October 5, 2010
(Ferriday, Louisiana) -- On Saturday, October 23rd, the world
of hit songwriting comes to historic Ferriday, Louisiana, as three
of the music industry's top hitmakers headline the third annual
Ferriday Song Fest.
"This is a rare opportunity to learn
songwriting tips from professional writers who do this day in and
day out," explained festival organizer Tommy Polk. "Our panelists
are professional songwriters with Top 40 and Grammy Award-winning
songs on their resumes."
Held at the Arcade Theater (part of the
popular Delta Music Museum), the Ferriday Song Fest provides an
opportunity for burgeoning songwriters to learn both the art and
business of songwriting from experienced industry insiders.
year's featured panelists include Grammy-nominated Odie Blackmon,
Grammy-winner Kenny Greenberg and three-time Grammy-winner Ashley
Cleveland. They will discuss the craft of songwriting, techniques
in the creative process and insight into the music business. This
detailed, highly-personal workshop will delve into the dos and don'ts
and the ins and outs of songwriting. It will also include a critique
of one song by each attendee.
"Our event attracts kindred spirits
-- writers, singers, musicians, studio owners," said Polk. "It's
a wonderfully varied group that's interested in the creative process,
the music business and how money is made with songs. We expect attendees
from coast to coast."
Ferriday Song Fest kicks off bright and early
on Saturday, October 23rd at 9am and runs all day long. At 6pm,
workshop attendees move to Bowie's Tavern in nearby Natchez, Mississippi,
for a special open mic event.
In addition to sharing a passion for
song, festival attendees typically have something else in common.
They are passionate about the event itself.
"The Song Fest workshop
has been the highlight of my fall for the last two years," said
past attendee Taylor Craven. "This is an intimate, first-class event.
It should be the envy of similar events around the U.S."
attendee Ron Eckert concurred, saying, "Ferriday Song Fest gave
me the confidence I needed to record four of my songs in Nashville."
And Jamie Burley, Director of the Vidalia Chamber of Commerce, added:
"Not only do you get great tips and tricks for songwriting, you
also get to hear and enjoy experiences of songwriters who have written
many top hits."
One such songwriter is Grammy-nominated Odie Blackmon
who returns as a workshop panelist. Perhaps best known for Lee Ann
Womack’s CMA single of the year “I May Hate Myself In The Morning,”
Gary Allan’s chart-topper “Nothing On But The Radio,” and George
Strait’s No. 1 country hit “She’ll Leave You With A Smile,” Blackmon
has turned teaching into a second career.
"In addition to Ferriday
Song Fest, I've been teaching songwriting at Vanderbilt University's
Blair School of Music," Blackmon explained. "I also released an
instructional DVD recently on Amazon.com called 'The Craft of Writing
Hit Songs.' I'm always looking for new ways to help teach and inspire
Another previous panelist, Ralph Murphy
of ASCAP, said that in addition fo the creative aspects, he appreciated
the business side of the Song Fest workshop. "Watching aspiring
songwriters and artists discover the opportunities and pitfalls
of the music business is a wonderful thing," he explained. "Arming
them for success now saves them time and money later."
Song Fest is organized by Tommy Polk, also a hit songwriter and
panelist at this year's event. Polk has written songs for everyone
from Crystal Gayle to Bobby "Blue" Bland. Three years ago, he created
the fest at the behest of Ferriday Mayor Glenn McGlothin to help
shine a light on the town's rich musical heritage.
the birthplace of Jerry Lee Lewis and home to the Delta Music Museum,"
according to Polk. "Back in the day, musical icons like B.B. King,
Fats Domino and Irma Thomas played here regularly. It makes perfect
sense to hold our event here as well."
Advance registration for
the Ferriday Song Fest is $20 per person and includes the workshop
and entry to open mic night. The event is $25 at the door -- first
come, first serve (with no guarantees).
"We're looking forward to
another successful year and expect to see plenty of new faces,"
Polk said. "Our event is a both a truly enjoyable and memorable
event that also happens to be amazingly helpful and educational.
Folks really seem to get a lot out of it."
Sponsors of Ferriday
Song Fest include the Town of Ferriday, State of Louisiana, Delta
Music Museum, Friends of Delta Music Museum, Phat River Studios,
95 Country, Solid Gold Saturday Night, Natchez Grand Hotel, Bowie's
Tavern, Louisiana Economic Development (LED), BASF, Tipitina's Foundation,
Fox 48 (WNTZ), Budweiser, Representative Andy Anders, Stan's Strings,
Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and Walmart.
For more information or
on-line registration, please go to www.ferridaysongfest.com