Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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The Songsmith Gathering, featuring The Wood Brothers, Nicki Bluhm, Greg Brown, Beth Wood and several other top-notch performers, will celebrate the art of songwriting on April 21.

The festival, which includes a special two-day “songsmith school,” will be held at the Brevard Music Center. (Get your tickets here.)

Darrell Scott, Aaron Burdett, Sarah Siskind, Mia Rose Lynne and Clint Roberts will also be on hand for the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the music center’s open-air auditorium.

John Felty, co-founder of Mountain Song Productions, is staging the event and says it’s aimed at celebrating artists and their songs.

“We wanted to offer listeners a wide range of artists known for both their musical talents and their incredible skill as songwriters,” Felty says. “At the end of the day, this lineup of performers delivers great music for western North Carolina audiences.”

The Songsmith Gathering will feature an amazing array of talent. Local songwriter Aaron Burdett has been lauded by WNC Magazine as one of the most important Western North Carolina musicians of the last couple of decades. Darrell Scott is a four-time Grammy-nominated singer songwriter who spans the rock, folk, country and blues genres. Nicki Bluhm is an up-and-coming songwriter and performer who, in addition to touring with her own band,  joined The Infamous Stringdusters in support of their latest album. The Wood Brothers have been hailed by Rolling Stone magazine for songwriting “that hits both the heart and head.” Their sixth album, “One Drop of Truth,” was just released.

A unique aspect of the Songsmith Gathering is a special two-day songsmith school hosted by Beth Wood and Sarah Siskind on Thursday and Friday prior to the Saturday event.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor the art of the song than to help others find and nurture their own voice,” says Siskind, who’s songs have been covered by Alison Krauss, Bon Iver, Wynonna, Randy Travis and many others.

Wood adds that “Something powerful happens when we set aside time to invest in our own creativity and gather in community with other songwriters. I know we will all be inspired and transformed by the experience.” Her tunes have won competitions at the Sisters Folk Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival and Rocky Mountain Folks Festival.

The school will feature workshops aimed at helping both beginner and seasoned songwriters hone their craft. It is limited to 30 participants and reservations are being taken on a first come, first-served basis.

Ticket, artist and event information for the Songsmith Gathering, including the Songsmith School, is available at

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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