights of the SMSWF Workshop is the 3 day luncheon series with keynote speaker Rick Barker.   A West Coast Record Promoter for Big Machine Records in 2004, Rick was asked to teach one of their artists how radio works and to teach her that side of the business; that artist was Taylor Swift.  The SMSWF Workshop will offer two opportunities to pitch your best songs to a panel of publishers for their critique. Barbara Cloyd, who books for the Bluebird Café,  Chris Oglesby with Oglesby Writers Management and a former Executive Director of BMG, are putting the critique sessions together.  The other 4 sessions include:  “Increasing Your Chances of Getting a Song Cut” being taught by Marty Dodson, (Mary wrote“We Must Be Doing Something Right”, Billy Currington);  “Hit Songwriting Master Class” taught by Clay Mills, (Clay wrote“Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio);  “How to Write, Demo, and Pitch a Song” taught by Kim Williams (Kim wrote “Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis) and Larry Shell. (Larry was the A&R guy for Alabama in the day and he also wrote “Murder On Music Row”);  “Honing the Craft of Songwriting” with Karen E. Reynolds, co-host and owner of Writers Block Radio Show, and John Condrone, Dove Award Winning and Grammy nominated songwriter .  For more information and how to register for these workshops go to www.smswf.com.

The Public, Songwriters and Music Lovers are invited to “Celebrate our Appalachian Musical Roots” right here in Gatlinburg, Tennessee – The Gateway to The Great Smoky Mountains Aug. 15-18, 2013 at the 2nd (first annual) Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.

 For more information regarding SMSWF go to  www.smswf.com .  You can contact us at smswf@hotmail.com, or call 865-604-9066.  Facebook  http://facebook.com/smswf

February 2, 2013 release:

Smoky Mountains Songwriting Festival Opens Submissions for 2013 Songwriting Competition

The 2013 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, which will be held in Gatlinburg, Tenn., August 15-18, is now accepting entries for the festival’s annual Songwriting Competition. Entrants stand to have their songs showcased before a panel of music industry professionals, including publishers, label executives, radio program directors, and award winning songwriters.

Songs may be entered in six different categories, including Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Gospel/Inspirational, Pop/Rock, and Lyrics Only. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in each of the five categories. A Grand Prize and Listener’s Choice honor will also be awarded. Finalists will perform their songs in a special showcase performance on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, and the Grand Prize winner will be chosen.

The deadline to enter songs is June 15, 2013. Interested songwriters are invited to visit the “How to Enter page” for submission information and competition regulations.

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is a special event in the City of Gatlinburg and features hit and emerging songwriters in free performances throughout venues in downtown Gatlinburg for three days. The festival is a great way to “Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots.”

September 16, 2012 release – First annual SMSWF Songwriters Competition Winners

It was ‘standing room only’ for the first Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, Songwriting Competition Finale and Awards Presentation, which took place in the Magnolia Room at the Edgewater Hotel. “These two hours turned out to be the most awesome evening of entertainment!” remarked Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, SMSWF Founder and Festival Director.

Karen E. Reynolds, host and program director for Writers Block on WDVX and the coordinator of the competition had this to say: “It was an incredible evening. Not only were all of the finalists incredibly talented songwriters, but the Magnolia Room was packed beyond capacity. Even with extra seats added, people lined the walls and were spilling out into the hall.”

A panel of judges made up of music industry professionals helped make the competition a quality event. Judges included: Karen E. Reynolds-Professional Singer/Songwriter, Music Industry Consultant; Barbara Cloyd-Hit Songwriter, Owner of Ready for The Row and host for the famous Bluebird’s Café; Chris Oglesby-formerly of BMG Publishing, Publisher and Owner of Oglesby Writer Management; Scott Southworth-Award Winning Songwriter and host of the Music Row Show on WSM in Nashville; PJ Steelman-Grammy Nominated Songwriter and Producer; Kathrine Weeks-Professional Songwriter, Concert Promoter and President of GyrlGroove; Lee Mayer-Concert Promoter, Artist Management, Booking Agent and Producer, President/Owner of Houla Entertainment; and John Condrone-Grammy Nominated and Dove Award Winner Singer/Songwriter.

The GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the competition was Jonathan Dean Snellings from Knoxville, with his song, “CAN’T HIDE CRAZY”. Dean also took home the LISTENER’S CHOICE award for the same song. Overall Top of the Line Winner – “Hanging On” written by Annie Robinette, Bristol, TN; Overall Finalist – “These” Mason Jars” written by Regan and Tekeesha Odom of Bakersville, NC; and Overall Runner Up – “Love’s No Accident” written by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN. Additional category winners include:

Bluegrass Category Winner – “Keep it Simple”, Top of the Line”- “Why”, Finalist “Let em Fly”, all three written by Dan Heimsoth, Cary NC; Runner -up “Appalachian Mountains” by Dave Maggard, Sevierville, TN.

Country Category Winner – “Can’t Hide Crazy” by Jonathan Dean Snellings, Knoxville, TN; Top of the Line – “Mason Jars” by Regan and Takeesha Odom, Bakersville NC; Finalist – “Love’s No Accident” by Mitch Townley Knoxville, TN; Runner Up- “All I Really Want” by Jonathan Dean Snellings, Knoxville, TN.

Gospel/Inspirational Category Winner: “They Didn’t Know Who They Were Fooling With” by Earnest Vaughn, Cincinnati, OH; Top of the Line – “Prayer (The Steering Wheel Song)” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN – Finalist – “Distance” by Scott Parker, Oliver Springs, TN; Runner Up – “All I Really Want to Know ” by Annie Robbinette, Bristol, TN.
Pop Rock Folk Category Winner: “Hanging On” by Annie Robbinette, Bristol, TN; Top of the Line – “Right Before My Eyes” by Wyatt Easterling, Nashville, TN; Finalist – “Mess of Your Heart”; Runner Up – “Away” both by Tom Paisley, Birmingham AL.
Lyrics Only Category Winner: “Unmarked Grave” by Peter Gilman, Cullowhee, NC; Top of the Line – “The River” by Logan Heinzelman, Mt. Dora, FL; Finalist – “America’s Pastime” by David Haley Lauver, Knoxville, TN; Runner- Up – “Mama’s Don’t Lie” by Rhonda Champion, Sevierville, TN.

“On behalf of the SMSWF, we would like to extend our congratulations to the overall winners, as well as, all of the songwriters who entered this year’s competition,” said Karen E. Reynolds, SMSWF Songwriters Competition Coordinator. “They are all winners for getting involved and placing their songs in our trust,” she added.

The next Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is set for Aug. 15-18, 2013, and will once again take place in downtown Gatlinburg,TN. K

Keep up with all of the festival news and announcements by visiting www.smswf.com or follow us on our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/smswf

August 20, 2013 release

Brookside Resort in conjunction with the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival would like to invite you to “No Excuse for Abuse”, a benefit concert for SafeSpace featuring Michelle Leigh and her band Nickel Difference. The concert will be held in the Event Center at Brookside Resort on August 24 th between 7pm to 9pm. Tickets are $7.00 and can be purchased by calling 865-436-5611 or onsite at Brookside Resort, 463 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN. Tickets can also be purchased through Brookside’s website at www.brooksideresort.com.

SafeSpace is a local non-for-profit organization that provides shelter and support for victims of domestic violence in Sevier, Jefferson & Cocke counties.

“Brookside is so pleased to provide a concert that also helps the community,” said Denise Throntveit,
owner of Brookside Hospitality. “The idea of combining the award winning talents of Michelle, the
Songwriters Festival and supporting SafeSpace seemed a natural fit. During the concert, beverages and
appetizers will be available to the audience and SafeSpace will have a booth should anyone have any
questions about the organization. And, it’s priced so reasonably at $7.00 per ticket. I really hope this
concert is a success”

Michelle Leigh, who’s home base is Asheville, NC, is a prolific songwriter and placed in the top 10 in
the 2012 Nashville Songwriters Competition with “Babydoll”, a song written about domestic abuse.
Michelle’s fans are invited to join us in Gatlinburg. Her website features her songs and concert schedule at www.MichelleLeigh.com.

Cyndy Reeves, the founder of the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival invites you to “Celebrate our
Appalachian Musical Roots” from August 23rd to August 25th in downtown Gatlinburg. The festival is
a platform for songwriters to perform their original songs. The songwriter not only performs but tells
you the story behind the song. The mission of the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival is to promote
songwriters and to help their songs to be discovered not only by publishers and producers but; by all
of us, who simply love the songwriter’s songs that the star performs. Bring your instruments and your
songs or just yourself as one who appreciates good music.

August 19th release

SMOKY MOUNTAINS SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL IN GATLINBURG, TN

INVITES YOU TO “CELEBRATE OUR APPALACHIAN MUSICAL ROOTS”

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival (SMSWF) is a Special Event of the City of Gatinburg being held to “Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots.” World renown “HIT” makers and singer/songwriters will fill venues with ongoing performances in downtown Gatlinburg, August 23rd – August 25th. The public is invited to enjoy these great performances and most of the venues are free admission

Audiences can expect to see an impressive lineup including current top writers such as Bill Labounty (“Rock My World,” Brooks and Dunn), Kim Williams, (“Ain‘t Goin’ Down Till The Sun Comes Up,” Garth Brooks), “Three Wooden Crosses,” Randy Travis), Bobby Tomberlin (writer of hit songs including BMI’s 4 million airplay award winner “One More Day,” Diamond Rio; and cast member of CMT’s The Singing Bee), Mark Nesler, (“Just To See You Smile,” Tim McGraw), Chris Wallin(“Don’t Blink,” Kenny Chesney), Marty Dodson, (“We Must Be Doing Something Right”, Billy Currington), and Clay Mills, (“Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio). Hot upcoming artists like Candi Carpenter and legends like Jim Glaser (former member of Tompall and The Glaser Brothers, hit solo recording artist, and writer of “Woman, Woman, Have You Got Cheating On Your Mind”).

Dozens of other writers will also be performing in a fun and family friendly environment. Hear the stories behind songs recorded by Reba McEntire, Johnny Cash, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, George Strait, Faith Hill, Tanya Tucker, Billy Currington, Billy Ray Cyrus, Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Chesney, Keith Anderson, Alabama and The Oak Ridge Boys, and many others!

One of the highlights of the festival is slated to be The SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Competition Finale and Award Night Performances at the Edgewater Hotel. “The primary goal of the SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Competition is to showcase and bring a broader spotlight to the talent we have here in the Smoky Mountains and the Southern Appalachian region,” stated Cyndy Reeves, SMSWF Founder. The Category Finalists songwriters are set to perform at the festival, giving them the opportunity to be heard and seen by publishers, producers, record label companies, DJs, radio producers, and many more. “We are very fortunate to have Karen E. Reynolds with the Writers Block as our SMSWF Songwriters Competition Coordinator,” commented Reeves.

The SMSWF is hosting four great songwriter workshops on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24 and 25. “The Art of Songwriting… a behind the curtain look at writing a classic” being taught by Marty Dodson, (“We Must Be Doing Something Right”, Billy Currington) and Clay Mills (“Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio); “Enhanced Music Publishing Made Simple” by Hillbilly Culture; Publisher’s Panel” with Doak Turner of The Nashville Muse; and “Paparazzo Pointers” by Kat Speers with MusicCityKat Photography. For more information on how to register for these workshops, go to www.smswf.com 2012 Workshops.Also on Friday, Aug. 24 from noon to 5 p.m. on a first come first serve basis the judges from the Preliminary Judging panel will be available to critique songwriters’ songs at the Magnolia Room at the Edgewater Hotel. Cost for the critiquing is $25 for three songs.

Last but not least, Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier will be in concert at W.L. Mills Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, hosted by the Gatlinburg Garden Club and Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg to benefit the Lucinda Oakley Ogle Log Cabin Restoration Fund. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on-line at www.smswf.com or call 865-604-9066. Jimbo is writing a new song about Lucinda Ogle and her cabin to be performed for the first time at this concert.

We invite you to join us in “Celebrating our Appalachian Musical Roots” right here in Gatlinburg, Tennessee – The Gateway to The Great Smoky Mountains Aug. 23-25, 2012 at the first annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival. For more information and the SMSWF Venue Schedule go to www.smswf.com or call 865-604-9066.

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The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is a “Special Event” supported by the City of Gatlinburg to be held during the last two weeks of August every year to “Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots”. As a platform for songwriters to perform their original songs, the mission of The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is to promote songwriters and to help their songs to be discovered not only by publishers and producers, but by all of us who simply love the songs they write.

SMSWF 2012 SONGWRITER CONTEST JUDGING

“What I have learned yesterday in the world of songwriting is; there is a lot of talented people out there”, noted Cyndy Reeves, Founder SMSWF. “Having said that however, the most important thing I learned is every songwriter out there needs to be involve him/herself into some of the education programs offered in the art of songwriting!” she observed. Structure, verses, chords, hooks, lines, melodies, cadences, rhyme etc. How do you write a classic? GET RID OF YOUR EGO and focus on learning how to perfect your songs.

“I saw this while I watched the judging that went on during the preliminary round of judging the SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Contest,” Reeves explained. Just because you did not get scored nor won the category does not mean that you are not worthy and do not have a chance. There were many songs that had great points and potential for becoming a hit and or being a great songwriter that did not make the cuts. If you do not get to be in the Contest Finale, please still attend the SMSWF and network with a lot of great people that can help each of your careers. There was one song that a couple of the judges had either seen or heard before and both of them said that song would go somewhere one day as they have always liked it. Strangely enough after much discussion it did not happen in this contest. Points about other songs in the category along with this particular song were technically more correct.

Check into the SMSWF Workshops at www.smswf.com. You will find it well worth your time. It is important to network and meet people in the music industry. They all started out the very same way.

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival (SMSWF) has four great workshops giving you several different aspects of elements that are important to you as a songwriter. Marty Dodson and Clay Mills are willing to open up their hearts and souls to you to let you know what it takes to write a classic from their own personal experiences. Hillbilly Culture is here to let you know from experience no matter how much talent you got, there is an education in the craft of songwriting. Doak Turner with the Nashville Muse is hosting an opportunity for you to hear first hand what Publishers are looking for and how to approach them to get a healthy dialogue started. Last but not least Kat Speer is teaching Photography from a behind the lens look. Know what the camera sees and doesn’t see so that when you picture is being made by family, friends, and fans who post on Facebook and other social medias that your energy and greatness as a songwriter is being projected.

We completed 2/3 of the judging of the SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Contest this evening and will finish the rest of the judging Sunday, Aug. 5th. All Category Winner participants will be posted no later than Aug. 10, 2012. The talent the Preliminary judges have sifted thru is incredible. A great big thank you to Karen E. Reynolds with the WRITERS BLOCK for the team of judges she has put together for those very special songwriters who entered their songs in the first SMSWF Songwriters Contest. These judges really know their business in an incredible way. Thank you Judges for giving of your time in the SMSWF. Judges will meet again Sunday Aug. 5th to finalize the judging. Category Contestants will be announced no later than Aug. 10th.

The SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Contest Finale Performance and Awards Night will be held Aug. 25th during the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival at the Edgewater at the Aquarium Hotel & Conference Center Saturday night 7-9 PM in the Magnolia Room.
No admission required however, seating is on a first come first serve basis.
The Edgewater is honoring the smswf discount code.

For More Information on the first Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival go to www.SMSWF.com or e-mail us at smswf@hotmail.com

Contacts for more information:
Karen E. Reynolds, SMSWF Songwriters Contest Coordinator
PH: 865-688-8521
or
Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, SMSWF Founder
PH: 865-604-9066

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Announces
FINALISTS in its first annual SMSWF Songwriters Competition

Approximately 200 songs were entered into the first annual The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Songwriters Contest. Entries came from as far away as Santa Cruz de Tenerife Spain, Fresno CA, Tarzana, CA, Phoenix AZ, Cincinnati, OH, Burleson and Fort Worth TX, Bradenton and Mt. Dora FL, and 35 different cities from 7 different states in the Southeastern United States.

SMSWF is proud to announce the names of the Finalists who will perform at the Finale and Awards Night Performances Sat. Aug 25th at the Edgewater Hotel in the Magnolia Room at 7 PM during the first annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival in downtown Gatlinburg, TN Aug. 23-25, 2012. The Audience will also have a vote in the Listener’s Choice Award. Listed in no particular order:

BLUEGRASS: “Appalachian Mountains” by David Maggard Sevierville, TN,; “Why”, “Keeping It Simple” and “Let ‘em Fly” all by Dan Heimsoth, Cary NC.

COUNTRY: “Can’t Hide Crazy Long” and “All I Really Want” by Jonathan Dean Snellings, Knoxville, TN; “These Mason Jars, by Regan Odom, Bakersville, NC; and “Love’s No Accident” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN.

GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL: “The Distance” by Scott Parker, Oliver Springs, TN; “Prayer (The Steering Wheel Song)” by Mitch Townley, Knoxville, TN; “They Didn’t Know Who They Were Foolin With” by Ernest Vaughn, Cincinnati, Ohio; and “All I Know” by Anne Robinette, Bristol, TN.

POP/ROCK/FOLK: “Right Before My Eyes” by Wyatt Easterling, Gallatin, TN; “Mess of Your Heart” and “Away” by Tom Paisley, Birmingham, AL and “Hanging On” by Anne Robinette, Bristol, TN.

LYRICS ONLY: “America’s Pastime” by David Haley Lauver, Knoxville, TN, “Mamas Don’t Lie” by Rhonda Champion, Sevierville, TN, “Unmarked Grave” by Peter Gilman, Cullowhee, NC and “The River” by Logan Heinzelman, Mt. Dora, FL.

“We had an amazing response and want to thank all who entered their songs,” said Karen E. Reynolds, SMSWF Songwriters Competition Coordinator. “This competition is designed to not only recognize songwriters who excel at their craft, but also provide opportunity by exposing these songs to professionals in the industry who have the knowledge and avenues to make things happen.” Reynolds explained.

Those songs receiving an Honorable Mention listed in no particular order are:

BLUEGRASS: “Fast Train” by Dan Heimsoth, Cary, NC; and “The Knoxville Mule by Angie and Leslie Slosek, Knoxville, TN.

COUNTRY: “Tireswing” by Robert A. Ray, Pontotoc, MS,; “Black Ink” by Michele Leigh, Marshall, NC; “No Better Than This” by Regan Odom, Bakersville, NC; “Big” by Justin Callahan, Kingsport, TN; and “Thank God For Dead Soldiers” by David Haley Lauver, Knoxville, TN.

GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL: “The Church at the End of the Road by Ernest Vaughn, Cincinnati, OH; “I’m Going Home” by Michele Graves, Maynardville, TN; and “There You Are” by Charlie McMurry, Winston-Salem, NC.

POP/ROCK/FOLK: “Bite My Tongue” by Anne Robinette, Bristol, TN; “Once Upon A Life” by Scott Parker, Oliver Springs, TN; “Sky Blue Eyes” and “Go Where Life Takes You, by Robert A. Ray Pontotoc, MS.

LYRICS ONLY: “Grace of Loss” and “Not of This Earth by Jonathan Martin, Waynesville, NC; “Squall Line” by Rhonda Champion, Sevierville, TN; “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” by David Haley Lauver, Knoxville, TN and “One Way Traveller” by Vern Maddux, Johnson City, TN.

The panel of judges for the preliminary round of judging to determine the finalists in each category – Bluegrass, Country, Gospel/Inspirational, Lyrics Only and Pop/Rock/Folk –were: Singer Songwriter, Karen E. Reynolds-professional songwriter and performer, music industry consultant, radio host/program director for the Writers Block. Lee Mayer-concert promoter, artist management, booking agent and producer, president/owner of Houla Entertainment. Kat Weeks-professional songwriter, sound technician, concert promoter and president of GyrlGroove. John Condrone – Grammy nominated and Dove Award winning singer/songwriter.

Finalists will perform their songs live before a panel of judges during the first annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival 7 PM Sat. Aug. 25, 2012 at the Edgewater Hotel in the Magnolia room. The finals judging panel will include: Grammy nominated songwriter and producer, PJ Steelman from Bristol, TN. Award winning songwriter and host of the Music Row Show on WSM, Scott Southworth from Nashville, TN. Formerly of BMG Publishing, Publisher and owner of Oglesby Writer Management, Chris Oglesby from Nashville, TN. Hit songwriter, owner of Ready For The Row and the Bluebird Cafe’s own, Barbara Cloyd from Nashville, TN. Award winning performing singer/songwriter, music industry consultant and host/program director of Writers Block, Karen E. Reynolds from Knoxville, TN. The audience will have an opportunity to vote on the Listener’s Choice Award.

“We encourage all of those who participated by submitting their songs, to attend the finals during the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Aug 23-25, 2012 to cheer on their fellow songwriters, network and meet the judges. See you in Gatlinburg!” Reynolds added. For more information about the first annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival go to www.smswf.com

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