For the Wire & Wood Alpharetta Songwriters Festival on Oct. 7 & 8, 2016, nationally recognized singer/songwriters will gather together to perform their original songs giving music lovers a behind-the-scenes look at the stories that inspired country, rock, blues, Americana and bluegrass songs. Attendees will experience nationally recognized veteran songsmiths and local up-and-coming talent as music fills the streets of downtown Alpharetta.
The 2016 lineup includes:
John Oates (of Hall & Oates)
Together, Daryl Hall and John Oates, the American musical duo from Philadelphia, had six #1 hits in the 1970s and ’80s including “Rich Girl,” “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Maneater” and “Out of Touch.” Together, they have sold over 40 million records and in 2003, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2014, Hall and Oates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and on Sept. 2, 2016, they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Since 1999, Oates has recorded five solo albums including Good Road to Follow, which featured Vince Gill, Nathan Chapman, Jim Lauderdale, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and other artists, followed by Another Good Road, a docu-concert recorded in Nashville with some of the city’s finest musicians.
Emily Saliers (of Indigo Girls)
Together, Emily Saliers and Amy Ray, who make up the Grammy Award-winning folk rock music duo Indigo Girls, have sold over fifteen million albums worldwide, as well as earning six Grammy nominations. Saliers plays lead guitar as well as banjo, piano, mandolin, and ukulele. She’s written many of the Indigo Girls fan favorites such as “Closer To Fine,” “Get Out the Map” and “Galileo” to name a few. Co-owner of the acclaimed Watershed restaurant in Atlanta, Saliers also co-authored the book, A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice, with her dad Don Saliers, and is currently writing and recording her first solo record.
Kristian Bush, GRAMMY-winning recording artist, singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, started his career with folk-rock duo Billy Pilgrim in the early ‘90s; in 2004, he exploded onto the country music scene with Sugarland, surpassing sales of over 22 million albums worldwide, achieving five No. 1 singles and winning numerous awards, including GRAMMYs, AMAs, ACMs, CMT Music Awards and CMAs. Recently signed to BBR Music Group’s Wheelhouse Records, Bush is already in the studio working on the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed debut solo album, Southern Gravity. He recently wrote and performed “Forever Now,” the theme song to TLC’s hit reality series Say Yes To The Dress, and his songs will anchor the world premiere of Troubadour, a play set in 1950s Nashville, debuting at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre Center in 2017.
Ken Block and Drew Copeland, best known as two of the five members of the platinum-selling southern rock band Sister Hazel, will bring their wildly successful tunes to select cities for intimate, “miss it and miss out” acoustic shows, reminiscent of their earlier performance days when they canvassed the club and coffee shop circuit as a duo from Gainesville, Florida. Together, Block and Copeland will take fans through intimate acoustic performances of Sister Hazel favorites, a few “B sides” and deep cuts, and new material that writers have called “some of the freshest new music to come out of Music City.”
Shawn Mullins readily admits that several of the songs on his new album, My Stupid Heart, address his perceived relationship failures. In the title tune, he actually chides himself for being such a romantic. But it’s also a bit of a joke, he says, because he firmly believes in following his heart — no matter where it leads. Which, it turns out, is the guiding force behind just about every song on the album — the theme, he says, is summed up most succinctly by another song title: “It All Comes Down to Love.” “I’m in a new place in my life, a place of freedom, artistically — and a real grounded place of bein’ a dad,” he says. “I’m really excited about the possibilities.”
So Dark You See, John Gorka’s 11th studio album, is his most compelling and traditional album to date and has been widely praised as some of Gorka’s finest work. Windham Hill has also recently released a collection of John’s greatest hits from the label called Pure John Gorka. Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura O’Connell. John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown and has appeared on CNN. His new song “Where No Monument Stands” is featured in the upcoming documentary Every War Has Two Losers, about activist Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993).Bonnie Bishop
It’s only a matter of time until Hollywood snaps up the story of how singer-songwriter Bonnie Bishop connected with Dave Cobb, one of the hottest producers in the business, to unlock her inner soul singer and record the best album of her career: Ain’t Who I Was. Before landing with Cobb, whose credits include Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, Bishop had thrown in the towel on her country-leaning career, too frustrated, beat-up and broke to go on after 13 years, five albums and one failed marriage. It landed on the rag pile despite monogramming by her idol, Bonnie Raitt, who recorded a Bishop/Big Al Anderson co-write on her comeback album, Slipstream. The song, “Not Cause I Wanted To,” topped the New York Times’ year-end best-of list, then Slipstream won 2012’s Best Americana Album Grammy.