"Layin' Low on Martha's Vineyard" ©Jilly Martin
Martha’s Vineyard Songwriting Festival
Martha’s Vineyard will play host to some of Nashville’s finest songwriters and artists September 13 – 17, 2017, when New England to Nashville (NETN) presents the 6TH Annual Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival. The Festival will feature a concert on Saturday, September 16, 8PM at The Flatbread Company in Edgartown. “Behind the Curtain with Nashville Hit-Makers” will showcase acclaimed writers and 2017 MVSF lead instructors Clay Mills, Marty Dodson, Jimmy Yeary, and Jon Nite, who have penned hits for top contemporary country artists like Lee Brice, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Billy Currington, Diamond Rio, and Lady Antebellum. They will be joined the Rising Stars, New England and Nashville up-and-coming artists. The festival will also feature a weekend workshop in West Tisbury focusing on both the art and business of commercial songwriting. Prior to their visit to Martha’s Vineyard, on Friday, September 15, the hit writers and emerging artists will perform at the Loretta’s Last Call in Boston. Aspiring songwriters are invited to attend a four day Songwriters Workshop in West Tisbury beginning on Thursday, September 14 and concluding Sunday at 4PM. The workshop will feature lead instructors Clay Mills, Marty Dodson, Jimmy Yeary and Jon Nite throughout the week. Workshop attendees are also invited to a casual BBQ/Guitar Pull the night before (Friday, September 15) in West Tisbury where they will have the opportunity to meet and interact with both the established and emerging artists. A portion of the proceeds from the Martha’s Vineyard Songwriter’s Festival will be donated to two non-profit organizations benefitting children: Alex’s Place (http://www.alexsplace.net) created through the efforts of The Alexandra Gagnon Foundation to provide safe, enlightening, educational, and entertaining experiences for teens on Martha’s Vineyard; and the Alliance For Children Foundation (AFC) (www.afcfoundation.org) a Massachusetts-based international relief organization devoted to improving the physical and emotional well- being of orphaned and at-risk children worldwide. The AFC was founded by West Tisbury Resident Filis Casey. The 2017 Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival is presented by the recently-founded group, New England to Nashville (NETN). Since it’s conception in 2012, NETN has grown to over 100 songwriters and artists based in or connected to New England whose artistic efforts are focused on the Nashville music scene. NETN welcomes various Nashville songwriters and artists throughout the year for workshops and performances.
MVSF Festival Organizers
Songwriter Matt Casey is a Boston native who has been traveling to Nashville regularly since 2010. Matt grew up listening to more Bruce Springsteen than Merle Haggard, but he quickly fell in love with country music and the Nashville co-writing process that enabled him to be a part of the songwriting community as a lyricist. Matt was named “One To Watch” by the Nashville Songwriters Association International in 2011 and founded New England To Nashville, a group that has grown to 270 songwriters with New England roots who travel to or now reside in Twang Town. He is also founder of the Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival, which featured Steve Seskin, Steve Bloch, Jim McCormick, Will Robinson, and Brian Maher in 2013, and in 2014, Jason Blume, Marty Dodson, and Clay Mills. Matt was a finalist in the 2013 “Songs that Save” contest benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for a song he co-wrote with Maureen Fichten called “In The Middle of Nowhere”. He has now joined forces with Keith Dozier and Allen Shervelle in launching North East Of Nashville (NEON) Publishing. Matt and Keith recently won the National Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Country Music Television (CMT) Song Contest with his song “Plain White Tee” that he co-wrote with Keith and David Wagner.
Winning Boston Idol, performing “Party for Two” with Billy Currington Live! on Stage, recording demos for Randy Travis, and opening for Miranda Lambert and Eric Paslay are only some of the accomplishments Jilly Martin has under her belt in the past few years! In 2007, Jilly began making trips to Nashville to record demos and background vocals. That same year, Jilly opened for Randy Travis and Gretchen Wilson, and then was asked by Randy Travis to record 3 of his originals. In the subsequent summers Jilly expanded her list of openers to include The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Loretta Lynn, Josh Turner, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and most recently, Eric Paslay. Jilly got her start performing with bands in the New England area at the age of nine years old! She found a home with the John Penny Band approaching John Penny at a street fair and asking to sit in and sing “Blue”, after hearing Jo Dee Messina got her start with the band. She quickly found herself a regular part of their shows opening for the Bellamy Brothers, Tommy Cash, Mark Chestnutt, Wade Hayes, George Jones, Neal McCoy, Collin Raye, Ricky Van Shelton, Michael Twitty and Darryl Worley. Additionally she performed with this band at many events and fairs in the New England area such as the Topsfield Fair, the Cracker Barrel Fair, theShriner’s Rodeos and provided entertainment on the track of a NASCAR race at the Loudon, NH International Speedway. Jilly has had the honor of performing the National Anthem at many events such as games for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, New England Revolution, Hockey East Championships, Merrimack College hockey and football games. She also performed the Canadian National Anthem in front of a crowd of approx. 100,000 at Loudon the 2012 NASCAR Lenox 301 Series. Over the past few years, Jilly really started getting into writing her own songs and telling her stories that fit so well in country music. She has had the privilege of learning from and writing with Del Gray of Little Texas, Lance Dary, Darrell Hayes, Steve Mitchell, Marie Miller, John Fannon of New England, Stan Swiniarski and many others! For shows and more info check out www.jillymartin.com! Laying Low on Martha’s Vineyard (Jilly Martin).0