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Contest Winners Announced!
February 23, 2008

Contest Winners Announced and Latest Updates

Hey Everybody, Jim Attebery here with the long-awaited names of the winners in our 2008 "Write With A Hit-Maker" Contest. Man, these things are so tough to finalize! Our judges had to really wrangle with these songs and songwriters. It is always so close and so hard to decide the winners. But here goes...THE 2008 WINNERS are...

In the Pop category, the first place winner* is Tim Mahoney from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Congratulations Tim!

The four runner-up winners in the Pop category are:

1. Sheri Miller (New York)
2. Jennifer Hira (Los Angeles)
3. Diane Waters (Encinitas, CA)
4. Stasia Conger (Ontario, CA)

In the Country category, the first place winner* is Robert Haas from Nashville, Tennessee. Congratulations Robert!

The four runner-up winners in the Country category are:

1. Diane Waters (Encinitas, CA)
2. Rhonda Tremmel (Nashville)
3. Sheri Miller (New York)
4. Mike Collins (Phoenix)

CONGRATULATIONS to all our winners and special thanks to EVERYONE who entered. We'll be publishing more info and pictures of the winners after the Santa Barbara Expo.

*About Our 2008 Contest

The winner in the Pop/Rock category will write a song with hit songwriter and industry powerhouse Keith Follese. Keith grew up in the music rich scene of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has spent most of his music career dividing time between Los Angeles and Nashville. Keith's relentless drive and songwriting talent has rewarded him with many top songwriting honors. Keith has been named both ASCAP and BILLBOARD magazine's SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR. Keith is currently the CEO of Midas Music and is the lead writer for the production team THE CENTER. He continues to write with top producers and artists all over the world. Keith's hits include Faith Hill's smash, "The Way You love Me" and Lonestar's "Smile."

The winning songwriter in the Country category will write a song at the EXPO with the hit songwriting team of Sam and Annie Tate whose hits include, "Shut Up and Drive" for Chely Wright, "Somebody" for Reba, and "If You're Going Through Hell" for Rodney Atkins. Emerson Drive's "Moments" just became their third #1 song.

Each winner will also receive a SINGLE SONG PUBLISHING DEAL! The Pop/Rock category winner will have the opportunity to publish with LA-based Leftwinger/peer music. The Country winner will have the opportunity to publish with Nashville-based Midas Music.

Get the Contest Registration Form/Brochure

If you have last-minute questions, call Jim Attebery at 970-259-9747.

Note: There is a misprint on the event brochure Schedule for Friday, Feb. 29th. The Song Listening session at 3:15 pm with Sara Kapuchinski and Adam Swart is a Pop/Rock/Alternative session, NOT a Folk/Roots/Americana session as printed.

Important Concert Update!

Mindy Smith has been in an unfortunate biking accident and broke her arm! Consequently, she has been forced to cancel her upcoming appearances, including the Expo concert on March 1st!

We know a lot of people will be disappointed about missing the very talented Ms. Smith. In her absence we have added two great singer/songwriters, Sherri Austin and Karyn Rochelle.

Sherrie Austin has a sound uniquely her own. Her arrangements are often built around chiming acoustic guitars, sparkling mandolins, evocative fiddle lines and the occasional ripple of the steel guitar. "I'm tiny, so screaming over a wall of electric guitars isn't comfortable. I'd rather bring people in, draw them close and find a way to use the dynamics of my voice." Austin, born in Sydney, Australia has been entertaining people and singing country music practically from her birth. At the age of 14, she got her "big break" by being asked to open for Johnny Cash's 1985 Australian tour and eventually was invited to Nashville by the Australian Country Music Association. At the age of 14, her parents said she was too young and Austin herself agreed. Her second big break came not in music, but in acting, landing the role at age 17 of Pippa McKenna on one of NBC's popular shows The Facts of Life. Even while acting in Hollywood, Austin continued songwriting, performing, taking keyboard lessons and vocal lessons with Linda Ronstadt's vocal coach, Robert Edwards. Musical influences like Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton eventually drove her from Hollywood to Nashville where she met her co-writer/co-producer Will Rambeaux with whom she collaborated on both of her albums, 1997's Words and 1999's Love in the Real World. Followin' a Feelin' was issued in early 2001. —Maria Konicki, All Music Guide

[2003's] Streets of Heaven opened a whole new path for Austin to take with her music. Her album brims over with story songs that delve into subjects beyond love and romance -(”though there’s some of that, too,” she says). She’s stopped worrying about how she’s going to make her mark, and instead just goes about making it by writing and recording her songs. She’s found her place and kept her sense of humor. “There are times when I feel that old stress come up, when I hear those voices saying, ‘What if?’ But when that happens, I just say, ‘Oh, shut up.’” —

Karyn Rochelle's songwriting credits include "Georgia Rain" (Trisha Yearwood ), as well as "Red Hight Heels" and "I Wonder" (Kellie Pickler). She's had songs recorded by George Jones, Lee Ann Womack, Terri Clark, Kenny G., Reba, LeeAnn Rimes, Ronnie Milsap and more.


GLEN PHILLIPS - Lead singer and writer for Toad the Wet Sprocket with hits "Fallen Down," "All I Want," "Walking On the Ocean" and three solo albums including "Mr. Lemons."

TONY SCALZO and MILES ZUNIGA - Fastball co-founders and lead singers/writers of the mega hits "The Way" and "Out of My Head."

CHUCK CANNON - Award-winning singer/songwriter with #1 hits "I Love the Way You Love Me" (John Michael Montgomery and others), "How Do You Like Me Now" and "American Solidier" (Toby Keith). Great recent solo album, "God Shaped Hole."

AL ANDERSON - One of the greatest guitarists/stylists to be seen anywhere, Al spent twenty years with the highly acclaimed band NRBQ before launching a successful solo singer/songwriter career. His credits include, "Unbelievable" (LeeAnn Rimes) and the recent "Trip Around the Sun" (Jimmy Buffett and Martina McBride), among many many other hit songs and terrific solo albums.

WHEN - Saturday, March 1st, 2008 7:30 pm

WHERE - Santa Ynez (Buellton, California) Marriott Hotel

TICKETS - $25 at door - ALWAYS FREE to Expo attendees. Cash bar...coolest hang in town that night!


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