19th Annual NSAI Song Contest Final Judging

NSAI, CMT and Martin Guitars & Strings are all proud to announce the award recipients of the 19th Annual NSAI Song Contest! Take a listen to the finalist's songs below, and check out the video for a look back at the live final judging.

"Weight Of Words" - Jacob Noe (Nashville, TN) / co-writer Canaan Stanley


“Got It All Wrong” – John Stanislawski (Nashville, TN) / co-writer Tristan Bushman

“I Can’t Be Your Whiskey” – Mary Elizabeth Hilliar (Nashville, TN) / co-writer Jeff Hilliar

“Kitchen Table” – Joybeth Taylor (Antioch, TN) / co-writer Katrina Burgoyne / co-writer Alexander Jeffery / co-writer Josh Willcutts

“Still Shine” – Nigel Wheeler (Dallas, TX) / co-writer Colleen Francis / co-writer Ryan Lorensen

“That’s My Dad” – Matt Wilson (Marietta, GA)

“2 The Sky” – Tilden Whitfield (Pensacola, FL)

“Whiskey Wears Off” – Scott Voelkerding (Nashville, TN) / co-writer Ashley Briggs / co-writer Ceri Usmar

“Working On The Words” – Lauren Weintraub (Nashville, TN) /co-writer  Josh Byrd / co-writer Christian Hale

“The Price Of A Song” – Michael R.J. Roth, (Rio Rancho, NM)

“I Guess I Must Have Blinked” – Jim Gartland, (Bloomingdale, IL)


"Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" – Emily Daniels, (Brentwood, TN)

"Britches" – Matt Rogers, (Hermitage, TN)

"Hungover" – Mallory Johnson, Nashville, TN / Krystan Bellows, (Nashville TN)

"Inside This Guitar"– Joybeth Taylor, (Antioch, TN)

"My World Isn’t Turning" – Gene Rapisardi, (Brentwood, TN)

"Sun Goes Down" – Brandon Clark, (Lawrenceville, GA)

"The Answer" – Russ Parrish, (Burnsville, MN)

"Under The Weather" – Ralston Wells, (Nashville, TN) / co-writer Charlie Evischi


Featured judges:
(Left to Right) 

Chris Martin: Chairman & CEO, C.F. Martin & Co.
Craig Thatcher: Recording artist and International Clinician/Ambassador for C.F. Martin & Co.
Brett James: Grammy-Winning Songwriter/Producer
Jordan Walker: Manager, Music & Talent, CMT
John Ozier: Vice President, Creative, ole
Bart Herbison: Executive Director, NSAI

Thank you for tuning in! Visit nsai.cmt.com to view the full list of prizes and contest information.

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Congratulations to all the winners!!!

Congratulations to everybody who participated! Keep up the inspiring work!

I love to read through the lyrics of the winning songs. It is a great education in song-study, and gives an idea of what the judges are more apt to be looking for too. A few years ago, a fellow named Jeep with a song about California Wine won and I really enjoyed reading through the lyrics. I would love to read through this years winner, "The Price Of A Song" Is there a site where we song writers can do that? Thanks guys, and congrats to all the winners.

Thanks, Kenneth. I don't know if there's really any way to get into the minds of judges. This song was a no-show in other contests (including American Songwriter magazine) but it did get a Gold Award in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest a month ago. Obviously, the judges in those contests were much better. You can see the lyrics on the Lyrics tab on my web page here: http://www.easyheroes.com/lyrics/ or on my Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/michaelrjroth/. Would love to get feedback on this. I really wrote this song for my fellow songwriters, something to recognize what it really takes to write a song.