2021 Common Ground Song Contest winners

Common Ground on the Hill has announced the winners of the 3rd annual Acoustic Roots Songwriting Contest.

First place went to Kevin Hale. If you read the fine print on bluegrass charts, you’ve seen his name in the songwriting credits. His song, Lord Don’t Let Me Die Alone, earned the $300 top prize from the panel of judges. Kevin finished second in each of the first two years.

Jennifer Burkholder’s Blackbird Calling won the $150 second prize, and Colleen Anderson picked up third place honors and $75 for Sap is Gonna Rise.

Honorable mentions were presented to Myrna Riquier and Patrycya Hill for Hear That Train, and to Mark Schatz for You Name The Baby.

“Clearly songwriting is one thing that thrived during the pandemic,” said contest coordinator David Morris. “We had a record 80 entries this year, and the overall quality of the submissions was impressive, making it tough for the judges to identify a handful of winners.”

Joining Morris as judges were folk singer-songwriter/music coach Nancy Beaudette, award-winning bluegrass and folk songwriter Dawn Kenney, and Mike Mitchell, operator of the Floyd Music School and a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s songwriting committee.

Proceeds for the contest benefit the scholarship fund for Common Ground’s annual music and visual arts camps at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.

More information about the organizations camps, concerts, festivals and contests can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.