Aspiring songwriters and country music enthusiasts are invited to the inaugural Red Lodge Songwriters Festival the end of June.
Mike Booth and Cory Johnson are the organizers. Johnson says he came to Red Lodge and fell in love with it, thinking it would be a great place to hold a songwriters festival. He said he met Booth and they starting discussing his idea one night over a beer.
Johnson says the festival will bring in hit songwriters from Nashville: James Dean Hicks, Anthony Smith, Tony Lane and Kostas. These artists have written monster hits for great singers like George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Blake Shelton , Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, and Patti Loveless.
The invited songwriters have written some monster hits for these great singers, but he says, "We all have this tendency to think these great singers write all of these songs and sing them."
Johnson says,” You get this bird’s eye view of how these songs came about, who all was on it as writers.” He says the entertainment and stories will keep you in stitches and even in tears.
The event will feature these songwriters performing in the round, as well as some of the best from Montana and Wyoming, including Kalyn Beasley, Sean Devine, Tom Catmull , and Johnson himself. Each of these writers/performers will take turns talking about and performing one of his original songs.
And on Saturday afternoon aspiring songwriters will get a chance to take part in a songwriting workshop. Johnson says they are calling it a workshop but in actuality it is more of a question and answer time.
“It is not a one-on-one but a panel of the Nashville songwriters in front of them,” explains Johnson. “And (participants in the workshop) can ask anything, from questions about the music business to how to become songwriters and get published.”
There will be nine songwriting sessions over the three day event, June 23-25, 2016 at 6 venues around Red Lodge: The Pub at the Pollard Hotel, The Roman Theater, Natalis Front Bar, Sam’s Tap Room, Red Lodge Pizza Company, and the Snag.
Tickets can be purchased in Red Lodge at the Red Lodge Chamber/Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain Market/Pilot Peak Music and online. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the day of the event or online.