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July 28, 2014

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Josh Crews, left, and Meris Gannt of the band Mountain Radio, compete in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest last Friday at MerleFest on the campus of Wilkes Community College. Photo by Jeff Eason

Originally published: 2014-04-28 15:07:10
Last modified: 2014-04-28 15:07:54

Josh Crews takes 3rd place in songwriting contest

By Jeff Eason

The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest featured a songwriter from Austin's former home in the High Country when Josh Crews won third place in the bluegrass division of the competition at MerleFest last weekend.
Crews, a singer, guitarist and songwriter with the Blowing Rock band Mountain Radio, performed his original song "Crossties" in the competition.
Band mate Meris Gantt played rhythm guitar and sang harmony vocals with Crews during the competition.
In the bluegrass division, Paul Harrigill of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Amber Nugent of Ferriday, La., came in first with their original composition "I'm Blue." Chelsea McBee of Shepherdstown, W. Va., came in second with "Gone-A-Rye."
Jim Lauderdale was the emcee of the event and Charles Humphrey III, Darrell Scott and Niall Toner served as judges of the competition.
The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is named after Watauga County native Chris Austin, writer of such tunes as "Blues Stay Away from Me," "I Know There's a Heart in There Somewhere" and "Same Ol' Love." Austin died on March 16, 1991 when the plane carrying most of Reba McIntyre's backing band and crew crashed in the mountains near San Diego, California.
Mountain Radio will perform at Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin' Parlor on Thursday, May 15 as part of a benefit dinner to raise money for two Blowing Rock citizens facing medical expenses. The dinner begins at 4 p.m.
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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