We just heard from our friend Chris Stuart, that he will be teaching the songwriting class at next April’s Sore Fingers Summer School in England. The camp runs April 9-13, 2007 and is held at the Kingham Hill School, located on the borders of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.
In addition to his songwriting, Stuart performs with his band, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, and is a regular contributor to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. He has a feature in the November issue on Lou Reid & Carolina.
Chris has been awarded the Chris Austin Songwriting prize at Merlefest, and has been selected for the IBMA Songwriter Showcase. His songs have been recorded by such bluegrass notables as Claire Lynch, Dale Ann Bradley, Larry Cordle, Suzanne Thomas, Sally Jones, and many others. Five of his songs have appeared on the Bluegrass Unlimited chart, including Julia Belle, recorded by his bandmate Janet Beazely, which recently spent several months on the chart. Janet will also be an instructor at Sore Fingers, teaching banjo classes next spring.
Here’s how Chris described his songwriting class:
My songwriting workshop will focus on the craft of writing songs in the bluegrass, roots, country, and Americana tradition, with emphasis on the structure and inspiration of traditional songs and how to write within a tradition but still be original and fresh. Throughout the week, students will listen to songs from a wide range of roots sources–from the 17th century to Bob Dylan’s latest work–play their songs for the class, partake in discussion, sing, play, and develop a sense of the joy and heartache that comes with songwriting. Other topics will include how to pitch your songs, the business side of songwriting, developing word play, melodic invention, and keeping a sense of humor throughout it all. It will be a busy and fun week!
Rob Ickes, Tim O’Brien and Noam Pikelny are also tentatively booked to teach next April at the week long camp. You can find more details at the Sore Fingers Summer School web site.