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Smoky Mountain festival to "Celebrate our Appalachian Musical Roots"

By Michael Williams

The city of Gatlinburg is making final preparations to celebrate the rich musical heritage of Appalachia with the inaugural Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.

This year's theme is "Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots." World renown hit makers and singer/songwriters will fill venues with ongoing performances in downtown Gatlinburg, August 23rd – August 25th. The public is invited to enjoy these great performances and most of the venues are free admission.

Marty Dodson, Clay Mills, Bobby Tomberlin and Chris Wallin perform at the preview event for the Smoky Mountain Songwriter's Festival.

Audiences can expect to see an impressive lineup including current top writers such as Bill Labounty, ("Rock My World," Brooks and Dunn) Kim Williams, ("Ain't Goin' Down Till The Sun Comes Up," Garth Brooks; "Three Wooden Crosses," Randy Travis) Bobby Tomberlin, (writer of hit songs including BMI's 4 million airplay award winner "One More Day," Diamond Rio; and cast member of CMT's The Singing Bee) Mark Nesler, ("Just To See You Smile," Tim McGraw) Chris Wallin,("Don't Blink," Kenny Chesney), Marty Dodson, ("We Must Be Doing Something Right", Billy Currington) and Clay Mills, ("Beautiful Mess" by Diamond Rio). Hot upcoming artists like Candi Carpenter and legends like Jim Glaser (former member of Tompall and The Glaser Brothers, hit solo recording artist, and writer of "Woman, Woman, Have You Got Cheating On Your Mind").

Dozens of other writers will also be performing in a fun and family friendly environment. Hear the stories behind songs recorded by Reba McEntire, Johnny Cash, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, George Strait, Faith Hill, Tanya Tucker, Billy Currington, Billy Ray Cyrus, Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Chesney, Keith Anderson, Alabama and The Oak Ridge Boys, and many others!

One of the highlights of the festival is slated to be The SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Competition Finale and Award Night Performances at the Edgewater Hotel.

"The primary goal of the SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Competition is to showcase and bring a broader spotlight to the talent we have here in the Smoky Mountains and the Southern Appalachian region," stated Cyndy Reeves, SMSWF Founder. "We are very fortunate to have Karen E. Reynolds with the Writers Block as our SMSWF Songwriters Competition Coordinator."

The Category Finalists songwriters are set to perform at the festival, giving them the opportunity to be heard and seen by publishers, producers, record label companies, DJs, radio producers, and many more.

The festival is hosting four great songwriter Workshops on Fri. and Sat. Aug. 24-25th. "The Art of Songwriting…a behind the curtain look at writing a classic" being taught by Marty Dodson, ("We Must Be Doing Something Right", Billy Currington) and Clay Mills, ("Beautiful Mess" by Diamond Rio); "Enhanced Music Publishing Made Simple" by Hillbilly Culture; Publisher's Panel" with Doak Turner of The Nashville Muse; and "Paparazzo Pointers" by Kat Speers with MusicCityKat Photography. For more information on how to register for these workshops go to 2012 Workshops. Also, Fri. Aug. 24 from noon to 5 PM on a first come first serve basis the judges from the Preliminary Judging panel will be available to critique songwriters' songs at the Magnolia Room at the Edgewater Hotel. Cost for the critiquing is $25 for three songs.

Last but not least, Jimbo Whaley and the Greenbrier will be in concert at the Mills Auditorium 6 PM Sat. Aug. 25 being hosted by The Gatlinburg Garden Club and Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg to benefit the Lucinda Oakley Ogle Log Cabin Restoration Fund. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on-line at or call 865-604-9066. Whaley is writing a new song about Lucinda Ogle and her cabin to be performed for the first time at this concert.

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is a "Special Event" sponsored by the City of Gatlinburg to be held during the last two weeks of August every year to "Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots". As a platform for songwriters to perform their original songs, the mission of The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is to promote songwriters and to help their songs to be discovered not only by publishers and producers, but by all of us who simply love the songs they write.

For more information regarding SMSWF contact Cyndy Reeves, at 865-604-9066,, Facebook Fans .

Published August 16, 2012

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