The Mississippi Songwriters Festival, founded in 2010 and presented each year on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is expanding their reach across the state, presenting their first satellite festival in Cleveland on June 16-17 at the Delta Arts Alliance.
The Mississippi Songwriters Festival – Delta Region will feature hit songwriters Clay Mills, Bridgette Tatum, and Sean Gasaway along with 20+ local songwriters, performing original songs in an ‘in the round’ setting at the historic Ellis Theatre. All festival performances are free and open to the public.Mississippi Delta native Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP award-winning songwriter/producer, penning #1 hits for Darius Rucker (“Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”), Diamond Rio (“Beautiful Mess”), and Kimberley Locke (“Fall”), and along the way collecting GRAMMY® nominations for “Beautiful Mess” and Trisha Yearwood’s “Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love.” Clay has had over 150 songs recorded by artists such as Lady Antebellum, Trisha Yearwood, Clay Walker, Reba McEntire, Easton Corbin, Andy Griggs, and many others. Clay’s most recent hits include Darius Rucker’s “History In The Making” and “I Got Nothing.” When Clay is not writing, he mentors thousands of writers worldwide at SongTown.com, a community he co-founded with hit songwriter Marty Dodson.
South Carolina native Bridgette Tatum scored big with her first #1 hit, “She’s Country,” recorded by Jason Aldean. In addition to her own releases, Tatum has had singles by Gretchen Wilson, Randy Houser, George Clinton, and others. Her original song, “Loud,” was selected as the 2010 Official Theme Song for the ACC football conference.
Mississippi native Sean Gasaway has earned over 200 cuts in every major music genre and has performed with and written for 3 Doors Down, Chapel Hart, and Cowboy Troy, to name just a few. In addition to being a record producer, recording artist, and actor, Gasaway is a two-time Native American Music Awards Song of the Year winner, and currently serves as Education Coordinator for the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance.
“We’re excited for the Delta Region to be our first ‘satellite’ festival, because we want to recognize and celebrate songwriters in all the areas of our state,” says George Cumbest, president and co-founder of the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance.” We also want to let people know about our educational and community programs, including the Mississippi Music Arts Therapy program and our partnership with Operation Song.”
Singer/songwriter and Cleveland music ambassador, Tricia Walker, added, “The old saying is so true…’it all begins with a song,’” “The entire music industry is built on great songs and the writers who create them. Partnering with the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance for this festival is a great way to celebrate many of the songwriters who live and work right here in the Delta.”
Songwriters will perform their original songs beginning at 7:00 pm on Friday and 6:00 pm on Saturday at the historic Ellis Theatre at 104 S. Court St. in Cleveland. Along with the evening songwriter shows, the festival will offer two music business seminars on Saturday for festival attendees and interested members of the public. At 10:30 am, Clay Mills will present “90 Minutes To Your Best Lyric,” and at 1:30 pm, Sean Gasaway will present “Songwriting, Music Publishing, Licensing, And Record Labels In An Independent World.” A complete festival schedule, along with a registration form for the workshops, can be found online at https://www.mssongwritersfestival.com/live-events/delta-region.
The Mississippi Songwriters Festival – Delta Region is partially funded by a grant from Visit Mississippi. For more information about the Mississippi Songwriters Festival, visit https://www.mssongwritersfestival.com.