2017 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Award Winners

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


“[Letitia VanSant’s voice] is part Iris DeMent with a little Dolly Parton (and maybe even some Rose Maddox) thrown in. But after repeated listens, the quality of her songwriting begins to come out. She’s a clever woman with a lot to say.”

-The Baltimore City Paper

"Novato native Mia Rose Lynne has been mentioned in the same breath as Alison Krauss, Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin, and with this debut album she shows she deserves to be in that kind of world-class company."

-Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal

"There’s a steadfast confidence to her voice, which lingers around the guitar and keystrokes like smoke above a dying fire. There’s hints of Stevie Nicks and Neko Case in her pensive, almost rustic vocals, which do great justice to the song’s solemn mood."

-Billboard on Rachael Kilgour

"Winona Wilde is champion of the underdog, a blue collar heroine, Demigod of the downtrodden, she calls us all in, together, and using the precision of her well honed voice and her captivating charm, she opens us up and shows us what we're made of. Messy and sparkling we get to leave the theatre together, intact, illuminated and staring our humanity in the face. "

-Verses Festival of Words (Vancouver, BC)

Event Photos

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Celebrated Songwriters of Kerrville

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2017 NEW FOLK FINALISTS - Congratulations to the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Winners for 2017.  These songwriters were chosen over 600 wonderful entries we received from North America, Europe, Austrailia and Japan. 

5 of these winners will be with us at this show!  Mia Rose Lynne (Nashville, TN), Rachael Kilgour (Duluth, MN), Chris Moyse (Nashville, TN), Winona Wilde (Toronto, ONT), and Letitia VanSant (Baltimore, MD)

2017 New Folk Award Winners.  (left to right) - photo by Susan Roads

Mia Rose Lynne

Roots music has always been in Lynne's heart. A northern California native, she grew up singing harmonies in the family western swing band and fell asleep in the Winnebago on summer nights to the sounds of campsite jamming at bluegrass festivals. Lynne went on to pursue a career in musical theatre, touring nationally and internationally. Along the way, she found herself in Nashville, where her love for roots music resurfaced and the songs began to write themselves. Often likened to artists such as Alison Krauss, Joni Mitchell, and Patty Griffin, Lynne writes and sings from a place of sincerity and simplicity.  Since her recent move, Lynne has had the opportunity to perform professionally in both Nashville's songwriter and theatre scene.  Lynne was a winner in the 2014 American Songwriting Awards in the folk category and was recently a finalist in the Great American Song Contest and Hollywood Songwriting Contest. 

Rachael Kilgour

Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesota-based songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane. The 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center and by the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival. A versatile performer, Kilgour has shared stages with the likes of indie artists Haley Bonar & Jeremy Messersmith as well as folk legends Greg Brown, Cheryl Wheeler & Lucy Kaplansky. 

Chris Moyse

Moyse grew up playing bars in the Rockwell-esque towns of New England but says he feels more at home in Nashville. “It’s that weird thing where I was stuck in limbo there for a bit when I moved down here. I hadn’t been exposed to the South and I had to get used to even just how friendly people are. But the culture, the sounds of the city and the people and the food and the music, really seeped into my bones and grabbed a hold of me. I think a lot of that comes through in my music now.” Chris Moyse’s new album, Bad Parts EP, is the culmination of his first few years since moving to Nashville. Poignant and diverse, his characters tell the stories of leaving home to find a new life, finding love and losing it, and the common thread of struggling to grow into oneself. It’s both highly personal and relatable. You often times feel like his lyrics are telling your own story. 

Letitia VanSant 

Letitia VanSant is a singer-songwriter known for her distinctly intimate voice and sincere stage presence. Whether she is performing solo or backed up by a three-piece band, VanSant's sound ranges from stripped-down indie folk to gritty Americana. Her lyrics ask spiritual questions about human nature and justice. After the creation of her debut album in 2012, she became a favorite of local Baltimore radio station 89.7 WTMD, and listeners voted her song song "Rising Tide" among the most popular of the year. She is a winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition, a 2017 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist, and the winner of the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest for folk.

Winona Wilde

Winona Wilde is the honky-tonk name of Iraqi-Canadian songwriter Noosa Al-Sarraj.  For the past four years she has been travelling solo, troubadour-styles, adapting to hostile road life like a burly camel in the desert.  Folk Music, & Mystery, as the saying goes... 2016 Folk Music Ontario Official Showcase artist, and 2015 British Columbia Musician Magazine Songwriter of the Year, Winona Wilde will be releasing her third album, Untitled No. 3 this fall.

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