The 9th annual 30A Songwriters Festival, set for January 12-15, 2018, has announced the initial headliners for the 2018 celebration of singers and songs.
The festival, held in venues along scenic Highway 30A in Florida’s South Walton County, will feature main stage performances in presenting partner Grand Boulevard’s Town Center by esteemed artists.
Also confirmed for premier night time performances are Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Patty Griffin, Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls with her solo Murmuaration Nation band, Shawn Mullins and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members Mike Reid and Craig Wiseman.
Festival weekend passes are now available for $255 until Wednesday, September 20th at midnight and then the price increases to $275.
VIP weekend passes are also still available for $585 until Wednesday evening at midnight and then the price increases to $600. They can be purchased at 30asongwritersfestival.com, and locally in South Walton at the Cultural Arts Alliance office in Santa Rosa Beach, the Foster Gallery in Grand Boulevard and at Central Square Records in Seaside.
Among the 175 stellar songwriters who will perform at the 2018 Festival are:
Tommy Stinson (the Replacements, Bash & Pop), John Gorka, Gretchen Peters, Jeffrey Steele, Kim Ritchey, Mary Gauthier, Jeff Black, Will Kimbrough, Dan Navarro, The War & Treaty, Wyatt Durette, Farewell Angelina, Griffin House, Levi Lowrey, Gabriel Kelley, Michael McDermott, Peter Case, Charlie Mars, Peter Bradley Adams, Chris Stills, Emerson Hart (Tonic), David Ryan Harris (John Mayer Band), David Hodges (Evanescence), Erick Baker, Heather Horton, Jesse Terry, Joe Crookston, Old Salt Union, Peter Karp, Randall Bramblett, Robby Hecht, Don Dixon and Marti Jones, Becky Warren, Alex Guthrie, Jemina & Selina, Mary Bragg, Blue Jays, Josh Osborne, Jaren Johnston, Mark Irwin, Jonathan Singleton, Jeremy Stover, Matt Dragstrem, Adam Hambrick, Jacob Davis, Austin Jenckes, David Berkeley, Davin McCoy, and Matt Hires. Confirmed artists will be added to the website and announced over the next few weeks as the lineup is completed.
“It is especially gratifying to confirm Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Patty Griffin all in one year for 2018,” said co-Producer Russell Carter.
“They are among the most elite songwriters and performers in contemporary music and we are very lucky that their schedules aligned with ours.”
“Lee Ann Womack will perform songs from her new album, The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone, and of course her signature smash hit, I Hope You Dance.
Some of the greatest pop songwriters in our lifetimes emanated from the British Invasion in the 60s, most notably Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards. One of my favorite bands from the era, The Zombies wrote and recorded classic hits and added a jazz element to the mix. You do not want to miss them performing She’s Not There, Time of the Season, Tell Her No and I Love You at the 30A Songwriters Festival.”
The festival production team transforms amphitheaters, town halls, restaurants, theaters, bars and covered patios into unique music venues ranging in capacity from 75 to 500 seats indoors and 5,000 outdoors.
“The Festival brings together nearly every South Walton community and many businesses to showcase our home as a destination not only for its beautiful beaches but also for its creative excellence, which is the purpose of the Cultural Arts Alliance,” said Cultural Arts Alliance Executive Director and Festival Co-Producer Jennifer Steele.
“100% of the Festival’s net proceeds go back into our non-profit and enable the Cultural Arts Alliance to continue to be a champion for the arts in Walton County.”
Members of the Alliance receive a 10% discount off weekend passes and admission to an exclusive performance on Wednesday, January 10th. Call 850-622-5970 to become a member and take advantage of the discount.
The 30A Songwriters Festival has once again teamed up with NPR’s Folk Alley, a multi-media music service produced by WKSU. Folk Alley will be on site throughout the weekend producing unique sessions interviewing artists and filming and recording performances in a home studio on 30A. The in-studio Sessions are aired on the syndicated Folk Alley Radio Show. The Sessions from the 30A Songwriters Festival are archived as well at folkalley.com. ASCAP returns as a sponsor and hosts the very popular three-night series of up-and-coming and heralded songwriters in-the-round and late night artist parties.
Four-course VIP dinners hosted by award-winning guest chefs are being offered on Friday and Saturday nights.
Both dinners will include wine pairings by Adam Caperton as well as special musical guests to be announced at a later date.
VIP tickets offering premium seating on the lawn at Grand Boulevard for the headline shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and access to the VIP tent serving complementary food, beer, wine and cocktails are available online at 30asongwritersfestival.com. Additional VIP offerings include various all weekend transportation packages for parties of two up to twelve as well as a special night of music and free craft beers at 30A Songwriters sponsor and local based Grayton Beer Company Taproom.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the talents performing in the 2018 Festival:
Emmy Lou Harris
A 13-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
Three-time Grammy Award-winning Americana artist Steve Earle is also an author, film and television actor (HBO’s The Wire and Treme), a radio host for the Outlaw Country Cannel on SiriusXM Radio, and a political activist. Earle’s songs have been used in more than fifty films and have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Joan Baez, and Waylon Jennings. His new album, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, backed by his longtime band, The Dukes, is Earle’s homage to outlaw music.
The second U.K. band following the Beatles to score a #1 hit in America, The Zombies infiltrated the airwaves with their 1960’s hit singles “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No.” Ironically, the group broke up just prior to achieving their greatest success – the worldwide chart-topping single “Time of the Season,” from their album Odessey & Oracle, ranked #100 in Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time.’ The Zombies are back in the new Millennium and have experienced a major resurgence with two U.K. and five U.S tours in the past few years (including SXSW, NYC’s SummerStage, Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival and Milwaukee SummerFest) and the announcement of their second nomination to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
North Mississippi Allstars
North Mississippi Allstars band was founded in 1996 by brothers Luther Dickinson (guitar and vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, piano, synth bass, programming and vocals). Best known for their lively blues based concerts and grammy nominated records, the North Mississippi Allstars weave their bred-to-the-bone musical sensibility with a potent message of positivity, inclusion, family, and hope.
Patty Griffin is a Grammy-Award winning artist whose first two albums, Living With Ghosts and Flaming Red are considered seminal albums in the singer-songwriter genre, while Children Running Though won Best Album and led to her being named Best Artist at the 2007 Americana Music Awards. She won the Grammy for Downtown Church, her 2010 gospel album. Her songs have been covered by a myriad of artists including Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks, Joan Baez and Bette Midler.
Lee Ann Womack
Womack’s 2000 single, “I Hope You Dance” was a major crossover music hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart and the Top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her signature song. Four of Womack’s six studio albums have received a Gold certification or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America. She has received five Academy of Country Music Awards, six Country Music Association Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has sold over 6 million albums worldwide. Her new album, The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone, will be released October 27th.
Emily Saliers is one half of the Grammy Award-winning fold rock duo Indigo Girls along with Amy Ray. Over the years, Indigo Girls have sold over fifteen million albums worldwide, earning six Grammy nominations. Saliers has written many of the Indigo Girls stand-outs, including Closer To Fine, Galileo and Get Out The Map. Thirty years into one of the most storied careers in popular music, Saliers decided to record her debut solo album, Murmuration Nation, revealing a new side of Saliers’ artistry and exploring the kind of rhythmically centered, globally inspired music that’s always held a place in her heart.
Shawn Mullins developed a successful career as singer songwriter troubadour and producer of his own self released albums in the 90’s. His career blew up internationally in 1998 with the release of Soul’s Core on Columbia Records and its number one hit Lullaby, for which he was nominated for a Grammy. Many successes have followed: Shimmer was included on the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack and became a theme song for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. All in My Head was featured in the first episode of Scrubs. Mullins, together with Matthew Sweet and Pete Droge formed the Thorns in 2002 and released a critically acclaimed self titled record. Beautiful Wreck topped the Triple A charts in 2006.Mullins co-wrote the Zac Brown Band’s No. 1 Country tune “Toes.” His most recent album, My Stupid Heart, was released in 2015, the theme of which, Mullins says, can be summed up most succinctly by the song title, “It All Comes Down To Love,” the guiding force behind just about every song on the album.
Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum
Charles Kelley is an American singer songwriter and founding member of the country music trio Lady Antebellum, which has won seven Grammy awards. Lady Antebellum’s first three albums are certified platinum and have scored sixteen singles on the Hot Country Songs including “Need You Now”, which spent five weeks at #1. In addition to co-writing many Lady Antebellum hits, Kelley penned number one hits recorded by Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker. He released a critically acclaimed solo record in 2016 called The Driver that debuted on the Top Country Albums chart at #2.