Below are the artists and hosts of the 2021 Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival.
MEET YOUR HOSTS
Radio personality, musician, author
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Featured Performances by:
Tony Arata best known song is “The Dance”, a number-one U.S. country hit for Garth Brooks in 1990 which was nominated at the 33rd Grammy Awards for Best Country Song. He also wrote No. 1 U.S. country hit “Dreaming with My Eyes Open” recorded by Clay Walker. Arata was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.
Brady Seals – Singer/songwriter/artist Brady Seals has a pedigree for success. You could say that music is “in his blood,” as he is related to numerous industry heavyweights including…
Pete Sallis – Pete writes for Shakes Spear Music. He is a Grammy nominated songwriter who’s had cuts across the genres. The pop of American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, Betty Who, and David Archuleta…
Bryan White – As a touring artist signed with a major record deal, he fronted the Christian rock band “Brian White & Justice” for 15 years, recording 5 projects. As a writer his songs have…
Victoria Venier – A member of one of GSF favorite songwriter trio’s, Hits and Grins, which includes Steve Dean and Bill Whyte. She is also a part of the explosive vocal powerhouse TNT with…
Karyn Williams – Karyn is a #1 songwriter, a 9-time marathoner, author of the best selling book “The Takeaway” and was named by BILLBOARD Magazine as a “Best Bet” for new music…
Steve Dean – Rodney Atkins -“Watching You”, Oak Ridge Boys- “It Takes A Little Rain”, George Straight – “Round About Way”, Alabama- “Southern Star”, Reba McEntire – “Walk On”
Irene Kelley is an American country and bluegrass musician. As a songwriter, she has written for Ricky Skaggs, Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn, and the Osborne Brothers.
Aaron Scherz may be best known for his Billboard #1 country single by Maddie & Tae “Girl In A Country Song”, He has many other hits including Keith Urban’s, “Boy Gets A Truck” from Grammy Nominated Ripcord. Whether you hear music on Radio Margaritaville, with John Frinzi and the Coral Reefers, or in some Key West hideaway, his music is sure to take you away to an island state of mind. He is 2018-19 Texas Country Music Association Songwriter Of The Year.
Jerry Salley has hits in country, bluegrass, and gospel including Reba McEntire – “I’m Gonna Take That Mountain”, John Anderson – “I Fell In The Water” many more. He was nominated in 2019 for both the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and a GRAMMY for producing, Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout. Salley is the 2018 & 2019 IBMA Songwriter of the Year 2003 SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the Year.
At last count, Larry Cordle’s songs had appeared on projects that (to date) have sold a combined total of more than 55 million records. Artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, and many others have recorded Cordle’s songs.
Rafe Van Hoy – Rafe has been active and successful as both writer and producer over four decades with credits in several categories and genres of music, including a Grammy Nomination, 11 BMI One Million…
Dana Hunt Black’s first recorded song was “Check Yes or No” by George Strait, co-written by Danny Wells. Strait also recorded her song “Write This Down.” Other artists who have recorded her songs include Gary Allan, Alan Jackson, Clay Walker and Suzy Boggus. In total, she has had 22 cuts recorded, and three number one hits.
Karyn Rochelle is an American country music songwriter and vocalist. She began writing songs at the early age of 10 years. At 19, she packed up her car and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Within one year, she garnered her first publishing deal.
Shane Stevens achieved his first Billboard #1 in 2010 with Lady A’s “American Honey,” co-written with Hillary Lindsey and Cary Barlowe. Shane has also written songs for Carrie Underwood, Lady A, Sara Evans, Jessie James Decker, Kellie Pickler, Ronnie Milsap, Jo Dee Messina, Jordin Sparks, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor.
Among his many achievements, Carl Jackson’s first Grammy was awarded in 1992 for his duet album with John Starling titled “Spring Training.” In 2003, Jackson produced the Grammy Award-winning album “Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers.”
Michael Mitchell is a performing songwriter originally from East Tennessee who now resides in Nashville. His solo performances tend to have an Americana / Folk feel. His first album “North Carolina” was considered a “labor of love” by Gone Country Magazine.
Of August means “coming from a place of respect, wisdom, & character”. August delivers folk-rock melodies with a strong pop sensibility. Lyrics explore topics on life, love, and faithalongside August’s up beat rhythmic guitar.
Roger Adams is an award winning country music singer and songwriter. He planted his roots in country music at a very early age. Influenced by people like, Roy Clark, Glenn Campbell and Jerry reed, he found his love for playing guitar and singing. He has now become a very well respected Nashville recording artist.
Ashlyn Grayce is a singer-songwriter, born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Her birthplace, “Music City,” was no coincidence since she grew up in a musical family.
Karen Bowles of Knoxville Tennessee is a songwriter/singer who plays the baritone ukulele and performs Country, Gospel, Bluegrass and children’s songs.Karen formerly worked as a DJ at WSEV/WDLY owned by Dolly Parton, was an extra in Dolly’s 1990 Home For Christmas, Christmas Special,and worked as a video technician at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge TN.
Jim Bowman. Lifetime singer songwriter. Opened shows for many of the greats in country music including Kenny Rodgers, Reba, Oak Ridge Boys, the Gatlins, Etc. wrote a theme for Roy Rogers video auto biography on AMC. Chart record with Mel Tillis.
Mike Burke is a singer-songwriter with soul, rock and country influences. Most recently, Mike was awarded 2018’s Southwest Airlines’ Artist on the Rise, and has been named Writer to Watch by Nashville Songwriters Association International several times since 2016. In addition to his previous two albums, Mike released his new self-titled EP in May 2020.
Grace Morrison, former backup singer for rock icons Eddie Money and Joey Molland, has become an award-winning regular on the national festival and touring circuit performing at the New Bedford Folk Festival, the Black Potato Music Festival, the Musikfest, Reel Harmony Songwriter’s Festival, Wildflower, Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival, and a series of others.
Steve Minotti started captivating audiences at the age of 17. His soulful style is cultivated from his love of the 70’s singer/songwriter era. This troubadour has a flair for writing heartfelt love songs. Steve has released 2 Cd’s, his debut record “The Gallery,” where the single “Alien Song” placed Top 10 Finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition 2018 and “Hats Off!”.
Cale Charney is an American singer/songwriter born in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania and is currently based in Knoxville, Tennessee. He began playing guitar at 24 years old, drawing inspiration from such artists as Tom Petty, John Mayer, Ray Lamontagne, and Bob Seger. His musical repertoire ranges from folk to country to soul, and he has been described as a visceral storyteller.
Singing in a gospel band, with her siblings and her Daddy, since she was three years old, Hannah Belle has learned how to make a stage her own. Growing up, she had always told her parents she wanted to be a country music star, like Faith Hill. Since beginning her musical journey, she has made great strides towards making her dream come true.
Rythm. Rhyme. Harmony. That’s SOLO SIXSTRING. Singer/songwriter/guitarist, SOLO SIXSTRING is an acoustic entertainer that promises to deliver an enjoyable listening experience backed by a driving guitar and strong vocals with a style that is all his own. SOLO SIXSTRING pens powerful and profound lyrics that are positive and inspiring with a focus on faith, family and life. He’s always had a passion for songwriting and his musical interests are diverse which is evident when you listen to his songs. No two sound alike.
Gable grew up in the Great Smoky Mountains before moving with her family to Dallas, Texas. She studied music for years, winning various contests along the way, before moving to Nashville to attend the music business program at Belmont University.
Michael Manning is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter originally from Oklahoma via Illinois, Florida, and California. His influences include The Beatles, John Denver, America, Gordon Lightfoot, and numerous classic country artists. He is frequently on stage at the Commodore Grill, Belcourt Taps, Alley Taps, and Bobby’s Idle Hour in Nashville, Tennessee.
Catherine Rose started writing songs in 1998 and entertaining in variety shows, Canada Day Celebrations and coffee houses. She currently resides and performs in the state of Florida.
Ricky Duran garnered international attention with his soulful vocals, fiery guitar playing and compelling performances on NBC’s The Voice. The Season 17 Runner-Up has since released a single charting at No. 1 on iTunes and sold out shows, showing himself to be more than a fleeting show success.
He performs folk rock and inspirational music that encourages and uplifts.
Kenny Foster has shared the stage with artists including Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Brothers Osborne, Old Dominion, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Butch Walker, Lady A and countless others. He was named one of the Top 10 New Artists You Need to Know by Rolling Stone and received press in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and Forbes.
Craig Alan is a professional singer, songwriter, musician who has been performing & entertaining crowds for many years. He has produced and recorded several CDs including his latest project ” Candlelight”. He is very passionate about what he does and it shows when you see and hear him.
David Easterling is an Americana singer/songwriter/storyteller living in Oak Ridge, TN. He has recorded 6 CD’s of original music. David’s music can be found on the usual media outlets including YouTube, Facebook, etc. and has been played on radio stations from WDVX in Knoxville, TN to K2K radio in London, England.
Edd Saxon is a singer-songwriter born and raised in rural Georgia. Edd has deep country roots, not only in the music he loves to write and sing, but also in the place he calls home.
Will Kruger has been recognized as a significant songwriter and has had four of his songs featured in the Lazarus Filmworks production of “God Where Are You” and “Grace Of The Father.” He is also a featured performer in Nashville a number of times a year at Texas Troubadour Theatre/The Nashville Cowboy Church and numerous other venues.
After graduating from High School, Meade Skelton quickly got involved in the Richmond, Virginia music scene, playing with such bands as The Floating Folk Festival, The Kate Lawton Band, and The Gravity Hounds. Described as “Coffee Shop Country” by critic Ned Hepburn, Meade also embraces his “outsider music” status.
Ash Taylor released her debut EP, Bakersfiled, in January of 2019, rising to number 60 on the Itunes Top 100 Country Albums chart. She was named “One to Watch” by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, and can be seen on several episodes of the hit television series “Nashville.”
Joe Kidd and Sheila Burke are two time recipients of the Detroit Music Award for Songwriter of the Year, Michigan Governor’s Award, World Songwriters Award, 2019 Congressional Certificate from US House of Representatives, 2019 Clouzine Magazine Music Award for Best Acoustic Song, 2020 International Singer Songwriter Association Award for Vocal Duo of the Year. Joe Kidd was inducted into the Michigan Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on June 1 2017.