PRESS RELEASE: South Louisiana Songwriters Festival and Workshop offers a series of snapshots in time; once-in-a-lifetime shows featuring acclaimed writers from near and far


South Louisiana Songwriters Festival and Workshop offers a series of snapshots in time; once-in-a-lifetime shows featuring acclaimed writers from near and far

(Lafayette, LA, April 10, 2018) Head’s up FOMO sufferers: SOLO’s live performances will be unique, diverse and  feature uncommon pairings of artists gathering in Lafayette’s Freetown for a week-long songwriting celebration from May 22 to 27th, 2018.  

Gauthier and Rhodes : Americana storyteller and the Cosmic Cowgirl

While the writing component of SOLO will kick-off on Tuesday, May 22nd with local, national and aspiring writers grouping in various Freetown spots to work on new creations, the public’s initiation to the event will come on Wednesday, May 23rd when Mary Gauthier and Kimmie Rhodes will share the stage at Warehouse 535. Gauthier, described by NPR music as a Louisiana orphan addict chef turned sober troubadour, is the co-curator of the workshop, an award-winning country songwriter and one of the creative forces of the Songwritingwith : Soldiers program. Austin-based artist Rhodes’ career has spanned three decades and touched not only songwriting but poetry, musicals, television, radio and most recently a “duet memoir” entitled Radio Dreams: The Story of the Outlaw DJ and the Cosmic Cowgirl,” that weaves her own poetic prose with wry and witty musings from her late soulmate, beloved radio personality Joe Gracey.

Songs Over Style


SOLO’s Thursday night will feature an evening of original songs with an intentionally diverse collection of artists from within our musical community. Songs Over Style featuring Ani DiFranco (photo), Keith Frank, Jelly Toast (Tif Lamson and Julie Odell), Tommy McLain and Princess Shaw, and presented by CC Adcock, invites these artists to take the stage together for the first time for a multi generational, genre blending “song swap”. They will bring the audience the songs they know and love in an intimate, pared down setting all while breaking down their stylistic stereotypes to focus simply on “the song”.

SOLO Workshop - A first in the US for the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation and gamechanger for participants

Acclaimed songwriters Mary Gauthier and Beth Neilsen Chapman will be curating a four-day immersive, retreat-style workshop with a variety of local and guest songwriters. The curators will group writers together and guide them through the creative process from Tuesday, May 22nd to Friday, May 25th. Attendees of the workshop will then spend the evenings performing their new songs for each other, getting feedback and refining the day’s work. Confirmed guest writers include Travis Meadows, ‘Nashville’s favorite underdog’ according to Rolling Stone, Peter Case, and Garry Tallent, founding member and bass player for the E Street Band, Roddie Romero, Marc Broussard, Mark Meaux, Louis Michot, Dustan Louque, Kristin Diable, J Burton, Troy Richard, Paul Sanchez, Grace Pettis, Jessica Sweetman, James House, Tif Lamson and  Kevin Gordon.

Aspiring Lafayette songwriters who want to hone their skills and potentially collaborate with the best of the best of the songwriting world are encouraged to submit an application online by Monday, April 23rd at and become eligible for one of two sponsorships offered by the CREATE Initiative. Winners will be announced at a SOLO Preview event on Friday, April 27th. Although this is the first retreat to be held in the US, the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation (BHEF) presents a few similar events annually and the results speak for themselves. “I am so grateful that the BHEF recognizes how important it is to nurture and support both emerging and seasoned talent and how valuable and blessed the musical blend can be when mixing and matching the two.” explains a past participant at Chris Difford’s Songwriting Retreat in the UK.

SOLO Sessions - an exclusive and intimate peek into the world of the writers and their SOLO journey

The essence of SOLO will be the highlight of Friday night’s program. Presented in downtown Lafayette’s First United Methodist Church, this evening is the world premiere of the workshop participants’ fresh songs, the fruit of their collaborations and work during the week. It will be an exclusive look and listen at the results of this first songwriting workshop presented in part by the BHEF and the CREATE Initiative. As is the case during the UK editions of the workshop, this show is put on in an intimate venue to maximize the proximity between artists and feedback from the audience. Limited tickets are on sale now.

6 stages, 2 venues, 40+ performances at SOLO Festival

SOLO will culminate with a weekend full of songs and stories performed Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th at the Blue Moon Saloon and at Warehouse 535. Workshop participants will share the stage with greats such as Jim Lauderdale and Travis Meadows as well as young talent and established locals. Programming will consist of a mix of traditional solo and group performances, new and possibly never-to-be repeated collaborations and duos as well as and sessions curated by moderators Barry Ancelet, Herman Fuselier and Christiaan Mader. Artist Tone Records will also present a special show featuring the label’s founder Marc Broussard and his special guests. This first annual two-day festival is set to be a showcase for great songwriters from near and far, both established and starting out. Acts will be added to the line-up weekly however the current list includes Beth Nielsen Chapman, Kimmie Rhodes, Peter Case, Garry Tallent, Travis Meadows, Tommy McLain, Roddie Romero, Marc Broussard, Mark Meaux, Louis Michot, Dustan Louque, Kristin Diable, J Burton, Troy Richard, Paul Sanchez, Zachary Richard, Grace Pettis, Jessica Sweetman, James House, Tif Lamson, Kevin Gordon, Jim McCormick, Robert Vincent, Dylan LeBlanc, Julie Odell and Caleb Elliott.

Musical Brunch Benefit

SOLO is proud to be working with the David Egan Dreamer Fund to host the Songs of David Egan Fundraising Brunch on Sunday, May 27th at Warehouse 535. Various artists will be present to honor the late musician and all profits will be donated to the fund.

Don’t wait! Discount Tickets on Sale Now

All SOLO tickets are now on sale on and Ticketmaster and the first 250 to purchase a Weekend Festival Pass for the Saturday and Sunday shows at the Blue Moon Saloon and Warehouse 535 get a discount! Avid music lovers and those who want to be there for all of these one-of-a-kind performances can also purchase a VIP all-access SOLO pass that guarantees prefered seating at all events and a inaugural 2018 SOLO t-shirt.

SOLO’s goal is to bring writers together to find inspiration not only from each other, but also from the rich, soulful, and authentic vibe that is South Louisiana. Its purpose is to bring artists, music lovers, and industry professionals together to ignite Lafayette’s creative scene – to make Lafayette known not only for its heritage, but also for its deep pool of musical talent, engineers and studios, all capable of inspiring and creating music that is relevant now and into the future. The event is presented in part by the generous support of the CREATE initiative, the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, BMG, Louisiana Entertainment, a division of Louisiana Economic Development, Lafayette Economic Development Authority and many public and private sponsors.

About The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation

The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation founded by Peter Bradley, Senior and Maria Elena Holly to honor the music, life, legacy and dreams of Maria Elena’s late husband Buddy Holly. The mission of the Foundation is to honor Buddy Holly’s tremendous legacy and to fulfill Buddy’s and Maria Elena’s dream of extending musical education, including songwriting, production, arranging, orchestration, and performance education to new generations regardless of creed, ethnicity or income level.  In this way, the Foundation wants to empower a new generation to follow in Buddy’s footsteps and remind them of his heritage. For further detailed information on the Foundation please visit:


CREATE is an initiative of the Mayor-President’s office to build and support our local and authentic culture to further diversify and strengthen the economy in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Representing Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism, Economy, CREATE is a parish-wide, multi-year effort that reinvests in the residents of Lafayette recognizing that a place that people love to live in, is a place tourists love to visit and businesses love to do business in. A partial rededication of the Public Health millage was passed by Lafayette Parish voters to provide $500,000 annually to support the cultural economy through the CREATE initiative. More information is available at


For more information:

SOLO Contact: Mark Falgout


Phone: 337-344-4441


TBHEF Contact: Stephen Easley


For more information, visit:

Madison Barras