2021 Artist Bios

Michael Gungor
American singer-songwriter, producer, music editor, author, and podcast host. He led the musical collective Gungor, which received multiple Grammy nominations. Aside from his work with the band, Gungor has written and produced music for several other artists, and is a co-founder of the art collective The Liturgists with Mike "Science Mike" McHargue.
Charlie Mars
Mississippi-born singer/songwriter Charlie Mars is a country- and folk-inflected pop artist blessed with a warm vocal croon and a knack for crafting poignant, earthy songs. Born in 1974 in Laurel, Mississippi, Mars grew up listening to various styles of pop/rock, from Michael Jackson to the Violent Femmes. Just prior to his senior year of high school, Mars moved with his family to Jackson, Mississippi, where he attended Jackson Preparatory School and played in the band Adley Madidafus.
Jenny Tolman
Irreverent, quirky and wildly entertaining, country newcomer Jenny Tolman is poised to take over Music City. With a razor-sharp wit and throwback sound, Tolman is on deck to become her generation’s Roger Miller—a comedic troubadour with a decidedly feminine perspective, offering savvy wordplay and wisdom far beyond her years.
Texas Hill
Texas Hill is a gritty amalgam of overlapping tastes and distinct voices that meet in the middle as a bold harmonic trio. Craig Wayne Boyd offers a voice full of gospel-tinged country smoke, Adam Wakefield blends a rootsy bluegrass-and-Americana rasp, and Casey James wraps it with a blue-eyed soul quality and deft blues guitar chops.
Monty Powell
An American country music songwriter best known for collaborating with Keith Urban, and for producing albums by Diamond Rio. Powell's first songwriting credit was a jingle for an Allstate commercial. After moving to Nashville, Tennessee in the early 1990s, Powell wrote several songs for Diamond Rio, whose lead singer Marty Roe was a roommate of his while they were in college at Lipscomb University. Other artists who recorded Powell's songs include Tracy Byrd, Chris Cagle, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tim McGraw, Collin Raye, and Restless Heart. One of his first collaborations with Urban was his debut single, "It's a Love Thing", which reached Top 20 in 1999.
Anna Wilson
Wilson is a critically acclaimed artist with a voice that Jazz Times likens to “crème de cocoa.” Her numerous albums have been released to rave reviews and she has been hailed as the queen of the country-jazz duet with her critically acclaimed Countrypolitan Duets project. She has recorded and performed with Grammy award-winning and legendary artists Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Rogers, Larry Carlton, Ray Price, Connie Smith and more, and she is an award-winning ASCAP songwriter, whose works appear on over 7 million RIAA certified records, for artists like Lady Antebellum, Reba McEntire, Billy Ray Cyrus and more.
Chris and Gileah Taylor
Chris and Gileah Taylor met when they were 17. They got married several years later. They have collaborated on many projects, including Gileah’s 2005 album, The Golden Planes, which Chris produced. Chris and Gileah have recorded one album, self titled, in 2014. They plan on singing several songs from that album this weekend. Otherwise, they do life together, along with their three kids, ages 15 and 13 and 10. The kids are all into musical theatre. Go figure! Chris and Gileah are happy to be here, at the Panama City Songwriter’s Festival, sharing songs with you. Songs that they usually play at home, just for the kids, in the living room.
Abe Partridge
People have said that Abe Partridge sounds older than his chronological age, and there’s a very good reason for that – he’s packed a lot of living into his 37 years. Those experiences, ranging from the earthy to the surreal, the spiritual light to the depths of depression, come together with gripping intensity on Partridge’s first official full-length album, Cotton Fields and Blood for Days. Over the course of ten songs, this troubadour draws listeners in with a combination of southern gothic storytelling and a dark humor reminiscent of the late Townes Van Zandt – delivered in a gravelly tone that conjures up images of Tom Waits in his barstool warming days.
Dave Brainard
After his service to the military, Dave’s natural ear for music, love of country music, combined with a Midwestern, hard-work ethic, landed him in Nashville to pursue a songwriting career. Within a couple years of arriving in Music City, he was signed to his first publishing deal with Balmur Corus. A few cuts later, Dave went on to sign with Big Picture Entertainment where he wrote for producer, Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson/ Zac Brown Band). Dave's songwriting credits include cuts by Brooks & Dunn, Neal McCoy, Sammy Kershaw, Ricochet, Hunter Hayes, Jeff Bridges (the Dude), to name a few.
Shawn Byrne
Shawn Byrne. Born in 1973. Middletown, Ct. Middlesex Hospital. The umbilical cord was cut and a new one was soon attached. This new cord plugged straight into a wooden Zenith record player where the future musician was nourished via headphones with the music from his fathers eclectic record collection. Cash, Willie, and Waylon played nicely alongside The Stones, The Beatles, and The Who. Shawn's father, a full time lineman and part-time musician kept his coveted Gibson Les Paul Goldtop under his bed. Not a very good hiding spot. The classic guitar found it's way onto a school bus and to the stage of a 3rd grade talent contest where the young Shawn horrified his music teacher as he wrestled the weighty guitar while rocking out to Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane".
Brandon Coleman
Brandon is the lead singer of Mobile, Alabama based band, the Red Clay Strays. #HBYCO
Nathan Evans Fox
Nathan Evans Fox is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently based in Nashville, TN. Originally trained as a hospital chaplain, Fox’s songs draw on his proximity to grief, struggles with religion, love of place, and resilient wit, emerging with a subtle sense of politics and fast commitment to reflective work. Born and raised in western NC, Fox first began playing violin at four years old, and continues his multi-instrumental labors in his frequent touring throughout Texas, the East Coast, and the South. Fox’s songs have been featured in publications such as Mother Church Pew, Americana Highways, The Bluegrass Situation, and more. Initially debuting as a songwriter in a number of Texas-based songwriter contests, Fox’s first performances earned him finalist honors, and in 2018 Fox won first-place at the Eddie Owens Presents Songwriter Shootout in Duluth, GA.
Chris Alverado
Chris Alvarado is an award winning singer/songwriter and recording artist who is currently based out of Santa Rosa Beach, FL. For the past two years, Chris has been named as a finalist in the Nashville Music City Songwriting Competition. His song “This I Need You To Know” was a finalist in the 2014 American Songwriting Awards and a Semi-finalist in the Unsigned Only Music Competition that same year. In May of 2013, Chris competed in the Wildflower Music Festival's Songwriting Competition Finals and walked away with top honors as the 2013 Michael Terry People's Choice award winner. He also placed 3rd in the prestigious 2013 Telluride Troubadour Competition at the 40th annual
Harrison McInnis
Over the past 20 years, Harrison McInnis has performed in the very recognizable music scene of Mobile, Alabama. As lead singer of the Harrison McInnis Trio, he has had the opportunity to focus on songwriting, which offers listeners a raw and unapologetic depiction of love and life as he's experienced it.Harrison’s original music pairs his soulful rasp with his signature guitar and harmonica riffs that create a sound listeners immediately recognize as his own. He has played solo and with his Trio in locations all along the Gulf Coast. Local fans know this bluesy balladeer from his outdoor performances at The Blues and Grooves Festival, Bayfest, 1065, and The National Shrimp Festival, amongst others. He has also played landmark venues around the Gulf Coast such as The Saenger Theater in Mobile, and Tipitinas in New Orleans. McInnis is currently touring the Southeast to promote his new album “Love Remedy” which was released in December 2017 by Baldwin County Public Records. “Love Remedy” is officially available on Spotify and iTunes for his dedicated listeners near and far.
Amick Cutler
Amick Cutler is an American Artist, Composer and Songwriter. The depth of his work is drawn from a well of risk, trial and overcoming. Every note and lyric tells a personal story of his own wild surrender inviting you into the mystery of what could be. Amick has dedicated his life to his God and his family. Although he has spent over 20 years developing his craft, it is only matched by the time and discipline he has chosen to lay his life down for those he loves and out of that experience let everything else flow. It may seem honorable; but it's simply the only way he knows how to live and out of that intimate place of personal revival we reap the stories and the songs.
Lindsey Thompson
Lindsey Thompson is a singer/songwriter/musician located in the gulf coast of Florida. She recently recorded her first album entitled "Inside Out".
Few Miles South
Opposite south sides converge in this unlikely crew created by South GA raised, Blake English, and Los Angeles native, Tori Lund. The two met in 2014 singing and playing in a LA church and bonded over a shared a love of country music. They began writing with intentions to shop songs to other artists, but after a couple years putting together a catalog, they decided to wrangle up some local musicians and form a band.
Laurie Anne Armour
"For me, Laurie Anne has a warmth and gentleness about her that tends to take you to a place of comfort. Her music is just like her. It is soothing, it is spiritually uplifting and it is about her life, her thoughts, a complete introspection of our journey on Earth." - Juanita Smith, Author of "From the Cradle to the Stave"
Drew Nix
Drew Nix is a songwriter from Mobile, AL that plays electric guitar, harmonica, and sings backup vocals for The Red Clay Strays. His influences include artists such as Merle Haggard, John Prine, Chris Stapleton, Dan Auerbach, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sturgill Simpson, Willie Nelson, and Jason Isbell. Nix states that, “Writing is my first and foremost method of therapy. It allows me to untangle and decipher certain feelings and emotions I otherwise don’t know how to easily convey to people.”
Joshua Lindsey
Joshua Lindsey was swaddled in the sounds of soulful gospel and southern preaching. His love of music was shaped early by the booming and passionate singing of his mother, the music pastor in the small church where he grew up. Like many musicians in the south, Joshua’s first experience with music came from the church, which formed in him an appreciation for the transcendency of music and it’s ability to connect us with something divine. Couple that with the blue collar work ethic of his father and the rhythm of the carpenter’s hammer and you’ll understand the seedbed of Joshua’s songwriting. Accessible yet transcendent, gritty and emotional, he approaches every song with reverence.
Ashe Watson
Ashe Watson’s journey through the music business began in a very different place than most people. On the floor of his uncle's home music studio. When Ashe was just 8 years old he remembers the sounds, chords and melodies coming from the synthesizers and keyboards that his uncle, two time Grammy nominated producer and songwriter Brandon Barnes, would play. This was the spark that started the love for music that still burns strong within Ashe till this day.
Symone French
Coined Mobile, Alabama’s “Mistress of Soul”, Symone French has worked earnestly to establish herself as a vocal powerhouse since beginning her career in 2014. Throughout her journey, French has participated in nationally televised talent competitions, recorded two EPs and was recognized by Mobile Bay Magazine as one of their 2019 artists to watch. Symone is currently working on new music and preparing to grace the stage at Joshua Tree Music Festival in May of 2022.
Anthony Peebles
A native of the northwest Florida panhandle, Anthony Peebles has the gift of an expansive range and tone which goes from pure and soothing to soaring and edgy. In 2015, Anthony signed with First Note Entertainment, and spent the next year recording with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Brainard. Having recently opened for multiple national artists, Anthony is an artist fast gaining followers across the south. This year he has had placements on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy as well as NBC’s Council of Dads.
Lauren Spring
Singer-songwriter Lauren Spring is an Americana artist and member of The Krickets and The Bo Spring Band. Enjoying writing for many genres, she is a staff writer for Nashville's Songtown and released a debut EP 'I Remember You' in February of 2021.
Weston Hine
West is an artist who was born and bred in Northwest FL where the coastal salt air mixes with southern tides. Drawing on the well of musicians such as Bob Dylan and Wilco, he has an ear for more current subtleties but also an ability to reach back.
Juju Rossi
Country artist, JuJu Rossi, is the all-American, hot mess girl next door! Colorful & earthy, confident & authentic, her personality jumps out of her songs. With a mom from Arkansas and a father from New York, she’s a walking, talking contradiction.
Joe Sims
Joe Sims is a songwriter from Slidell, LA. He has been playing professionally for over 20 years. Since 2017, he has won multiple songwriting awards and has been named "One to Watch" by NSAI on 2 occasions. He is looking forward to playing live music.
Dean Johanesen
Dean performs “Circus Singe & American Roots Music” - inspired by Gypsy Jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt and 30s swing music along with prohibition era history. Johanesen weaves his sound around old stories to bring them to life in the modern day.
Matthew Coleman
Jake Burford
Singer/Songwriter from Mobile, AL. Songs about love, lust, and broken trust. Debut album “Swamp Gospel” will be released Aug 2021.
Will Thompson
Will Thompson is a gifted singer/songwriter whose high-energy performances are taking the stage by storm as he captivates the audience with his original music and personality. Will has performed all over the south and shared the stage with artists like Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat, Lauren Alaina, Johnny Swim, Brandi Carlisle, and many more!
Garrett Brown
Prolific singer and songwriter, Garrett Jay Brown, has grown an eclectic audience with his playful yet soulful style of writing and passionate performance. Originally from Panama City, FL., Brown grew up listening to his parents’ records before starting a collection of his own. Surrounded by instruments in the home, he began to write songs daily before attending Troy University’s
Scott Rockwood & Shawn Hartung
Scott Rockwood and Shawn Hartung began writing and performing music together in 1996 with the St. Louis, MO. based group Madahoochi. Although Madahoochi still performs several times a year they had stopped performing full time in 2010. After 14 years, three albums, two EPs, and a consistently busy show schedule they decided to make room for other endeavors. Scott and Shawn moved to Santa Rosa Beach, FL. to pursue new musical interests and opportunities. They’ve spent the proceeding 10 years maintaining a busy performance schedule at venues along the panhandle and are presently working on music for a forthcoming album. While Scott is primarily a guitarist and vocalist, Shawn is a vocalist and also plays piano, ukulele, and bass guitar.
Gary Nichols
Chuck Foster