NPR’s Mountain Stage & NewSong Music Launch 10th Annual Performance and Songwriting Contest

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Winner Of This Year’s Contest Will Record EP With Hit Songwriter and Producer Mikal Blue AND perform on National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage. Early Bird Submission Deadline is May 6.

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2010 Grand Prize Winner Amber Rubarth and Grammy winning producer Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones) in the studio last month recording her new album.

It was such a wonderful experience to serve as a judge last year. The spirit of the event and camaraderie amongst the contestants was more like a celebration of songwriting than a competition.

NewSong Music is proud to announce the launch of its tenth annual Mountain Stage NewSong Contest – one of North America’s premier showcases of emerging performing songwriters and bands, which spans an array of genres and includes regional rounds.

The 2011 contest winner will be presented with the opportunity to record an EP with hit songwriter and producer Mikal Blue who has worked with the likes of Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Five for Fighting, One Republic, Augustana, Jason Reeves, and current indie fave Lady Danville. The EP will be released on Brooklyn’s NewSong Recordings label. In addition, the winner will perform on an internationally broadcast Mountain Stage (NPR) show, and will receive 1,000 copies of the completed disc.

Having served on last year’s panel of judges that determined the winner, Mr. Blue is familiar with both the competition and the caliber of artists who participate. “It was such a wonderful experience to serve as a judge last year. The spirit of the event and camaraderie amongst the contestants was more like a celebration of songwriting than a competition.” Blue continues, “I was blown away with the high level talent of last year's finalists and look forward to finding an amazing artist or group to work with from the 2011 edition.”

“This is a unique opportunity for artists to work with one of the top producers in the industry,” said Gar Ragland, director and co-founder of NewSong Music. “And, we’re also proud to continue our decade long relationship with Mountain Stage. For 25 years, they’ve been showcasing some of the world’s best music performers and songwriters.”    

NewSong is an independent music organization. Its mission is to both build a supportive community of performers and songwriters across all genres of music and levels of skill, while identifying truly exceptional artists within this community and introducing their music to a broader, international audience.

For the second year in a row, NewSong contestants not only have the unique opportunity to perform on Mountain Stage, but to work with an esteemed music producer to record and release a potentially career-busting project.

The 2010 grand prize winner Amber Rubarth is now working with Grammy winning producer Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Modest Mouse, Cold War Kids, Tom Waits) on her forthcoming album, a prize she was awarded for earning the top honors at last year’s competition.

“The things that are unique and special about the NewSong Contest is that it seemed to be connecting people and has community atmosphere,” said King. “It’s nice that there’s a network, and that the NewSong Contest is part of furthering that in the music community and among singer-songwriters.”

The winner of this year’s contest will also perform live on an internationally broadcast Mountain Stage (NPR) show. “The Mountain Stage NewSong Contest has brought a lot of exceptional talent to our attention,” said Larry Groce, Mountain Stage Host and Artistic Director. “And, it’s not only the winners – but many finalists have appeared on Mountain Stage over the years including Ingrid Michaelson, Diana Jones, Antje Duvekot and Meg Hutchinson. The fact that the contestants are judged by their songs as well as their performances equally makes it very appealing to us.”

The NewSong Contest is officially accepting submissions at https://contest.newsong-music.com/. Submissions start at $30 per song, with discounts for multiple submissions. The contest features both a general and regional rounds, with an upcoming general round ‘Early Bird’ submission deadline on May 6.

About NewSong Music
NewSong Music is an independent music organization with the following two-fold mission: to build a supportive community of performers and songwriters across all genres of music and levels of skill, and to identify the truly exceptional artists within this community and to work closely with them to develop their careers and introduce their music to a broader, international audience. You can find out more about NewSong at http://www.newsong-music.com

About Mountain Stage
Mountain Stage is a two-hour live performance showcase distributed each week by NPR and Voice of America and featuring some of the world’s greatest singers, songwriters and musicians in a relaxed atmosphere. Guests are musical legends, well-known artists, and emerging performers. Each week week five acts perform on Mountain Stage, usually two or three who were not born when the show began in 1983.

Mountain Stage hosted the first national media performances of Lyle Lovett, Sheryl Crow, Barenaked Ladies, Alison Krauss, Ani DiFranco, Phish, Counting Crows, Ben Harper, Ryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Keb’ Mo’, Lucinda Williams, David Gray and many others. Musical pioneers Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Pops Staples, Odetta and Brownie McGee graced the Mountain Stage.

A good cross section of what Mountain Stage does might be gleaned from a list of some of the guests on its anniversary shows (100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700th shows and 20th and 25th anniversaries). They included: John Hiatt, John Stewart, NRBQ, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Bob Geldof, The Violent Femmes, Tony Trischka, The BoDeans, Sheryl Crow, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Henry, Ricky Skaggs, Charlie Louvin, Hazel Dickens, Iris Dement, Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn, Jesse Winchester, The Holmes Brothers, Tim O’Brien, Robert Cray, The Low Anthem and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

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Lauren Stockner
Mountain Stage NewSong Contest
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