by: Thomas D. Mooney
Last night kicked off the Spring Singer-Songwriter Competition at The Blue Light. 14 singer-songwriters from around the area–Lubbock, Stephenville, Amarillo–performed in what was one of the most competitive first rounds this competition has ever seen.
The four songwriters who moved on to the April 20 Finale were Stephenville’s Jon Young, Amarillo’s Daniel Davis, and Lubbock’s Jerry Serrano and Daniel Payne.
Undoubtedly, those four proved their worth as artists, impressing judges, the crowd, and their fellow songwriting contemporaries. This isn’t me building up anything either. There was more than enough talent who didn’t advance that would/could another night.
I can’t reiterate this enough. This competition, while should be recognizing the great talent within the area, should never been seen as a deterrent for an up-and-coming songwriter. During deliberation, judges noted how much better some songwriters improved since the last time they had seen them perform.
This year, the Competition has added another perspective to the entire thing. Not only do the three judges decide, but the songwriters themselves have a cumulative vote on who was the best. In short, songwriters vote for their top 5 of the night. The votes are tallied up and that has a say in the entire process.
Here’s a rundown of how the night went in performance order:
01. Justin Pecina “Troubles” and “Til You Came Around”
02. Austin McManus “White Picket Fence” and “Long Gone”
03. Keith Childs “Gold” and “Soul”
04. Jon Young “Oh, The Things I Have Seen” and “Please Don’t”
05. Daniel Davis “Charlie” and “There for You”
06. Derek Lawrence “Tumbleweed” and “Pitter Pater”
07. Kyle Graves “Shad’s Song” and “Make It Alright”
08. Dee Carroll “Postcard” and “Phoenix Day”
09. Jerry Serrano “On My Side” and “Gone”
10. Jonny Muhl “Please” and “In This Apartment”
11. Daniel Payne “Jealous Train” and “Small Town”
12. Dave Martinez “Hell of a Fight” and “Swore You Didn’t Dance”
13. Mitch Rambo “My Poor Lunar Heart” and “The Reaper”
14. Dan Patterson “Maybe In Another Life” and “Me and Her Wedding Ring”
Next Monday, April 06, 14 different songwriters will be performing. Doors at 9. Music starts at 10. Week I judges were: Jon Taylor of Mount Vernon Studios, Zac Wilkerson (singer-songwriter and previous winner), and myself, Thomas Mooney of New Slang. The Spring Singer-Songwriter Competition is hosted by Benton Leachman.