24 Songwriters Advancing in to the Live Rounds of the TMP Songwriter Competition

We recently closed the entry window for our TMP Songwriter Competition and wow were we blown away by the entries!  We had over 150 submissions this year and pulled in several industry folks to help judge.  After much deliberation, we were able to narrow it down to these 24 contestants:


  • Autumn Ragland
  • Ben Kadlecek
  • Braxton Keith
  • Caleb Grant
  • Cameron Havens
  • Carson Jeffrey
  • Cheyenne Pitts
  • Greg Yows
  • Holly Beth
  • Jacob Stelly
  • James Dunning
  • Jeremy Harris
  • Jordan Nix
  • Kendra Krupala
  • Lucas Jagneaux
  • Madison Paige
  • Michael Turner
  • Mike Stanley
  • Natalie Rose
  • Todd White
  • Ty Dillon
  • Tyler Dudley
  • Tyler Rogers
  • Zac Clifton


These 24 contestants will be put into two groups of 12, with one group playing at 2:30 PM and one group playing at 7 PM on Saturday, July 13th at The Tap in College Station.  Each songwriter will play two original songs, and the contestants with the top 5 scores from each group will advance to the finals on July 20th, also at The Tap in College Station.  Contestants will be judged by some of the top talent buyers, booking agents, festival organizers, and other industry personnel (including the Global Head of Country Music at Spotify) with the winner receiving a prize package consisting of:

  • A free 8 hour day at Rosewood Studios – For over 40 years the staff of Rosewood Studios has arranged, produced and recorded projects for a wide variety of artists. Rosewood Studios has been presented with 15 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards (Albums and Singles).  Rosewood Studios has maintained a constant presence at the top of both Texas Music and national charts in diverse genres.
  • A basic radio promotion package from Steen Promotions -Promotion services to include:  Weekly calls, emails and promotional emails to radio on Client’s behalf to promote the single released by Client.  Weekly TRRR tracking reports to Client and Clients Manager (if applicable)  for however long the client wants to push the single or it falls into recurrent status (CLIENT AND PROMOTER evaluate after 3 months to see if valuable to continue).  Steen Entertainment is owned and operated by Dillon Steen who was awarded the Palmwood Award at the 2012 Texas Music Awards and has taken 6 songs to #1 on the Texas music radio charts, 5 more inside the Top 10, and many more into the Top 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.
  • Songwriting sessions with award-winning songwriter Terry McBride– In 1989, Terry traveled to Nashville and the songs he had been writing found their way to MCA President Tony Brown, who would later go on to sign Terry to a recording contract with the label.  Terry’s group, McBride & The Ride, recorded four albums for MCA, racking up several top five singles over the next few years, including “Sacred Ground” a #1 Single in 1992. McBride also received two million airplay awards for his writing credits for “Just One Night” and “Going Out of my Mind.” McBride & The Ride received CMA and ACM Nominations for Vocal Group of the Year before eventually disbanding in 1995.  After McBride & the Ride disbanded, Terry began to focus most of his attention on songwriting, and through the years since has had songs cut by other artists such as Garth Brooks, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Hank Williams Jr., Ronnie Dunn, Kix Brooks, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, Easton Corbin, Lost Frequencies, Kenny Rogers, John Anderson, Cole Swindell, Jim Lauderdale, Chase Bryant, Clare Dunn, Ricky Van Shelton, Jack Ingram, George Ducas, David Ball, Casey James, Wade Hayes, Gretchen Wilson, Andy Griggs, Jedd Hughes, Jason Michael Carroll, James Otto, Gord Bamford, Emerson Drive and Rosie Flores. In 2004 Terry co-wrote American Idol finalist Josh Gracin’s top five single “Stay With Me/Brass Bed”. He followed that up by co-writing “Play Something Country” with Ronnie Dunn, which was the fastest rising single of Brooks and Dunn’s career and was also the final #1 song for the award-winning duo. Terry has had over 25 songs recorded by Brooks & Dunn, which led to 13 singles and 12 BMI million air awards.
  • CDX Texas and National distribution package from CDX ($1,550 value). CDX has been a trusted source for music distribution to radio and beyond for 25 years. They reach not only all key radio programming decision makers, but also labels, publishing companies, and other members of the music business community. Whether your goals include radio airplay or exposure to labels and publishing companies to further your career if you’ve got a song they’ve got your audience. In June of 2016, they proudly launched digital-only distribution of Texas Red Dirt music to over 1100 Texas music biz movers and shakers and Texas Red Dirt radio stations and programmers.
  • 4 Weeks of Spotify Promotion from Blue Lark Entertainment. Blue Lark has nurtured relationships with Spotify playlisters who add music similar to that found on Texas, Country, and Americana radio stations. Your song will be pitched the old-fashioned way to this playlisters for a total of 4 weeks to increase song awareness. On top of providing radio, video, Spotify and album promotion services, Blue Lark Entertainment offers a variety of white label services for artists including advisement in: social media, website design, career consulting, branding, merchandise, revenue management, tax services and much more!
  • 4 Hours of custom logo and design work from CC Creations + $100 contribution to be used towards your next purchase.   The prize will come from the program artist at CC Creations whose clients include: Miranda Lambert, Whiskey Myers, Cody Johnson, Koe Wetzel and more! CC Creations is the largest custom screen printing and embroidery company in Texas and currently ranked 11th in the nation! They specialize in apparel, promotional products, signs and banners, and trophies and awards. 
  • An entry-level photo shoot with High Pines Media. High Pines Media is run by Jodi Cockrell and offers a variety of services including photography, videography consulting and social media management! Clients include Chris Colston, Shane Smith & The Saints, Tyler Childers, KOKE FM & more
  • Digital delivery of a single from CDTex. CDTEX is a digital delivery service for Radio, Music Industry, Venues, Labels, and Artists.  Texas Country & Red-Dirt singles, albums, and videos are delivered directly to our subscribers’ inbox, with no bulky audio or video attachments. Just a simple “one-click” preview or download option without having to log in to an external website, saving time and frustration.  As an option, on request, radio subscribers also receive a password for previewing and downloading from the entire repertoire at the “Radio Login” link on the CD Tex website.  All music is Hi-Resolution broadcast quality audio.
  • 2 tickets to Texas Music Pickers’Texas Music Seminar 2019 – Every year, Texas Music Pickers teams up with industry experts to bring you an information-filled day that’ll help get your band to the next level! Topics include radio promotion, social media marketing, music streaming, seeking management and much more!
  • Cash Prize of $750 from Texas Music Pickers and Gilligan Promotions.  Gilligan Promotions LLC was founded in 2015 by David Gilligan, who has spent over a decade working in the Texas/Red Dirt music scene.  Gilligan Promotions LLC proudly works with Texas, Red Dirt, and Americana music artists to help further their careers by achieving chart success on both the CDX TRACtion Texas and Texas Regional Radio Report charts.

Author: Chris Fox

Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I'am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.

Leave a Reply