Category: Bluegrass Songwriting News

Special Lady, Special Song

| April 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Right after she found out she was dying, Carol Simpson found a way to live forever. She decided to record a bluegrass song. That song, A Part of Me, grew into an album of the same time, recorded with the Canadian band, Hard Ryde, that […]


Chris Austin Songwriting winners announced

| April 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

MerleFest has announced the winners in its prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. All winners receive cash and merchandise prizes, and a chance to perform on tonight’s stage show. Bluegrass 1st – John Cloyd Miller (Asheville, NC) for Cloud of Dust 2nd – Todd Grebe (Nashville, […]


Chris Austin Songwriting Contest finalists announced

| April 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

MerleFest has announced the finalists in their annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, which will occur later this month during the mega-fest in Wilkesboro, NC. A number of familiar bluegrass names pop up in the list. Lorraine Jordan of Carolina Road will compete in the Gospel category […]


The Story behind the Song – Barabbas

| March 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Gospel song Barabbas was written by Eldred Hill, the mandolin player with West Virginia-based group Patent Pending. He relates …… “My father had heard a sermon on the crucifixion delivered by his minister Steve Smallman. The theme was that Barabbas was ‘our’ representative, that […]


The Story Behind The Song – Jacob’s Dream

| March 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

Jacob’s Dream is based on a true story about two boys, Joseph, aged five, and George Cox , aged six, who were lost in the in the dense forest of Spruce Hollow, in the Allegheny Mountain region of Pennsylvania. Two little boys lost in the […]


Songwriter Profile – Bob Amos

| February 21, 2013 | 1 Comment

Bob Amos is best known as the leader of the Front Range, a quartet formed in 1984 and based in the Denver and Fort Collins area, named after the eastern slopes of the Colorado Rockies. He was born the fourth of five children and was […]


The Story Behind The Song – The Shape I’m In

| February 11, 2013 | 3 Comments

The Shape I’m In was written by Dudley Connell, a founder member of the neo-traditional band the Johnson Mountain Boys and currently guitar player with the Seldom Scene. It was included in the band’s Dream Scene album (Sugar Hill SHDC-3858), released in 1996, shortly after […]


Chris Austin Songwriting Contest deadline is Feb. 19

| January 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

Attention songwriters… If you would like to have one of your songs considered for the 2013 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest, you’ll need to get your application in by February 19. The competition is open to any songwriter whose income in not primarily derived from […]


The Story Behind The Song – Atlanta Is Burning

| January 22, 2013 | 4 Comments

The song Atlanta Is Burning is based in part on an event during the American Civil War. It was written by Aubrey Holt of the Boys from Indiana, a band that Holt along with his uncle, Harley Gabbard formed in 1973. “I wrote (the song) […]


The Story Behind The Song – Silence Or Tears

| January 11, 2013 | 2 Comments

Silence Or Tears was composed by a veteran of the North Carolina bluegrass scene, mandolin player Jerry Stuart, and the highly-esteemed bass player Tom Gray, of Country Gentlemen fame. However, its origins go back two centuries to the life-time of British romantic poet George Gordon […]