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Town completes qualifying round for Tennessee Songwriters Week

Jonesborough’s winners will be going to the Down Home on Feb. 29. (Photo Contributed)


The International Storytelling Center was filled with visitors cheering on the 12 songwriters vying for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform on the historic stage of the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. The Jonesborough Tourism Department partnered with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development by hosting a qualifying round for Tennessee Songwriters Week on Saturday, Feb. 15. Four qualifiers were selected by a panel of judges who will move on to the showcase at the Down Home in Johnson City on Saturday, Feb. 29.

The picturesque setting of Tennessee’s oldest town, positioned in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, made for a musical experience like no other. What better place than the Storytelling Capital of the World to share stories through song. Musicians from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains had a big influence on the early development of old-time music, country music, and bluegrass, therefore making Jonesborough the perfect location for such an event. 

Qualifying rounds across the state are part of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s expansion of their second annual Tennessee Songwriters Week. Top songwriters from the official qualifying rounds will perform during one of the six Tennessee Songwriters Week showcases across the state. Finalists from each of the showcases around the state will receive a prize pack and perform their original material during the finale event at The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, March 29, 2020. Below is the list of songwriters from Jonesborough’s qualifying round who will move on to the showcase at the Down Home:

Vickie Austin

Scott Wild

Chris Jamison

Giant the Grey (James Duncan)

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development partnered with the Bluebird for the showcase events, which emphasize a state statute honoring songwriters passed in 2018. It annually designates the last full week of February as “Tennessee Songwriters Week.” The week is designed to celebrate the foundation of the craft, recognize past and present songwriters and pave the way for future artists.

For more information about Songwriters Week, please visit