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The 29th Annual Tucson Folk Festival
May 3th & 4th, 2014
Songwriting Competition
Saturday, May 3rd, 12:00 — 2:00
Patio Stage
(In front of the Museum of Art entrance)
Ten finalists (chosen from a field that typically numbers more than 40) will perform two original songs each for the Folk Festival audience and a panel of judges that includes fellow songwriters. Contestants will be evaluated on:
  • Originality & Uniqueness
  • Song Structure
  • Arrangement
  • Talent & Stage Presence
The winner will perform a 25-minute set on the Plaza Stage at 6:00 on Saturday.

Congratulations To The 2014 Finalists.

Finalists are shown here in random order. Order of performances will be chosen on the day of the contest.

David Stoddard Fergus Falls, MN
David Stoddard is a songwriter from Minnesota influenced by Randy Newman, Loudon Wainwright III, among others. Although he firmly believes that music is not a contest (and although he's fully aware of the irony of that), he's taken top honors at Kerrville, South Florida, and Minnesota, and been a finalist in many others.

Dan Weber Vancouver, WA
Award Winning songwriter Dan Weber has been described as “The Classic mid-life overnight sensation.” A gifted storyteller, energetic and often hilarious performer, he won 3rd place in the 2013 Woody Guthrie songwriting contest and was a finalist in the prestigious Kerrville ‘New Folk’ and Dave Carter competitions. He's an ex-Park Ranger and is currently touring the US in support of his latest CD ‘Ash and Bone’.
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Kyle Bronsdon Tucson, Arizona
Kyle Bronsdon is a genre iconoclast, warping the blues of his hometown of Chicago, pilfering jazz, and mildly damaging country and Americana. He regrets that he doesn't have the skill to do better justice to any of these styles but makes few genuine apologies for the songs he writes. As a piano player, he has been described as "pretty good for a drummer."

Eric Schaffer Tucson, AZ
Raised in the swamps of New Jersey (really!), singer, songwriter, guitarist and rattlesnake wrangler Eric Schaffer can usually be found playing side man to LeeAnne Savage, The BlueMusic and Josie Kuhn. Eric has performed this past year in various venues throughout Arizona as well as Austin TX, Charlotte, NC, Hollywood CA and Nashville, TN.

Jillian Bessett Tucson, AZ
Jillian Bessett is a soul-folk singer from Tucson, AZ. Her musical influences include Bill Withers, Ani DiFranco, Chris Isaak, and Arlo Guthrie.

Karima Walker Tucson, AZ
Tucson raised musician and songwriter Karima Walker brings you original tunes, quiet musings on loss, love and hope.

Lara Ruggles Boulder, CO
Lara’s music is intensely soulful and unafraid to acknowledge the dark places within the range of the human emotional experience. She engages with her audiences in an unabashedly genuine way, telling raw stories and allowing her own vulnerability to to be a point of connection and empowerment. The Colorado Music Buzz says: "An accomplished pianist, guitar player, and Folk Artist to be reckoned with...Lara Ruggles as composer is fearless."

JC & Laney Tempe, Arizona
A High Energy AZ Americana Duo, JC Scott acoustic guitar & vocals, writing songs since age 12 & Laney Greynolds with years touring as a lead singer, fuse to create shows always filled with Playful Banter, Memorable Songs, Emotionally Charged Lyrics & Unmistakable Harmonies to make your toes tap & steal your heart away. Perform over 100 times each yr. 5 CDs Cataloged over 70 original songs in the past 4 yrs. & 2 CDs on top 100 Internet Radio Charts. 2nd place TFF songwriting contest 2011 & 2013.
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Laura Kepner-Adney Tucson, AZ
Classical singer-turned-folk-artist Laura Kepner-Adney tints Americana with country and echoes of Appalachia. Often compared to Iris Dement, Chrissie Hynde and Gillian Welch, her songwriting highlights her connection to Arizona's unforgiving environment. After 7 years with Silver Thread Trio, she currently fronts power pop quartet The Cordials and has performed and recorded with national acts including Amos Lee, Calexico, Howe Gelb, Jello Biafra, and Robin Hitchcock.

Kelly Brightwell Portland, OR
Portland, OR based singer/songwriter Kelly Brightwell is back -- with a family, a band and her second album. "Hearts and Home" finds the artist letting go of ghosts and expectations, reworking old stories and finding timeless truths. Kelly's literary, meditative songs explore the overlap between our lives and nature. The album was produced by NW music luminary Rob Stroup, who helped craft a distinctive, rootsy vibe. And the result is a well worn-in sound that is at once classic and fresh.
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Folk Festival Photographs Copyright © 2008 Marilyn Stringer