City of Valdosta Press Release:
The beautiful Dosta Playhouse in downtown Valdosta is hosting the Valdosta Songwriter Showcase featuring hit songwriters Greg Barnhill, Johnny Bulford and Valdosta local Joe Smothers. “We’ve invited some really great songwriters from Nashville, who have gotten their start at the Bluebird Café, which I think many people are very aware of. They know that place for a lot of people getting their start in music,” said Ellen Hill, Main Street Director. Doors open at 7 p.m. on August 18, and the show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $20. The intimate concerts feature the artists sharing the stage and playing off of one another as they take turns sharing their songs and the stories behind them.
Originally from New Orleans, Greg Barnhill has been writing and performing his entire life. Artists from Etta James, Martina McBride, and Jessica Simpson to Chicago, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, Leona Lewis and many in between have embraced his songs. “Walkaway Joe,” recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Don Henley, was a significant milestone to his career. The song went on to earn him a Grammy nomination as well as the respect of his peers that follows him to this day. Barnhill also had a crossover smash with “House of Love” for Amy Grant and Vince Gill. He garnered critical claim with the 2014 single, Gary Allan’s “It Ain’t The Whiskey,” which got rave reviews for its bold take on the issue of addiction. Greg is one of Nashville’s first call master vocalists. He performs around the world with other amazing artists and songwriters. You can also hear Greg’s voice on the recordings of Tim McGraw and Toby Keith, just to name a few.
Johnny Bulford, who is a native Floridian, grew up in a family surrounded by rich music history and influence and was able to naturally hone his craft from a young age. One of the first signs he was going to turn his love of music into a career happened after Bulford attended a Garth Brooks concert at the tender age of 12 and told his mom, “That is what I want to do with my life.” Putting that statement into action, Bulford performed all throughout high school and college, opening for the likes of artists Blake Shelton and Gretchen Wilson. He also garnered a win at Colgate Country Showdown, a national singing competition, which landed him a publishing contract at Warner Chappell Music soon after. In addition to being a dependable writer for many of Nashville’s current and rising stars, Bulford is one half of duo “Lockhart.” His passion of writing has taken him beyond the confines of Music Row, as he spearheads projects to bring the Nashville “Listening Room” experience to his beloved upbringings and stomping grounds of Central Florida and beyond.
Longtime Valdosta singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joe Smothers was born in North Carolina like his hero, Doc Watson, with whom he toured for years and recorded more than a dozen albums. He also toured extensively with and recorded an album with Watson’s longtime musical partner, the “Flatpicking powerhouse” Jack Lawrence. Smothers has been a staple on the Valdosta music scene for decades, but he recently recorded his first solo album, These Things I Know.
For more information on this event, you can visit Valdosta Main Street on Facebook.