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Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival celebrates inaugural year

John Paul White performs live at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham, Ala.
Beau Gustafson/WBHM
John Paul White performs live at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham, Ala.

North Alabama just got a brand-new music festival. The inaugural Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival features over 90 artists performing in seven iconic music venues. There will even be shows at the historic Fame Recording Studios. The headliners this year are John Paul White and Walker Hayes.

Lillian Glanton is the founder of the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival. She said North Alabama has a rich history and future in songwriting.

“The main thing with the festival is we want to give songwriters the spotlight, because the songwriters are kind of the ones behind the scenes creating the songs, and we end up hearing them on our radio from some of the biggest acts in music like Blake Shelton or Chris Stapleton," she said. "It’s really these songwriters that are behind the scenes making a lot of this happen.”

Songwriters who penned hits for the likes of Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum and Reba will perform. Glanton said the festival will feature diverse talent.

“Our festival is very inclusive to everyone. We’ve got traditional country, we’ve got pop country, we’ve got rap, we’ve got R&B, we’ve got jazz, we’ve got Americana," Glanton said. "What’s really cool about our festival, and about Muscle Shoals in general, is that it kind of honors all of those mixtures of cultural influences in music.”

The Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival ends tomorrow. The full lineup is on

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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