NRS Series 2 Semi-Final Round

We had an incredible Semi-Final round of Nashville Rising Song Series 2! 21 songwriters, who were our weekly prelim round winners came back to see who would make the final 4. We heard many excellent songs and it was a tough job for our judges! They rated each song from 1-100 based on the commercial potential of the song. We had a great crowd at Tin Roof! CMA Recording artist, Chris Young was there to watch the event, and we heard other high profile industry people were in the crowd!

Nashville Rising Song Series 2 Semi-Final Round Winners. From left to right, Jason Wyatt (Music Industry Judge), Mark Barnowski (Music Industry Judge), Adam Sickler (Judges Winner), Reid Shakelford (Judges Winner), Cole Burkett (Judges Winner), Willow Hill (Judges Winner), Sandi Ramos (Music Industry Judge), Austin Evans (Music Industry Judge), Keith Mohr (NRS Creator/Director)

Semi-Final Order:

Round 1
1- Sky Shelton
2- Shannon McNeal
3- Josh Sheats

Round 2
4- Warren Garrett
5- Jessie Jordan
6- Tim Thurman

Round 3
7- Nick Hanson
8- Patrick O’Connor
9- Reid Shackelford

Round 4
10- Andy Timko
11- Clare Cunningham
12- Derrick Ryan

Round 5
13- Haystack Slim
14- Adam Sickler
15- George Murtie

Round 6
16- Cole Burkett
17- Taylor Gayle
18- Daniel Molyneaux

Round 7
19- Willow Hill
20- Greg Pope
21- Blaine Acheson

#19- Willow Hill – 474/500 rate points
#16- Cole Burkett – 470/500 rate points
#14- Adam Sickler – 447/500 rate points

#9 Reid Shackelford

Our winners will move on to the final round being held Monday, July 23, 2018 at 8PM CT at Tin Roof/Demonbruen. Watch the event live at and help us pick the grand prize winner of Nashville Rising Song Series #2!

Music Industry Judges:

Sandi is “The Song Tuner,” a service for songwriters that provides pitch services through her “Pitch to Pro Pipeline”, song evaluations, and more!

Sandi’s original songs have been cut on over 25 millions CDs sold, with hits “Let Er Rip” for The Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Neal McCoy, Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, and Lee Greenwood, including the Billboard Top 10 single “We’ve Got it Made.”

Another single “I Brake for Brunettes” by Rhett Akins, was a #1 Dance Club hit as well as reaching #15 on the Billboard Country Charts.
Learn more at:

Kim has had a long career in the music business. He is a Producer, Songwriter, Artist Management & Owner of Dream Music Group.
Kim has worked with many top companies including Opryland, BMI, SONY/BMG, Walt Disney World, and others.

Kim is currently producing: 2 singles for Tiffany Ashton winner of Nashville Universe Female Artist the Year Award, 2 singles for Country Artist Gabrielle Metz

Kims is also currently producing tracks & video for Giraf Productions-Paris, France for a 60 minute Nashville Documentary, And also shopping songs for Carolina Gulf Stream Films out of NCarolina
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Jason Jason was the very first winner of Rising Star, when we started the contest 9 years ago.

Since that time, Jason was the former lead singer of the ACM nominated 4 time top 40 band “The Lost Trailers.” Jason now focuses his time developing new artists, and has made a name for himself writing and producing projects from country to pop to Rock.

Jason’s most recent success story is “Sweet Tea Trio” who was recently signed to Kid Rock and Ken Levitan (Vector Management) management. Jason produced their 6 song EP and wrote 2 of their songs. Plans are in the works for a new album.

Jason is the CEO of Nashville Artist Development.
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Mark is a singer/songwriter who moved from “Motown” to “Music City” five years ago.

He hit the ground running and in 2015 won the (TSAI) Tennessee Songwriters Association International Male Songwriter of the year award, TSAI’s 2016 Song Of The Year and received a special award from the TSAI Board Of Directors for outstanding contributions to the songwriter/music community.

As an artist, “Mark Edwards” charted 4 top 50 singles and reached #43 on Billboards Adult Contemporary Charts. His Debut single “Just Having Touched” peaked at #15 and was the highest Charting independent AC single in the Gavin Report’s history.
Mark earned 20 Gold and Platinum Records as a record promoter for artists such as Michael W Smith, Bruce Hornsby, Harry Connick Jr. and has a multi- platinum award for promoting the longest running single in Billboard History “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes.

Mark is currently the membership Director at TSAI.
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Austin Evans is the creator and owner of The Workshop, Nashville’s only 24-hour writing space. Austin has operated the Workshop for over three years and in that time has had the opportunity to work with hit writers, artists, publishing companies, non-profits and more.

Austin is more than just a businessman, he’s a songwriter too. He’s had multiple songs cut with Big Machine’s newest act, Radio Romance, as well as several songs with the artist Filmore, including “Headlights” which has over 1 million plays on Spotify.

Austin loves judging Rising Song because he always enjoys getting to hear new songs from talented people.
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Watch all 21 songwriters perform their songs below