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Songwriters Festival Comes To Henderson August 1-4

Writers of blockbuster songs like Brad Paisley’s “Waitin’ On A Woman,” Tim
McGraw’s “Down On The Farm,” George Strait’s “Troubadour,” and Tanya Tucker’s “Two Sparrows In A Hurricane” will be performing in Henderson, August 1-4.

More than a dozen Nashville songwriters will be playing their hits and telling the stories behind them, at the Third Annual Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival featuring Henderson native and award winning songwriter, Kerry Kurt Phillips and friends.

Tickets will go on sale beginning Monday, July 9, at 10 a.m., through the Henderson Fine Arts Center box office at 800-291-3402 or through the ticket link on All Access Passes, Party Passes or individual select events may be bought through the box office or at the door of venues as space allows.
This year the festival expands from two days of performances to four, and will include more hit songwriters as well as up and coming young writers. The event benefits the nonprofit RiverBend Academy, which provides instruction and mentoring for children in the performing arts.

“Patrons of these events will not only hear the songs by these hit-makers and the stories behind creating them, but they may also hear the next big hit before it’s even recorded,” said Susie Watkins who leads the event in memory of her husband, Sandy Lee.   Sandy Lee Watkins was the Henderson County Kentucky Judge-Executive for 16 years before his sudden passing while in office.

“Sandy Lee loved songwriters and often traveled across the country to hear them perform. He knew the writers and the history of their songs and was excited to see the first songwriters event take place in Henderson,” added Susie.

Songwriters will be performing in various venues in downtown Henderson over three days with a two hour show grand finale on the fourth day at the Henderson Fine Arts Center Saturday night.

The festival is made possible by sponsors Ohio Valley Marine Service, Chase Fulcher Farm Bureau Insurance, Henderson Chevrolet Buick and GMC, Myriad CPA Group, Meuth Construction and others.

Here’s a list of the writers that will be a part of the festival this year:

Kerry Kurt Phillips (Henderson Native)I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair, Pickup Man, Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox, Down On The Farm, She Never Let’s It Go To Her Heart, SHe Let Herself Go, Almost Home

Wynn Varble – Waitin’ On a Woman, Have You Forgotten, A Little More Country Than That

Mark Allen Springer – Two Sparrows In A Hurricane, That’s Why I’m Here, One Boy, One Girl, Where Corn Don’t Grow, When I Close My Eyes, All I Need To Know, Grandpa Told Me So

Kendell Marvel – Right Where I Need To Be, Don’t Think I Can’t Love You, Yee Haw, Startin’ With Me, Tougher Than Nails

Phil O’Donnell – That’s What I Love About Sunday, Back When I Knew It All, She Won’t Be Lonely Long, Fore She Was Mama, Sounds Like Life To Me

Lisa CarverEveryday America

Dan Demay – If Something Should Happen

Brandon Kinney – Boots On, You’re Like Coming Home

Jerry Salley – I Fell In The Water, I’m Gonna Take That Mountain, Where We Both Say Goodbye, How Do You Sleep At Night

Jason Matthews – Must Be Doin’ Something Right, Country Man, Break Down Here

Lance MillerFrom Nashville Star

Buddy OwensCuts for Craig Morgan and Blake Shelton

Jamie Teachenor – How Do You Get That Lonely

Keith Vincent – Kentucky Native singer/songwriter

Darren Warren – Kentucky Native singer/songwriter, St. Jude Patient


For more information on the festival or the songwriting competition, go to


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