BMI Maui Songwriters Festival: November 29 - December 2, 2017
Postcard-worthy beaches, hot pink sunsets, and live performances by the songwriters of your favorite hits: that’s the 3rd Annual BMI Maui Songwriters Festival, slated for November 29 - December 2, 2017. Intimate in-the-round acoustic concerts held at choice island venues, will feature the world’s best songwriters sharing songs and the stories behind them. The gathering benefits key organizations, including the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, the Dorvin and Betty Leis Charities, Inc., and the BMI Foundation, dedicated to encouraging the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, grants, and commissions.
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2017 Festival Lineup
Eric Church returns to the Maui Songwriters Festivals for the second straight year! The three-time Country Music Association and six-time Academy of Country Music Award winner surprised everyone when he released Mr. Misunderstood on Nov. 4, 2015 with no prior announcement, and thrilled his fan club members when he mailed them physical copies of the album for free. Called "a love letter to his influences" by The New York Times and "the best album of his career" by The Guardian, Mr. Misunderstood made year-end "best-of" lists from Rolling Stone, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and more. The video for the title track has won the ACM Video of the Year. About the title track and first single, Rolling Stone wrote, "it shows just why the Chief is indeed leading a new charge in the country landscape" and that "it stands as the vital beginning of a brilliant story.” “Record Year” was the first single from the album to go number one and to be RIAA-Gold-certified. Church embarked on his cross-continent, 60+city Holdin’ My Own Tour in 2017 that was named the No. 1 most attended music tour in the world at the time of the tour by Pollstar.
The double-set show, without an opening act, gave fans more than three hours of pure Eric Church sold out every stop. In 2014, Church released The Outsiders debuting at No. 1 on both the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and Top Country Albums chart, “The Outsiders” garnered GRAMMY, CMA and ACM Album of the Year nominations and featured his No.1 hits “Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Talladega.” Prior to that project, Church’s Platinum-certified CHIEF was named the 2012 Album of the Year by both CMA and ACM, and GRAMMY-nominated for Best Country Album. The LP featured five Top 20 singles: “Homeboy” (certified Platinum); the Top 10 “Like Jesus Does” and the Top 5 “Creepin’” (both certified Gold); and two No. 1 hits “Drink in My Hand” (certified Platinum) and “Springsteen” (certified Double Platinum). Church’s 2006 debut album, Sinners Like Me (2006) and his sophomore album Carolina (2009) are both RIAA Gold-certified. For more information, visit www.EricChurch.com.
Twenty-seven-year-old Columbia Nashville singer/songwriter Maren Morris has quickly established herself with vocal styling’s that reflect her country, folk and pop influences. Armed with sheer talent, honest lyrics and a completely magnetic presence, Morris’ label-debut album, the GOLD-certified HERO, released via Columbia Nashville on June 3, 2016. One week after it was available, HERO entered the Billboard Country Albums chart at No. 1 and No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, which spans across all genres. With this, the Arlington, Texas native became the first artist in the history of Columbia Nashville to open at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Charts with a debut album in the Soundscan era. Morris’ debut single from HERO, “My Church,” set a record at Country radio by having the most chart reporting stations to play a debut single by a country artist with 107 stations the week it hit the airwaves in addition to being certified PLATINUM by the RIAA.
Later in 2016 Morris tied for the most nominations with FIVE at the 50th Annual CMA Awards, including Album of the Year (HERO), FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR, SINGLE OF THE YEAR (“My Church”), SONG OF THE YEAR (“My Church”) and NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR which she won, marking her first CMA Award. She was tapped by Billboard Magazine to receive the Billboard ‘BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST’ Award at the 11th annual Billboard Women in Music Gala as well as being awarded the Breakthrough Artist Award by the Music Business Association at Music Biz 2017.
The snarl in his voice sets the tone for Jon Pardi’s California Sunrise. He’s a traditional country singer, bred in the West Coast honky tonks, and he won’t apologize for chasing the dream on his own terms.
It might be considered contemporary cool to inject country songs with programmed drums, rap phrasing and poppy melodies. But Pardi isn’t worried about what’s trendy. He’s more concerned with making country music that will last, and California Sunrise successfully hits that target. It’s stocked with classic Nashville melody, blue-collar lyrical themes and authentic country instrumentation – real drums, loud-and-proud fiddles and tangy steel guitar. The album’s 12 songs draw a direct link to such forbearers as Dwight Yoakam, George Strait and Marty Stuart, and it’s intentional.
“There’s a growing audience for throwback,” Pardi says. “People want to hear somebody who really enjoyed the ‘90s country music era and brings that to 2016 country. A lot of this record is bringing an old-school flare back to a mainstream sound, but that gives me my own lane.”
Pardi established that lane with his 2014 debut, Write You a Song, a rough-and-rowdy project that made him familiar to the suddenly-hip country crowd, thanks to his Top 10 party song “Up All Night.” The music oozed with youthful brashness and longneck longing, and Pardi drew a raucous following, increasingly selling out 1,000-2,000 ticket clubs, sometimes out-performing higher-profile country acts playing across town the same night.
With an inimitable voice the New York Times describes as “wholly different, thicker and more throbbing, a caldron bubbling over,” Randy Houser’s debut Stoney Creek Records album, How Country Feels, topped the charts with the title track, “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and “Goodnight Kiss” (also his first #1 as a songwriter) and earned critical acclaim for his powerful delivery of the Top 5 smash and CMA Song of the Year nominated "Like A Cowboy."
Houser added another smash to his catalogue with the #1 “We Went” from his 2016 album, Fired Up. A lifelong road warrior widely acclaimed for his powerful “cannon of a voice” (Green Bay Press-Gazette), Randy Houser has logged thousands of miles and played to millions of fans during the past two years touring as direct support for heavyweights Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, in addition to headlining many of his own shows.
His dynamic live show, having grown from back-alley dive bars to stadiums, has been called “pure brimstone” (Tampa Bay Times) with soulful performances that showcase “one of the more powerful voices in country music” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), prompting major country music festivals to tap Houser on their coveted 2017 lineups. Feeling more musically energized than ever by his time on the road, Houser is back crafting new songs and drawing from a deep well of musical inspiration that taps into everything from his Mississippi gospel and blues roots to arena-rockers to more sentimental ballads.
Renowned for his passionate vocals, Ed Roland is best known as the frontman and principal songwriter for platinum-selling rock band Collective Soul. With seven #1 hits under his belt, these days, Roland stays busy with solo projects and his rootsier band Ed Roland & the Sweet Tea Project. The producer and two-time Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee is also a father, an avid golfer, a guitar and art collector and supports various charities in his community.
Roland released an indie album called Ed-E Roland in 1991. The album showcased his abilities to compose, record, and produce his own original music.
Roland changed the name of his band to Collective Soul and released Hints, Allegations & Things Left Unsaid in 1993 on a label called Rising Storm. It was a compilation of some of Roland's songwriting demos created when he worked at Real 2 Reel Studios. This collection eventually caught the attention of a college radio station in Orlando, Florida and several other college radio stations began to play "Shine" and it became an underground hit. The popularity of the song and band was convincing enough that Atlantic Records signed Collective Soul in 1993 to a long-term major label contract. Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid was re-released worldwide in early 1994. The band experienced a sudden rise from obscurity to fame.
The multi-platinum quintet has been making music for two decades since then and has a catalog of #1 hits under their belts. Collective Soul helped shape and define alternative rock with lots of guitars and attitude. The band released its ninth album on October 2, 2015, “See What You Started by Continuing,” followed by a 50+ market U.S. tour. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Album chart, marking the band’s highest charting position on that chart in their illustrious career. Collective Soul has been back in the studio working on another album and just wrapped an extensive U.S. tour with the Goo Goo Dolls.
How 22-year-old singer-songwriter Lily Meola went from being a jazz-loving kid performing covers at local cafés on her native Maui to Interscope Records’ newest artist-on-the-verge reads like a rock and roll fairytale. Mentored by super-producer Bob Rock, touring with the likes of Willie Nelson, being taught to write songs by Jackson Browne, and duetting with Steven Tyler, Kris Kristofferson, and Sammy Hagar. Lily has been in the studio with various co-writers crafting the bluesy, soulful pop songs that will make up her debut release for Interscope later this year.
Since his first #1 in 1983, Hall of Fame Songwriter Bob DiPiero has been responsible for an uninterrupted string of country music hits. One of Nashville’s most prolific and consistent songwriters, Bob possesses a humble drive to keep learning and stay relevant. He has had over 1,000 songs recorded by other artists, countless hit singles, and an astounding 15 #1 hits. His songs have been featured in TV shows, commercials and movies. Among his countless awards are 50 BMI Million- Air honors, multiple Songwriter of the Year awards and 2 consecutive Triple Play awards for 3 #1 songs within a 12- month period. In 2007, Bob was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Nashville’s Walk of Fame. In 2014, the Country Music Hall of Fame honored Bob with their prestigious “Poets and Prophets Series: Salute to Legendary Songwriter Bob DiPiero” and the Country Music Association also presented Bob with the CMA Chairman’s Award. On November 7, 2017 Bob DiPiero will be receiving yet another incredible honor when BMI presents him with their prestigious Icon Award celebrating his outstanding career achievement and honoring his unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers. This remarkable accolade leaves no question that Bob DiPiero’s career has truly been iconic.
Lee Thomas Miller
Lee is a full-time songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned a Bachelors degree in Music Theory/ Composition from Eastern Kentucky University. It was there that he studied classical violin, guitar, piano and voice. He was inducted into the EKU “Hall of Distinguished Alumni” in 2010.
Lee has charted 15 years worth of chart singles with, to date, 7 of them reaching #1. These songs have recorded radio plays more 10 million spins. He co-wrote the current Brother’s Osborne single “It Aint My Fault” which is currently in the top 15 and climbing.
Lee is a 3 time Grammy award nominee and has won other major industry awards including Song of the Year at the Country Music Association awards (in Nashville) and Academy of Country Music awards (in Las Vegas) as well as Music Row Magazine and Nashville Songwriter’s Association annual awards. He has also won multiple “Songs I Wish I’d Written” awards as voted on and given by the Nashville Songwriter’s Association as well as 10 BMI awards.
Lee is the current President of the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI) and spends time in Washington D.C. representing and lobbying for the rights of the American songwriter. In June of 2014 he was chosen to testify before an Intellectual Property subcommittee of the House of Representatives Judiciary committee, in Washington, concerning music licensing reform.
In 2015 Lee was presented with BMI’s inaugural “Champions” award for legislative efforts. Lee has had success also as a record producer. He produced a pair of top 20 hits on recording artist Steve Holy including his 2006 #1 record “Brand New Girlfriend”. Lee lives in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife of 24 years, Jana, and their 4 kids.
Good chance you’ve heard Wendell’s songs, but if you haven’t heard him sing and play them, you should!
He has worked with several top-charting country artists including Randy Houser (ASCAP Song of The Year “How Country Feels”), Rascal Flatts (“Take Me There”, “Fast Cars and Freedom”, “I Melt”, “Banjo”, “Changed”), Kenny Chesney (ACM nominated Song of the Year “There Goes My Life”, ASCAP Song of the Year “How Forever Feels”) and Jason Aldean (“Tattoos on This Town”). He’s also worked with Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Dustin Lynch, Brantley Gilbert, Joe Nichols, Rodney Atkins, Alabama and Carrie Underwood.
Wendell also wrote and sang all those ridiculous “Napa Know How” commercials and his latest single, “A Little More Summertime" which was recorded by Jason Aldean and is also is latest number one.
Heather Morgan grew up in Richardson, Texas, making music in the rich Texas music scene before moving to Nashville. After graduating from TCU, she signed her first publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music. Her songs have been featured on the television show “Nashville” and recorded by Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Maren Morris, A Thousand Horses, Lindsay Ell, The Eli Young Band, Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley, and Brett Eldredge, among others. Heather has written several #1s, including Brett Eldredge’s “Beat of The Music” and “Lose My Mind,” and has sungon records by The Eli Young Band, Brett Eldredge, and Kenny Chesney. In 2015, Heather recieved BMI’s Country Song of The Year Award for “Beat of The Music.” That same year, she was featured in Billboard Magazine’s Power Players edition. She is the co-creator of “Girls of Nashville,” a semi-annual singer-songwriter show featuring Nashville’s top female talent. Heather is currently working on material for her own artist project.
Casey Beathard moved to Nashville in 1991 after graduating from Elon College in North Carolina and playing bars in northern Virginia long enough to know music was all he wanted to do.
He chose music over "the family business" of football. His father is a multiple Super Bowl champion as a former NFL general manager of the Dolphins, Redskins and San Diego Chargers, and one of his brothers is a football coach, and the other is a scout at the professional and college levels.
"Mom's love for music, playing piano and singing got ahold of me early in life," says Casey. "I learned to best express myself by writing notes and stories to those I had something to say."
He later combined his love for making music and storytelling, and before he knew it, Nashville was calling his heart like it does all country music artists.
Beathard worked two jobs a day, The Country music Hall of Fame by day and The Bluebird Cafe by night. Talk about a learning experience; these jobs were very instrumental in the networking process.
Casey became a demo singer and then a recording artist on Capitol Records for a short time before he chose to concentrate strictly on songwriting.
Beathard has written over 20 top ten singles, including eight # 1 records, for Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Eric Church, Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, Leanne Wommack, Tracy Lawrence, Tracy Byrd, Chris Stapelton, Garth Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Billy Currington and more. He has also received many accolades throughout the years including BMI’s Songwriter of the Year in 2004 and 2008, NSAI’s Songwriter of the Songwriter of the Year in 2008, and two Grammy nominations and an ACM Song of The Year nomination for "Don't Blink."
Oklahoma-native Luke Dick is a songwriter, artist, documentarian and philosophy professor praised for his creative, out-of-the-box songwriting. Dick’s unique philosophy background lends to imaginative, deeper lyrical allusions and imagery that Rolling Stone calls “something of an anomaly in the Nashville songwriting community.” Dick is known for breaking the mold of traditional country songwriting, opting to push the envelope with unconventional lyrics and sounds. The AIMP Breakout Songwriter of the Year nominee has written for artists like Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore, Charlie Worsham and many more, include Eric Church, with whom he wrote “Kill A Word,” 2017 ACM Song of the Year nominee.
"I hear the crowd, I look around, and I can't find one empty chair. Not bad for a girl going nowhere" sings Ashley McBryde on "Girl Goin' Nowhere," the seminal title track from her forthcoming LP. They're words built from experience: over the course of her life, growing up in Arkansas, McBryde's been finding her own way to fill those seats and sway those hearts since the very first time her teacher told her that her dreams of writing songs in Nashville would never see the light of day. Every time she was brought down, she persevered; trusting her timeless tone and keen, unwavering eye for the truth. It paid off. In April, Eric Church brought her on stage and called her a "whiskey-drinking badass," confessing that he's a massive fan. The rest of the world is quickly catching on, too.
Dubbed as one of Rolling Stone’s “Artists You Need To Know," citing she's "an Arkansas red-clay badass, with the swagger of Hank Jr. and the songwriting of Miranda Lambert," McBryde fearlessly lays it all on the line, and it's that honest all-in approach that has led to NPR critic Ann Powers to ask if McBryde could be "among the first post-Stapleton country stars?" McBryde's album will showcase an artistic vision that will prove her to be one of the genre's keenest working storytellers, bringing unwavering honesty back into a pop-preoccupied genre. Pulling tales from every corner of her human experience – a happenstance love on "A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega," a neighbor with a heavy past on "Livin' Next to LeRoy," a girl with an impossibly possible dream on "Girl Goin' Nowhere" – McBryde sings with fire and fury, laughing and swigging that brown stuff along the way. And she's not going to do it in glitter and sequins, either, like a good lady of Music Row. McBryde will wear her boots and crack her jokes: with McBryde, what you see is what you get, and what you get is what you see.
Hosted by Storme Warren
Storme Warren is the morning show host on SiriusXM’s “The Highway.” He also hosts the longest and most listened to weekly Country Music Countdown show, “The Highway Hot 45.” Along with running his own Television production company, hosting his TV and radio shows, Storme is also known as the “Dick Clark of Nashville” (Tennessean Newspaper 3-10) for his annual duties as host of Music City’s 4th of July Concert Spectacular and the city’s outdoor Downtown New Year’s Eve “Bash on Broadway.” During the summer months, Storme can be found emceeing music festivals from coast to coast and around the globe. With 32 years of broadcasting experience including twenty-four in Country Music, Storme has earned the title “Country Music’s Best Friend.”