Category: Bluegrass Songwriting News

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest finalists announced

| April 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Finalists have been announced for the 2014 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, held annually as a part of MerleFest. As is usually the case, a number of young bluegrass artists show up on the list. Paul Harrigill, banjo player with Flatt Lonesome, is nominated along with […]


On This Day #22 – Springhill Disaster

| November 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

On this Day …….. On November 7, 1958, Bill Clifton recorded Springhill Disaster, a song that he adapted from a poem written by a survivor, Maurice Ruddick. The Springhill disaster took place on Thursday, October 23, 1958. Actually there were three disasters in the different […]


Gibson Brothers share songwriting tips at Plattsburgh Bluegrass Festival

| September 20, 2013 | 1 Comment

Between sets on the Plattsburgh Bluegrass Festival’s big stage Saturday, September 14, Eric and Leigh Gibson stepped into a garage-like stall of Building 16 at the Clinton County Fairgrounds to give a songwriting workshop. The Gibsons — both graduates of SUNY Plattsburgh and natives of […]


The Story Behind The Song – Doc Watson Morning, D-18 Guitar Picking Kind of Day

| August 29, 2013 | 4 Comments

Doc Watson Morning, D-18 Guitar Picking Kind of Day was written by Peter Rowan and Jerry Faires who, beginning the day after Doc Watson had passed away, collaborated on this sincere tribute to the great guitar player and singer. The song has seen significant radio […]


The Story Behind the Song – Three Days in July (Part 2)

| July 3, 2013 | 1 Comment

On Monday, July 1, we posted part one of the story behind the song Three Days in July. In the course of compiling the feature Mark Simos, one of the co-writers, mentioned that he had spoken in some detail about the song for a presentation […]


The Story Behind the Song – Three Days in July

| July 1, 2013 | 2 Comments

On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg – July 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1863 – it is timely to look at the story behind Three Days in July, written by Mark Simos and Jon Weisberger. The song was recorded by the Infamous Stringdusters […]


Co-writing webinar for songwriters from IBMA

| June 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

As part of their ongoing mission of professional development, the International Bluegrass Music Association has scheduled a songwriters webinar for July 11 entitled “How to Co-Write Songs (and still remain friends).” Even songwriters with many years of writing behind them can be a bit apprehensive […]


The Story Behind The Song – Daddy Killed the Calf

| June 13, 2013 | 2 Comments

Daddy Killed the Calf was written by Shannon Slaughter (with a little bit of help from Mike Bentley and Dale Felts). A recording of this song can be found on the latest self-released CD from Shannon and Heather Slaughter & County Clare One More Road. […]


Grammy announces Best American Roots Song category

| June 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

Among the items included in their recent Trustees Report, the Recording Academy announced the designation of a new Grammy award category that will be of interest to bluegrass songwriters. Quoting from the report… Best American Roots Song has been added to the American Roots Music Field. […]


Story Behind the Song – Crossing the Bar

| May 20, 2013 | 1 Comment

Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote Crossing the Bar in 1889, three years before he died. The poem describes his placid and accepting attitude toward death. Although he followed this work with subsequent poems, he requested that Crossing the Bar appear as the final poem in all […]