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Look out, Texas!

Holy moly, it's been a quick 6 months here in Fort Collins! I've played a bunch of gigs and found some new 'favorite rooms' about the Front Range, I've been dabbling with the idea of recording a new EP of COVERS (yeah, I never saw that one coming), I played the rockin' FoCoMX festival (a sweet festival in Fort Collins that kind of takes over downtown)... and I was invited down to Texas to perform in two Songwriting competitions!

The first of these 'competitions' is coming up this weekend at Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival in Richardson, Texas (that's just north of Dallas). I'll be joining 9 of my peers to play in a beautiful auditorium with one of the best sound systems around. The folks who are headlining the songwriter stage at this festival are some of my favorites: Gretchen Peters, Ellis, Ellis Paul, to name just a few.

The following weekend - over Memorial Day - I'll travel down to Kerrville Folk Festival for the New Folk Competition. Kerrville is one of those magical places that, when you walk on to the ranch, you are almost immediately transported to a different universe. It's located in the BEAUTIFUL hill country of Texas, it's held during wildflower season, and the line-up is made up of some of the best songwriters I can think of! The New Folk competition features 32 up-and-coming songwrtiers from all over the country - some of whom I know, some I know of, and others that will become quick friends.

You might recall that I was a member of New Folk's class of 2013 - it was shortly after 'Of Love & Whiskey' was released and it was an INCREDIBLE experience. It was the second time I went down to Kerrville - the first time, the year prior, was a complete and utter culture shock. I'm not a stay-up-all-night person. I'm kind of an old man - bed at 9, mayyyybe 10pm. At Kerrville, the show is just starting at that time. The song circles run until the sun comes up. Kerrville - for me - takes a certain kind of preparation: I force myself to stay up later in the days prior... I try to sleep in (and fight my body's desire to get up at 8am)... I judge my preparedness based on how many nights I can survive until 1am. If I make it to 50% of the nights, I'm doing pretty well.

I'm pretty thrilled for the opportunity to play at Wildflower! and return to New Folk. For me, the only goals are to play my heart out and leave everything on stage. If I do that, I don't really care what the outcome is because I know that I've done my job.

Until next time, #hugitout.


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Bethel Steele

americana song-slinger
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