by: Thomas D. Mooney
The final week of preliminaries is finally in the books. Last night, another round of singer-songwriters took the stage at Blue Light to play in front of a reasonable crowd of fans and their peers. After deliberation, the judges announced that Justin Michael Bell, James Cook, and Brandon Steadman would be advancing to the Finals on Monday, April 20.
The three singer-songwriters will join Week I and II finalists Zoe Carter, Daniel Davis Matt Morgan, Daniel Payne, Jerry Serrano, Landon Scoggins, and Jon Young.
The three advancing songwriters displayed the rare ability to keep the crowd attentive and mindful. Specifically, their moments on stage were primarily moments of raw emotion harnessed that resonated with the crowd, the judges, and their peers. Overall, the night didn’t have many dull moments. There were songs that sparked interest. Images and ideas that needed more work, but original ideas nonetheless.
If there’s one thing that should be noted and always kept in mind, it’s that improvement is rewarded in one way or another. A song may be in a “finished state,” but that doesn’t mean it’s finished. Speaking for the judges, I’d say that were songs throughout these first three weeks that were heading in the right direction.
Here’s a rundown of how the night went in performance order:
01. Curtis Peoples “Worst Hard Time Blues” and “No One Makes it Alone
02. Brenda Williams “When The Moon Finds A New Place to Rest” and “Seven Miles From Georgia”
03. Justin Michael Bell “I’m Still Running” and “Grandpa’s Song”
04. Conner Martin “Sand In My Eyes” and “Gone Away”
05. James Cook “Learning How to Fall” and “Lullaby For The Rapture”
06. Travis Looney “Melancholy Blues” and “Does She Do You Well?”
07. Brandon Steadman “Fort Worth Line and “Where Love Came to Die”
08. Justin Keith “Reservations” and “Blood, Sweat, and Ink”
09. Colton Clarkson “Goodbye June” and “Talk to the Moon”
10. Cyrus James “Old Friend” and “Nobody Makes Her Cry But Me”
11. Blan Scott “That Girl Corrine” and “Ballad of the Texas Ranger”
12. Koe Wetzel “I’m Done” and “Never Leave”
Next Monday, April 20 will be the Finals. Doors at 9. Music starts at 10. Week III judges were: Jon Taylor of Mount Vernon Studios, Kenneth O’Meara (former Blue Light Singer-Songwriter winner and Lubbock musician), and myself, Thomas Mooney of New Slang. The Spring Singer-Songwriter Competition is hosted by Benton Leachman.