Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021-08-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, August 23, 2021 — Chosen by three judges from a record number of Finalists from Atlanta to Palatka, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is pleased to announce the winners of the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

[All winners]
All winners.
L-R: KJ Wingate, Katherine Ball, David Rodock, Sweet William Billy Ennis, Jimi Davies and his brother, Kathy Lou Gilman, Rachel Hillman.
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

The winner of the $50 prize for Best Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin is:
KJ Wingate, from O’Brien, Suwannee County, Florida, with his folk / country song, “The Hymn of Convict Spring”.

[KJ Wingate, Winner, Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin]
KJ Wingate, Winner, Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

The winner of the $50 prize for Best Song from Outside the Suwannee River Basin is:
Jimi Davies, from Atlanta, Georgia, with his blues rock country song, “Dark Water”.

[Jimi Davies, Winner, Song from Outside the Suwannee River Basin]
Jimi Davies, Winner, Song from Outside the Suwannee River Basin
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Jimi Davies was assisted on drums by his fifteen-year-old brother.

[Jimi Davies brother]
Jimi Davies brother
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Winner of the $300 First Prize, plus $300 value in studio recording time, is:
“Sweet William” Billy Ennis, from Palatka, Florida, with his folk song, “Flat Bottom Boats”.

[Billy Ennis]
Billy Ennis
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

“Aren’t you glad you came back again?” Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman asked Billy Ennis, who was also a finalist last year with a different song.

[Billy Ennis band]
Billy Ennis band
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

“Yes, very happy,” Sweet William answered.

[Billy Ennis receiving First Prize]
Billy Ennis receiving First Prize
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

For the fourth year running, each Finalist claimed a different musical genre, so every one of them got a plaque:

  • 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.

* Unfortunately, Brandon Fox and Rachel Grubb could not attend, due to no fault of their own, so we will mail them their plaques.

Here are all the finalists with their plaques, and the judges. Except David Rodock isn’t holding his; probably one of his small children had it.

[Finalists and judges]
Finalists and judges.
Standing L-R: KJ Wingate, David Rodock, Billy Ennis, Jimi Davies and brother, Kathy Lou Gilman, Judge Kenji Bolden, Judge JJ Rolle.
Front L-R: Judge Josh Duncan, Katherine Ball, Rachel Hilman
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Indeed, it takes a village. Here are WWALS board members and staff, the WWALS Songwriting Contest Committee, and M.C. Wes James.

[Volunteers]
Volunteers present.
Back, L-R: Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, Josh Duncan, Dan Phillips (on Board when the Committee was approved), Debbie Smith, M.C. Wes James, Committee Chair and Board President Tom H. Johnson Jr., Intern Bobby McKenzie, Vergil Daughtery.
Front, L-R: Sara Jay, JJ Rolle, WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman, Beth Daughtery.
Not pictured: Scotti Jay, Bret Wagenhorst (Board member).
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Thanks to our headliner, Little Perks in Paradise from Atlanta, the band of last year’s winner Scott Perkins.

[Little Perks in Paradise]
Little Perks in Paradise
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Many thanks to all our sponsors, especially top-tier sponsor Georgia Beer Company.

[Georgia Beer Co., top tier sponsor]
Georgia Beer Co., top tier sponsor; Chris Jones in front.
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

And thanks to Sementha Mathew and Jessica Ganas of the Turner Center for the Arts for the venue.

[Sementha Mathews, Turner Art Center]
Sementha Mathews, Turner Art Center
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Last but definitely not least, thanks to Master of Ceremonies Wes James of 92.9 FM WAAC Rivers Radio.

[Wes James M.C., 92.9 FM WAAC]
Wes James M.C., 92.9 FM WAAC
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Wes announced he was getting married and moving to Moultrie!

[Wes James fiancee]
Wes James fiancee
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

Plus Wes James announced that on his radio show he will reveal his DJ pick from among the Finalists, and he will air their song.

For more pictures by Angela Duncan, see the WWALS website:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-08-21–songwriting-winners

For everything else about the Contest, see:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-08-21–songwriting/

We had at least three video cameras running, so video will follow.

Meanwhile, congratulations to all the winners!

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
song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org
850-290-2350
229-242-0102
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632

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You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

1 thought on “Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021-08-21

  1. Pingback: First Prize, Sweet William Billy Ennis, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest –VDT 2021-08-23 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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