MerleFest congratulates 2013 CASC winners
MerleFest 2013 congratulates the winners of the 21st annual
Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.
Writers of the following 12 songs were selected from more than 700 entries and competed on the Austin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 26. The winners are:
1st Place - John Cloyd Miller (Asheville) – “Cloud of Dust”
2nd Place - Todd Grebe (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Master of My Destiny”
3rd Place - Aaron Burdett (Saluda) – “Magpie”
1st Place - Melody Walker (San Francisco, Calif.) – “Black Grace”
2nd Place - Lorraine Jordan (Garner) – “Judgment Day”
3rd Place - Kelsi Robertson Harrigill (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) – “Just Any Moment”
1st Place - Eliot Bronson (Atlanta, Ga.) – “Sad Town”
2nd Place - Daniel Davis (Bristol, Va.) – “Homesick”
3rd Place - Michaela Anne (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – “Lift Me Up”
1st Place - Justin Wade Tam (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Cold Chicago”
2nd Place - Ryan Tanner (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Days to Think of You”
3rd Place - Ben Roberts & Emily Roberts (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Gold “
“The talent this year was amazing,” said Laurie Brintle, coordinator of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. “They gave an inspirational performance on the Cabin Stage on Friday evening, sharing their talents and enthusiasm with the crowd. And then on Saturday night, first-place CASC-Gospel winner Melody Walker got a huge surprise when Scythian invited her to join the Midnight Jam.”
Each of the first place winners received a performance slot on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest, a check for $500 from sponsor La Fiesta Mexican Restaurants, two boxes of D’Addario strings, a gift certificate from Jackson’s Music and capos from the G7th The Capo Company.
Second place winners received a slot on the Friday night Songwriters Coffeehouse, a check for $250, a box of D’Addario strings, a gift certificate from Jackson’s Music and capos from the G7th The Capo Company.
Third place winners received a slot on the Friday night Songwriters Coffeehouse, a check for $50, a box of D’Addario strings, a gift certificate from Jackson’s Music and capos from the G7th The Capo Company.
Additionally, all finalists received mentoring session with Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale, who serves as honorary chairman of the contest, strings from Kyser Musical Products and a one-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Sonicbids.
First-round judging was coordinated by Whitney Holmes, member relations at Americana Music Association, and Lauderdale.
First-round judges, who selected the finalists, include Ashlee-Jean Trott, Music City Roots; John Tumminello, Musicians Corner/Music City Unsigned; Judy McDonough, JEMMedia; Nathan Nicholson, Nicholson Music; Megan McNair, Sugar Hill Records; Whitney Holmes, Americana Music Association; Amy Reitnouer, Bluegrass Situation; Cliff O’Sullivan, Sugar Hill Records; Daniel Lee, BMG Chrysalis; Dave Stallard, Bristol Rhythm & Roots; and Ben Goldsmith, BMG Chrysalis.
This year’s on-site judges were Matraca Berg, Lynda Dawson and Chris Smither.
According to organizers, judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential.
Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, the scholarship has awarded more than $36,000 to 75 deserving students. The 2012-13 Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship recipients are Cameron Brian Teague and Zachary Adam Triplett.
Previous winners of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via and Johnny Williams.
MerleFest 2013 took place April 25 to 28 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. For more details about the contest, as well as MerleFest 2014, visit http://www.merlefest.org.