Country and bluegrass music – both legendary forms of American music – originated in the southern Appalachians and continue to thrive in the region today. In 1927, A.P. Carter and the Carter family, along with Jimmie Rodgers – all of whom would become creative icons and founders of Country music – recorded their first songs in Bristol, Tennessee.
A.P. Carter wrote many classic original songs of his own or with his family, like "You Are My Flower," "Hello Stranger," "No Telephone in Heaven," and "I Never Will Marry," as well as adapting versions of traditional songs such as "Wildwood Flower," "Dixie Darling," and "Foggy Mountain Top," among others. The origins of these traditional songs date back to the British Isles and Scottish Highlands. They were passed down to subsequent generations – as they were in the Carter clan. Some were adapted and modified as time passed, while others stayed more or less exactly the same.
In the late 1930s and 1940s, mountaineer Bill Monroe invented his own style of traditional string music as he incorporated all the major instrumental elements of mountain music – the mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, and dobro – combined with unusual, intricately layered harmonies and lead vocals with masterfully written lyrics. This illustrious high and lonesome sound is now known as bluegrass music.
Monroe, like A.P. Carter, was a superb and prolific songwriter as well, credited with penning over 100 original songs, including "Blue Moon of Kentucky," which eventually became a hit rock ballad for Elvis Presley. Most of Monroe’s songs remain staples for touring bluegrass bands today.
Tony Rice, Flatt and Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Doc and Merle Watson, Sam Bush, J.D Crowe, Raymond Fairchild, Doyle Lawson, Shawn Camp, and Bobby Hicks – just to name a few – perpetuated the legacy of Monroe while writing new songs of their own as they blazed creative and innovative musical trails in the universe of modern mountain music. They created a genre now more commonly known as Americana music – a cultural stew of all these elements emphasizing the best qualities of traditional Appalachian music.
Original mountain music continues to be generated and resonate across these storied hills as Americana musicians and songsmiths like Jim Lauderdale, Charles Humphrey III, Charlie Chamberlain, Marty Dodson, and Darren Nicholson hone their craft in honoring their own mountain musical heroes by creating new songs for future generations – and inspiring them to create new tunes of their own.
Mountain Memories Productions is proud to team with Roadmaster Stage to present their first annual Songwriters Camp and Concerts on June 2-3, 2023.
Grammy winners and nominees Jim Lauderdale, Charles Humphrey III, Marty Dodson, and Charlie Chamberlain, along with other great performers from the Songs From The Road Band, will entertain you and educate you in creating your own songs – and even recording your own demo tape – as well as two awesome concerts, both performed in an intimate VIP setting!
Concerts are included for campers, but tickets can be purchased separately for non-participants. Space is limited, so please go to mountainmemoriesproductions.com or visit our social media pages for further details pertaining to this once in a lifetime event – don’t miss it!
Meet Your Instructors
Songs From the Road Band
A bluegrass supergroup based out of Asheville, NC, the SFRB combine their own dazzling originals, with traditional covers that leave their audiences begging for more. The band has had multiple songs in the Bluegrass Unlimited top 20 and bass player Charles Humphrey III is a Grammy winning songwriter.
A California native now based in Nashville, Marty is an acclaimed songwriter who has worked with artists such as Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Big & Rich, SFRB, Plain White T’s, and Joe Cocker among others. Marty has written six number one singles for various artists.
North Carolina native and 2-time Grammy award winning artist, Jim has put out 35 albums during his remarkable career and is still going strong. He co-hosts a Sirius radio show with Buddy Miller and is a renowned singer and songwriter now based in Nashville. Jim has written chart topping songs for iconic artists such as George Strait, George Jones, and Patty Loveless, as well as collaborating on projects with Buddy Miller, Ralph Stanley, Robert Hunter, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, and Lucinda Williams among many others.
A Grammy-winning producer, musician, and songwriter based in Nashville, Charlie is well known for his superb musical tastes and skills and has worked with world class artists such as SFRB, the Grascals, Steel String Theory, and Tennessee Jed, among many others, as well as producing his own acclaimed albums.
Charles R Humphrey III
Founder of the SFRB, Charles is owner and lead guide of Beast Coast Anglers, one of the nation’s best fishing guide services, as well as an ultra-marathon athlete. Charles is a Grammy winning songwriter who has written numerous songs for the SFRB as well as collaborating with multiple artists such as Charlie Chamberlain, Clay Mills, Jim Lauderdale, Shawn Camp, and many others. Charles and Shawn Camp currently have a song they wrote on Willie Nelson’s latest Grammy-winning LP.
Schedule of Events
FRIDAY NIGHT, JUNE 2
6:00 PM: Doors Open
7:30 PM: Songs from the Road Band Concert featuring Jim Lauderdale—VIP meet and greet prior to show
SATURDAY, JUNE 3
9:00 AM: Welcome, meet and greet with artists and agenda review.
9:30 AM until 11:00 AM: Panel discussion featuring a variety of instructional topics, including the fundamentals of songwriting, dissecting the process from song creation to getting a cut, and the importance of dealing with lyric and melody. Panel includes, award-winning artists Jim Lauderdale, Charles Humphrey III, Charlie Chamberlain, and Marty Dodson.
11:00 AM until 12:30 PM: Listening sessions as all-star panel listens and offers critiques of participant’s previously written songs.
12:30 until 1:30 PM: Lunch on your own
1:30 until 3:30 PM: Various members of our all-star artist panel lead co-writing discussion and coaching suggestions for group participant demo recordings and start recording plans and process.
3:30 PM until 5:30 PM: Participants will rotate into our demo recording studio where they will record their GROUP demo tape with assistance and coaching from some of our all-star artists and expert recording engineers. Students not in studio recording will be split into groups to continue writing on their own while receiving expert instruction and feedback from rotating members of our all-star panel who will monitor and evaluate their progress. Or participants can stay in the studio and audit the recording process. PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS A COLLECTIVE EFFORT, ONE SONG WRITTEN BY THE GROUP.
5:30 PM: Instructors closing comments
6:00 PM: Dinner on your own
7:30 PM: ALL-STAR SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND CONCERT FEATURING JIM LAUDERDALE, MARTY DODSON, CHARLES HUMPHREY III, and CHARLIE CHAMBERLAIN AND GUEST PARTICIPANTS—Special VIP seating for all camp participants.
CAMP ENDS AFTER CONCERT