NRS Series 4 Prelim 5

It seems this series is “Mother Nature’s Gone Crazy Wednesdays.” In spite of 6+ inches of torrential rain, flash flood and tornado warnings, songwriters turned out en force to Prelim #5 at Nashville Underground. 35 songwriters braved the elements and checked in. We had 24 share their songs, 3 more than usual, but we wanted to reward the songwriters for coming out. We heard many well written songs!

The winners of Nashville Rising Song Open-Mic Contest Series 4 Prelim #5. From left to right, Chris Love (music industry judge), Sandy Ramos (music industry judge), Clayton Stewart (audience winner), Chris Garner (music industry judges winner), Shawn Carnes (emcee), Keith Mohr (NRS creator/director)

Here’s a recap of Preliminary Round 5:

1-Matthew Sean
2- Abby Shipley
3- Joey D
4- Chris Garner
5- Sam Verga
6- Michael Rey
7- Donnie Higgins
8- Allison Green
9- Eden Shireen
10- Alex Shernit
11- Amanda Riley
12- Clayton Stewart
13- Steven Cade
14- Rhonda Funk
15- Adam Hamby
16- Doug Allen
17- Allie Sealey
18- TJ Carter
19- Knox Morris
20- Alex Smith
21- Ryan Kohn
22- Kyle Campbell
23- Alex Barnes
24- Lesa Silvermore


Chris Garner (Judges Winner)
Clayton Stewart (Audience Winner)

Chris and Clayton will come back and join 18 other writers for the semi-final round to be held Wednesday March 20, 2019 at 7PM at Nashville Underground. The finals will be held Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 7PM at Nashville Underground.


Sandy is the CEO of The Songtuner. Her songs have appeared on over 25 million CDs, having been recorded by the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Lee Greenwood, Neal McCoy, Anne Murray, & Kenny Rogers and many others. She has had multiple ASCAP writer and publisher awards as well as Billboard Top 5 & 10 hits and a #1 Dance hit with “I Brake For Brunettes” recorded by Rhett Akins. Sandy loves to help songwriters make their songs better!

Chris is a multifaceted producer, mixing engineer, session musician, songwriter, studio owner and music educator in Nashville, TN. Chris began his career as an artist, playing clubs on historic Beale Street in Memphis at the age of 13. At the age of 16 Chris won the Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition in Memphis, sanctioned by The Jimi Hendrix Family. By the age of 21 Chris was playing festivals throughout the country opening for acts like Maroon 5, Gavin DeGraw, and Switchfoot. In 2007 Forbes Magazine named Chris “Memphis’ Most Eligible Bachelor” a list that included George Clooney and Tom Brady. In 2015 Chris received the award for “Best Producer” from the Nashville Industry Music Awards. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 he has been nominated for “Best Producer” by the Nashville Universe Awards and the Tennessee Music Awards. As an educator Chris has taught music privately and in public schools and won over 40 grand championships teaching the Munford High School Band percussion section. Currently, Chris is producing and mixing records from his studio in Lebanon,TN. Chris has worked with artists on Interscope, Sony/ATV, Atlantic Records, and more.

Watch the performances of all songwriters who competed at this round below: