Congrats to Nicolette Good and Melissa Ludwig, two of our city’s best singer-songwriters chosen as two of 25 finalists at Halletsville’s 5th Annual Songwriter Serenade (songwriterserenade.com). The event takes place at the Knights of Columbus Hall in the town of Hallettsville and is emceed by Texas music legend Butch Morgan. The semifinal starts at 6 p.m. on April 15, and the final round begins at 1 p.m. on April 16, with the winner taking “more than $2,750 in prize money,” according to an official press release. Good and Ludwig were chosen out of a pool of 85 songwriters, and the 25 finalists include artists from Texas, Colorado, and Florida.
Reaching the semifinals came after a rough month for Ludwig. On March 3, her bassist Douglas Turley died of heart failure at age 40.
“Doug was an amazing musician and a totally cool guy,” Ludwig told the Current in an email. Before joining Ludwig’s band, Turley (an accomplished jazz and rock musician) played for Michael Grimm (winner of America’s Got Talent in Las Vegas), a pickup band for Chuck Berry, and sat in with Jim Cullum’s band.
As far as Good is concerned, her previously scheduled April 2 Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris tribute show has been canceled to make room for Butch Morgan’s 64th Annual Birthday Benefit for Boysville, taking place at San Antone Café & Concerts that night at 8 p.m.
On another track: Remember our Mixx Tape? The new version is finally up and running, but I’m still waiting for Ludwig to send us a song we’d love to have: “God Forbid.” When you’re ready, Melissa, go to sacurrent.com/localmusichear/mixtape1.asp, click “wanna be added?” and follow the rest of the instructions. We already have songs by Emma Díaz, Jeremiah, Phonolux, Victoria Zaleski, Tangible Green, and others, and we’re always looking for good local tracks.
If any of you need some inspiration to start writing new songs, I recommend you check out three fairly recent DVD releases (each of which is a must-see for any singer-songwriter): Brian Wilson: Songwriter 1962-1969, which explores the work of the genius behind the Beach Boys; Troubadours (with Carole King, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and others), a look at the singer-songwriter boom of the early ’70s in Los Angeles and the venue that nurtured it — The Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd.; and Bob Dylan Revealed, a close, unauthorized look at different stages of the icon’s life (including his conversion to Christianity and later return to Judaism). It’s not remotely as good as Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home, but time spent with Dylan is never wasted.