Judges, Headliner change, raffle kayak, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2022-08-20

Hahira, Georgia, August 18, 2022 — We’re announcing our singing judges, and raffle tickets still available for the kayak Georgia Beer Co. donated. But we also have to say the pandemic is not over. A key member of one of our headliners went to Atlanta to hear a famous band and came back with COVID-19.

So our new second headliner is Dirty Bird and the Flu, from Valdosta, Georgia. “Funky-blues-soul-fusion born straight out of the South Georgia swamps and a charismatic front-man who catches comparisons of all the famous soul singers. No two shows are ever the same!”


Our first headliner is Sweet William Billy Ennis from Palatka, Florida, our First Prize winner last year. “His fifty years of original songs cover 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. His songs of the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers won best in Folk Genre, 3rd, and 1st place 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.”

So come on down and support WWALS and fishable, drinkable, swimmable water by listening to music at the Turner Center Art Park in Valdosta, Georgia, 7-11 PM, Saturday, August 20, 2022.

MC Chuck Roberts will introduce the judges, and two of them will play a song.

Then the five finalists, from Tallahassee, Lake Park, Adel, Gainesville, and Valdosta, will play.

After the finalists and the headliners play, Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson will draw the winning raffle ticket for the Vibe Yellowfin 120 kayak that Georgia Beer Co. donated. There are still raffle tickets available for each $100 in sponsorship of the Contest.

Follow this link for everything else about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2022, including entry tickets to hear the headliners, the judges, and these five finalists, the prizes, the kayak raffle, and the silent auction:

Judge Kenji Bolden. Born and raised in Sebring, Florida, Kenji has had the privilege of growing up in a musical home and being trained extensively in the church. He has performed in a vast array of venues and events both in Florida, Kansas, Illinois, Texas, and Georgia. Currently Kenji performs throughout the South Georgia and North Florida area with Kendrick Jacobs (bass) and Leslie Smith (drums). Together they are the Kenji Bolden Trio and are known for a smooth, refined, and soulful sound.

Judge John Jeffery (J.J.) Rolle lives in Valdosta, Georgia, and has performed on stage since the tender age of eight; first in school productions, then community and professional shows. As a singer/songwriter, he has done shows with the likes of Dr. John, Arlo Guthrie and Ultravox’s Midge Uhre. He has fronted two bands, performing 5 years at the prestigious Guinness International Jazz Festival, and his own 6-pc. Soul/Funk/Disco band, JJ’s Soul Funkshun.

Judge Joe Smothers. Born in the Piedmont area of North Carolina in 1950, he toured with his teenage inspiration, the legendary Doc Watson, and played on more than a dozen albums with him. Joe has performed at every Merle Fest (31) and was asked to perform at Doc’s funeral. Joe toured extensively with Jack Lawrence as a supporting act for John Prine, Leo Kottke and Emmylou Harris to name a few. He has released two albums These Things I Know, and ‘Terpretations. His song “The Three Buglers” – a mix of fiction and history on Taps – won him a first place at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS in 2007.

Contact: Committee Chair Angela Duncan, angelawong844@gmail.com

John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
WWALS Watershed Coalition

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