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Join Us in Asheville, NC May 29-31!
March 30, 2008

Join Us in Asheville, NC May 29-31!

THANKS, THANKS and MORE everyone who helped make this year's Santa Barbara Wine Country Expo one of the best ever!

Here we go again! Join Us in Beautiful Asheville, NC May 29-31! Click here to print out the Registration Form (PDF). If you cannot print out the form, contact us, and we will mail you the brochure. (Don't forget to give us your mailing address!)

The Expo's FIRST EVER BACK EAST event will be held at the spectacular Asheville Crowne Plaza Resort. For details about the hotel, click on their link, to reserve your room call: 800-733-3211 or the hotel direct line at 828-254-3211. (Be sure to mention that you are with the Durango Songwriters Expo so you will get our special group rate.)

You may also call event producer Jim Attebery at 970.259.9747 if you have questions not answered here or on the downloadable Registration Form. And REGISTER EARLY if you can. Interest is exceedingly high for our first event within striking distance of so many great music regions!

Welcome Mindy Smith!


No one—least of all Mindy Smith—expected her career to start like this.

As a contemporary singer-songwriter determined to record her music in a style that suits her self-written songs, Smith figured she’d start her recording career quietly and work to build it slowly. She didn’t expect to make a big, attention-grabbing splash right away. She certainly didn’t expect to gain exposure on late-night talk shows and cable music specials before her debut album came out.

But every once in a while the arrival of a remarkable talent gets the reception it deserves. Before releasing her debut album, One Moment More, Smith had already performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She appeared with a list of superstars on the Lifetime Network’s Women Rock special. She had a video in top rotation on CMT. And she had the lead-off single on the acclaimed Dolly Parton tribute album, Just Because I’m a Woman, which also had contributions from Norah Jones, Sinéad O ’Connor, Melissa Etheridge, Alison Krauss and others. “My head’s spinning,” Smith says. “It’s all been so far beyond my expectations. It’s been unbelievable, really. I feel blessed.”

But maybe Smith and her supporters shouldn’t have been so surprised. After all, she'd encountered similar over-the-top excitement when record labels and producers first heard her songs. At one point, Smith held meetings and fielded offers from several major labels. She responded by spelling out her priorities. “I told everyone the same thing, that even though I live in Nashville I don’t consider myself a country artist, but a singer-songwriter and I wanted to present myself as I am,” she says. “I wanted the record to sound as much like my live performances as possible. I didn’t want somebody else’s stamp on it. I didn’t want a producer to give me his sound. I didn’t want to spend two years waiting until someone thought I had a No. 1 single before they put my record out. That’s not why I make music. What I care about are my songs.”

Instead of accepting the major-label offers, Smith made the bold decision to sign with Vanguard Records. “As I kept discussing the other offers, I kept coming back to Vanguard. I believed that I could make the record I wanted to make, and that I could do all my own songs. I trusted that there wouldn’t be any pressure to be someone or something that I didn’t want to be. “As it turns out, she couldn’t be happier with the results of her debut album, One Moment More. “All those fears and horror stories I’d heard about making your first record, none of them happened to me, “she says. “I am completely overjoyed with my record. I’m very proud of it. It’s me....”

Welcome Emerson Hart!

Millions already appreciate former Tonic frontman Emerson Hart’s poignant lyrics, smart songcraft and evocative voice. Hart’s debut album, Cigarettes & Gasoline, was released in July 2007 on EMI/ Manhattan Records. The first single “If You’re Gonna Leave” from the album marks Hart’s return to mainstream radio debuting at 37 on the Hot AC chart on May 27, 2007. The 12-song debut disc was recorded in New Orleans and in his current hometown, Nashville, with producers Bob Rock (Metallica, Bon Jovi), who produced the final, Grammy-nominated Tonic record; Grammy-winner Jason Lehning (Guster, Steve Forbert), and Mike Napolitano (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Joseph Arthur). As lead singer for alt-rock radio and concert favorites Tonic, Hart enjoyed platinum sales, chart topping singles and albums--including the #1 hit “If You Could Only See”--and two Grammy nominations in 2003.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to see Emerson Hart in the intimate setting of the Durango Songwriters Expo!

And Welcome Back Chuck Cannon!

Essential Reading for the Serious Songwriter

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