The Sound Cafe
Blues & Roots Radio's 4th Annual International Song Contest Overall Winner Announced
Terra Spencer was announced as the winner of the 4th Annual Blues & Roots Radio International Song Contest, with her song 'Feels Like Home'. Runners up in the contest were Rob Lutes and Anders Drerup, who both won their individual categories.
The International Song Contest this year was judged by an independent panel of Ten ( 10 ) jurors who are currently part of the Worldwide Blues & Roots Radio team, they are all active in their music communities in Canada, USA, Europe and Australia, a number of the jurors sit on regional and national award panels in their respective countries. They had a daunting task as all three categories contained some amazing songs submitted from all over the world.
Previous winners have included Thornetta Davis (2018), Lynne Hanson (2019) and Colin Clyne (2020). The 25 nominees songs in each category can be heard on The Sound Cafe's Spotify playlist HERE
Nova Scotian funeral director-turned-songwriter and current Canadian Folk Music Contemporary Singer of the Year nominee Terra Spencer discovered her passion for crafting songs while touring with country artist Ryan Cook, after being recruited as a backup singer in 2014 while scooping ice cream at a music festival.
Since making her solo debut in 2018, she has charmed audiences in the Maritimes, Ontario, the UK, and Europe with deft finger-style guitar, gospel piano, butterscotch voice, and easy onstage conversation, making you feel knee-to-knee with her even in a room of 500.
Her knack for telling intimate stories with heart, humour, and 70s wood-panelled warmth has caught the attention of Canadian musical mentors like David Francey and Ron Sexsmith, and she has become a sought-after studio musician, co-writer, producer, and workshop facilitator.
Since the release of his first album Gravity in 2000, Rob Lutes has steadily built a collection of exquisite songs that inhabit the intersection of blues, folk, Americana, and the contemporary singer-songwriter genre. As skilled delivering a Piedmont blues classic as he is performing his own acclaimed original songs, Lutes's masterful finger-style guitar work and soulful voice bring an unmistakable intensity to his live performances.
One of six kids raised in the town of Rothesay, New Brunswick, the Montreal-based artist recorded his eighth album Come Around during Fall of 2020. The follow-up to 2017's Walk in the Dark, which earned Folk and Roots Radio's "Album of the Year", a Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Vocals, and multiple nominations, Come Around was co-produced by Lutes and longtime collaborator Rob MacDonald at MacDonald's intimate Gambling Mule Studio. It features 11 original songs, a gritty cover of the traditional acoustic blues classic In My Time of Dyin', and gorgeous backing vocals from celebrated singer-songwriter Annabelle Chvostek. Replete with Lutes's literate, melodic songcraft, Come Around is another example of why Canadian critic Daniel Lemay calls Lutes "one of the most important songwriters of his generation.
Anders Drerup was singing and playing from his first gig at a jazz club at 16. He never looked back. Since then he has written and performed on countless albums, toured 18 countries spanning 5 continents, released two solo records plus a plethora of singles and recently earned a place on Nick Jonas’ team on season 18 of NBC’s The Voice.. in 2020, no less.
He is a consummate multi-instrumentalist believing that the best way to understand one thing is to know it in the context of another. He plays guitar, mandolin, piano, bass, pedal steel, writes, sings, acts, dances... you get the idea.
His career has taken a lot of interesting turns; being scooped up to front an all Cuban rock band based in Havana when he was 22 then touring Europe for years as a pedal steel/guitar player for numerous artists. He gained critical acclaim from the Montreal Gazette in 2013 for acting the lead role in a theatrical stage play about the life and times of Gram Parsons. Anders has toured extensively in Mexico, Canada, USA, Australia, China, Africa.. It's a rich tapestry with no boring moments. Through each experience Anders quietly worked on his performance and songwriting craft, never missing an important lesson to pour into his songs.
His style has been categorized as Americana in that it rolls smoothly down a track with frequent stops at the stations of blues, country, rock and roll, R&B and latino influenced music. The live shows have gained a reputation for being spontaneous and exciting on account of the phenomenal musicians he plays with and the wide variety of music on the palette. Truly accomplished players supporting a powerhouse writer and performer. Anders moved to Austin in 2019 and is quickly becoming a name to remember, despite being a little tough to pronounce. He remains a student of his business and a servant to his muse, prepared with experience beyond his years for whatever comes next.
A full list of nominees and category winners can be found on the Blues & Roots Radio Song Contest page HERE