By Andrew Ellis, Editor-in-Chief
Songwriting has been a part of Jan Edwards life for as long as she can remember. And in 2002, she decided it as time to get more serious about it.
“I started going down to Nashville to co-write with other writers, attend workshops and other industry events,” she says. “And I played occasionally at other songwriter venues.”
Her songs started getting some attention. She got 1st place in the country category for the USA Songwriting Competition, which earned her an invitation to play a showcase at the renowned Bluebird Cafe, and a few other places.
For a while she split her time between Minneapolis and her place in Nashville, but later sold it an took a break. She moved back to Minneapolis to take care family matters, but the songwriting bug stayed with her.
“After a couple year I started going back down to Nashville infrequently, and eventually went back to it full force,” she says. “I’ve since been focusing most of my time on writing.”
She bought a home down there again and currently splits her time in Minneapolis, Nashville, and Naples, Florida. She also joined a new venture called SongTown, which was started by hit songwriters Clay Mills (“Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “Beautiful Mess”) and Marty Dodson (“Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right,””Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven”).
SongTown is a mostly online community for songwriters and artists. It has many different tools including workshops, mentorships, and webinars.
“I started a SongTown SongCircle group chapter in Minneapolis,” she says, which is co-coordinated with Kate Smith. “We meet somewhat infrequently, but whenever we can.”
For those wanting to get involved she says the best thing to do is go online and check the site out. Then contact her or Smith to see if there’s a local meeting soon.
A voting member of Grammys, she will also be one of the judges at the Midwest Country Mix-Up at the Doghouse Bar & Grill on Thursday, April, 19th. Her family’s foundation, the Art & Gail Edwards Donor Advised Fund at the Minneapolis Foundation have also donated grant money to be used as prize money for the participants. Donations from the fund also go to veteran related charities and music related charities such as MusiCares, Nashville via the Grammy Foundation.
“I’m really looking forward to the event, It’s such an original concept and a great challenge for those involved,” she says. “I was honored to be asked to be a judge.”
Photo Credit: Xpressive Images By Jamie