Rocky Mountain Folks Fest First Place Winner!
What an amazing weekend at Rocky Mountain Folks Fest in Lyons Colorado! I won first place in the Songwriting Showcase, can you believe it!? What a dream!
Planet Bluegrass is a warm-hearted, inviting family that I am so lucky to know.
Day 1 of the Songwriter Showcase Competition had me filled with such joy and comfort. I honestly entered this competition with zero expectations. It seems wild that anyone can judge a vastly wide variety of songwriters and pick who wins. I know this may seem cliché, but really, everyone who entered is a winner in my book.
It was so sweet to see the folks who run Planet Bluegrass once again, after just seeing them at Telluride. I felt so welcomed. I met nine other profound songwriters who just blew me away with their innovative and unique expressions.
When the festival gates opened, and the crowd ecstatically ran like a stampede to get a good spot on the open grass for their blankets and tarps, butterflies filled up my belly. I was nervous because I knew I was about to share myself in a big way. My songs have evolved from intimate medicine for myself to something that reaches other people's ears and hearts. It's such a wild experience!
For the competition, we needed to pick two original songs and give the lyrics to the judges. I was having one of those days where I just couldn't decide! I ended up giving them three songs and I left it up to the Muse to choose while in the moment.
When I opened my mouth to sing, I saw an infinite sea of faces, (it seemed) and felt the complete nakedness of sharing my own songs. Still, I decided to sing the songs that felt the most alive in me, even if I had no idea what the audience response could be.
After singing those two songs, we all waited for a bit of time while the judges made their decisions. I was expecting nothing. Truly. I knew I did the best I could and the rest was up to the Gods of Songwriting.
Eventually, they had us all line up at the front of the stage, and they announced the winners, one by one.... I was thinking in my head....as they announced each number....5, (ok, maybe I'm next, that's still pretty great!), 4, (ohhh gosh), 3....(wait what?) and then 2! and when they didn't say my name, I felt like a cartoon character wiggling my head, dumbfounded and shocked. What? First place! They handed me the custom made Folks Festival Taylor Guitar, a check and announced that I will have MY OWN full set at next years festival.
I was shaking with excitement and emotion, and I still feel overwhelmed as I type this.
The whole rest of that day was surreal and dreamy. I met some of my musical heroes, received beautiful insights, and felt like I could maybe fly.
The next day, I had such a lovely time playing at the Wildflower Pavilion with fellow SS finalists Christopher Williams and Wyatt Espalin. It began to thunderstorm right before my last song, and a crowd of festivarians unexpectedly sought shelter in the venue. It was such a sweet moment.
With years of remaining anonymous and unseen, I am learning that we must share ourselves, even if it feels like the most uncomfortable thing possible. I can't wait to keep doing this. Thank you for listening.
I have some exciting things coming up, stay tuned!
And for those of you that I met this weekend at Folks Fest, Welcome! Thank you for supporting me on this journey. I am beyond honored.