NRS Series 3 Semi-Final Round

We had an incredible Semi-Final round of Nashville Rising Song Series 3! 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!

The winners of Nashville Rising Song Series 3 Semi-Final. From left to right: DR Ford (music industry judge), Nancy Deckant (music industry judge), Corey Lee Barker (music industry judge), Mike Castronovo (music industry judge) Brandy Neelly, Taylor Gayle, Rob Carona, Jeffrey Wayne, Sandy Ramos (music industry judge), Austin Evans (music industry judge). Front, Keith Mohr (NRS creator/director.

Semi-Final Order:

Round 1
1- Candace Brown
2- Erik Matthews
3- Lexi Cline

Round 2
4- Samantha Rae Duquette
5- Spencer Jordan
6- Frankie Record

Round 3
7- Joseph Dissmore
8- Brandy Neelly
9- Patrick O’Connor

Round 4
10- Will Wander
11- Muddy Grove
12- Luke Ledbetter

Round 5
13- Justin Love
14- Kayla Anne Steinmetz
15- Shane Cook

Round 6
16- Rob Carona
17- Taylor Gayle
18- Jeffrey Wayne

Round 7
19- Travis Clark
20- Maddison Livingston
21- Steven Cade

#8- Brandy Neelly -523 out of 600 possible rate points
#17- Taylor Gayle – 521 out of 600 possible rate points
#16- Rob Carona – 512 out of 600 possible rate points

#18- Jeffrey Wayne

Our winners will move on to the final round being held Monday, November 19, 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 #3!

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:

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.
Learn more at:

Corey Lee Barker has over 500 cuts in various genres such as Country, Christian, Pop/Rock, Reggae, Polka, Comedy, TV and film. He has received multiple nominations for songwriter of the year by the Tennessee Songwriters Association, Inspirational Country Music Association, and the North America Country Music Association International and has 8 #1 songs in the Christian Country Genre.

He has written songs for William Shatner, Daryle Singletary, Cledus T Judd, Rebecca Lynn Howard, TG Sheppard, Johnny Lee, Bill Anderson, Jason Jones (Warner Brothers), Lucas Hoge, Cash Creek, Home Free, Barry Michael and a host of others.

You’ll also find some of his music on the Grammy winning album “Come Share The Wine” by Jimmy Sturr.

In 2015 Corey penned the Amazon best seller “Hit Happens” and recently released his second book “101 Ways to Get Your Songs Recorded.”
Corey Lee on Facebook

Nancy is President and CCO of Nashville Cool, a publishing company which offers many services to songwriters including music business mentoring, independent song plugging and events.

Their flagship event is the Hit Songwriter Invitational songwriting retreat where 6 unsigned songwriters write with 3 hit songwriters. Their next event is slated for January 2019.

Nancy spent 8 years as NSAI Workshop Coordinator, evaluating countless songs and encouraging songwriters on their journey in music.

Her song “We Are The Stars” won first place for the Pop Category in the Indie International Songwriters Competition.
Learn more at:

He’s an Internationally renowned Audio Educator, Mentor, producer, and mix engineer. His clients have won 7 music awards, been #1 on iTunes and on the Billboard Radio Top 20 charts!!! Just very recently one of his clients won in the “2018 Mark Awards – ‘Best Country Artist’.

DR Ford got his start DJ’ing during the infamous 90’s San Francisco Rave scene, moved to Los Angeles to learn the art of recording, earning several degrees in Music from Musician’s Institute in Hollywood..

He studied under Industry giant producers, Ronnie King (Mariah Carey / Tupac Shakur / Snoop Dogg / Dr. Dre), and Jack Joseph Puig (Sheryl Crow / Counting Crows / Goo Goo Dolls / John Mayer / Black Crows / Weezer / U2) and honed his skills, becoming a true Artist in the studio.

Dr Ford has a private studio suite at the world-famous Sound Kitchen Studios in Franklin TN and enjoys working with emerging songwriters and artists.
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Mike Castronovo is the Founder & CEO of CROWD MUSIC, a revolutionary music discovery and distribution platform that’s paying artists and songwriters fairly again by providing a Crowd of listeners that will BUY their music and then get PAID for helping promote it.

Mike spent over 25 years as a global industry leader in Finance, Banking & Wealth Management. God gave him insight through this background to develop a way to help solve the challenges faced by every Artist in music today… getting them paid fairly for the music they create.
Learn more at:

Watch all 21 songwriters perform their songs below