In case you missed the past 11 weeks, the Brown Bag Songwriting Competition — now in its eighth year — is no mere open mic. Parts show-and-tell and sonic smackdown, the weekly contest turned over the stage to up to a dozen local songwriters who played for about 10 minutes each. Based on those performances — some polished, others raw; some accompanied, others minimal — a rotating panel of judges selected a top three who then sang a final round. The winner at each Monday night bout took home a cash prize, bragging rights and the chance to return for the finals to claim the title of 2014 champion. (There the ante is significantly upped, with prizes including $500 in cash and recording time at Echo Mountain and Collapseable Studios.)
Previous Brown Bag champs included Aaron Woody Wood, Chelsea La Bate and Alex Krug. Krug, along with fellow winner Eric Janoski, aka Mother Explosives, and local vocalist and musician Debrissa McKinney shared hosting duties throughout this season. “Last evening was one of the more eclectic showcases of music I have seen in a really long time. Steel drums, rap and twins,” Janoski reported on the event’s Facebook page after Week 8. “It was a fierce battle — nearly to the death. But after a second round of contemplation, fistfighting, fist pumping and deliberation, the judges decided on the one-man-band machine Endymion is the Moon.”
Arrive early for a social hosted by Asheville Music Professionals. The free gathering (with snacks) offers a chance to learn more about AMP, its committees and projects, and how to get involved.
Brown Bag finalists (in order of the week they won) are Daniel Shearin, Brittany Ann Trambaugh, Alex Taylor and Warren Costello, Matt Townsend, Matt Sellars, Utah Green, Corey Parlamento aka Living Dog, Dan Block aka Endymion is the Moon, Sven Hooson, Searra Gisondo and Daydream Creatures.
WHAT: Brown Bag Songwriting Competition finals
WHERE: Asheville Music Hall, ashevillemusichall.com
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m. $10. AMP social at 6 p.m., free with Brown Bag ticket.