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Walnut Valley Festival Announces Winners for 2020 NewSong Showcase


Winfield, Kansas–Organizers of the 2020 virtual Walnut Valley Festival, or WVF 48.5, have announced the winners of the 2020 NewSong Showcase.

The NewSong Showcase gives aspiring songwriters a chance to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, and features ten categories, including songs about Winfield, Children, Religion/Spirit, Feelin’ Blue, Instrumental, Sweet Memories, Love Songs, Better World, Humor and None of the Above. Usually, the top songs in each category are given the opportunity to play their song onstage at the Walnut Valley Festival. Two winners and two alternates are selected for each of the ten categories of songs.

This year the winners are being asked to send videotape of themselves playing the winning songs, so that they can be streamed during a special online edition of the NewSong Showcase, set to air at 7 pm CDT on Friday, September 18 on A special Zoom edition of Stage 11, Songwriters Stage, will then give the alternates a chance to show their stuff.


This is also the first year that the review of the entries was curated by Chris Jones, award winning songwriter, broadcaster, Bluegrass Today Columnist and front man for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.


Chris Jones: “I was impressed by the quality and range of the songs that were entered. I love the process of discovering new songs, so I really appreciate the Walnut Valley Festival entrusting me with this job. I’m also grateful to the outstanding judges who lent their ears and their hearts to the often difficult task of determining winners, and who gave really valuable feedback to all the writers. I’m especially thankful to the songwriters who opened themselves up and let us hear their work and their art.”



Songs about Winfield:


The Old Walnut River – J.D. Benning

Weekend at Winfield – Mike Ichniowski


Pick Your Paradise – Ron Walker

Pickin’ in the Road – Evan Ogborn


Songs for a Better World:


Land of the Great Osage – Annie B. Wilson

Maria’s Dusty Shoes – Beth Lee


Better Angels – James L. Herrmann

Let Us Not Close Our Hearts – Joy Zimmerman

Sweet Memories:


Enjoy the Ride – Mackie Redd/Kenny Cornell

No Time Son – Jim McCarter


That Old Front Porch – Kenny Cornell

Hard Wheat Harvest of ’84 – James L. Herrmann




Restless Wanderer – Ralph Wesley Carr

Druid Hymn – Emily K. Johnson-Erday


Loaves and Fishes – Patrice Webb

Just Passing Through – Beth Lee


None of the Above:


Hell Bender – Beth Lee

Coyote Serenade – Annie Wilson


On the Connecticut – Stan Sullivan

Put My Mind at Ease – Ken Weddington, Felix Rodriguez, Jose Antonio Ponce, Dan Johnson


Suitable for Children:


Lost Shoe Blues – Mike Yoder

I’m Just a Buzzin’ – Mark A. Noble


Daisy the Bottle Calf – Annie B. Wilson

Dogs and Cats Are People Too – Mark A. Noble

Humorous Songs:


The Old Clunker – Bruce Allinder

In Love with Your Phone – Kelly Champlin, Adam Gardino


Stealing Jesus – Jim McCarter

Car Parts Party – Kenny Cornell, Elliot Rogers




Ghost Town – Robert Olaf Siegers, Cricket Tombs

The Meadowlark Rag – Greg Bryant


Re-entry – Alice Boyle

Nocturne for Lily – – Steve Taylor













Love Songs:


I Could Never Write Our Love Song – Jim Carrington

Good Night for a Change – Jim Joyce, Leah Watts


His Coal Mining Days are Through – Kevin T. Hale

How ‘Bout You – Mark A. Noble


Feelin’ Blue:


A Letter and a Hope – Beth Nelson

What’s a Poor Girl to Do – Beth Lee


Evangeline – Fred Baue

Living in Heartbreak and Pain – Kevin T. Hale





The Walnut Valley Festival, usually held the third weekend of September, draws a crowd of 10,000-15,000 people to celebrate a blend of all kinds of acoustic music, including bluegrass, folk, Americana, a little bit of cowboy, some Celtic, blues, jazz and swing, and more.