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2021 DSSF Songwriters

Two guitars players performing on an outdoor stage

Congrats to the 2021 Songwriters

The 2021 Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival presents last year's performing songwriters. Over 300 songwriters from across the US applied to perform and 50 songwriters were selected by the esteemed group of music industry professionals. 20 of the songwriters selected to perform were new to the Festival and 30 were returning songwriters.

Cari Ray at the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival

Cari Ray talks about what makes the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival so unique. 

Alex Winters - Georgetown

Alt-Rocker Alex Winters is an award-winning songwriter that writes songs for wayward souls who come from broken homes. By sharing the good and ugly experiences that have shaped the woman she is today through her stories and songs she hopes people can find solace in knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel and they are not alone in their pain. Sign up for the newsletter and more at

Alicia Stockman - Utah

Alicia Stockman is a Utah-based folk-meets-Americana singer-songwriter whose music pulls back the veil to reveal everyday vulnerability. Her songs are written like intimate moments, drawing listeners into a relatable emotional journey.

Her upcoming debut 10-track full-length album is entitled These Four Walls and is a collection of "songs to make you feel and feel seen." The album says, “I see you. I've been there. I understand.” Written over a three year period, These Four Walls is a luminous roots release infused with gritty blues rock guitar licks and attention-worthy melodies.

Recognized for her unique songwriting and performance formula, Alicia has received accolades from several performing songwriter competitions including Songwriter Serenade, Tucson Folk Festival, Suzanne Millsaps Songwriter Competition, and the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival.

Aline Deanna - Canada

Aline Deanna is a Canadian born singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist. She has released Three EPs of original music with her band " Rumour Mill '' and is currently working on her Debut solo album. Her passion for storytelling weaves its way through her songs through cunning lyrics and musical grace as she inspires the listener with her delicate humor and catchy melodies. She also works as a producer and sound engineer and has appeared as a violinist, mandolinist, vocalist and guitar player on many works.

Andy Sydow - Colorado

Denver based Americana/folk singer-songwriter, Andy Sydow is a jack-of-all-trades. A 2021 Kerrville New Folk Song Competition Finalist, Sydow is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who's lyrics paint a picture of poetic realism. Throughout the course of a show he’s known to croon an audience with acoustic guitar ballads, sing a few numbers on his lap steel, and even sit down at the keys to show off his surprising boogie-woogie piano chops. When not touring, Sydow hosts other musicians on his podcast, Middle Class Rock Star. Past guests on his show include: Chuck Brodsky, Leftover Salmon, Phil Cook, and Shanna in a Dress.

Anna Katarina - Canada

Anna Katarina is a Canadian (British Columbia) and American (North Carolina) indie-pop/folk singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and performer known for her passionate voice, intricate compositions and compelling stage-presence. Katarina's debut album (2022) blends multiple genres into a lush sonic landscape reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, Lianne La Havas and Phoebe Bridgers.

Anna Larson - Austin

“Beauty is what I’m chasing” Anna Larson is an emerging singer-songwriter, pianist and multi-instrumentalist, fusing diverse musical roots with piano-driven originality.

Larson is a 2019 Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition 2nd place winner and has appeared on NPR Music’s “All Songs Considered”, and was tapped as "an Austin artist worth watching" by Austin-American Statesman's Peter Blackstock. Larson has several single releases slated for 2021, including "Cocoon": an experimental Americana visual album, a collection of new ambient cinematic piano meditations, and an EP of reimagined pop songwriter arrangements. Larson made her solo album debut in February 2019 with “Shifting Sand”, and is also one-third of Austin indie-folk trio “The Wheelwrights”.

Anthony Garcia - Austin

Anthony Garcia is a songwriter, guitarist, and classically trained pianist based in Austin, TX. His musical style has best been described as Cinematic Americana.

Garcia’s original music mixes a range of influences: guitar solos reaching back to the guitar hero tradition of Zeppelin and Hendrix; lyrics and songs that pay homage to Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen; and haunting violin inspired by J.S. Bach. His music has been described as “mariachiesque Queens of the Stone Age,” “like something out of a Cormac McCarthy Novel,” songs that seem like they’re the “missing tracks from a Robert Rodriguez soundtrack,” and in Paris, France as “Americana Hypnotique”.

American Songwriter, describes Garcia’s latest 2020 release, “Acres of Diamonds” as "...cinematic Americana... He moves from rocking Crazy Horse styled guitar - workouts (the intense seven minute 'Apparitions') to tender, dreamy, acoustic, string enhanced love songs with eerie whistling ('Jane')... beautifully constructed... impressive."

  • Facebook - AnthonyGarciaMusicAustin
  • Instagram - @nthonymusic
  • Venmo - @nthonymusic

Aubryn - Tennessee

Apparitions, twisted fairy tales and murder most foul. Aubryn weaves folk and a diverse mix of musical styles with unusual and often supernatural subject matter to create a genre-busting sound you might call Americana Gothic. Her songs are filled with memorable characters and unique perspectives that make the listener question who is the protagonist and who is the villain. Musically fearless and possessing an incredible vocal range, Aubryn will enthrall you with her melodies and hold you captive with her engaging and provocative lyrics. Her songs might just drive a stake through your heart. Catch her streaming on Twitch and on social media at @aubrynmusic

Autumn Nicholas - North Carolina

Autumn Nicholas is a vibrant, gifted artist, songwriter and performer who has amazed audiences around the country. Reminiscent of the singer/songwriter sensibility of Julia Michaels and the swagger of Kacey Musgraves, with the warmth of Adele and the soul of Etta James, Autumn Nicholas’ lyrics and melodies tell stories. Stories about love, pain, loss, and hope. She seamlessly blends pop alternative melodies that become part of your daily playlist. Her textured vocals create imagery that brings the listener in so they feel that her journey is their journey. She is an award-winning artist and performer that connects with fans in large venues and small intimate performances. Her latest EP, Shades of Beige, showcases her vocal range and lyrical sensibilities with pop infused, guitar-driven melodies and her latest single, On A Sunday, displays a raw, honest and emotional storytelling style that brings listeners on her journey as if it's their own.

Social media handles

Ben Balmer - Austin

Born and raised near Ann Arbor, Ben Balmer is an Austin-based singer songwriter whose talent and way with words has taken him touring all over the world. Binding roots-y Americana with contemporary twists, Ben has been influenced by a wide range of musicians, including Tom Waits, Fiona Apple, Taj Mahal, and Paul Butterfield. He has released two full-length albums, as well as multiple EP’s and singles, and will release his newest album, Honky-Tonk Macbeth, in October of 2021. Ben’s songs speak of the road, love, loss, and revisits archaic themes that work towards a poetic narrative of folklore all on its own. In addition to booking his calendar back up for after the pandemic, Ben is currently working on writing as well as performing with other esteemed artists as a harmonica player.

Instagram: @benbalmermusic


twitter: @benbalmermusic

Billy Broome - Austin

Billy Broome is a multifaceted music artist based in Austin, Texas. He is a Singer-Songwriter, Guitarist, and Producer driven by the desire to create original yet explorative music which transcends genre specificity. For many years, Billy has been singing and playing guitar in Rock n Roll or Honky Tonk bands throughout Texas and in Austin. Besides recording and performing as a solo artist, he is the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the Silo Road. The band had two songs, written by him, featured in the Top 50 of the Texas music charts. Their last album was ranked No. 42 of 100 best albums from Austin in 2018. Billy was also one of the songwriters for the Drippings Springs Songwriters Festival in the years 2014-2016, 2021.

Bob Simpson - Lubbock

Bob Simpson is a Texas-based singer-songwriter with a folk style and sound of the Americana kind. A songwriters songwriter, his carefully crafted guitar melodies and clever lyrics take you back to a time when musicians truly cared about the content and craftsmanship of their art. It's easy to begrudge someone when they are compared to more notable artists in their field. But Bob truly deserves these comparisons. He pays tribute to those that came before him while still maintaining a sound and story all his own.

A self-taught guitar player, Simpson recorded several demos that would introduce his body of work to various audiences, he began to record and release his self-titled debut in 2008 followed by his alt-country tinged 2013 sophomore release, Odd Man Out.
Simpson's third release, The Emperor's New Moon, was released March 2019.

Brandon Padier – San Antonio

For Brandon, the song comes first. Luckily, his deep knowledge and love of the great 20th century songwriters have helped him hone his craft and create a sound that is comfortably reminiscent, yet completely original. Padier started out as a sideman multi-instrumentalist, quickly joining the band Adopted Kids. After playing with acts such as Matt Wertz, Penny and Sparrow and Lonely Horse, as well as crafting Adopted's only full length record, Padier set his sights on performing as a solo artist. Out of his home studio, Padier toiled away, writing, recording and arriving on the scene with a fully realized sound. On his most recent record, the sprawling Brothers of the Flood, his accumulated knowledge of performance and songwriting shines. This is one rising artist you will want to keep your eyes, and ears on."

Braydon Zink - Colorado

Based in Boerne, Texas, Braydon hails from the small town of Iliff, Colorado. At age 11, with allowance money saved, Braydon bought his first guitar. With a good ear and some Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash records from his grandparent's house, Braydon taught himself how to play. After building a loyal following in Colorado, Braydon set his sights on Austin. For almost 7 years, Braydon has now called Texas home. He has played across the entire state as well as the Central portion of the US, playing 150+ shows a year. He has also opened for artists such as Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jack Ingram, Turnpike Troubadours, just to name a few. Braydon is often known for bridging memories with melodies. His authentic lyrics tug at your heart and touch your soul in a way that will draw you into loving the songs and stories that they tell.

Cari Ray – Marble Falls, TX

Cari Ray’s songs sound more like conversations—the kind you have with good friends around a campfire late at night. A multi-award-winning songwriter and performer, she delivers in a style that frequently harkens back to rural blues and folk music from more than a century ago. Her tunes, served up with tasty guitar work and a huge voice, will have your heart breaking one minute and your hips shaking the next.

Cheyloe Martin - Alabama

Cheyloe is an alt-country singer/songwriter from Birmingham, AL. She has loved the craft of songwriting and verse for a long time, memorizing poems and writing her own little songs from as early as the age of 9. Cheyloe is a member of the Bluebird Cafe’s Sunday Night Writer’s Nights family and has been performing live since she was 15 years old. Whether with her band (Cheyloe and her Sleepless Knights) or solo acoustic, Cheyloe offers not stories, but snapshots from her own life as well as lives she’s never lived. Maybe you will see yourself in them, too.

Chris Taylor – San Antonio

Chris Taylor is a fearless musical and artistic performer from Upstate New York but currently resides in San Antonio, TX. Whether he is solo, with an acoustic guitar and harmonica or with his band you can expect a passionate musical experience. “Here's a guy with a voice reminiscent of Jeff Buckley's falsetto, meets the grit of Bob Dylan, whose musical approach should appeal to you if you hate bubblegum and want something with more substance!” Mike Rimmer - Rhythms UK

He has co-written two songs with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. His newest work, Transformed, Vol 1 is currently available on his official website & across all streaming platforms. His band Love Coma has also released a brand new album available on vinyl and streaming platforms as well.

Christine Malcolm - Vermont

Christine Malcolm is a mom, a midwife and a songwriter from Northern Vermont. She lives on a homestead growing apples and chickens and music, making songs that are woven from the threads of home, family and hearts that break and are renewed. Her first record- Crickets, Coyotes and the Big Yellow Moon (2015)- won a state award (The Tammie Award) for best Country Record of that year. She travels a lot of dirt roads and believes that love can fix just about anything except maybe a very busted tire.

Clare Cunningham -Ireland

Hailing from Ireland, Clare is an award winning professional singer/songwriter, performing and recording artist. Having toured all over the world, Clare now resides in Music City - Nashville TN, USA.

Dubbed as having a vocal register similar to Adele (GAFFA) and for having a ‘Powerful and killer voice’ from Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) and Phil Campbell (Motörhead) it’s no wonder Clare Cunningham is making waves across the world with her music. Steve Cropper (Blues Brothers) who featured on guitar on Clare's single 'Heart of Mine' (2020) and who co-produced the vocals on 'Éireann i mo chroí' (On her EP 'Dear Ireland' 2021) has said ' Clare has such a tremendous voice. She makes me want to play because she sings with passion and feeling.'

Dan Patterson - Lubbock

From small town in the West Texas Panhandle, Dan Patterson developed a songwriting style much his own. The harsh West Texas weather creates landscapes and people that are tough and full of character, and Dan brings them to a broader audience through the stories that he creates. With colorful characters and soulful melodies, Patterson has made it a point in his music to create a connection with his listeners. Being able to relate life’s peaks and valleys, joys and trials, between people is the reason for music, and Dan has spent the last several years averaging over 150 shows a year to fuel that connection. “Strong songwriters manage to make even their most personal work resonate with an audience. At his best, Patterson illuminates the common mistakes and desires that bind us together as people, emphasizing that we are far from alone on life’s chaotic journey.”-Goodnight Hestia, Boston Massachusetts

Dan Weber - Austin
Award Winning songwriter Dan Weber has been described as "reminiscent of early John Prine." Legendary Folk troubadour Ramblin' Jack Elliott said "I love Dan’s songs, and he tells really good stories."

"I got my first guitar when I was working as a Park Ranger in Canyonlands National Park, off the grid in a sheepherder-style trailer. I was inspired to start writing songs about the people I met, having been influenced by songwriters who told great stories like Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen, and Tom Russell."

In 2021, Weber became a rare 4 time finalist in the legendary Kerrville ‘New Folk’ songwriting competition. In 2019, he was the winner of the prestigious Woody Guthrie songwriting contest for 'Ever Since Columbine'. In 2021, he's releasing his much anticipated 3rd studio record, 'The Way the River Goes' which promises to be his best work yet. He currently lives near Dallas, Texas. Facebook: danwebermusic | Twitter: danwebermusic | Instagram: danwebermusic

Daniel Thomas Phipps - Austin

Daniel Thomas Phipps is a singer/songwriter based in Austin, TX . A life-long musician and listener of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Joe Walsh, Little Feat, and Talking Heads. He began writing songs in his early teens inspired by socially conscious writing from Bob Marley as well as the more cynical critiques of society from the likes of Pink Floyd. His songs have been called “Dark, melodic, haunting, raw, and sly,” attempting to find a golden mean between the writers of the past and contemporaries of today.

Dean Johanesen - Florida

Dean Johanesen - Inspired by his love of Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and novelists writing historical fiction (Sara Gruen, Erik Larson, etc), Johanesen set off on a path to write original swing influenced music that brought the buried jewels of truth, often stranger than fiction, to light in song.

With the regionally unique backdrop of Sarasota and it’s Circus History the outcome of these inspirations culminated into a style that Dean has coined “Circus Swing Music.”

Dean's record "Cautionary Tales" is due out in the coming year. An advanced copy is available on a limited edition flash drive release for the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival.

For more information on Johanesen and his music visit

Emily Barnes – New Jersey

With a voice that cuts to the bone and songs that pull on the heart strings, Emily Barnes has the ability to turn any room into a listening room.

With a diverse four albums and many miles under her belt, Barnes is a seasoned singer-songwriter who continues to build a grassroots following from city to small town, one new believer at a time. Her most recent release, Rare Birds, thrust her onto the national stage including a trip to the highly coveted Kerrville Folk Festival. Now based in Colorado, Barnes writes vivid songs of empathy, love and perseverance over lush melodies.”

Erica Michelle - Austin

Erica Michelle started playing guitar and writing songs at 14 in her hometown of Austin, Texas. Listen to her debut EP "Cry About It', and you'll hear the guts, grace and guitar licks that only the Live Music Capital of the World can teach you growing up. The singer-songwriter is influenced by the soul and blues greats, too — truth-telling women like Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone and fellow Texan Norah Jones. Erica sings honest stories in her unmistakable, smoky-smooth tone, “soulful, authentic…the real deal”(Ian Moore). After years of playing original songs around the city that raised her, she's following her soul into the spectacular and “one worth keeping an eye on as the city emerges from the pandemic”(Peter Blackstock, Austin American Statesman).

Erik Van den Broeck - Belgium

The Monotrol Kid is the alter ego of Erik van den Broeck, born and bred in Belgium and based near Brussels. He started out as an old skool singer songwriter. One man, one guitar, one distinctive voice and a truck load of songs. He crafted his songwriting skills over the years playing his way around clubs and venues in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, France, UK and Ireland where his pure storytelling touches souls wherever he plays.

With four albums and two EP’s TMK stands for a trip down everybody’s world. From tears to laughter from happy to sad. Storytelling, touching your soul and drawing in the listener with a very personal story, a mix of uplifting tunes, tinged with a veiled sense of melancholy.

Soundslike :Blitzentrapper, The Jayhawks, Golden Smog

Fallon Franklin – Buda, TX

Fallon Franklin seamlessly blend her own element of songwriting into various genres of music. Regardless of whether a song is Pop, Americana, Blues or Country, her painstakingly raw and honest emotion remain a constant in each song. Couple that with her amazing vocal skills, and she is a double-punch talent you have to experience LIVE and in person.

Hannah Belle - Louisiana

Hannah Belle is a Willow Sound recording artist and songwriter and a member of the Country Music Association. She has headlined hundreds of festivals, graced the Country Music Association’s Fan Fair X stage in Nashville and opened for Sawyer Brown, Diamond Rio, Shenandoah, and Joe Diffie just to name a few. She has 3 original albums under her belt, a new album in the works, and her latest single “Anybody But Me” charted in the top 50 on the Music Row chart, but one of her greatest honors was being nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the 2017 Nashville Universe Awards.

Helene Cronin – Plano

Helene Cronin is a Texas artist who released a full-length record in 2019, produced in Nashville by Matt King. OLD GHOSTS AND LOST CAUSES was released to unanimous high praise. This came right on the heels of Helene being named a 2018 New Folk Winner at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival. Helene's artistry draws comparisons to Lori McKenna, Gretchen Peters, and other songwriters who are known for strong lyrics, unique voices and honest perspectives. She considers her writing style a merger between Americana and Country but she's perhaps best described simply as an acoustic story-singer. Audiences are drawn to her intimate, personal performances and call her raw and vulnerable, saying, "her songs make me think".
"As some already know, [Cronin's] vivid lyrical abilities are without question. She’s like Leonard Cohen - writes with a good editing pen and produces tight, original tales then adds an invigorating melody." Review by John Apice, Americana Highways

Hope Cassity

Jess Jocoy - Washington

Jess Jocoy makes atmospheric Americana for rainy days and twilight hours. It’s an ethereal sound with organic roots, anchored by a longtime love of country music, a storyteller’s nuanced delivery, and a folksinger’s finesse. A sound that blurs the lines between genres, creating its own blend of twang and texture along the way.

Jess Jocoy knows a thing or two about great stories. She’s been writing them for years, mixing autobiography with richly-imagined fiction, gluing the whole thing together with a voice that’s every bit as evocative as her songwriting. Brighter Eyes [her latest release] begins a new chapter in her own story, marking the spot where Jess learned to savor the present while pushing forward towards a better future.

Brighter Eyes is available on all streaming platforms. To learn more about Jess Jocoy, visit and follow @jessjocoymusic on social media!

Josh Fuller – The Woodlands, TX

Singer/songwriter raised on a farm in New Waverly Texas. Josh writes from real life experiences and tries to paint vivid pictures in your mind with his words. Josh has had some success with the release of two full length albums and 7 single releases to Texas market radio.

Kristen Foreman - Nashville

Kristen Foreman is an upcoming "old soul" in today's Country Music. Her voice has been compared to the likes of Martina McBride, Reba, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack and many more. Foreman is one of the few Nashville artists that want to keep the true heart of the genre alive. With her voice sounding years older than herself and a knack for catchy melodies and clever lyrics, Foreman is sure to shine in a genre that is starving for authenticity. Foreman is originally from Carencro, LA and began playing solo acoustic shows during her college career at Louisiana State University while achieving her degree in Business Marketing. After graduating and recording her full length debut album, “Feather Tattoo”, Foreman moved to Nashville, TN in January 2017. She then began paying her dues by diving into the downtown Broadway scene playing 4-5 times a week with 3-4 hour gigs that helped sharpen her craft. After building up her fan base, Foreman is currently releasing her newest album, “I Don’t Cry in My Cowboy Hat”. This project was inspired by 90s honky tonk sounds with a flare of Louisiana two step. Foreman has been featured on multiple Spotify playlists such as Texas Country Now, Next From Nashville and New Music Nashville. There is no doubt that this is only the start of Kristen Foreman's music career. @kristenforemanmusic

Lacy Green - Nashville

Lacy Green began her musical journey in the foothills of North Carolina at age 13, when her Dad taught her how to play “Blackbird” on his 1969 Martin D-18.

She now makes her home in Nashville, TN where her thoughtful songwriting and soulful vocals helped land her first publishing deal. Over 30 of her songs have been recorded by other artists, and she’s also written for film and tv. She’s performed on some of Nashville's biggest stages, including CMA Fest and The Bluebird Cafe.

Lacy also works with the Nashville Songwriters Association as a mentor and advocate for other songwriters, intellectual property laws, and copyright reform.

In addition to her solo efforts, Lacy is also the lead vocalist of the roots-rock band, The Wonderful Nobodies. Their debut album A/B and Lacy’s solo album can be found across all digital platforms and at the merch table.

Lance Dubroc - Louisiana

Lance brings music to life with an R&B spirit that channels his South Louisiana roots. Born and raised in the Creole and Cajun cradle of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, Lance possesses a dynamic voice that is part rock, part gospel with just a touch of country sprinkled in for texture. This musical mix makes for an emotionally memorable experience that resonates with fans across genres.

Lance tours nationally, including as a participant and featured artist in over a dozen songwriter festivals each year across the southern United States. He is an active member of the venerable Last Honky Tonk Music Series, recognized by The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation and contributes his talents to various charitable organizations, including the South Louisiana-based Love of People and Vet Church. As a U.S. Navy veteran, supporting veterans is important to Lance.

Mandy Rowden - Austin

In the space between the lyrical directness of Lucinda Williams and the infectious melodic sense of Sheryl Crow, is Austin, TX-based artist Mandy Rowden. Her most recent full-length studio album, Parachute (2021) rides a spirited line between Americana instrumentation and ‘70s-inspired storytelling, wrapped in an authentic modern Texas delivery. Brought up in East Texas, Mandy Rowden has been a practicing musician since the tender age of six. That’s when she began learning classical piano and guitar, laying the foundation for an eventual career in music. It wasn’t until the Americana sound found its way into her soul that she embraced her true path: that of a real-deal, down-in-the-dirt singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who’s weathered some storms and emerged with tales to tell.

Natalie Price - Austin

Intoxicatingly authentic and wholly original – you’ll never forget the first time you stepped into Natalie Price’s world.

Described by Trey Gutierrez (Texas Music Magazine) as “one of Austin's most dynamic new singer-songwriters,” this artist’s ethereal, one-of-a-kind sound refuses to fall neatly into one category. Just as comfortable dabbling in Americana or folk as she is indie-pop, Price’s music is perhaps best encapsulated by its deep-seated humanity. Each of her songs takes you on a journey, they capture not one emotion, but many -- reflecting what the listener needs to feel. @natpricemusic

Nick Nace – Nashville, TN

Nick Nace is a Canadian born Nashville based folk singer and storyteller. He’s toured Ireland, Canada and throughout the United States, including prized slots at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Dripping Springs Songwriter Festival, Mississippi Songwriters Festival & The Tuscaloosa Songwriters Festival.

Nace’s debut full length, Wrestling With The Mystery was released in the fall of 2019 and Glide Magazine wrote “If he’s not yet part of the conversation that mentions Hayes Carll, James McMurtry, Slaid Cleaves, Rod Picott, or Justin Townes Earle, he should be and likely will be soon.”

Pat Hull – Northern, CA

Pat Hull is a singer-songwriter based out of Northern CA. His music's foundation is built on nylon guitar, piano and voice, but both his studio albums and live performances showcase a wide array of instrumental layerings. His songs express his experiences and observations of how modern society affects the intricacies of relationships with self and others. Pat is signed to an independent record label out of Portland, OR called Dutch Records. He just released his 9th studio album called St. Clare in March, 2021.


Ray Prim - Austin

Imagine Bill Withers heading over 2 Abbey Road in a Cadillac 2 pick up Ben Harper so they can catch the tail end of The Reverend Al Green's sermon...2016 Black Fret Recipient, Ray Prim, is a Singer Soulwriter based in Austin, Texas. His music takes you back to the days when songs were inspiring, meaningful and thought provoking. His tunes are melody-based short stories that anyone can relate to and identify with. It only takes one of his many songs to be instantly hooked. Five words sums it up - Ear Candy for the Soul.

Ryan Biter – Flagstaff, AZ

Inspired by the 7000 foot elevation of his Flagstaff, Arizona home, Ryan Biter loves nothing more than taking audiences on adventures, scaling emotional heights and depths. Ryan immerses listeners in a warm, compelling and deeply affecting fusion of soulful, bluesy, indie-rock and rootsy American music. His masterful guitar work on both acoustic and electric are partnered with poignant songwriting, exceptionally clever use of loop pedals, and a voice that digs deep and amplifies something deep and spiritual.

Ryan is a nationally touring artist, a two-time Dripping Springs songwriter, and has been featured on both national and internationally syndicated radio. Ryan’s third studio album Training Wheels, featuring an ambitious full-bodied indie rock/blues sound, is slated for release at the end of 2021.

Scott Martin - Austin

Scott Martin's voice, superlative fingerstyle guitar playing and multiple tunings draws comparisons to James Taylor, Richard Thompson, Jackson Browne and David Wilcox, but his music and storytelling craft is all his own. He’s been a finalist at the Telluride Troubadour Contest, a winner at Songwriter Serenade, a finalist at the Wildflower Performing Songwriter contest, and twice a Kerrville New Folk Regional Finalist. Scott’s record “Missing” was released in 2018, featuring a song cycle about historical missing persons including Amelia Earhart, DB Cooper, Everett Ruess, Virginia Dare and Percy Fawcett. His new record "Corner of the World" will be released in early 2022. Scott is a native of the Pacific Northwest, and has called Austin home for 20 years.

Shawn Byrne - Nashville

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Shawn Byrne is no stranger to music fans in the Dripping Springs area. Shawn has been a part of the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival since its very first year. He made the move to Nashville in 2003 and not only became one of the town's most sought out guitar slingers but also an in demand producer working on records with true tunesmiths like Abe Partridge, Sarah Peacock, Chris Moyse, Robynn Shayne, Wyatt Edmondson, and more. His own songs have garnered acclaim over the years, including a SESAC award & the 2020 American Songwriter Lyric Contest grand prize.

Vanessa Lively - Austin

Austin, TX based songwriter Vanessa Lively creates an eclectic blend of folk & world music that beautifully joins heartfelt lyrics with soulful vocals. Drawing on a compelling mix of tempos and styles that embrace hints of urban, world, Latin, funk and pop, Lively’s songs fully capture her compassionate nature and love of community. Lively has been featured recently in Austin Woman Magazine, Spectrum News Austin, The Austin Chronicle, and on Song of the Soul Podcast.

“Austin’s Vanessa Lively is a true multidiscipline artist. She’s a singer, songwriter, musician and painter with a do-it-yourself attitude and a compassionate spirit.” – Mario Tarradell, Dallas Morning News.

In 2017, Lively received the Artist Activist Award by Music To Life. With this grant, she founded a nonprofit called Home Street Music which holds music circles with people who have experienced homelessness. She is releasing a new album in January of 2022 called Truth Is.

Wes Collins – North Carolina

At 44, Wes Collins and his wife Anita made a pact to become writers, and a few years later, they were both multi-award-winners in their fields. Collins more than makes up for lost time with songs so dense with ideas that a first listen only scratches the surface. Come for a haunting melody and some intricate fingerpicking and stay for the wit and deep literary intelligence. There is always more to find in a Wes Collins song.

Wes has played shows from coast to coast including: The Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville, TN; The Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, TX; and many more. He is a winner of the prestigious Grassy Hills New Folk Competition and a North Carolina Arts Council Songwriting Fellowship.

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