2021 Hazel Dickens Song Contest winners announced

The DC Bluegrass Union has today announced the winners of their 2021 Hazel Dickens Song Contest. The annual competition chooses from among dozens of submissions from writers who receive less than half of their income from songwriting royalties, with proceeds going to benefit the organization, dedicated to promoting bluegrass music in the greater Washington, DC area.

And the 2021 winners are:

  • First Place: Richmond by John Lowell – Livingston, MT
  • Second Place: If They Could Put That In A Bottle by Dan Whitener – Matawan, NJ
  • Third Place: If I’d Only Tried by Bill McKay – Laramie, WY

First place receives a $500 cash award, along with the opportunity to perform their winning song at the next DC Bluegrass Festival. Two passes for the festival are also included. The second place finisher receives $250, with $100 for third.

Winners were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of Peter Rowan, Joe Newberry, and Alice Gerrard. The contest is named in honor of the late Hazel Dickens whose music always celebrated the mountain sining style of the Appalachian region. She got her start performing in the Baltimore/Washington area and it remained her home.

Honorable mentions are also awarded for three contest entries. For 2021, they are:

  • Keep the River on Your Right by Kristen Grainger – Salem, OR
  • Jesus the Refugee by Kevin Slick – Louisville, CO
  • Chicken Wing Song by Buddy Guido – Mohawk, NY

Audio files of the winning songs can be heard on the DCBU web site.

Congratulations all around!

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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.