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Red Lodge Songwriter Festival: Bringing Nashville to Montana

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The second annual Red Lodge Songwriter Festival—which brings together professional Nashville songwriters and top regional musicians for a weekend of workshops, performances and collaborative jam sessions—runs Thursday, June 22, through Saturday, June 24, in various venues across the community of Red Lodge, Montana.

The lineup of participating Nashville hit songwriters is headlined by Even Stevens and Hugh Prestwood, both inductees of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. James Dean Hicks, Tony Lane and Montana’s own Kostas return to the Red Lodge Songwriter Festival, joined by newcomer Brice Long. 

These songwriters will perform their hit songs and share the stories behind songs that have been recorded by chart-topping country artists such as George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Conway Twitty, Dwight Yoakam, the Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Patti Loveless, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and many more.

The Nashville songwriters, along with nine of Montana and Wyoming’s most-seasoned songwriters—Sean Devine, Tom Catmull, Al Cooper, Cory Johnson, Annalisa Rose, Matt Strachan, Kalyn Beasley, Chuck Oliver and Charlie Brandine—will perform a total of 11 shows in seven local venues over three days, with most of the shows free and open to the public.

Aspiring songwriters are invited to attend workshops and participate in the songwriting contest. A total of ten songwriters will be selected to perform their song in front of one or more of the Nashville songwriters and receive analysis and feedback on their work. The writers of the top two best-written songs will have the opportunity to perform on the main stage Saturday night during the Nashville Songwriters in the Round show.

“If you’re a songwriter, you get to network with other songwriters and learn from those that have successfully made their living writing songs for some of the biggest names in country music,” said festival founder Mike Booth. But one needn’t be a songwriter to enjoy the festival. “You may love Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s recording of ‘I Need You,’” Booth added. “But when you hear Tony Lane tell the story behind the song and listen to him perform it, you make a connection with that song that is indescribable.” 

For tickets and a full schedule of events visit

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