Emerging Talent Showcase

The Emerging Talent Showcase kicks off the festival at 8PM located at WindMark Town Center Green, with ten up and coming artists selected from nearly 200 applicants performing one song each in front of a panel of acclaimed judges. Following the Showcase, we’ll host a special performance by The Currys to really kick things off for the weekend.

This event is free to attend with a  full cash bar available.  Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, you won’t want to miss it!

2016 Artist Line-up

Edan Archer | Alyse Young | Emily Barnes | Kevin Chambers | Taylor Loren | Beau James | Georgia English | Laughlin | Rene Russell | The Mosleys | Ira Wolf | James Austin

Edan Archer

Edan Archer came up in Gainesville, Florida, influenced by both the folk “picking parties” she attended as a child, and the blossoming rock scene of the late 90s. Her songwriting reflects this and might be compared with Ryan Adams, or described as P.J. Harvey meets Alison Kraus, with a guitar style stays true to the alt-folk genre with finger picking, alternate tunings, and rich effects. The new EP Cruel Mother has 4 exquisitely crafted original songs as well as a version of the traditional song by the same name and can only be described as Appalachian-Grunge. With a voice like moonshine and honey, Archer can get gritty with dirty, down-home rock, or she can cast a spell with an intimate ballad.  For Southern heart and just a bit of rock edge, Edan Archer’s one to watch.

Stream the Cruel Mother EP here:


Alyse Young

Alyse Young is a 16 year old singer/songwriter based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Alyse started playing guitar at the age of 7, began writing songs at the age of 11, and picked up the ukulele soon after. Early on, she performed in talent shows, school events, and around her community. Her first paid performances started in the Summer of 2014 at restaurants and festivals.

Alyse released her debut album Unrequited Love at the age of 14, released her acoustic EP Unfamiliar at the age of 15, and is currently working on her third album of original music. She won the 2014 Songwriter Competition at Artmosphere Bistro in Lafayette, and the 2015 Lafayette High School talent show. She was a semi-finalist in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition for her song “As a Friend”, and she performed at three different venues at the 2016 30A Songwriters Festival in South Walton FL.

Although Alyse is young, she already has several years of public performance under her belt , and her music is being played on local radio. She enjoys sharing her originals and her unique interpretations of cover songs with her audience. Her music style is relaxed and mellow with soothing vocals. Some of her influences include John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Jack Johnson, and Colbie Caillat.

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Emily Barnes

Tucked away in a town so tiny it isn’t found on most maps,  singer-songwriter Emily Barnes can be found sitting on the stone steps of her 200 year old home stitching together the latest melody from the fabric of her mind.  That is on the rare occasion she is home.  For the past few years, Emily has been tirelessly trekking down the open road playing venues of all shapes and sizes stopping listeners dead in their tracks with a voice that cuts to the bone and songs that pull on the heart strings.

Now a nationally touring artist, Barnes continues to build a grassroots following from city to small town, one new believer at a time.  Like the house she sometimes rests her head in, Emily is an old soul and her live performances stand the test of time.  There is a feeling one gets when witnessing something authentic and rare, and that aura permeates the room at an Emily Barnes show.

Her debut album Beautiful Goodbyes was released in January 2014, her duo album Closer to Home in 2015, and her highly anticipated follow up solo album is due out in the fall of 2016.

“Beautiful Goodbyes” is now available for online purchase, and downloading on CDbaby and iTunes.

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Kevin Chambers

Kevin Chambers spent the better part of 2014 writing, recording, and collaborating with several musicians in New York City. Born out of a lifelong love affair with the piano, his “The Way Home – EP” showcases a gift for emotive storytelling supported by lush arrangements and a musical sensibility reminiscent of yesteryear’s film scores.

He began 2015 playing several live concerts in the surrounding New York area, before succumbing to a brain AVM/aneurysm in mid-March. Following weeks of rehab and a successful surgery, he recovered and eventually went on to play Musikfest 2015 in Bethlehem, PA.

Now living in Nashville, Chambers successfully raised enough money on Kickstarter to begin recording his second EP. The album, entitled “Starting Over,” was released on July 8th, 2016. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, and several other online music stores!


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Taylor Loren

Newcomer Taylor Loren has already gotten the nod from Nashville Songwriters’ Association International receiving the accolade “One to Watch.”  She’s working hard at honing her songwriting craft and was recently invited to the Play for Publishers three day workshop at the Bluebird Cafe.  “It’s an honor to be included with such talented up and coming songwriters,” she says. Loren first and foremost aspires to be a successful songwriter.  However, she enjoys performing and playing whether it be acoustically or with her band.

She’s been playing guitar and singing since the age of ten when she got her first guitar for Christmas.  She grew up on a healthy dose of Patsy Cline, Dixie Chicks and Johnny Cash.  Loren loves playing the oldies and is excited by country music’s return to a more traditional sound.  She’s inspired by Chris Stapleton, Aubrie Sellers, Hailey Whitters and Maren Morris.  “It’s refreshing to see country music going back to its roots,” says Loren.

Currently, Loren is working on a full album for an end of 2016 release.  She’s looking forward to creating a raw, traditional sound that reflects her vulnerability as an artist. “I’m constantly growing and evolving as an artist, and right now I’m just enjoying the journey.”  And given what she has accomplished so far, it’s going to be exciting to see where that journey leads Loren.


Beau James

“Let the words write themselves” is tattooed across Beau James’ right forearm. The simplicity of his words combined with the classic sound of his music reflects a life as dark as the ink on his skin. “I write what is true to me because if I am going through a hard time, I’m sure there are thousands of others going through the same thing.” His music is honest and his truth is shared with people all over the globe.

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Beau formed The Heavy Heavy Hearts. The band’s dark, angsty riffs, machine gun drums, and unmatched musicianship found its way onto the soundtrack for the Sony film Bad Country, as well as radio play lists across the nation. The band quickly developed a following of motorcycle gangs and blues-lovers while grinding its way up and down Sunset Strip. However, after a few years in Los Angeles, Beau became afflicted with wanderlust and, accompanied by the Hearts, made his way to Nashville. While rocking through the local scene, he subsequently rediscovered his passion for an old flame: Americana Music.

Over the winter of the Snowpocalypse, he called together some of Nashville’s finest underground musicians to record his first solo record, “Indigo Road”. The face-melting solos, head-banging beats and heavy blues-driven rock which he was known for in The Heavy Heavy Hearts gave way to haunting guitars, vulnerable lyrics and just enough pop sensibility to make you want to press play again. With touches of John Mayer, Ryan Adams, and Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, “Indigo Road” leads to a destination in which everything is as familiar as home and as enchanting as your first cross-country road trip. With Beau James as your compass, you’ll find a friend in your pain, a medicine for your sickness and a band-aid for your bullet-riddled soul.

Much like the tattooed ink on his forearm, Beau’s music is fast making an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

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Georgia English

Georgia English is a songwriter and performer originally from San Francisco, CA. She developed her style busking in subway stations as a teenager, jamming in after-hours at bars, and studying with seasoned roots musicians. She is based in Nashville, TN and  tours nationally with her band The Jukebox Kids. Her songs, which can be heard on her 2015 release, Good Girls,  seek to bring fresh perspectives to the legacy of American roots music.



LAUGHLIN is a country group from Athens, Georgia led by Zach and Allison. They met while attending the University of Georgia during their first few days on campus. They started their musical journey singing cover songs in the college bars, but once they began writing their own original music, they really began to find their signature “sound.” Their sound is influenced by many different genres of music, including pop, rock, and folk; but they find their heart and soul grounded in their classic country roots. They focus primarily on their vocal harmonies, which is evident in their track “Lullaby” available on their debut album “The Run Around” which was released on all digital outlets in May.

However, the Laughlins are not afraid to try new and unconventional approaches in their produced music, which can be seen in their single “Summer Song” produced by award-winning producer Dan Hannon and features Zach laying down a spoken-word verse backed by reggae drums and bass. In addition to their recorded music (which has twice been a top-ten finalist in the Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition) LAUGHLIN prides themselves on putting on an exciting and energetic live show. It is easy to see this couple’s chemistry the moment they walk on stage. They have only been together as a full band for a little over a year, but have made significant strides having already been nominated in Georgia Country Music Awards “Best Country Group” and “Artist of the Year” categories. Since then Laughlin has moved to the Country Music Capitol of the World, Nashville TN and continues to tour to build a National following.

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Rene Russell

Rene is a 12-string guitarist, with an-Alt-Folk-Rock percussive groove. She has been crafting her percussive, finger-picking style since she picked up the 12-string in 1972. She was never interested in playing a 6-string, only the 12-string guitar would do. As a Songwriter, she speaks to you of experience, both personal and Universal. Her songs deliver layers of life, internal moments of choice, change and hope.

Rene’s latest album, “freeverse” , released January 2015, is about understanding that we command the power of change in our lives. We are the only ones standing in our way, we are the only ones who can give ourselves permission to be successful and happy. “Freeverse” includes 13 widely diverse songs about her experiences and insights.

Originally from Columbia, SC, Rene has been a solo performer since 1980 and over the years has shared the stage with Tom Chapin, Michelle Malone, Danielle Howle, and Indigo Girls. She has spent time living and playing in cities across the country; Atlanta, Ga, Austin, TX, Nashville, TN, and San Diego, CA. She now lives in Charleston, SC, and in 2011/2012 she was a co-host for BalconyTV Charleston/Behind the Scenes.

In 2015 she performed at the 30-A Songwriter’s Festival and is currently touring both locally and regionally throughout the Southeast. You can purchase her music and find out where she’s playing next on her website: ReneRussell.com.

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The Mosleys

The Mosleys are currently recording their first full length album with Grammy-winning producer Phil Madeira.  During the summer of 2016, The Mosleys released a single, were honored to be NPR’s Folk Alley Artist of the Month, finalists in the Wild Goose Festival Songwriter Competition, and were featured Artists on the Rise at the Escape to the Lake festival.  They’ve headlined Eddie’s Attic and frequently play there and at other venues in and around Atlanta.

The Mosleys began on a quiet, dark front porch in 2013, when Rachel and Stephen Mosley stepped out the front door to relax and play some music after putting their five children to bed.   With the encouragement of their neighbors, they found themselves playing – and winning – an Open Mic competition at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground in Senoia, Georgia.  From there, they were invited to record at Southern Ground’s Crow’s Nest Studio in Atlanta.  Their EP, Beneath the Trees and Stars, was written and recorded in a matter of months in 2014.

The Mosleys met in a freshman year high school geography class sometime late last century.  Married for fifteen years, they’ve just recently begun to write and perform their own earthy, soft brand of folk, and to share it beyond their own front porch. Rachel and Stephen have quickly earned opportunities to share the stage with talents such as Liz Longley and Harpeth Rising, opened for Air Supply at Chastain Park, played the Wire & Wood Festival in Atlanta, and have performed for the past two years at the prestigious 30A Singer Songwriter Festival in Seaside, Florida. Their music is heavily influenced by whatever they’re reading – Flannery O’Connor, Wendell Berry, and G.K. Chesterton are favorites – as well as by their deep spirituality, favorite artists like Mindy Smith, Stevie Nicks, and Alison Krauss, and most of all, by their five wild and unruly red-headed children.


Ira Wolf

Hailing from the mountains of Montana, and making a home in Nashville, TN, Ira Wolf has exploded onto the folk scene over the past two years with “..original and accessible lyrics without a hint of cliches.”  With two studio albums to share, Ira has performed on stages across the U.S., parts of Europe, and Southeast Asia since she began touring in 2014. She draws from personal experience, and connects on an intimate level with her audience through her honest lyrics and melancholy vocals. With roots in folk, americana and bluegrass genres, Ira has found a unique sound that resonates well with any crowd.

After a coin toss led her from Montana to Nashville in 2013, Ira got straight to work, recording and releasing her debut album ‘Fickle Heart’ in September 2014. She spent the next year and a half on the road, sharing that record before getting back in the studio to record her second project. In March, 2016 Ira released her sophomore album, ‘Honest’, which was greeted with an overwhelmingly positive response, racking up more than 7 million plays on Spotify in it’s first six months. To promote the album release, Ira trekked out on a five-month-long tour, traveling in a 1988 Volkswagen Vanagon across the U.S.

A former Berklee College of Music student, Ira has been recognized for her lyrical content and vocal capabilities by a number or organizations and festivals, including Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase, Great American Song Contest, International Songwriting Competition, Folk Alliance International, Gate City Music Festival, and CT Folk Festival since 2015. She has also been acknowledged for her fearless dedication to a full-time touring schedule as a solo artist. As she has continued living on the road throughout the past two years, her music and lifestyle have been featured in blogs such as She-Explores’ “Women on the Road”, and Sonicbids’ “Success Stories”.

Ira continues touring extensively in the states while writing for her next project and has begun planning for more international work in 2017.

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James Austin

James Austin hails from right here on the beautiful forgotten coast of Port St Joe. At the age of 19, his ability to write beautiful music is undeniable. Though this is his first songwriting contest, this keyboard player/songwriter has penned many songs in EDM and pop.

James has performed for numerous events for the last 2 years. He will be performing his heartfelt music at a showcase Nov 10 at the infamous Ghetto Palace in Panama City, FL and hopes that you will all come and be a part of his music journey!

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