2022 Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival

2022 Guests

Rick BarkerFounder of Music Industry BluePrint, Music Marketing Expert

Since resigning as Taylor Swift’s Manager in 2008, Rick Barker has made it his mission to help as many artists throughout the world build, grow and monetize a fanbase.

With over 1600 clients, in over 22 Countries in multiple genres of music, his strategies are changing the lives of musicians and songwriters. Rick is a Manager, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, and Author. His “Super Power” is having the ability to simplify complicated issues and show artists just how easy it is to get their music out into the world using the tools that are readily available to all of them. He is the founder of the “Music Industry Blueprint” Podcast.

Kent BlazyHit Songwriter

Kent Blazy is a successful, American songwriter with a total of seven number one hits. In 1987, Kent was introduced to a new demo singer by Bob Doyle, then with ASCAP, soon to be the manager for this emerging talent, Garth Brooks. Garth became Kent’s most requested demo singer and Bob Doyle also advised, “Garth writes a little bit too.” The first song Garth and Kent penned together was "If Tomorrow Never Comes,” which became the first number one song for both. The friendship and writing partnership continued as Garth Brooks included eight more of their songs on his albums.

Kent has also since pinned the #1 hit song Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song), recorded by Chris Young, the title track on Reba's latest album "All The Women I Am,” Randy Houser’s "The Power of a Song" And "Empty Beer Cans" on Jon Pardi's new album "Write You A Song.”

Lauren FunkMusic Publisher, Endurance Music Group

Lauren Funk is successful music publisher who has worked with artists such as Maren Morris, Meghan Trainor, and hit writers Josh Kear and Daniel Tashian. She secured cuts with notable artists like Gary Allen, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, Dustin Lynch, Blake Shelton and more. She was also instrumental in developing Sony Music Nashville’s Tenille Townes, as well as signing hit songwriters Jim Beavers and Dave Pittenger.

Lauren Funk is the Senior Creative Director at Endurance music, managing the roster of hit songwriters and artists, while identifying new and promising talent. She came to EMG in 2021 from Big Yellow Dog Music, where she spent seven years on the creative team.

Mark NeslerAward-Winning Hit Songwriter

Another in the long line of great Texas writer/artists, Mark Nesler writes honest, heartfelt country songs in the spirit of all the country music greats-with a definite focus on today’s contemporary sound. Artists that have benefited from his songwriting talent are George Strait and Tim McGraw in particular. McGraw had a six week #1 single with the Nesler penned song “Just to See You Smile” on his multi-platinum selling “Everywhere” album.

George Strait has two #1 singles, thanks to the songwriting talent of Mark Nesler: “Go On” and “Living And Living Well.” Nesler also co-wrote Darryl Worley’s #1 hit, “I Miss My Friend.” Other hit singles include: “For You I Will”- Aaron Tippin, “Heaven In My Women’s Eyes” and “Just Let Me Be In Love”- Tracy Byrd, “Why, Why, Why”- Billy Currington, American Idol finalist Bucky Covington’s debut single, “A Different World,” and Keith Urban’s #1 single release, “You Look Good In My Shirt.” In 2010, Nesler’s music broke new ground when one of his songs was selected as the title track for the movie, Country Strong. He also wrote Billy Currington’s #1 hit, “Let Me Down Easy” and Josh Turner’s hit, “Time Is Love”, Billboard’s most played country single of 2012. Mark continues to write every day and is one of Nashville’s most successful and respected songwriters and artists.

Phillip WhiteAward-Winning Hit Songwriter

Phillip White is a three time number one hit songwriter, an Academy of Country Music award winner, and Grammy nominated songwriter and producer that writes songs for some of the biggest artists in the business. George Strait, Luke Bryan, Chris Ledoux, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Reba, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, and Jake Owen are some of the artists that have recorded Phillip's work. Among these include the 2003 ACM Song of the Year, the Rascal Flatts smash "I'm Movin' On," the theme song for Reba's self titled hit TV show "I'm A Survivor," and Blake Shelton's "Nobody But Me."

As a performer, White has played some of the most legendary venues in the nation, including the Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ol Opry House, The Station Inn, The Louisiana Hayride, The Bluebird Cafe, The Disney Theater, and The Florida Theater, just to name a few. Phillip’s debut album, Movin’ On Sessions Vol. 1, was released on June 21st, 2019 and Movin’ On Sessions Vol. 2 was released this year. Phillip is also a board member and director on the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Foundation Board.

Courtney AllenMusic Publisher, Concord Music Group

Courtney Allen started her journey in the music business when she was a junior in college. After a few years of working in radio, Courtney began working at NSAI. During her time there, she was able to mentor many aspiring writers and her passion to work back in publishing grew even more.

Courtney took the position of Creative Director at Starstruck Writers Group (owned by Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock) where she managed six fabulous writers.

Courtney now is the Creative Director of Concord Music Group and is responsible for the development Hit Songwriter Matt Roy, along with several others.

Brice LongAward-Winning Hit Songwriter

Brice has enjoyed a successful 25 year music career. As a songwriter he has had cuts with Garth Brooks, George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Hank Williams Jr, Randy Houser, Josh Turner, Reba McEntire, Gary Allan, Chris Young, Jon Pardi, The Grascals, Casey James, Darryl Worley, Randy Travis, Craig Campbell, Gretchen Wilson, John Michael Montgomery, Porter Wagoner and many more.

Brice’s songwriting hits include the #1 singles “Heartache On The Dance Floor” by Jon Pardi and “Nothing On But The Radio” by Gary Allan. Randy Houser’s “Like a Cowboy”, a song that also garnered Brice a CMA nomination for Song of the Year. Other recent chart toppers are Randy Houser’s debut single, “Anything Goes”, “Today” from Gary Allan, Casey James’ “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night” and Jon Pardi’s, “What I Can’t Put Down”.

Brice Long is signed to Sony Music Publishing. He is a native of Hopkinsville, KY. His self-titled album is available on iTunes or wherever digital music is streamed and sold.

I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself.
Leslie KnopeDeputy Director, Waffle Enthusiast
I tried to make Ramen in the coffee pot and I broke everything.
Andy DwyerLocal Rockstar, FBI Agent


I've got a question about my ticket.

Please email our support team at support@platformtickets.com

Will Breakfast and Lunch be provided?

Breakfast and Lunch will be provided on the Nov 4th.

Who are the guest speakers?

Click HERE to see the full workshop schedule.


Yes, all current CDC Guidelines in the State of Alabama will be in place during the event.

Will I get to network with music publishers and Hit Songwriters and Potential Co-writers?


How can I register for the Pitch to Publisher Session?

You will register after you purchase your ticket.

Will this workshop series help further my music career?

100%. This workshop series will benefit your music career greatly.

Do I bring an instrument to the workshop series?

Absolutely! You can if you'd like.

Where will the workshop series take place?

All events will take place at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Conference Center.