VALDOSTA, Ga. — Everybody had a good time before plaques were awarded for Best in each Genre, from Folk to Funk, at the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, before two finalists won the money prizes, at the Salty Snapper in Valdosta on Saturday afternoon.
Jay Jourden of Ponte Vedra, Florida, swept the awards, winning Best Newgrass Bluegrass, and $50 for Best Song from Outside the Suwannee River Basin, and the $300 first prize, all for “Save Our Suwannee.”
Jourden promised to submit a new song next year, before he played it again for the very happy audience.
“Yes, Jay submitted the same song last year,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “But this time he stopped in the middle, said he forgot some verses, and rattled off names of a whole bunch of rivers, all in perfect time. Naming rivers was one of the criteria, and it’s a great song: ‘Save Our Suwannee!’”
Live Oak’s Dick Grillo won both Best Folk/Country, and $50 for Best Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin, for “Dear ‘Ol Suwannee,” and his cheering section demonstrated it was the loudest.
“I don’t know whether M.C. Chris Beckham enjoyed announcing the prizes more, or maybe it was me handing them out,” said last year’s winner Laura D’Alisera of Jacksonville, Florida, who was also a headliner, along with Joe Smothers of Valdosta.
The winners of Best in Genre were:
• Folk/Country: Dick Grillo, for “Dear ‘Ol Suwannee.”
• Roots Rock: Sabrina Deets, for “Take Me To Suwannee.”
• Folk: Tom Hochschild, “Withlacoochee Watershed.”
• Funk: Kyle Chamberlain and David Rodock, “Alapaha Laphogs.”
• Newgrass Bluegrass: Jay Jourden, for “Save Our Suwannee
• Country/Folk: Scott Perkins, for “‘Till the Waters of the Suwannee Bring You Home,”
• Also: Norene Olsen and her trio got a big hand for “Driftin Down the Suwannee.”
“All that and with the 58 ticketed listeners, the sponsors, the silent auction, swag raffle, and kayak raffle, we ended up with a significant surplus that will help our WWALS advocacy,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. “Thank you all!”