Meet the Finalists for the 2018 ND Singer-Songwriter Award
Back in March, we opened up applications for our 2018 No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award. We got a flood of submissions, and after listening to them all (and having our socks knocked off by a lot of them!), we’ve narrowed it down to four finalists.
These folks will perform in front of a panel of judges (including the Indigo Girls!) at the FreshGrass Festival in North Adams, Mass., in September to determine who wins the big prize, which includes a cash grant, a recording session with Alison Brown at Compass Records, and a main stage performance at next year’s FreshGrass.
Here’s a look (and a listen!) at each of the finalists, with the bios they submitted for the contest (some shortened for this story). You can also go here to check out the finalists for the FreshGrass awards for band, fiddle, and banjo.
We can’t wait to see these talented folks at FreshGrass!
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Clint Alphin is a Nashville-based artist with North Carolina roots. He won the 2017 Telluride Troubadour Contest at Telluride Bluegrass Festival and was an Emerging Artist in the 2017 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. This year he is a finalist in both the Songwriter Serenade contest in Moravia, TX, and the Kerrville New Folk contest in Kerrville, TX. In addition, he has performed at the Bluebird Café, the IBMA Songwriter Showcase, MerleFest, the Folk Alliance International Conference, and the Sundance Film Festival.
Hometown: Portland, ME
With a captivating soprano voice and award-winning songwriting, Caroline Cotter's travel-inspired songs take listeners all over the world and into the depths of the human heart. Since her debut album, Dreaming as I Do, released and reached No. 5 on the Folk DJ Charts in 2015, Cotter has played over 500 shows in 43 states and 12 countries. She is currently touring to support her second major release, Home on the River.
Heather Aubrey Lloyd
Hometown: Owings Mills, MD
Heather Aubrey Lloyd has co-fronted Baltimore’s ilyAIMY (i love you And I Miss You) for 15 years, playing everything from bars to bait shops to clothing-optional resorts nationwide. After a stint backing Dar Williams, Lloyd started work on a solo CD. 2017’s A Message in the Mess features colorful characters and stories that mix journalistic detail with a poetic penchant for rhythm and slant rhyme. The CD's release ushered in a year of national honors. Lloyd finished in the Top 4 at the Telluride Troubadour Finals and was voted a most wanted artist to return to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.
Hometown: Boston, MA
Lauren Pratt is an Americana-folk singer-songwriter based in Boston who hails from sunny Fort Myers, Florida. With a classically trained voice steeped in old-time sorrows and storytelling, Pratt energizes her original ballads by employing lullaby-like fingerpicking and boot-tapping rhythms. Her sophomore album, Live at Monster Studios, was released in December 2016. In 2017, she was a Telluride Troubadour Finalist, finishing in third place.