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 10th Anniversary edition of his Gordie Sampson Songcamp, July 7-12, 2019, in Ingonish, Nova Scotia.
Taking part this year were 37 songwriters and 10 world-class writer/producer guests. No less than 80 songs were completed during the 2019 edition of the song camp, more than half of which were recorded. This brings the total song count for the past decade to over 500 songs. Returning songwriter alumni from the camp this year included Carleton Stone, Dylan Guthro, Mo Kenney, Dave Sampson, and Quake Matthews, while guests included artists Scott Helman and Ria Mae, and professional songwriters Thomas “Tawgs” Salter and Simon Wilcox.
In 10 years, the song camp has become an annual tradition for aspiring songwriters, as 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. The Gordie Sampson Songcamp has enjoyed many success stories over the years – from Mo Kenney to T Thomason to Port Cities. Participants have created their own community, and continue to write and perform together as their careers unfold.
Leading up to the 2019 edition of the song camp, Sampson and his team produced a 10th Anniversary Compilation double-album that features 29 songs written there – many of which have already been released, and have charted on sales and at radio. On Aug. 26, 2019, a Gordie Sampson Songcamp Circle played at the Carleton Music Bar & Grill, during the Halifax Urban Folk Festival. A song camp Reunion Songwriters Circle with Gordie Sampson is also scheduled for the 2019 edition of Nova Scotia Music Week. A documentary piece on the camp, and a promotional piece, will be featured later in 2019 on the JUNO TV YouTube channel.
The Gordie Sampson Songcamp is supported by SOCAN and funded in part by The SOCAN Foundation. SOCAN also provides an educational info session for, and connects with, the young writers each year.