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Winners at the Garden

2008 May 28

Songwriters are always for looking for recognition. So it’s little surprise that dozens of songwriters nationwide entered the recent competition at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse, in Mansfield, Mass.

The winner in the 16th annual performing songwriter competition was Chuck Hall, of Rowley, Mass., whose warm baritone vocals, thoughtful lyrics and fine guitar picking won the votes of a three-judge panel.

A playlist of all the competitors, starting with winner, Chuck Hall

Hall defeated Jenny Goodspeed of Ashland, Mass., and Brian Kalinec, who came to Massachusetts for the first time from Houston, Texas. Honestly, they were all winners to even get this far. The judges had their hands full in choosing the one to get a whopping $100 prize and a gig at next year’s Rose Garden (Chuck is scheduled to perform on March 21, 2009).

The judges included former contest winner Jud Caswell, Stan Zdonik (founder and current vice president of Boston Bluegrass Union) and Kathy Sands-Boehmer (organizer of the Me and Thee Coffeehouse series in Marblehead).

After the competition, singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler performed in a 90-minute song narrative without a break. She warmed the audience of more than 200 people with comical stories and her own acerbic wit. And, naturally, she performed many of her well-known songs, like “Arrow” and “Potato” and “Quarter Moon.”

Below is a playlist of several of Cheryl’s songs from the night:

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