Thursday , May 30 2024

USA Songwriting Competition Winners

If you haven’t heard of Knoxville’s Jag Star yet, then soon you will. Their song “Mouth,” written by singer Sarah Lewis, won the USA Songwriting Competition Overall Grand Prize and Pop categories. The bouncy new wavish ditty reminds me of a spunky Go-Go’s workout and bodes well of the band’s future. Check it out for yourself.

Per a press release:

    “Mouth”, the lead single from Crazy Place, received substantial radio support at a number of commercial rock outlets throughout the Southeast. Steady airplay on “specialty” shows at stations like Atlanta powerhouse 99X and opening slots for Michelle Branch, Macy Gray and Res, have further fueled Jag Star’s ascent. Knoxville’s Metro Pulse remarks “. . .the dark ache of (Erin) Tipton’s viola, the energy of Sarah Lewis’ vocals and J’s unabashed guitar clatter combine for an appealing freshness.” The band’s unique instrumentation featuring three-part harmonies fused with provocative lyrics, hip-hop beats and a smart pop sensibility earned Jag Star the Jim Beam B.E.A.M. grant award and a spot as finalists in the Lilith Fair Talent Search.

Here are other Competition winners:

    Overall 2nd Prize: Let It Be There – Bill Colgate, Etobicoke, CANADA

    Overall 3rd Prize: Baddest of All – Dan Pelletier, Lake Peekskill, NY

    Category 1st Prizes
    1st Prize – Folk: Cold Missouri Waters – James Keelaghan, Winnipeg, CANADA

    1st Prize – Gospel: Let It Be There – Bill Colgate, Etobicoke, CANADA

    1st Prize – Pop: Mouth – Sarah Lewis/Jag Star(Band), Knoxville, TN

    1st Prize – Rock: Libertine – Simon McCarthy/McCarthy Hill – England, UK

    1st Prize – Latin: Sin Tu Amor – David Coburn, Jersey City, NJ

    1st Prize – Country: Half A Heart – Gail Swanson, Puunene, HI

    1st Prize – World: Genesis – Swetja – Jaroslar Svitek, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC

    1st Prize – Lyrics: Baddest of All – Dan Pelletier, Lake Peekskill, NY

    1st Prize – R&B: Tomorrow, Today – Chad Richardson & Craig McConnell, Newfoundland & Toronto, CANADA

    1st Prize – Hip-Hop: Darker The Berry – Dwayne F. Henry (Storm the Unpredictable) – Oxon Hill, MD

    1st Prize – Dance: Final Answer – Michele Vice-Maslin & Matthew Gerrard, Santa Monica, CA

    1st Prize – Instrumental: Frontiera – Giuseppe Leopizzi, Palermo, ITALY

    1st Prize – Jazz: Moonshadow Dance – Ellen Vanderslice & Mike Horsfall, Portland, OR

    1st Prize – Children: S.S. Bathtub – David LaMotte, Montreat, NC

    1st Prize – Comedy/Novelty: Amanda – Des Walls/Dessy & The Doorknobs, Co Kerry, IRELAND

Congrats to all, and I hope at least one of these songwriters makes actual money from songwriting someday, and please forgive the cynicism – sounds like Jag Star may be on their way, however.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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