Anna Larson, Dan Weber Take 2nd & 1st Place
kicked off, as in past [Sidenote: This is the seventeenth post in our coverage of the twenty-second annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. We’ll be alternating our reporting with essays and photo galleries from the seventeenth festival in , so check in often for a mix of old and new Woodyfest goodness.] years, with a showcase for the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest winners.
The showcase lead with second-place winner [Sidenote: The third-place showcase took place the . Ed Dupas and Chet O’Keefe tied for their songs “Train” and “In Case You Forgot,” respectively.] Anna Larson performing her winning song “Acting Alone” accompanied by guitarist Jon-Michael Rogers.
The Austin-based pianist and singer appeared on NPR’s All Songs Considerered in . While in isolation during the pandemic, Larson recorded a seven-song EP and an accompanying short film, Cocoon, releasing both pieces .
Following Larson, first-place winner Dan Weber performed his winning song “Ever Since Columbine.” Weber wrote the song after watching the news of another in a seemingly endless string of mass shootings, this one taking place in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which happened to be where his 1968 Gibson guitar was manufactured.
No stranger to Woodyfest, Weber placed third in the songwriting contest for his song “What I’m Lookin’ For,” as well as garnering honorable mention for audience-favorite “Oh Woody.” , he placed second for “Hank and Jesus.”
Weber can be counted on to show up at the festival most years, whether he is performing or not. He recently moved from Oregon to Richardson, Texas, just in time to experience the Great Blizzard and the subsequent failure of the Texas power grid. Here’s hoping he can stand the heat, now that summer’s here.