Songwriters showcase their work in Tennessee Songwriters Festival

The Tennessee Songwriters Festival kicked off in Sevier County on Tuesday.
Tennessee Songwriters Festival kicked off in Sevier County on Tuesday.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:19 PM EST
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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee is home to several kinds of music, and on Tuesday, several different genres were featured at venues across the state and in Sevier County.

For Sevier County, the Tennessee Songwriters Festival celebrates the thousands of songs written in the Smoky Mountains as these statewide songwriters were in competition to showcase their best lyrics and sounds.

Five songwriters took to the Ole Smoky Moonshine stage at the Island in Pigeon Forge to kick-off events for the week.

“A spotlight that’s shone here at home, especially here in Sevier County and has been often in discussions as we talked about how important the music is here at Ole Smoky, and from day one, we’ve offered live entertainment,” said Michael McCarter with Ole Smoky Moonshine.

The songwriters had to bring an original piece and perform it for the judges. For Ole Smoky, they said this fits into the history that locally written music has played into Sevier County’s heritage.

“Think of the music that’s been produced just next door in Knox County and here in Sevier County from the sounds of Rocky Top and the classics of Dolly Parton,” McCarter said.

Hendry Bombat, originally from Bali, Indonesia, now calls East Tennessee home and brought an original song he wrote a few months ago.

“I’ll be alright if what I’m performing. So I just dedicated this song for someone that you’re not supposed to give up. You know, life is always forward,” said Bombat.

“What we’ll hear today from songwriters is something original, a song that is going to be able to take a stage not only here, but that advancement to go to Ole Red in Gatlinburg and the ultimate stage of the Grand Ole Opry,” said McCarter.

Here’s a link to the festival’s schedule.