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Tin Pan South Showcases Hit Songwriters - by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Tin Pan South showcases hit songwriters

World’s largest songwriter festival attracts fans from all over the world

By Preshias Harris

Hundreds of songwriters, music publishers, media and music industry people -  along with thousands of fans – gathered for the 27th annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival Presented by Regions Bank. Tin Pan South Fast Access passes sold out within days. The Festival took place in Nashville, March 26 – 30 with hit songwriters performing at different venues across the city.

Over 400 songwriters performed at this year’s Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival, telling stories behind the biggest hits they’ve written and then performing the songs as they were originally composed. There were also special guests who popped in to help out their ‘Songwriter Friends.”

Singer/songwriter Craig Campbell performed at his scheduled appearance at The Bluebird Cafe early show and then headed across town to join Trea Landon at his Listening Room Cafe round for Play It Again Music Publishing with Dallas Davidson, Kyle Fishman, Josh Mirenda and Justin Wilson. Cole Taylor also made a surprise appearance.

Trae Landon. Photo credit: Preshias Harris

There were 94 shows scheduled at various locations around Nashville. Highlights for the first night included two sold-out shows at The Bluebird Cafe, legends TG Sheppard, Eddy Raven, Frank Myers and others at the Hard Rock Cafe late show, Ross Copperman, Josh Osborne and others at new Tin Pan venue TRUE Music Room and Bar, rocker Jim Peterik and friends at The Local and more.

My ‘music family’ and I kicked it off at the Local with Travis Denning singing about having a fake ID in his clever Top 40 debut single “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs,” but the singer-songwriter also has outside cuts with Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, and Michael Ray. One of his counterparts, Adam Hambrick,  delivered hits like Dan + Shay’s “How Not To” and Lindsay Ell’s “Waiting On You.” Fellow RED Creative writer and Texas native LJ will be releasing her debut single and EP this summer: thanks in part to co-producer and songwriter Jeremy Stover (Jack Ingram’s “Wherever You Are”). Stover has helped paved the way for several songwriters on Music Row.

L J. Photo credit: Catrina Engelby

My friend Bobby Tomberlin’s round was extraordinary! Mo Pitney is just as close to PURE country as you can get and the rest of this round was also exceptional. I love every story that Bobby told and the crowd was just hanging onto every word.

(Left to Right) With Wil Nance, Jason Blaine, Phillip Lammonds, Mo Pitney and Bobby Tomberlin. Photo Credit: Preshias Harris

Singer, songwriter and actor Mark Collie joined Casey Beathard, Buddy Cannon, Marla Cannon-Goodman and Mac McAnally to perform their songs at their Bluebird Café show. There is really something about this room that just makes you never wanna leave.

For me, the icing on the cake was being able to see two of the songwriters that write in our writers’ room (the Sangtuary) on the Bluebird show. Dallas Remmington sang the song she wrote with Courtney Bumbacher called “Uncommon Man.” This was a song written about and dedicated to all the hard working fathers of the world. Joel Shumake was writing with Chris Cagle a couple of months ago, also in the Sangtuary. Tony Arata’s top song that Garth was smart enough to cut several years ago, “The Dance,” was icing on the entire festival’s cake! 

(Left to Right) Joel Shumake, Dallas Remington, The duo Matfield-Greenland, Tony Arata. Photo Credit: Tracie Moore

One of my favorite shows was with my friend Wynn Varble and his incredible round with NSAI Board President Steve Bogard, Matt Roy and Kat Higgins. Their round was at Analog at Hutton Hotel. I heard Steve sing “Carrying Your Love With Me” and Wynn’s “Waiting On A Woman” that Brad Paisley took to the top of the charts! I was in Hog Heaven…

(Left to Right) NSAI Board President Steve Bogard, Matt Roy, Kat Higgins, Wynn Varble. Photo credit: Brittni Talley

For the first time at a Tin Pan South show, I got to catch members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra as they joined Brett James, Lee Thomas Miller and Wendell Mobley for ‘Songs Meet Symphony’ at the 3rd & Lindsley late show. I had been wanting to see this show when it was at Nashville’s Cheekwood Gardens.

(Left to Right) Brett James, Lee Thomas Miller and Wendell Mobley. Photo Credit: Preshias Harris

This year, Analog at Hutton Hotel was hosting rounds for the first time at Tin Pan South. Numerous hit artist/writers like RaeLynn, Chase Rice, ACM New Female Vocalist Award winner Ashley McBryde, Jamie O'Neal, Lance Carpenter and NEEDTOBREATHE's Bear Rinehart and others hit the stage.

My Kentucky “Blue” basketball fan Ashley Gorley, played with his buds Chris DeStefano and Chase Rice as they performed at 3rd & Lindsley, with hits like “Jesus Take The Wheel” and “I Lived It.” I believe Ashley is now up to 38  number one hits as a super songwriter.

 Photo is Ashley Gorley, Chris DeStefano and Chase Rice. Photo Credit: Preshias Harris

Anthony L. Smith, Trent Tomlinson, James Paulin and James Otto performed at Douglas Corner Wednesday night to a PACKED house and standing room only crowd.

Pictured after the show, (Left to Right) Anthony L. Smith, Trent Tomlinson. Photo credit: Catrina Engelby

Left to Right: James Paulin, James Otto. Photo credit: Preshias Harris

About NSAI: The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is the world's largest not-for-profit songwriters trade organization. Established in 1967, the membership of more than 5,000 spans the United States and 10 foreign countries. For over 50 years, NSAI has been dedicated to protecting the rights of and serving aspiring and professional songwriters in all genres of music. For more information, visit nashvillesongwriters.com.

Organizers of the 27th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival would like to thank the following Platinum and Gold Corporate Partners:
-      Regions Bank - Presenting Partner
-      NewsChannel 5 - Official Broadcast Partner
-      Southwest Airlines – Official Airlines Partner
-      Ronald Blue Trust
-      Workwell Technologies
-      Hanover Property Company
-      The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
-      ASCAP
-      BMI
-      SESAC
-      Brown-Forman
-      ole
-      Ford Fund

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