I’m excited today to announce the first ever No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award, which we’re launching in conjunction with the FreshGrass Foundation.
For the past several years, FreshGrass has awarded cash and instrument prizes to up-and-coming artists via banjo, fiddle, band, and duo contests. Previous finalists have included Quiles & Cloud, Old Salt Union, Lonely Heartstring Band, Cricket Tell the Weather, Ricky Mier, Victor Furtado, Zoe & Cloyd, and many others. (Go here for a full list of past winners and info about this year’s band and instrument contests. There will be no duo contest in 2017.)
Now that No Depression has been part of the FreshGrass family since 2014, we thought it was time to christen a No Depression singer-songwriter award. Our goal is to recognize and reward up-and-coming roots music singer-songwriters from the US and beyond.
A preliminary committee will narrow the field of submissions to five finalists, who will travel to the FreshGrass Festival (we’ll be announcing the line-up later this month!) to perform in front of a live audience. A panel comprised of No Depression editors Kim Ruehl and Cameron Matthews, plus artist judges, will select from five finalists based on the merits of their lyrics, music, instrumentation, and overall performance. All music is original in this competition, and all performances are solo.
Finalists who perform at the festival will receive a $500 grant from the FreshGrass Foundation and a 45-minute set on the Courtyard C stage during FreshGrass weekend. The runner-up will receive an additional $500 cash grant, and the first place winner will receive an additional $2,500 cash grant, a full day recording session with Alison Brown at Compass Records in Nashville, and a mainstage set at FreshGrass Festival 2018.
For rules and to submit for the contest, visit the FreshGrass website. We’ll accept submissions between now (Mar. 1) and May 31. Good luck!