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The road to Nashville (UPDATED)

Today (Aug. 16) Caroline Spence ’11 will take the stage at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, Colo., as one of 10 finalists in the Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase. There’s no doubt she’ll perform the song that got her there, “Whiskey Watered Down.”

You think you’re a big deal with that guitar in your hand,
but you’ll never be Parsons, Earle, or Van Zandt.
There’s one like you on every corner of this town.
Your songs all feel like whiskey watered down.

We can’t say the same of Spence’s work. Seems she is making a real name for herself in a town inundated with hopeful musicians: Nashville.

“A lot of people have one impression of Nashville, but there are so many sides to the scene,” says Spence. “There’s a lot of integrity in this town—besides all the beer and truck songs, which are an art form of their own. There are a lot of word-minded and idea-minded songwriters and not just one way to write a song. I like to think that I fit into more than one niche.”

The up-and-coming singer/songwriter is receiving some well-deserved attention as of late. Her recently released EP, You Know the Feeling, is getting some serious traction; she’s already taken home top prize in an American Songwriter Magazine’s lyric contest for her song, “Mint Condition”; and she also was interviewed recently for the publication, which, she happily notes on her Facebook page, also included stories on two of her idols, Patty Griffin and Guy Clark.

Spence already had made a name for herself on campus during her college days. Whether she was leading the a cappella group Ladies’ Night Out, jamming with the Denison Bluegrass Ensemble, or performing her own material at the Bandersnatch, rarely did a few weeks go by when you couldn’t find her on a stage somewhere.

Now, just two years after she graduated with a degree in English, she continues to seek the stage. And those stages keep getting bigger.

You can find more of Spence’s work at CD Baby and iTunes.

UPDATE (Aug. 17, 2013): Spence took first place yesterday in the Songwriter Showcase. That means she’s won $300, a Taylor 414-CE grand auditorium cutaway acoustic-electric guitar, and a set on the main stage during next year’s Rocky Mountain Folks Festival!

Categories: Beyond Campus
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Photo Credits: Marge Curtis ’11

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