Sessions from Blue Rock LIVE: 2015 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Award Winners

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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Wes Collins' guitar-driven folk-pop sounds like Neil Finn got way into Patty Griffin. He sings about goddesses on a rope swing and dodging Legos to get to the coffeemaker. He has a happy little song about drinking yourself to sleep, and another about sleepwalking through grief. He garnered a first place win in the 2012 NC Songwriter’s Co-op Contest. He was a finalist in the 2013 Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Competition, and is excited to be among the winners this year. Wes pulls songs from his own life, real and imagined. Arguments, infatuation, grief dressed up as confusion, joy in exhaustion, and life on the toasting fork.

Amy Kucharik applies the sweet, innocent tones of her ukulele to the (sometimes) dark humor of her wit with an infectious, danceable swing, her jazz-infused folk songs drawing comparisons to the Asylum Street Spankers and Maria Muldaur. Amy released her debut full-length CD in 2014. She has shared bills with Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Dan Blakeslee, and Greg Klyma. Based in Somerville, MA, Amy has performed in New England, Montreal, and throughout the southern and midwestern U.S.

Tom Meny is definitely on his way. Meny was named the Southwest regional finalist for NPR’s 2012 Mountain Stage NewSong contest, making it to the Top 5 overall at Lincoln Center in New York.  In October of 2013, Meny won the Stone Valley Texas Songwriters Competition and in December of 2013, he won the Recording Conservatory of Austin’s (TRCOA) Singer Songwriter Competition. Meny’s desire to live life in a way that is charismatic and filled with passion for what he does come across in the intelligent lyrics and melodies in his songs. Tom Meny's newest EP "Songs I Do" was released in October of 2015.

Becky Warren is a Nashville-based songwriter working on a series of songs about post-9/11 veterans. The project is a personal one for Becky, who took a multi-year hiatus from songwriting during a troubled marriage to an Iraq veteran with PTSD. The break interrupted a career that was just gaining momentum—Becky's Americana band, The Great Unknowns, had released their first album on Daemon Records and toured with the Indigo Girls. But when Becky's marriage ended, she returned to songwriting with renewed focus. Her personal songs about love, loss, and the life-altering effects of war formed The Great Unknowns' 2012 album Homefront. She's now working on a solo project—a series of songs about an Iraq vet and his girlfriend. While Becky hasn't officially released many of the songs, they're already picking up awards, including Merlefest's Chris Austin award.

LIVE @ 7:30 PM CDT
 
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Performers:

  • Wes Collins (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Amy Kucharik (Somerville, MA)
  • Tom Meny (Buda, TX)
  • Becky Warren (Nashville, TN)


The Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition

There is a yearly competition every May at the Kerrville Folk Festival to discover promising new singer-songwriters called the New Folk Competition. Thirty-two finalists are selected from a field of up to 800 entries to share two of their original songs in an afternoon appearance on the stage of the Threadgill Theater during the Festival. From these 32 finalists, six Award Winners are selected by a small group of well-established performing songwriters, to take home cash and other tangible prizes.
A win at Kerrville carries considerable prestige in the singer/songwriter community. This is in part due to the peer-professional judging and the festival’s long history of recognizing emerging artists who have later gone on to wider success. There have also been examples of notable performers who have appeared as finalists in the competition without ever earning a win.

On November 10th, four of the six award winning songwriters joined us here at Blue Rock to share in a unique musical experience. These songwriters, brought together by their artistry, shared their gifts with us!


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