The Heartland Songwriter's Association of KY is one of the few songwriter's groups in the Commonwealth of Ky, and have been in existance for over 8 years. The primary goal of the HSAOK is to support area songwriters and to promote original music. Our membership is open not only to songwriters, but to performers, and to people who are interested in supporting original music as well.
The HSAOK meets the first First Monday of each month at Bourbon Barrel Tavern in Elizabethtown KY, at 6 pm, Then hosts the open mic that night, and the First Thursday of each month at Lettersong in Louisville KY at 7 pm. Both business meetings last about an hour and are followed by a Showcase featuring our original music. On the third Thursday of each month we hold a workshop/critique session at Denny's in Elizabethtown KY. It starts at 7 pm and is open to the public.
To join: simply come to one of the meetings, they are open to the public. Annual dues are $15 per year.
It started in 1997 when a group of area songwriters started getting together at Picasso's. They would jam and critique each other's songs.. and have workshops to help expand their horizons. The Heartland Songwriter's Association of KY released their first album of original songs in 1999. The album was simply titled "Heartland Songwriter's Sampler" and the proceeds from it went to support the John Lovins Memorial Scholarship Fund. After a few years it was decided to release a second album with the hope of boosting interest in the area. The group also decided they would release one compilation album per year. The second album originally titled "Write Out Loud" which contained twelve tracks and was mastered by Jackie Dixon at Jack's Tracks, was released in December 2004. The title was later changed to "Songwriter's Compilation CD Volume 2", due to the fact there was an existing trademark on "Write Out Loud". While for the most part Volume 2 was better than the first CD it didn't sell quite as well. In 2005 the HSAOK began performing quartly songwriter's showcases at Backstage Cafe'KY (their headquarters at the time) and began planning their third compilation album, this time the album would have a Christmas theme. "A Heartland Christmas" was released in December 2005. It was a collection of eight Christmas tunes, written and for the most part performed by the members and mastered by Gary Fights at FmM. While the December release date may have cost the club some Holiday sales, this third compilation sold more copies than the second and due to it's holiday theme is selling this season as well. Even though the volumes 2 and 3 of their compilation cds were selling, the club itself wasn't faring so well into mid-2006 membership was down, and they had stopped performing the showcases at Backstage Cafe'. There were also suggestions that it might be a good idea to stop producing the compilation CDs. The club voted to go ahead and continue producing CDs and appointed an Executive Events Coordinator to get the HSAOK into the public eye. In August 2006 the current president who was serving her third term, stepped down due to outside conflicts and was replaced by then Vice-President Nate Fowler. Fowler's energy and drive affected the club from the start... They began performing in area festivals and setting up information booths in order to gain exposure and new members. In the next three months the membership doubled. The HSAOK also moved from it's long time home at Backstage Cafe' into a new venue, The Mulberry. In November 2006 they released their best CD yet "Songwriter's Compilation CD Volume 4". To go along with this the HSAOK now has this page on SoundClick and a page on MySpace both featuring their music. The early sales of the fourth CD look promising. In addition to the move to a new venue and the new CD. The HSAOK has also branched out... Performing at a number of area festivals, and looking to expand into other markets. We have since released eight more CDs. There are even discussions about doing a live acoustic CD featuring songs performed at some of our showcases. We have had to change our meeting locations a few times as venues have closed and new ones have opened. We are currently meeting at Bourbon Barrel Tavern in Elizabethtown KY on the first Monday of each month. Lettersong in Louisville KY on the first Thursday and Denny's in Elizabethtown on the third Thursday. All our meetings are open to the public.
The HSAOK also hosts Songwriter's Showcases in which members perform their original material. Three to six members share the stage in a "Songwriter's In The Round" format or we will perform in an Open Mic Format with each participant playing three to four songs and rotating as time allows. In the past, most of our shows have been performed at Backstage Cafe' KY in Elizabethtown, KY. But lately we have been expanding out and performing showcases at festivals throughout the Central Kentucky area, including many area festivals and fairs.
We perform monthly showcases at Bourbon Barrel Tavern in Elizabethtown following our meeting on the first Tuesday of each month and at Lettersong in Louisville KY on the third Wednesday.
Our influences vary with each member. Our members write a wide range of music including, Rock, Blues, Country, Contemporary Christian, Bluegrass, Folk, and Alternative.
Jonnie Bonnett - President
Jim Corbit - Vice President
Gary Fights - Secretary
Libby Brangers - Treasurer
Reggie Twyman - Sgt. At Arms
There are also two additional board members and a board alternate.