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Storytellers, songwriters in spotlight for Lyrics & Lore

Contributed • Jan 17, 2019 at 11:22 AM


Parnering with Dollywood’s DreamMore Resport and Spa, the International Storytelling Center once again presents the third annual Lyrics & Lore showcase on this weekend. The weekend-long event was designed to celebrate the rich traditions of storytelling and songwriting, both still a large part of cultural heritage and contemporary life in the Southern Appalachians.

Audience members will have the opportunity to enjoy internationally-recognized storytellers as they share their stories and learn about the most popular songs heard on the radio. Additionally, everyone can sit back and enjoy listening to these hit songs on Friday and Saturday evening when the songwriters that created these chart toppers perform.

As the first recipient of the ISC Site of Excellence which recognizes places and special projects that are incorporating storytelling into their work, DDMR and the Center have been working together since 2014 to highlight the distinct cultural offerings of the region and the role they’ve played in shaping lives here in Northeast Tennessee.

According to ISC president Kiran Singh Sirah, the Lyrics and Lore partnership is a natural fit. “As a celebration of two of our most crucial performing arts here in East Tennessee—story and song, which are very close to the heart of Ms. Dolly Parton herself—Lyrics & Lore is the perfect setting to not only welcome visitors to our region but bring people together in a way that honors the beauty and inspiration of the Great Smoky Mountains.”

Lyrics and Lore Schedule
Thursday Friday Saturday

7 p.m.
Opening reception. Storyteller & Songwriter Meet & Greet with Regie Hamm, Thom Shepherd & Coley McCabe, Cole Taylor, Chase McGill, Sam Tate, Barbara McBride-Smith and Michael Reno Harrell

9-10 a.m. Performance by International Storyteller, Barbara McBride-Smith

Lyrics & Lore Workshop: Transforming a Spoken Story into a Written Song

9-10 a.m. Findgin the Story Behind the Song: A storytelling workshop with Michael Reno Harrell
10:45-11:45 a.m.

Lyrics and Lore Workshop: Team Building with Regie Hamm, Sam Tate, Cole Taylor and Chase McGill

10-11:30 a.m. Song Writing Workshop - Co-Writing Breakout Sessions Part A
noon-2 p.m. Storyteller Luncheon and Performance with Barbara McBride and Michael Reno Harrell noon-1:30 p.m.

"Lunch with a Pro" - Enjoy a working lunch hosted by songwriting & storytelling pros, featuring Q & A sessions.

1:30-3:30 p.m. Lyrics & Lore Song Writing Workshop: Co-Writing Breakout Sessions 1:30 - 3 p.m. Songwriting Workshop Co-Writing Break Sessions Part B
8 p.m.

Performance by Thom Shepherd & Coley McCabe

3:45-6:30 p.m. Evening Open Mic Session 3-4:30 p.m.

Storytelling concert featuring internationally-known storytellers Barbara McBride-Smith and Michael Reno Harrell

7 p.m.  Doors open for evening concert. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Stories behind the Song" - Professional songwriter Sam Tate performs his most recognizable songs and tell the stories that inspired them.
7:30-8:30 p.m. Lyrics & Lore Keynote Speech and Concert featuring professional song writer Regie Hamm 8 p.m.

Lyrics & Lore Concert (with special guest)

International storyteller Barbara McBride-Smith will retell the story from the co-writing event. Lyrics & Lore Workshop Teams will perform the songs they composed based on that story.

Performance by Headliner - Tim Nichols with guests, Cole Taylor and Chase McGill

9:30 p.m. Late Night "Fireside Jam" 10 p.m. Closing Party


Beginning with registration on Thursday and running through the weekend, nationally-recognized storytellers and hit songwriters from country and gospel take center stage. Songwriting workshops will feature discussion and instruction from Sam Tate, Cole Taylor, and Chase McGill. Tate is a Grammy-nominated songwriter whose songs have been recorded by a Who’s Who of country artists from Reba McEntire to Rodney Atkins. Taylor has quickly become an in-demand country songwriter for a multitude of country artists including Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Cole Swindell and Florida Georgia Line. Songwriting newcomer McGill topped the Music Row Songwriter chart at #1 in 2018 with simultaneous hit songs by Swindell, Bryan, and Kane Brown.

Storytelling experts Barbara McBride-Smith and Michael Reno Harrell headline the storytelling side of this year’s Lyrics & Lore on Friday and Saturday. McBride-Smith transports audiences from the ancient world of the Greek gods and goddesses to the eclectic shenanigans of her Baby Boomer generation. She is said to interpret folklore with the style of a Texas-born cheerleader and has been featured on NPR, authored two books, and contributed to the multi-volume series, The Storytellers Companion to the Bible. Harrell is an award-winning songwriter and veteran entertainer from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, where storytelling is as much a part of the culture as music. Five decades of performing have taken him to more than 40 states and a few countries. A consummate performer, Harrell’s combination of music and storytelling is based in experience – sometimes very funny, sometimes a bit scary, often heartwarming, and always entertaining.

The Saturday evening concert finale will feature Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, the duo who wrote the chart-topping Tim McGraw song “Live Like You Were Dying” that won Best Country Song at the 2004 Grammys. Combined, these songwriters have penned songs for performers such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton and more.

A full schedule and registration details for Lyrics & Lore is available at www.dollywood.com. Guests should note that some of the music concerts are separately ticketed events. For more information, call the International Storytelling Center at (423) 753-2171 or visit www.storytellingcenter.net.

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