Songster Bus Finale Day At Belcourt Taps

Songster Bus Finale Day At Belcourt Taps

On a perfectly clear and somewhat warm Friday October day in
Nashville, the Songster Bus Finale was held at Belcourt Taps.
Anticipation was in the air as the finalists mingled in the
artistically decorated restaurant waiting for their turn to perform.  They were focused and listened attentively to
the judges as they introduced themselves in short biography stories to the
audience.  First to perform was a team
from the Atlanta bus, which was mentored by the Atlanta based
singer/model/actor and producer Rod Michael.  Michael also played guitar for them in their groovy
song titled “Toxic Love” and the team performed it with harmonies and
cool arrangement to toe tapping and hand clapping from several members of the
audience.  Next in line were the country
Songster Bus writers who were mentored by Bernie Nelson. After energetically
interacting with the audience while introducing themselves, they sang and
played their creation “Heroes Bridge”.  A very creative use of the theme words
“Hero” and “Connection”. 
After each performance, the music professionals and judges Roger Ryan,
Darryl Worley, Stone Stafford, Karen Staley and Dave Brooks provided feedback
and helpful advice to the songwriters/artists. 
“Don’t think about a song as a writer, but as a listener”, was
one of Roger Ryan’s recommendations. Helpful and insightful advice about
songwriting and songwriting tips were given to every team , and also advice on
singing and performing.  But there was a
team that definitely did not need any advice on performance and that was
Kaleena Harper’s mentorees.  As one judge
put it: “You are already stars”.  The song they had written was called
“Hero”, and they had not only memorized it but sang and performed
with lots of confidence and showmanship. 
On a little more laid back note team Dave Gibson took the stage.  The description laid back is appropriate,
since their song was soft, tender and very emotional in the setting of a
husband and wife saying goodbye.  The
title was “You’re My Hero”.
After deliberation the judges came back jokingly trying to attribute
the responsibility of the decision on one sole member of the panel.  They said the decision had been difficult and
that it had been close, but the winner was announced and team Kaleena now owns
the title of being the Songster Bus Songwriting Contest Winners of 2015.
Shelley Ridge for Country Music News International Magazine

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