Headliners: Sweet William Billy Ennis and Lazy Lightning, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, August 20, 2022

Hahira, GA, August 2, 2022 — Songwriters, send in your song by tomorrow for an opportunity to be Finalists, along with our headliners.

“Sweet William” Billy Ennis, from Palatka, Florida, will play first, including his song that won First Prize last year..

Valdosta, Georgia, band Lazy Lightning will play, with their core trio and selected auxiliaries.


Plus two of our three judges, Kenji Bolden and Joe Smothers, will also play a song. Judge J.J. Rolle will video the contest.

And of course the Finalists will play, as the judges decide who wins the prizes.

Music lovers, come for an evening of music, 7-10 PM, Saturday, August 20, 2022, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31601. There will be a food truck, a cash bar, a kayak raffle, and a silent auction, plus a range of buttons, stickers, hats, notecards, signs, shirts, and posters for sale to benefit WWALS Watershed Coalition.

“Sweet William” Billy Ennis is a singer/songwriter who has lived in Palatka, Florida for over three decades. His original songs written over the span of fifty years covers multi genres and subjects including love, war & environment, Folk, Country & Blues. On August 26, 2018, he won the North Central Florida Blues Regional Solo Challenge and represented North Central Florida in the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Also an award winning songwriter, songs of the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers brought recognition for best in Folk Genre, 3rd and 1st place winners in the 2019 Santa Fe River and 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contests. His acoustic finger pick style weaves through songs of his life with a simple feel of storytelling and his deep resonant voice grabs the essence of his stories that he tells. Find him at: www.sweetwilliamennis.com

[At the bridge: Sweet William Billy Ennis]
At the bridge: Sweet William Billy Ennis

Lazy Lightning is a low-key, family sort of band, for the funk of it. They cover Little Feat, Funky Meters, and generally funk, jazz, and blues. Starting as a trio, they became a full band in 2015, with a solid core and rotating auxiliaries. Mostly from Valdosta, the band members have known each other for twenty years. Lead vocalist Patrick Teasley started out on piano, then guitar, and now plays bass, with his father Tim Teasley on keyboard, at festivals and in town. The band’s two basses give a richer sound, and opportunities for Patrick to sing more.

[Guitars: Lazy Lightning]
Guitars: Lazy Lightning

Songwriters: Fill in this entry form by Wednesday, August 3, 2022: https://forms.gle/A2tpW1c7HJK3Tjuf7 This is your opportunity for new songs about any river, creek, spring, sink, swamp, or pond in the Suwannee River Basin or Estuary, including the Okefenokee Swamp and the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Alapahoochee, and Suwannee Rivers, (but not the Santa Fe River; that has its own contest). “”We know there are musicians out there who share our love for nature – especially for our local waterways. Now is the chance to share that inspiration with everybody!” said Organizing Committee Chair and musician Angela Duncan. Songwriters, if that form does not work for you, email your submission to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org. And if that doesn’t work, email it to Committee Chair Angela Duncan: angelawong844@gmail.com. If you’re still having trouble, call 850-290-2350.

Follow this link for everything else about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2022-08-20, including prizes for songwriters:

“Amateurs are given a chance to show their raw talent. I got so much from the 2018 inaugural contest and remain grateful for the leg up it gave me!” said Committee member and first-year First Prize winner Laura D’Alisera.

Sponsors of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest still get a raffle ticket for each $100, to win a Vibe Yellowfin 120 kayak, worth more than a thousand dollars retail, donated by Georgia Beer Company. WWALS will draw raffle tickets for that kayak at the Contest, August 20, 2022, at the Turner Center Art Park in Valdosta, GA. “There’s a cap of 30 tickets, so get your sponsorships in early,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. “And 20 tickets are already allocated, so get your sponsorships in soon!”

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

Judging of finalists will take into account integrity, historical value, and/or present value of the waters, originality of lyrics and music, and performance, plus extra credit for naming the most rivers (springs, etc.) in a way that shows their value (even just listing them counts), and storytelling: creating a narrative regarding the history and/or attributes of the Suwannee River Basin.

“We had a blast and heard some great music from the community last year, and we are looking forward to some fine submissions for 2022!” said Josh Duncan, a Judge last year, and Scribe of the Committee.

About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity. WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the surface waters and groundwater of the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary, in south Georgia and north Florida, among them the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds, through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. Since December 2016, 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