Songwriters' Fest attracts crowds to area

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 09:48 AM.

“We had a great turnout,” said Leslie. “I’d say it was the best workshop we’ve ever done.”

The event culminated on Sunday at the Indian Pass Raw Bar with an afternoon of performances and a late-night jam session.

“It was great fun and we had a lineup of great people,” said Rambeaux, who also helped select the participating artists. “I have my regulars in mind, but I also bring in new people and they had such a great response.

“What’s cool is that listeners get to make a connection with country music. They hear songs that they’ve heard on the radio, as well as new songs that they’ll start to hear over the next year or two.”

Case in point was participating songwriter Jessie Rice who penned the song “Cruise,” which was recorded and released by the group Florida Georgia Line earlier this year. Though he performed the song at last year’s festival, Rice was able to play the hit single in his own style for an excited crowd during his set on Friday at The Thirsty Goat.

"Cruise" went on to become the longest-running number one country music song of all time and spent 25 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts. To date, "Cruise" has sold more than six million downloads, the second most ever by a country song.

“It was awesome playing alongside great musicians and hearing hit after hit,” said Leslie. “Every year, the bar is raised.”

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