Nine Finalists for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021


Hahira, Georgia, August 2, 2021 — All nine songwriters will be Finalists! “Their songs are all so good, the WWALS Songwriting Contest Committee couldn’t bring itself to omit any of them,” said Committee Chair Tom H. Johnson Jr.

[Nine Songwriters, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021]

In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Katherine Ball from Valdosta, GA, with Rock and Blues song, Something in the Water.
  • Jimi Davies from Atlanta, GA, with Blues rock country song, Dark Water.
  • Billy Ennis from Palatka, FL, with Folk song, Flat Bottom Boats.
  • Brandon Fox from Leesburg, GA, with Americana song, Moonlight (as by BoDean and the Poachers).
  • Kathy Lou Gilman from Kingsland, GA, with American Folk Revival song, The Legend of the Suwannee.
  • Rachel Grubb from Lake City, FL, with Indie Folk song, Cruising down the Suwannee.
  • Rachel Hillman from Tallahassee, FL, with Soul and Jazz song, Gossiping of Butterflies.
  • David Rodock, from Adel, GA, with Folk song, Suwannee River Rag.
  • KJ Wingate from O’Brien, FL, with Folk / Country song, The Hymn of Convict Spring.

“We’re still starting at 7 PM, but we may run a little later than 11 PM to fit them all in,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “The Finals will be a fun festival for the whole family, Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia, 31601.”

Tickets are on sale now, $10 online; they will be $12 at the door.–songwriting/

VIP tables in front of the stage are $150; inquire to

“The public online voting helped, but we still couldn’t leave out any of these good new songs about our rivers, swamps, springs, and sinks,” said Laura D’Alisera, who won First Prize the first year and has been on the WWALS Songwriting Contest Committee ever since.

Because of the surge in the COVID-19 virus pandemic, we will test temperatures at the entrance with an infrared thermometer. Tables will be spaced for distancing. Masks will be required when people are close to other people not in their party.

“We have two headliners this year,” said Committee Member Angela Duncan. “Last year’s winner Scott Perkins and his band Little Perks in Paradise from Atlanta, and Valdosta’s own Dirty Bird and the Flu.”

“Thanks to Georgia Beer Company for being our top-tier sponsor again!” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. “And thanks to all the other sponsors, including Rivers Radio Group, Talk 92.1 FM, Lanier County News, Jacksonville Songwriters Group, and Adel Outfitters, plus some smaller shy ones.”

“Skoll Axe will have their mobile facility in the parking lot for people to try their aim at axe-throwing,” said WWALS Intern Bobby McKenzie. “Food truck Hibachi Hwy will have its regular menu for purchase, and The Pour House will provide a cash bar.”

You can browse the artworks at the Turner Center. There will also be a kayak raffle and a silent auction, as well as a range of buttons, stickers, hats, notecards, signs, shirts, and posters for sale (this is a fundraiser for WWALS Watershed Coalition).

The M.C. will introduce the judges, who will each play a song: Kenji Bolden, J.J. Rolle, and Josh Duncan. The Finalists will play, and prizes will be awarded:

First prize is $300 plus one day of recording studio time.

Plus $50 for best song from inside the Suwannee River Basin, and $50 for best song from outside.

And plaques to best in each musical genre.

Finally, the First Prize winner will play again.

So you’ll know what you’re supporting, there will be talks about WWALS advocacy, from water quality testing to opposing pipelines and mines and plastic water bottles, to promoting water trails and a Troupville River Camp.

About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.

Contact: John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper
WWALS Watershed Coalition
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632



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  1. Pingback: Suwannee Riverkeeper contest scheduled –Valdosta Daily Times 2021-08-02 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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