Three Songwriters from Bristol Competition Move on to Showcase at The Down Home Feb. 22 - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Three Songwriters from Bristol Competition Move on to Showcase at The Down Home Feb. 22

Roger Ramsey (alternate), Katie Powderly, Austin Barrett, Linda Mckenzie and Kevin Michael Duggan (alternate) photographed in front of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum sign inside the performance theater at the museum.

BRISTOL, Tenn.-Va. (Jan. 29, 2024) – Three songwriters rose to the top of Tennessee Songwriters Week qualifying round competition, held at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum last Saturday. Katie Powderly of Frederick, Md., Austin Barrett of Fairview, N.C., and Linda Mckenzie of Lebanon, Tenn. were chosen by judges to advance to the showcase event at The Down Home in Johnson City, Tenn. on Feb. 22 at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Katie Powderly is an award-winning touring musician and recording artist who has performed on PBS and NPR stations and shared bills with Tony Rice, Del McCoury Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lake Street Dive, and many others. She was voted “Best Country/Bluegrass Performer” in her home town of Madison, Wis. and has deep ties to our regional music scene. Katie was a qualifying winner in Bristol last year with her song “Tobacco,” a tale of a two-timing man. “Revolving Door,” this year’s winning song, is a continuation of the doomed love saga.

Raised in Bristol, Austin Barrett is a talented multi-instrumentalist who holds degrees in Psychology and Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies from East Tennessee State University. He also holds a Masters in Business from Berklee. His music draws from a variety of genres including folk, country, and Southern Gothic. Austin’s winning song, “Porch Light,” was written as a serenade to his wife.

Originally from New Orleans, La., Linda Mckenzie is a singer-songwriter and musician with roots in Southern blues, rock and pop-country. She splits her time between Nashville and Red Lodge, Mont. where her music often reflects western life and Native American issues. In 2020 she was a nominated for a Native American Music Award. Linda’s Tennessee Songwriters Week entry, “A Son with a Gun,” was written soon after learning that her son had enlisted in the military.

Two Abingdon, Va. residents were chosen as alternates in the Bristol competition, Roger Ramsey with his song “Love Her Anyhow,” and Kevin Michael Duggan performing “Bipolar.” Alternates will be called upon if one or more of the winning qualifiers is unable to perform in the showcase round.

Tickets to the showcase round at The Down Home are on sale now for $15 and may be purchased online at

Tennessee Songwriters Week supports music venues, songwriters with live performances in all genres of music, drives visitation and inspires travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions and venues.

TDTD partners with The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Taylor Guitars, and music venues and local convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce and partners across the state, all committed to make sure songwriters can share their original work onstage with other writers.

Follow along with Tennessee Songwriters Week by following @tnvacation and #madeinTN, #NowPlayingTN