We received this wonderful news from Little BIG Fest alum and incredibly great Iowa songwriter Mary McAdams. Our state has got it going on!


I’m about to type the words that I’ve dreamed of typing for over 10 years.

“I am a Kerrville New Folk Finalist.”

These words have never dared cross my lips, even as a whisper, for fear of jinxing the possibility.  Some dreams you dream at 90%, just to save yourself the heartache that could follow when they don’t come true.

What does it mean to me to be a Kerrville New Folk Finalist?  I am not even sure I can convey that to you.  Let me just say that it has been my deepest dream and highest goal.  And now I’m going to need a new dream.

I will be one of 32 Grassy Hill New Folk Songwriting Finalists chosen from over 700 songwriters from 48 states, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.  We will each perform our two songs on May 25 and 26 during the 42nd annual 18-day Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas.

The Kerrville Folk Festival is known as a Mecca for singer-songwriters.  It is a legendary songwriter’s festival.  I am going to meet my tribe.  I am going to my Mecca.

I will be joining the New Folk Class of 2013 and we will be added to some pretty elite names.  Former New Folk finalists include Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, David Wilcox, John Gorka, Jimmy LaFave, Tish Hinojosa, Tom Prasada-Rao, Jonathan Byrd, Tom Russell, Ray Bonneville, Steve Earle, Hal Ketchum, Robert Earl Keen..

Am I worried about winning?  No.  I have already won, because my dream was to be a finalist.

I have received emails, phone calls and Facebook messages from friends, fans and past finalists.  Everyone has been so kind and is so happy for me.  I hear the love in their voices.  They tell me to just soak it in.  Don’t be scared, don’t be worried.  They tell me that when I walk out on that stage with my two tiny songs, that I will be overwhelmed by the love.  From people who don’t even know me yet.  That it’s that tangible. They will announce me, and everyone will hoot and holler like they’re my best friends.  It will be packed, because everyone shows up and knows what a big honor it is.  And, “they are right there with you, every word.”  And that is why I have already won.  Because….”they are right there with you, every word”.

I am going to Mecca.  I am going Home.

Aaaaaand, I’m in the studio recording an album.  Which I am over the moon about…but more about that next month.  One mountain at a time.  We’re having a blast and I’m super proud of it!  I wrote a grant to the Iowa Arts Council to help fund the project.  So much good news.

With a heart that is overflowing,