A month ago 10 finalists were selected from hundreds of entries received for the 2018 Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest. Saturday, May 19th the finalists competed on the United Healthcare Singer Songwriter Stage inside the Eisemann Center during the 26th Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival in Richardson. The judges awarded Eric Bettencourt (Texas), Kristen Grainger (Oregon), and Brian Pounds (Texas) as the top three finalists and the audience voted that Kyle Donovan (Colorado) should receive the Michael Terry People’s Choice Award. All four musicians received $500 in cash prize and invited to share the stage again in a Songwriting Contest Swap on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest finalist, Kelly Augustine, is no stranger to song slaying competitions. Recently selected as one of 32 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Finalists for the Kerrville Folk Festival, this folk-American crooner is quickly making a name for herself within the songwriting community. The luminous lyricist graciously took pause for an interview, before traveling to Richardson, allowing us to ask the musician a short list of questions.
Describing his music style as “guitar-driven folk-pop with teeth,” it’s no mystery why we’d want to sink in deeper to this songwriter’s curious psyche. We sat down with Wes Collins, one of the top ten finalists in the 2018 Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest, in an effort to find out more about his mush-mouthed noises and how he finds the lyrics and tunes within his 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.