Raised in central Virginia, deep in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Juliet McConkey has always possessed a deep understanding of nature and interpersonal relationships that only comes from a rural upbringing. That is articulated sincerely and thoughtfully in her songwriting. With a voice as singular as they come as the impermeable vessel, her songs are a deep inhale in a world in need of a breath of fresh air. Music begins at 6:00pm.
James’ music is often filled with characters who live near borders and on open plains, who work cattle on hot days and visit honkytonks at night, who experience hardships and cause a bit of a ruckus from time to time. His songs are filled with perspective — sometimes his own, sometimes that of others — but together, shine a light on a larger picture of what life looks like for people in a place that’s often forgotten.
His upbringing is part of the reason he can see things from so many different angles. Born in South Texas, he spent his childhood in Saudi Arabia and Germany and had the privilege of traveling all over the world at a young age. He’s now based in Austin, where his unique worldview, the people he’s met and the places he’s seen inform the songs he writes. Music begins at 6:00pm.
Darden Smith is a singer-songwriter based in Austin whose thirty-year career redefines what it means to be an artist. As a musician, Smith has released fifteen critically acclaimed albums, and he continues to break new ground using the craft of songwriting in education, entrepreneurship, and in service to others. He is the co-founder and former creative director of Songwriting with: Soldiers, a nonprofit that pairs award-winning songwriters with veterans and service members in retreat settings to craft songs about combat and the return home.Music begins at 6:00pm.