2018 Songwriters


The 5th Annual Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival is extremely proud to present our Songwriter Roster for 2018. We’ll be bringing back a few familiar faces from our first four years, as well as showcasing a bunch of brand new songwriters from all over the US and the world – literally! This is a great group of songwriters and we’re certain that you’re going to enjoy their performances. Here they are folks, our 2018 Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival songwriters!

SASHA AARON – Nashville, TN – Sasha is a Miami native who now calls Nashville home. Musically influenced by Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles – Sasha’s sound is the result of a perfect balance of California rock and the honest sensibilities of country music. The decision to move to Music City immediately proved positive as Sasha quickly gained the respect of top songwriters, co-writing with hit songwriters Steve Dean, Frank Myers and Rob Crosby, among others. Her talent landed her a first place win in the 2014 Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival Competition. That same year, she headlined her first solo show at Nashville’s famed Bluebird Cafe where she is now a regular. She’s had the opportunity to open for several major acts (Macy Gray, Sister Hazel) and her songs have been featured on several MTV and CW network shows. www.sashaaaron.com

AUBRYN – Nashville, TN – A 2015 Kerrville New Folk Finalist, Winner of the San Diego County Fair Singer/Songwriter Contest and 2016 DSSF singer/songwriter, Aubryn is excited to return to Dripping Springs. You may remember her for her upbeat songs with darker themes (some involving train tracks), or perhaps her haunting songs with clear soprano vocals inspired by mythology, television, and literature. Aubryn released her second EP with San Diego based label Big West Music in January of 2017 and has begun working on her third release. The storyteller and murder song queen continues to hone her craft and enjoys finding new and creative ways to bring songs to life.  www.aubrynmusic.com

KATRINA BARCLAY – Bryant, AL – Katrina Barclay is known by her ability to captivate an audience and invite them to face whatever emotion she evokes in them. Josh Pickard of nooga.com writes, “…it’s the absolute sense of earnestness and plainspoken emotion that comes through, giving each song a ragged but sympathetic appearance.”  She cut her teeth on gospel, classic rock, and pop music growing up in northeast Alabama. She is no stranger to the stage, performing with her family for the majority of her childhood before she began writing songs and endeavoring to teach herself guitar in 2007. With riffs influenced heavily by indie and blues, her style of playing is straightforward with a healthy dose of embellishment that comes from her history with bluegrass and folk. Katrina has  won several Songwriter Shootouts, she’s a board member of the Chattanooga Songwriter’s Association and has a passion for collaborating and authentic performance.  www.reverbnation.com/katrinabarclay

EMILY BARNES – Johnsonburg, NJ – Hailing from the rural town of Johnsonburg, New Jersey singer-songwriter Emily Barnes can be found sitting on the stone steps of her 200 year old home stitching together the latest melody from the fabric of her ever spinning mind. That is on the rare occasion she is home. Nationally touring, Barnes is stopping listeners dead in their tracks with a voice that cuts to the bone and songs that tug at the heart strings. Her sophomore release Let in the Light was named a “top independent release” by Divide and Conquer. “Emily Barnes is more than just a musician; she is a storyteller that sets the lives of her characters to music.”  www.emilybarnesmusic.com

LOCKWOOD BARR – Nashville, TN – Lockwood Barr is a Nashville-Based BMI songwriter, and banjo player. She was awarded a Music Row Magazine Discovery Award for songwriting and was named an “Emerging Artist” at CMA Festival. Lockwood’s 2016 record, Signs Along the Road, was produced by Jars of Clay and she is currently working on a segment for the CBS show, Sunday Morning. Barr has been nominated for three NIMA AWARDS for Best Live Country Performer, Best Solo Artist and for Song of the Year. She has shared stages with Collin Raye, Tyler Hilton, Bridgette Tatum and many more. www.lockwoodbarr.com

JERRY BOONSTRA – Nashville, TN – Jerry Boonstra is an Americana/Alt-Country singer and songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. He’s performed everywhere from house concerts to honky-tonks. From live radio appearances to the main stage at Bean Blossom. From the Bluebird cafe to the Exit-Inn. From busking for change in subways to the plush offices of major record labels. As a staff writer on Music Row he’s had cuts by Highway 101, Country Diva Lori White, Americana artist Darrell Scott and even Scottish rock superstars Big Country.  His songs have been used on NPR as well as European television. His first album “Hey, Johnny Guitar!” will be available everywhere soon.  www.jerryboonstramusic.com

SHEENA BROOK – Ft Myers, FLA – A Southwest Florida Native, Sheena Brook has a laid back style with an energetic and inviting vibe. Like most entertainers, Sheena grew up with her share of adversity, which has undoubtedly shaped her into the performer she is today. In the performance realm, Sheena has played festivals with artists like Kristian Bush, Josh Turner, and Kevin Costner. Behind the scenes, she has had the pleasure of collaborating with hit writers such as JT Harding, Andy Albert and many more. Sheena recently appeared on NBC’s Season 12 of The Voice where she was hand picked by Adam Levine to be on his team. After the show, Sheena proudly released her Brand New EP, The First Time, which is now available on iTunes, Spotify, and all other media outlets. She continues to play live, write music, work hard to make her dreams a reality, and live a positive life. www.sheenabrook.com

Shawn small 2016SHAWN BYRNE – Nashville, TN – When Shawn Byrne was born, the umbilical cord was barely cut when a new one was soon attached – this one plugged straight into a wooden Zenith record player via headphones where the music of Cash, Willie, and Waylon played nicely alongside The Stones, The Beatles, and The Who. After a stint at Berklee College of Music Shawn made the move to Nashville, and the Bluebird Cafe found their new dishwasher. Shawn scrubbed pots and pans while just beyond the kitchen wall some of Nashville’s most successful songwriters plied their trade. Shawn honed his writing and playing skills & became one the town’s most sought out guitar slingers. He has shared the stage with some of Country Music’s finest including Rodney Atkins, James Otto, Ashton Shepherd, Kelleigh Bannen, Mark Collie and many others. In time Shawn’s talents as a songwriter got the attention of publishers and major artists alike, garnering Shawn a SESAC writer’s award and around 20 cuts to his name. Shawn’s third self produced record, Slow Bullet, was released in 2016. www.shawnbyrnecountry.com

HOPECASSITY - SmallHOPE CASSITY – Atlanta, GA – Hope Cassity is Alabama born, Texas inspired, and a Nashville graduate of the music business of “hard knocks”. This year saw an unexpected pause in her career. After successfully battling  Multiple Sclerosis with stem cells, she went to war with a rare form of Ovarian Cancer that affects only 1% of women her age. Cassity previously earned an NCMA Award for Best Female Vocalist of the Year, two nominations for her original songs, enjoyed ten songwriter cuts with Penny Rae, Erath Old, Victoria Camp, and Aubrey Lynn. She is anxious to resume work with her producers  Jason Schmidt (Nashville) and Matthew Thornton (Phoenix) on a highly anticipated solo project about her journey. Most recently, Cassity released an authentically country single “If I Only Had A Heart” on I-Tunes, which had garnered a radio deal. With a newly gained perspective, she gives back daily to others through her art and music, and vows to raise Ovarian Cancer awareness. www.hopecassitytours.com

JeffersonClay1smallJEFFERSON CLAY – Austin, TX – Jefferson Clay is a Singer-Songwriter from San Antonio, TX. With a unique, but warmly familiar sound drawing influence from smooth 60s Motown, the melodic Rock & Roll of the 60s and 70s, and from modern AAA songwriters like John Mayer, Jack Johnson and Eric Hutchinson. Jefferson Clay blends the classic Singer-Songwriter feel with a soulful, Blues-edged, and undeniably Pop vibe. Clay graduated from The University of Texas in Austin where he currently resides, majoring in Advertising and Business. Most notably, Jefferson won the 2015 University of Texas Songwriters Competition and was awarded a set at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival. Clay has opened for world renowned artists including Clint Black, Tracy Lawrence, Jason Boland, and Vallejo. His debut self-titled 5 track EP, recorded in Austin and produced by Lisa Morales, is available worldwide. www.jeffersonclaymusic.com

WES COLLINS – Chapel Hill, NC – North Carolina singer/songwriter Wes Collins took first place in the 2012 North Carolina Songwriter’s Co-op Song Contest and was a finalist in the 2013 Kerrville TX New Folk Competition. Wes released his first CD, One Layer Down, in January 2013 and in 2015 he made it back to Kerrville as one of the six winners. Wes placed second at Songwriter Serenade in 2017, was a finalist at Wildflower this year, and just released his second album Welcome to the Ether (funded by a 2017 grant from the North Carolina Arts Council). www.wescollins.com


corkie small webDIANNA CORCORAN – Australia/Nashville, TN – Already a two time Golden Guitar winner, (Country Music Awards of Australia) including Female Artist of The Year, Australian singer songwriter, Dianna Corcoran now lives in Nashville TN after signing a publishing and record deal in New York.  Corcoran works extensively in both the Pop and Country community throughout Stockholm, London, Germany, Australia and the US. With numerous #1 hits and cuts to her name, including Australia’s biggest country hit of 2010 and an upcoming Hollywood movie opening theme.  This sublime singer, songwriter, producer and young musical entrepreneur took her career to a whole new level by self producing her first ever American album, released in January 2016.  www.diannacorcoran.com 

KAREN DAHLSTROM – Brooklyn, NY – Karen Dahlstrom has been part of New York’s thriving Americana music scene for a decade, performing with a variety of acts–most notably as a member of the harmony-driven folk band, Bobtown. Inspired by her love of traditional folk ballads and her upbringing in the US Northwest, her songs are filled with stories of railroad towns and mountain mining camps, dark omens, heartbreak, and salvation. Her debut solo EP, Gem State, was hailed by Americana UK as a “wonderfully sinister debut.” With her soulful alto voice and haunting narrative style, she’s been compared to the likes of Gillian Welch, Adele, and Chan Marshall (Cat Power). Karen is currently at work on a new collection of solo songs, and on Bobtown’s upcoming fourth album. www.karendahlstrom.com

ERIC ERDMAN – Mobile, AL – Eric Erdman was born and raised along Mobile Bay and it seems as if he has that churning water in his veins. His songs vary from introspective to fun, quirky and accessible to profound and palatable; but, they all seem to have sprung up from that salty Mobile water. Since 2012 Eric has toured the world extensively, written a theme song for a nationally televised show, and released 4 studio albums (including “It’s Not Like You Don’t Know Me” in 2018).  www.ericerdmanmusic.com

LINDSAY FOOTE – Toronto, Canada – Lindsay Foote writes honest, soul-bearing music coupled with a voice that will melt even the hardest heart. Originally from Winchester, Massachusetts, she moved to Canada in 2009 to study voice at the University of Toronto.  In 2009, she released an EP, A Better View, followed by a full solo album, From the Blue, in 2015. Her newest release, Going Gone EP, features her five-piece folk band. Lindsay was a finalist in the Songwriter Serenade contest in Austin. In the summer of 2017, she successfully completed an East Coast Canadian tour followed by a US Tour. www.lindsayfoote.com

CHASE GASSAWAY – Austin, TX – A lifelong Texan, Chase Gassaway studied music composition and theory in college, honing his skills as a composer by creating works for a wide range of ensembles from choirs to orchestras, as well as film scores. He has studied classical guitar and voice, and plays a variety of instruments from banjolele to reed organ. His training, and the onstage lessons he’s learned as a solo performer, and hustling member Austin’s music scene, has resulted in multi-textured pop songs that recall the Head & the Heart and Ben Folds. In a Chase Gassaway song, it’s not unusual to hear strings, horns, woodwinds and piano accompanying Gassaway’s engaging lyrics and slightly husky vocals, which might remind listeners of Jakob Dylan’s.  Married to his college sweetheart, Gassaway rarely writes about the trials and tribulations of relationships. Instead, he prefers to use his music as a means to explore the inner workings of the human spirit, call for social justice and hope, and encourage people to “ask questions they never thought to ask.”   www.chasegassaway.com

CLAUDIA GIBSON Wimberley, TX –Through a lifetime of occupations, songwriting has remained a constant for Claudia Gibson since the age of 16. While stepping back from performing  to raise three children, Claudia never stopped writing songs, and in 2015 she renewed her music career with a vengeance. Step By Step, Claudia’s debut album produced by Band of Heathens’ Gordy Quist, cracked the Americana Radio charts, made the Roots Music Report’s Top Americana Country Album Chart 2017 and was featured on independent radio throughout the U.S. and Europe.  Claudia writes songs that people see themselves in, featuring what James Killen of the Houston Music Review called her “beautiful voice and thoughtful lyrics.” Her new song “Dreamers” won 1st Prize in the 2018 Woody Guthrie Songwriting contest, and Claudia debuted it during a set on the main stage of the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in July 2018.  Claudia began recording new songs in summer 2018, again with Quist producing. She will be releasing these in conjunction with a crowdfunding campaign towards the end of 2018.  www.claudiagibson.com

Julie Site PicJULIE GRIBBLE – Nashville, TN – It just comes naturally for Julie Gribble. Writing, singing, performing. But what she loves most is to inspire, to reach people with her music. Gribble has entranced audiences with her modern stories of life, love and relationships. Audiences connect immediately to the unique lyrics. Julie’s music has been featured on Lifetime movie “Dive at Clauson’s Pier,” popular Nickelodeon shows “Zoey 101,” “Drake and Josh” and their TV movie “Drake & Josh Go to Hollywood.” Guest appearances include “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “The Tyra Banks Show” in 2005. She received the 2005 LA Music Award for Best Adult Alternative Artist, and has been featured in Music Connection Magazine’s Hot 100 unsigned bands.  www.juliegribble.com

Melody New SmallMELODY GUY – Nashville, TN – Nashville singer-songwriter Melody Guy is on the road more than she’s off it, tirelessly taking her music to her fans across the country. She’s among the elite of entertainers who can capture a sprawling festival audience or an intimate group of eager listeners in a living room concert. With her thrilling melodies, lyrics that are at once personal and universal, and a sense of humor and timing that tickles the senses, Melody Guy is simply unforgettable” – Joe Johnston, Johnson Music Group.  Melody has opened for or shared the stage with such great artists as Sugarland, Joe Diffe, Nanci Griffith, Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Leon Russell and many more. On August 5, 2011 she sang the national anthem for a home game for the Pittsburg Pirates. She has self-released 8 albums and tours the states and the world performing her music.  www.melodyguy.com

KRISTOPHER JAMES – Bradenton, FL – Kristopher James is known for his vulnerable writing style, soulful voice and raw instrumentation with just a guitar and a few pedals. “Who is a kindred musical spirit to artists like Gavin DeGraw and Amos Lee, has managed to graduate from the realm of ‘blue eyed’ anything. His guitar work — deceptively complex while still managing to be easy on the ears — is right in harmony and clean in tone.
His vocals are perfectly reigned in to suit his range and his easy gift for melody is unrivaled in the Bay area singer-songwriter space.  “Kristopher James is perhaps the most interesting local musician on the scene” – Creative Loafing Tampa. www.kristopherjamesmusic.com

Dean Guitar color smallDEAN JOHANESEN – Parrish, FL – Originally from New York, accomplished singer/songwriter/guitarist Dean Johanesen has made his home in many parts of the US including, Indiana, Nevada, Georgia and now residing in Florida. In 2013 Dean released his first solo record A Time and A Place, a collection of songs that fit more of a personal storyteller type influence. In 2014 the solo release was accepted by Pandora for Dean’s own radio station. Dean has opened for Robbie Krieger (The Doors / Jam Kitchen) * Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket), Mason Jennings, Donovan Frankenreiter, Howard Jones, Martha Wainwright, Peter Mulvey, John Waite, Kevn Kinney (Drivin’ & Cryin”), Steve Forbert. “Dean Johanesen plays acoustic guitar-driven fare with a sonic palette that calls on Spanish rumba-style instrumentals, speakeasy-era Americana, and swinging hot club jazz dosed in circus tent hues.” Leilani Polk – Creative Loafing – Tampa www.deanjohanesen.com www.reverbnation.com/deanjohanesen

SHAWNEE KILGORE – Austin, TX – Shawnee Kilgore is an Austin, TX singer-songwriter living a crowd-funding fairy tale. When she launched a Kickstarter campaign for her last solo record, she never could have guessed that it would be seen by one of Hollywood’s most prominent directors, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, The Avengers). Joss fell in love with Shawnee’s music and her voice, backed the project, and asked if she would be interested in co-writing with him. Two years later, they recorded a six-song EP called Back To Eden at Ocean Studios in Burbank, CA, featuring an all-star crew of supporting musicians, including Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins. The album Joss helped Kickstart, A Long and Precious Road, earned her a place among Texas Music Magazine’s albums of the year, as well as being named their #1 Songwriter of Distinction, an accolade shared by Kacey Musgraves and Leon Bridges. “Shawnee’s in my very highest category of songwriter,” wrote longtime Austin songwriter Danny Schmidt. “Those whose next song I can’t wait for them to write.” www.shawneekilgore.com

VANESSA LIVELY – Austin, TX – Vanessa Lively creates an eclectic blend of folk & world music that beautifully join heartfelt lyrics with soulful vocals. Drawing on a compelling mix of tempos and styles that embrace hints of urban, world, Latin, funk and pop, Lively’s songs fully capture her compassionate nature and love of community. Margaret Moser of The Austin Chronicle describes Vanessa’s music as “folk music on fire with worldly rhythms and a Latin pulse.”  Lively was named one of the Top 10 Artists of the Year by KUNC in Colorado and one of the Top Artists of the Year by Where The Birds Fly in Germany. “Austin’s Vanessa Lively is a true multi-discipline artist. She’s a singer, songwriter, musician and painter with a do-it-yourself attitude and a compassionate spirit.” – Mario Tarradell, The Dallas Morning News.  Lively was honored in 2017 with the Artist Activist Award by Music To Life. With the grant, Lively started her a music program that works within Austin’s homeless community. She is currently leading music circles for her program called Home Street Music in Austin. www.vanessalively.com

BRANDON LUEDTKE – Austin, TX – Brandon Luedtke has lived in Austin for the last seven years, and during this time has played in bands like Roosevelt’s Goody Bag, Honey Baby, and Shane Smith and the Saints, and solo more than ever. His songs are centered around his acoustic guitar and voice. His style and approach to songwriting, according to No Depression “carry the torch of the Texan troubadour forward.” He was awarded “Best Songwriter” at Viva Terlingua Festival, and has toured out to West Texas as well as the whole east coast with Mother Merey and the black dirt, and southeastern America most recently. He has played his fair share of the bars and watering holes in the Texas Hill Country, but more recently Luedtke has performed Austin’s most iconic venues, such as the Cactus Cafe, Antone’s and Threadgill’s.  www.luedtkemusic.com

TOM MENY – Buda, TX – Award winning songwriter Tom Meny currently calls Buda, TX home. Stationed near the live music mecca of Austin, it can be difficult to stand out in a vast sea of great musicians. But Tom Meny is a voice apart from the rest. With influences ranging from Glen Hansard to John Mayer, Tom uses non-standard guitar tuning, a soulful voice, memorable melodies and direct lyrics that set himself apart and connect with his audiences. Among his accolades are numerous songwriting awards including winning efforts at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Competition (2015), the Wildflower Arts and Music Festival’s Performing Songwriter Competition (2017), The Recording Conservatory of Austin’s Singer Songwriter Competition (2013), and many others. Meny has performed for audiences around the country including recent tours through Texas, North Carolina and New England, and has played legendary venues such as Austin’s Cactus Cafe, The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Lincoln Center in New York City. Tom Meny has appeared on albums by Billy Crockett, Ray Prim, and Laura Marie.   www.tommeny.com

GIULIA MILLANTA – Austin, TX/Florence, Italy – Giulia (Julia) Millanta, is a native-born Italian from Florence who now calls Austin, Texas home. A creative and prolific artist, she has released six albums touring regionally, nationally throughout the USA and internationally. An accomplished guitarist, Giulia also plays ukulele and sings in four languages. She has been called smart, pensive and cool and credited with psychedelic grooveability whilst “baring her clairvoyant soul” to “deliver musical mojo.” Performing at the Acoustic Guitar Meeting in Sarzana in the spring of 2010 her accomplished guitar style and songs earned her the “New Sounds Of Acoustic Music” award. This led to an endorsement by the renowned guitar makers Eko, choice of the most famous 60’s-80’s era singer-songwriters throughout Italy. In 2018 Giulia releases “Conversation with a Ghost” produced by herself and Gabriel Rhodes. www.giuliamillanta.com

CHRIS MOYSE – Nashville, TNOriginally from Monroe, CT, Chris Moyse started playing his songs at bars when he was young. After winning the 2017 Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition, he released his debut record Bad Parts EP. The momentum allowed him to tour around the country consistently since then. Armed with a batch of deep, poetic songs and a striking stage presence, Chris seems like a man hellbent on the truth; “..the places most would rather stay away from” he says. “I like real stories more than I like parables. Things that are a little uglier and maybe don’t give you all the answers.” He has recently shared the stage with folk troubadours like Joe Ely and Jonathan Byrd. This summer, he will be playing shows in Texas, Colorado, Nashville and up and down the east coast. “One of my favorite songwriters in town. Chris is a rather unassuming guy but his songs will blow you away.” – Ear to the Ground www.chrismoysemusic.com

MICHAEL MYERS – Dripping Springs, TX – Born and raised in Dripping Springs, Texas, Michael began singing with his grandpa in church and at special events. Johnny Gimble, the great western swing fiddler said, “When Michael sings, it hits you right in the gut! The last time I was impressed this way with an upcoming talent was when I first heard Merle Haggard.” Michael’s debut CD, Living for the Moment, was recorded using A-List musicians including Johnny Gimble, Floyd Domino, Danny Levin, Dick Gimble, and Rick McRae. His sophomore album, Pedernales Summer is a compilation of songs written/cowritten by Michael and local songwriter Bobby Pounds. In 2002 Michael competed in the first season of Nashville Star and made the top 25 nationwide, which also included a top 5 finish at the Regionals in Houston with no other than Miranda Lambert herself. Michael has appeared with Tracy Byrd, the Bellamy Brothers, John Conlee, Ray Price, Johnny Gimble, Bruce Robison, Larry Gatlin, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver and others. www.reverbnation.com/michaelmyersmusic.

Sylvia SmallSYLVIA ROSE NOVAK – Athens, GA – Growing up in Opelika, Alabama, as a “first-generation” Southerner, Sylvia Rose Novak bucked against many of the conventions and mores of  South. When one of her high school teachers introduced her to Southern Gothic literature, Novak became transfixed on the duality of the region and, as a result, began to attempt to write Southern Gothic literature of her own. With one unpublished short story and a myriad of poems tucked away, Novak gave up her pursuit of writing for several years. Until, purely by happenstance, she wrote her first song in December 2012. She recorded her debut album the following year while training horses and playing fiddle for a number of new-age honky-tonkers. Three self-produced albums later, Novak has gained notable press attention for her carefully-crafted genreless songs. If you pay attention, subtle nods to her heroes can be heard throughout her work.  She has opened for The Mulligan Brothers, Chris Knight, Caleb Caudle, Belle Adair, American Aquarium, Will Hoge, and Rod Picott. www.sylviarosenovak.com

Abe Partridge Site SmalABE PARTRIDGE – Mobile, AL – Abe Partridge is a former Baptist preacher who accepted a pastorate at 25 and then left after a near nervous breakdown at 27. He joined the US Air Force and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Now in his well-seasoned mid-30s, he has begun to share his story through his music. Abe performs his songs like an old-time preacher gone mad – with all the soul he can muster. He is a poet, not afraid to tackle any subject. He makes no attempt at pop stardom or radio play – just delivers somber stories with a burning message that demand an honest hearing. www.abepartridge.com

SARAH PEACOCK – Nashville, TN – Georgia grown singer songwriter, Sarah Peacock, swings the pendulum across the spectrum of what’s considered to be today’s country music; bridging gaps between outlaw country, blues, alternative country, folk, Americana, and even classic rock. You’ll find a truthful rawness in her music and real life themes of faith, overcoming struggle, and unacquainted love that will leave you oddly feeling closer to home. And, most certainly you’re sure to find a piece of your own story in her songs. Peacock was recently signed to Nashville label, American Roots Records and calls Nashville home. Her first EP under the new label, Beauty In The Ashes, Unplugged Vol. 1 released May 12, 2017. Her second project is underway and can be expected in September or October, 2017. Sarah has shared stages with Gary Allan, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Radney Foster, Hal Ketchum, Whitey Johnson (Gary Nicholson), Paul Thorn, Gene Watson, and many others. She is sponsored by Taylor Guitars and DR Strings. www.sarahpeacockmusic.com

GRACE PETTIS – Austin, TX – Grace comes by her love of words honestly. Her father is a critically acclaimed songwriter who penned the Garth Brooks hit “You Move Me.” and both Grace’s brothers are songwriters and musicians. In her short career, Grace has already lived up to her birthright, winning numerous songwriting awards including Kerrville New Folk Contest, NPR’s Mountain Stage New Song Contest, Wildflower’s Songwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner and “People’s Choice” Winner, as well as garnering praise from critics, fans, and industry alike. What sets her apart in her talented family is her distinct, unaffected voice, described by Sirius XM Program Director, Mary Sue Twohy, as a “wide open prairie full of waving golden grains before menacing, dark thunder clouds”. Recently, 3-time Grammy-nominated artist Ruthie Foster has covered two Grace’s original songs on her spring 2017 release, Joy Comes Back. In May 2017, Grace became an award recipient of the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, which made it possible for her to attend the exclusive “Chris Difford’s Songwriting Retreat” in Glastonbury, England. “One of the most talented young singer-songwriters in America” – Michael Branberry/Dallas Morning News. www.gracepettis.com/music

BRIAN POUNDS – Austin, TX – Brian Pounds has spent the past six years as Austin’s best-kept musical secret. Having left college with only two semesters until graduation and quit his job to pursue music as a full-time career, he knows all too well the struggles of living from a tip jar, something that becomes readily apparent as he sings, “My faith has been worn down by all these worn out hotel rooms / Tonight I’m in L.A. just hoping that the sympathy of strangers will be enough to pay my way back home to you” over crying pedal steel. Reality television is ephemeral, but with the five songs of his EP, Strikes and Gutters, Pounds proves that he is a talented singer-songwriter with staying power.  www.brianpounds.com

MICHAEL PRYSOCK – Dallas, Texas – Michael Prysock is a singer-songwriter deeply affected by life in rural Arkansas, and through his music, tells achingly true tales of the influences of his family and the brotherhood of friends that helped raise him. Prysock skips the clichéd heart songs of romance and moves purposefully to lyrics that convey real struggle and the authenticity of living. Uniquely talented and masking a rare personal humility not often seen in today’s contemporary musical bravado, Prysock is a spirited one-man-band, providing vocals, guitar and harmonica to a raw soundtrack of small-town life. www.michaelprysock.com

ERIC RAMSEY – Phoenix, AZ – Eric Ramsey is two time champion of the Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Showdown and was a semi-finalist at this year’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. He won the Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Tucson Folk Festival this year, and has been tapped for the prestigious Songwriter’s Showcase produced by Tempe Center for the Arts, filmed for PBS distribution. Recently he’s established and is hosting a quarterly songwriter’s showcase entitled, Sessions From North 7th Street, at The Listening Room Phoenix. Eric is a favorite on the Folk and Blues Festival circuits, not only for his dynamic performances but for his open tuning and slide guitar workshops. Featuring soaring vocals and organic arrangements, Eric’s original compositions reflect his musical influences and his own idiosyncratic world view. He writes from experience about the human condition – at times sensitive, at times humorous, always thought-provoking. His arrangements and delivery encompass a spectrum of styles, from delicate finger-picking to raucous, bluesy bottleneck slide. www.ericramsey.net

CARI RAY – Nashville, IN – Cari Ray is an entertainer and storyteller whose songs might just transport you to a back alley juke joint around the early part of the last century. A multi award-winning songwriter, she was most recently named a New Folk Finalist at the venerable Kerrville Folk Festival. Cari’s influences as a writer and performer are clear and present in her original material, spanning a wide range of early American music… a helping of acoustic blues, a little folk, a rasher of ragtime, and a slight flavor of old-time country. Her live show serves it up handily with quick wit, tasty fingerstyle guitar, and a huge voice. With a unique blend of heart and grit, Cari Ray will have your heart breaking one minute and your hips shaking the next…while her Piedmont-style guitar picking will have you wondering where she’s hiding the rest of band. www.cariray.com

JOSHUA REILLY – Clearwater, FL – Every now and then, a song, a voice, a lyric, splits your soul right in two and then proceeds to feed both sides. Raw yet refined, mournful yet optimistic, heartbroken yet inspiring… such is the dichotomy, the paradox, and the musical delivery of Joshua Reilly. Born, raised, and marinated on the cornfield-lined country roads of central Illinois, and then cultivated, ripened, and baked on the beaches and concrete swamps of Florida, Reilly understands hard times, he knows redemption, and this unfiltered honesty pours out through his music. It’s a slice of life served clever and real. www.joshuareilly.com


Bruce Salmon Site Pic SmallBRUCE SALMON– Austin, TX – Bruce Salmon’s third solo album, “Press Play”, has been released just in time for DSSF— all original songs, inspired by his upcoming wedding; and featuring a bevy of Austin talent.  A New Orleans native, Bruce was raised in Houston and Austin, Texas. He’s a veteran of the Austin music scene, playing in a number of influential bands, including Joe Rockhead, Minor Mishap Marching Band, and the Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra. He began performing as a solo artist in 2012. His music is steeped in the Texas songwriting tradition, and seasoned by  New Orleans-hometown jazz, funk, and blues. Bruce has also extensively studied Eastern European folk music at the source in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Romania. He has recently toured Europe with Havilah Rand, as the “Texas Troubadours”, and has recently returned to Austin after a 3 year hiatus in West Texas, Florida, and Alaska. This is Bruce’s second appearance at the Dripping Springs Songwriting festival! www.brucesalmonmusic.com

BOB SIMPSON San Angelo, TX – Bob Simpson’s carefully crafted guitar melodies and clever lyrics take you back to a time when musicians truly cared about the content and craftsmanship of their art. It’s easy to begrudge someone when they are compared to more notable artists (most often James Taylor and Lyle Lovett) in their field. But Bob truly deserves these comparisons. He pays tribute to those that came before him while still maintaining a sound and story all his own. A self-taught guitar player, Simpson began writing songs as a teenager; a hobby that would last him a lifetime. After recording several demos that would introduce his body of work to various audiences, he began to record and release his self-titled debut in 2008 followed by his alt-country tinged 2013 sophomore release, Odd Man Out. His songs have been featured in several independent films and performed in some of the more well-known venues across the state of Texas. www.bobsimpsonmusic.com

David Starr SmallDAVID STARR – Cedaredge, CO – With Arkansas roots and Colorado wings, David Starr has been making music since the age of 10. He is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and a producer with five solo CD’s under his belt. His latest, , is a 15-song collection that showcases Starr’s many influences ranging from Southern California country-rock, to Delta blues, to folk. David is joined on Love And Sabotage by John Oates, Richie Furay and the legendary Steve Cropper. The CD’s title cut reached #2 on the UK Hotdisc Top 40 chart and ended 2015 as the #17 song for the year on the same chart. When he isn’t spreading the gospel of music though his retail music store in Cedaredge, Colorado, Starr tours extensively in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom, playing house concerts, festivals and live shows in a variety of venues. David has opened for Survivor, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, Restless Heart and The Guess Who. www.davidstarrmusic.com

CHRIS STRAND – Austin, TX – Borrowing from David Bazan, Tom Waits, The Tallest Man on Earth, Brian Wilson, and Townes Van Zandt, Chris Strand has been crafting energetic yet articulate songs in Austin since 2012. His dynamic live performances, solo or supported by his band, the Sinners, have led him to play acclaimed rooms across the US and earned him fans that cling to his lyrics, musicianship, and authenticity. He has released three solo records,hos EP Roots in 2013, Settle Down in 2014, and Tonight’s Just Begun in 2017. These records have allowed him to work alongside members of such bands as The Heartless Bastards, Lloyd Maines, Robert Earl Keen, The Gourds, Shinyribs, The New Bohemians, and 20/20. www.chrisstrand.com

B Suth SmallBRIAN SUTHERLAND – Lakeland, FL – Brian Sutherland is an acoustic songwriter living in Nashville, TN.  His brand of Americana has a certain pop and jazz influence that makes his music both timeless and relevant.  Formerly a side-man for The Beach Boys, Sutherland now steps out on his own to sing his songs.  A classical cellist and day dreaming crooner, Sutherland grew up on the coast of southwest Florida, entertaining tourists and honing his craft.  He’s been selected to perform at the Island Hopper Songwriting Festival, Key West Songwriters Festival, Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival, String Break Music Festival, Riverhawk Music Festival and the Druid City Songwriters Festival. Now in Tennessee, Brian is currently working on a new record and tour dates for the fall & winter of 2018.  His current EP, “Coming Home”, a collection of demos recorded bare bones style at his home in FL, is available on Spotify & Apple Music” www.SutherlandSongs.com

CHRIS TAYLOR – San Antonio, TX – Chris Taylor is fearless musical and artistic performer from San Antonio, TX. Whether he is solo, with an acoustic guitar and harmonica or with his band (Chris Taylor & the Setting Sons) you can expect a passionate musical experience. He has co-written two songs with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics fame and has over 30 albums to his credit. His latest double album, Never Ending Now has just been released worldwide and Taylor expects to tour the United States to support his new music. www.christaylorworld.com 

Thanks to SHURE, USA for providing additional sound equipment to our stages.

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Top photo by: DorRae Stevens

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