Wildflower Festival

Wildflower Festival

Austin

ERIC BETTENCOURT – SONGWRITER, BARBER, MECHANIC & MUSIC PRODUCER

Eric Bettencourt, photo credit Pledge Music

Award-winning songwriter Eric Bettencourt is making the journey from Austin to compete as a finalist in the Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest at the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival in Richardson. Over the years Bettencourt has released four albums, two EP’s, and collected a steady stream of national recognition and prestigious songwriting awards.

Bettencourt rested his guitar long enough to vibe through our set list of questions as we attempted to seek answers about the unique sound that labels his songwriting career.

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KYLE DONOVAN – A MODERN DAY RENAISSANCE TROUBADOUR

Denver-based singer and songwriter Kyle Donovan is no stranger to competition. Who is this guy, anyway? His website says he’s “a singer-songwriter based on the Front Range of Colorado. He’s also the singer and guitarist in Miles Wide, an acoustic rock band also based out of Denver, Colorado. But that’s not why he’s on our radar at the moment. He’s gained our attention because as a songwriter and acoustic folk music performer, he’s been selected as one of ten finalists in the 2018 Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest.  Previously, he’s won recognition at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Contest and has been featured in American Songwriter Magazine.

Donovan stays pretty busy with his music, playing in several different projects in the Denver area, including Summerland Sun, The Constellation Collective, and Clandestine Amigo, as well as the aforementioned band, Miles Wide. Suffice it to say, he’s so busy these days that his hands aren’t idle long enough for him to get into any trouble.

His selection as a finalist for the Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest presented the opportunity to sit down and ask Donovan some questions about his entry into the competition, what draws him towards folk music and how he came into being a musician, as well as any formal training it took for him to get to where he is with his music today. We also inquired as to his personal musical influences and how those influences helped him to evolve his particular style of folk music, and his approach to writing what he believes is a good song.

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BRIAN POUNDS – SEARCHING FOR HIS PLACE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

Brian Pounds is a performer and songwriter with a lot to say about music, especially how the business side of it has become fundamentally inequitable in the way the creators – songwriters in particular – have been largely cut out of the financial loop through online sales and streaming services such as iTunes, Spotify, and other web-based music streaming platforms that are taking huge bites out of the potential revenue stream for songwriters and performers alike.

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PROFESSOR RAFE & THE FABLES

Professor Rafe & the Fables is an indie-funk band from Austin, Texas. The band has made television appearances on KVUE and was recognized by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Best Under 18 Bands in Austin.  This foursome serves out a vibrant mix of bluesy jams, funky pop tunes and up-tempo Indie Rock covers.  Formed in early 2017, the group consists of siblings Avery Johnson (Guitar/Vocals) and Will Johnson (Vocals/Keys/Guitar), Jimmy Mercado on Drums, and the Professor (Rafe Marie) on Bass.

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WHEN THE NIGHT COMES KNOCKING, SPOON WHISPERS HOT THOUGHTS

By guest contributor: Jordan Greenwood

Brace your mind for some “Hot Thoughts” as Austin’s esteemed rock ambassadors’ Spoon takes the stage at this year’s Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival in Richardson. Spoon is set to headline Friday, May 18th, and it’ll be a show you won’t want to miss. Established with nine studio albums under their belt, Spoon continues to mesmerize critics and capture the ears of new listeners everywhere.

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MIKE P. RYAN – EVOCATIVE & SINGING FROM THE HEART

Mike P. Ryan – Top Finalist | 2017 Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest

1. Do you have a favorite quote, lyric, or credo that you live by?

My credo is real simple: be kind and be thankful. I do my very best to treat people the way I want to be treated and to show kindness and generosity whenever I can. I suppose the thing I try hardest to do is be thankful for what I have. I’ve seen the worst parts of the world and been to war five times. I know what real suffering looks like and I know how good I have it every day. I try never to forget that.

As a songwriter, I have a simple goal for every song–something I learned when I attended a Songwriting Seminar last summer with the legendary Songwriter Steve Earle. One of the things Steve said was “your goal as a Songwriter should be to make the listener feel the emotion you felt when you wrote the song.” He explained that when a listener shares an emotion with the Songwriter (who is a total stranger) it reminds the listener that they not alone in the world. Making that connection is something I hope to do in every song I write. Read More

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