Storytellers and Songwriters Showcase set for Jan. 17-19
Lyrics & Lore brings together some of the country’s most talented storytellers and musicians to celebrate the rich traditions of songwriting and storytelling in the Appalachian region. Audience members have the opportunity to enjoy internationally-recognized storytellers as they share their stories and learn about the most popular songs heard on the radio. Guests do not have to be performing or speaking to attend. Additionally, everyone can sit back and enjoy as these talented songwriters perform some of their chart topping songs.
Beginning with registration on Thursday, Jan. 17 and running through the weekend, nationally-recognized storytellers and hit songwriters from country and gospel music take center stage. The headline concert takes place Saturday night and features Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, the duo who wrote the chart-topping Tim McGraw song “Live Like You Were Dying” that won Best Country Song at the 2004 Grammys. Combined, these songwriters have penned songs for performers such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton and more. In 2009, Wiseman was awarded “Songwriter of the Decade,” and in 2015, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
On Thursday night, an opening reception features performances by the duo Thom Shepherd, CMA Texas Songwriter of the Year, and artist Coley McCabe. As an Austin-based touring artist who spent many years as a songwriter in Nashville, Shepherd now performs regularly with his band, solo and as a duo with McCabe.
Friday’s songwriting workshops feature discussion and instruction from Sam Tate, Cole Taylor and Chase McGill. Tate is a Grammy-nominated songwriter whose songs have been recorded by a Who’s Who of country artists from Reba McEntire to Rodney Atkins. Taylor has quickly become an in-demand country songwriter for a multitude of country artists including Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Cole Swindell and Florida Georgia Line. Songwriting newcomer McGill hit his stride in 2018; in October, he topped the Music Row Songwriter chart at #1 with songs by Swindell, Bryan, and Kane Brown on the charts simultaneously.
Storytelling experts Barbara McBride-Smith and Michael Reno Harrell headline the storytelling segment of this year’s Lyrics & Lore on Friday and Saturday. McBride-Smith transports audiences from the ancient world of the Greek gods and goddesses to the eclectic shenanigans of her Baby Boomer generation. She is said to interpret folklore with the style of a Texas-born cheerleader and has been featured on NPR, authored two books, and contributed to the multi-volume series, The Storytellers Companion to the Bible. She is the recipient of the NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence and the American Library Association’s ‘Top Ten Titles’ awards.
Harrell is an award-winning songwriter and veteran storyteller/entertainer from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, where storytelling is as much a part of the culture as music. Five decades of performing have taken him to more than 40 states and several countries. A consummate performer, Harrell’s combination of music and storytelling is based in experience – sometimes very funny, sometimes a bit scary, often heartwarming and always entertaining.
On Friday night, the first evening of the Songwriter Keynote and Concert begins with Regie Hamm, a multidimensional writer and storyteller. Penned as an artist, producer, songwriter, novelist and more, Hamm has received multiple Grammy Award and Dove nominations, as well as being noted for his 21 #1 hits in the Christian market and one American Idol finale song, “The Time of My Life,” recorded by David Cook.
A full schedule and registration details for Lyrics & Lore is available at www.dollywood.com. Please note that some of the music concerts are separately ticketed events. To stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa for the event, visit www.dollywood.com or call (800) DOLLYWOOD.
About The Dollywood Company: A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which celebrated record attendance in 2017. Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today in 2014 and 2017. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.