August 18 – 19, 2023
TICKETS ARE ALMOST SOLD OUT!
Welcome to the Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival – an intimate, two day music series taking place at the Historic Gatlinburg Inn that features some of the top songwriters in Nashville, responsible for multi-platinum hit songs.
August 18 – 19, 2023
The Historic Gatlinburg Inn
Wil Nance is a hit songwriter who has penned the #1 Brad Paisley smash, “She’s Everything,” the #1 George Strait hit, “Round About Way,” (also George Strait’s “Where Have I Been All My Life”, “If Heartaches Were Horses”, and “It Takes All Kinds”) and other singles and cuts for other country artists such as Joe Nichols, Tim McGraw, Easton Corbin, Tracy Lawrence, Craig Morgan, John Michael Montgomery, Neal McCoy, Blue County, Diamond Rio, Oakridge Boys, Rodney Atkins, Mo Pitney, Chris Jansen, and many others.
In addition, Wil is part of Operation Song, a non-profit based in Nashville, Tennessee whose mission is to empower veterans, active duty military, and their families to tell their stories through the process of songwriting (www.operationsong.org).
Irene Kelley’s signature mix of Bluegrass, Country & Americana appeals to music lovers across all genres. A native of Latrobe, Pa., Irene discovered her flair for songwriting as a teenager and soon found her way to Nashville, TN. where her songs were quickly noticed and recorded by Carl Jackson, Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White. While recording an album for MCA and independently releasing four more records and touring world wide, Irene raised 2 daughters and scored cuts with Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Pat Green, Brother Phelps, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, the Whites, the Osborne Brothers Kathy Lee Gifford and others.
A new full length Bluegrass album- “Snow White Memories”-produced by Irene & Justyna Kelley out 2/27/2023. The album is comprised of 10 original songs never before released. The new collection features Kelley is joined on the album by a host of musical friends and co-writers — including singer, The Kruger Brothers, dobroist Rob Ickes, banjoist Scott Vestal, and Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Trisha Yearwood among others — and she’s collaborated with her daughter Justyna, Ronnie Bowman, Terry Herd, Mark Irwin, Bill Whyte, Steve Cropper, Billy Droze, Steve Leslie, and Donna Ulisse to co-write 10 of the songs on the album.
Kelley evokes a quiet winter scene and the yearning for times past on the stirring and quietly moving title track. Aubrey Haynie’s elegiac fiddle creates a reflective atmosphere, mining the depths of emotion that emerge out of memories of special times and places, and Kelley’s daughters, Justyna and Sara Jean, elevate the song with their layered harmonies. Her rendition of the classic rock band Kansas’ tune, “Can I Tell You,” will surely surprise and delight fans.
“Snow White Memories conveys the depth of Kelley’s lyricism and her ability to deliver straight-to-the-heart songs filled with emotional resonance.”
Henry Carrigan, No Depression
“She sings with immense hillbilly heart and writes like a champion.”
Robert K. Oermann, Music Row Magazine
Songwriter-artist Danny Wells is a CMA and an ACM award nominee. He is recognized for the #1 HITS, Check Yes or No recorded by George Strait, These Days recorded by Rascal Flatts and Couldn’t Last a Moment by Collin Raye. Other hits include This Everyday Love and While You Loved Me, both recorded by Rascal Flatts, Craig Morgan’s Little Bit of Life and Hello L-O-V-E for John Michael Montgomery. He has also had cuts by Chris Young, JoDee Messina, Joe Diffie, Scotty McCreery, Kane Brown, Crystal Gayle, Sara Evans, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alabama, John Rich, James Bonamy, Julie Roberts, Wade Hayes and Confederate Railroad. His songs have received BMI’s certification for over 14 million radio airplays.
CMA, ACM & Grammy nominee, Bobby Tomberlin, was raised in Luverne, Al, where he was a disc jockey at the age of 11, interviewing icons like Johnny Cash, Waylon and Tammy Wynette. Bobby was discovered by Mel Tillis and recently celebrated his 27th year as a staff songwriter for CURB Word Music. Bobby co-wrote “One More Day”, recorded by Diamond Rio, Darryl Worley’s Top 10 hit, “A Good Day To Run” and the recently Grammy nominated Dolly Parton/Bill Anderson single, “Someday It’ll All Make Sense”. Bobby has also had songs recorded by Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, Barbra Streisand, Faith Hill, Josh Turner, Kenny Rogers, Joe Nichols, Rodney Atkins, Joe Diffie, Dylan Scott, Pam Tillis, Mo Pitney, Jamey Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chris Young, The Oak Ridge Boys, Deana Carter, Thompson Square, Bill Anderson, actor Chris Pine, Moe Bandy, Craig Morgan, Terri Clark, Neal McCoy, John Schneider, Lee Greenwood, Bobby Bare, Jeannie Seely, Steve Wariner, Rhonda Vincent and many others.
Referred to by Billboard Magazine as “One of Music Row’s greatest veteran tunesmiths,” Jerry Salley has had an incredibly successful, multi award-winning songwriting career. Nominated in 2019 for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Salley is the 2018 & 2019 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Songwriter of the Year and was named the 2003 SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the Year. In 2020, Salley was nominated for a Grammy in the Gospel Roots category for producing the multi-artist project, Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout, on Billy Blue Records. Salley has had over 540 different songs recorded and his songs have sold in excess of 18 million records worldwide. Writing and singing in Nashville since 1982, he has written multiple hits in country, bluegrass, and gospel music and may well be the most successful songwriter to have earned equal recognition from all three genres of music.
Bill Whyte is a songwriter, comedian, Hall of Fame radio announcer and more.
His songwriting credits include “Safe Haven” by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family that was included on the album “Love Remains”. That album won the Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Christian Album of 2016. He’s written songs for Joe Nichols, Ray Stevens, Cledus T. Judd, Del McCoury, Darin & Brooke Aldridge and others.
He’s also won a CMA Award for Best Large Market Radio Personality and inducted in the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2012.
Illinois native Victoria Venier is a multi-talented singer/songwriter whose songs have been recorded by artists worldwide. Her work is featured on the GRAMMY® and Dove nominated project “The Standard” by Take 6, and she is in high demand as a Nashville session singer. As a vocalist, she has backed up greats like Brenda Lee, Joe Diffie, Sandi Patti and BeBe Winans.
Nashville singer/songwriter Steve Dean has co-written six number one Billboard hits, including the most played song on country radio in 2007 and Country AirCheck’s Song of the Decade in 2017, “Watching You” for Rodney Atkins, the Grammy nominated “It Takes a Little Rain” for the Oak Ridge Boys, “Southern Star” for Alabama, “Round About Way” for George Strait, “Walk On” for Reba McEntire, and “Hearts Aren’t Made to Break” for Lee Greenwood.
Among Steve’s musical influences are the Beatles, the Byrds, the Eagles, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and Roger Miller.
Steve’s songs have been recorded by Sister Hazel, LoCash, Joe Nichols, Dierks Bentley, Lee Ann Womack, Waylon Jennings, Pure Prairie League and others. He has earned eight BMI Songwriter awards and two BMI Publisher awards.
As a touring artist signed with a major record deal, he fronted the Christian rock band “Brian White & Justice” for 15 years, recording 5 projects.
Karyn Williams – Karyn is a #1 songwriter, a 9-time marathoner, author of the best selling book “The Takeaway” and was named by BILLBOARD Magazine as a “Best Bet” for new music.
A North Carolina native, Dana Hunt Black began her journey as a songwriter in Nashville in 1993.
Dana has written a number of songs recorded by George Strait, including two of his biggest hits “Check Yes or No” and “Write This Down”, both of which went on to become ASCAP Song of the Year. She also helped launch Gary Allan’s career writing his first giant hit “It Would Be You”.
She and her husband Charlie Black (a Nashville Hall of Fame songwriter) co-wrote “I Know What I Want for Christmas” for George Strait. She has also written songs for Suzy Bogguss, Alan Jackson, Clay Walker, and more.
Since 2004, Dana has called Port St. Joe, Florida her home. Her latest album, “That Thing You Do”, can be found on Amazon and iTunes, look for Charlie and Dana Hunt Black.
You might remember Lauren Mascitti from the 2020 season of ABC’s “American Idol.” Mostly known for her solo round performance during Hollywood Week of a song she penned herself and dedicated to her nana titled “God Made A Woman,” she quickly became a fan favorite. During the Top 40 showcase in Hawaii, however, she became part of a history-making and controversial vote for the last spot in AI’s Top 20. Although she didn’t win the vote, putting her in 21st place, outraged Idol fans catapulted Lauren’s newest independent album release “God Made a Woman” to #4 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart within a day of her elimination. Lauren is determined to keep the fire burning bright using her momentum and success from her Idol experience as fuel. #21 just might be Lauren’s magic number…
Lauren is a country music singer/songwriter from Louisville, Ohio who moved to Nashville after graduating from nursing school. Singing since the age of 7, she has shared the stage with many notable acts across the United States and has been blessed to have written and/or performed with the likes of country music songwriting legends Delbert McClinton, Larry Gatlin, Pam Tillis, Matraca Berg, Pat McLaughlin, Big Al Anderson, Suzy Bogguss, and many more . Her most recent album, “God Made A Woman” was named by the New York Times in their “Best Albums of 2020” list, and was named by Saving Country Music in their “Top 12 Albums of 2020”. Lauren continues to release new music and is currently writing for her next project. To learn more, visit her website www.laurenmascitti.com.
Janelle is no stranger to the spotlight. She began performing at Dollywood when she was 8 years old portraying one of her musical heroes, a young Dolly Parton. From that time and thousands of shows later, she has had the opportunity to be a guest on The Today Show, The Kelly & Michael Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Access Hollywood, and Today in Nashville. Thanks to her loyal followers, her social media fan base is now around 150,000 on combined social media networks.
As an entertainer, Janelle has had the pleasure of opening shows for or performing with: Vince Gill, Rascal Flatts, Craig Morgan, and The Band Perry. Her lifetime dream to perform on the world-famous “Grand Ole Opry” became a reality on June 19, 2013, and she has been a repeated guest many times since then.
As a daughter of the South steeped in family ties, tradition, and truthfulness, Janelle Arthur’s music is reflective of who she is and exemplifies her way of life. As evidence in “Love You Anyway,” a compelling song written by Arthur (featuring multi-Grammy award winner Vince Gill) is honest, persuasive, and real. Her self-titled debut EP including this collaboration is available on Spotify and iTunes.
2023 Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival Schedule
All events take place at the Historic Gatlinburg Inn.
Friday, August 18
4 – 5 PM
Meet & Greet
Come and network with old friends and meet some new ones! The meet and greet has always been a festival favorite! We will have beer & wine and some light appetizers as we get ready to kick off the night!
5 – 6 PM
6 – 7 PM
7 – 8 PM
8 – 9 PM
Acoustic Round in the Fireplace Room
Enjoy your favorite songwriters ‘unplugged’ in a much more intimate setting. Seating is limited!
9 – 10:30 PM
Open Rounds (rotate every 30 minutes)
2nd Floor Suites
Come on up and perform with hit songwriters and meet some new possible co writers in our late night open rounds! ALWAYS a great time!
One hit songwriter and up to 8 aspiring songwriters in every room.
Register at Meet and Greet after purchasing ticket.
10:30 PM – ?
Front Porch Jam
This impromptu after hours jam party has always been the catalyst for great musical collaborations, storytelling and fun! We will play until we are told not to!! 🙂
Saturday, August 19
10 AM – 12 PM
Songwriting Panel Discussion
Come play your songs for a panel of established songwriters! Learn more about the art of crafting a song, get some feedback on yours… and get some great one on one time with fellow songwriters!!
1 – 2 PM
2 – 3 PM
3 – 4 PM
5:15 – 6:15 PM
An acoustic round in the peaceful fireplace room at the Inn.