Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Gordie Sampson -- who's had his songs recorded by Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Willie Nelson and Bon Jovi, among others -- hosted the fifth annual version of his Gordie Sampson Songcamp from July 13-19, 2014, in Ingonish, Nova Scotia.
Taking part this year were 15 returning writers (including Molly Thomason, Dylan Guthro and 2013 SOCAN Songwriting Prize winner Mo Kenney); four instructors (including Carleton Stone and Steven McDougall); three special guests (including Donovan Woods and Chris Noxx); and Sampson himself.
In five years, the songcamp has become an annual tradition for aspiring songwriters, Sampson -- who spends a portion of each year living and writing songs in Nashville -- has made it his business to nurture emerging songwriters from across Nova Scotia; allow them to network with their instructors and each other; give them access to useful knowledge; and help them develop tools to benefit their careers.
In 2013, the songcamp released its first compilation album, of 15 songs created by 22 songwriters. They were chosen from more than 150 written during the songcamp from 2010-2013, and ranged in style from the folk of “Harbourtown” to the pop/rap of “All the Time In the World” to the reggae groove of “Flip Flops.”
Songcamp-authored songs have also been released commercially on various albums by the participating writers. For example, Slowcoaster’s version of "Flip Flops," released as a single, reached No. 1 on the East Coast Countdown in 2013. "Never Felt a Thing" was recorded by Carleton Stone on his self-titled album in 2011, and as a single in a duet version with Molly Thomason. Breagh Mackinnon recorded "Harbourtown" on her album, Where The Days Went, and Dylan Guthro recorded "Sing To Me" on his album All That's True.
The Gordie Sampson Songcamp is supported by SOCAN and funded in part by The SOCAN Foundation. Tim Hardy, SOCAN’s Member & Industry Relations Executive - Atlantic Canada, provides an info session and connects with the young writers each year.