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Annual festival brings local songwriters to Morley, Mo.
MORLEY, Mo. -- Morley hosted the second annual Songwriters Music Festival featuring local musicians performing all original works Saturday at the Morley Community Building.
The free, family-oriented event is the brainchild of Karl Ketchum, a local musician, who works with the Citizens for a Better Community Committee in Morley.
"Music matters," Ketchum said. "The event is geared toward very good music."
Relatively new performers and some recognized artists, such as Jefferson Fox, an award-winning songwriter who recently won an MTV award for a video, performed during the event.
The musicians performed all-original material in styles ranging from reggae to blues, rock to bluegrass, with a touch of humor.
"We've been pleased with the caliber of talent," Ketchum said.
He said there is a network of musicians who tell their friends, who tell their friends.
"People are on wait lists for next year's show," Ketchum said.
Bruce Zimmerman of Bruce Zimmerman and Friends is involved in the admissions process. He said it is one of paying dues by performing at various songwriters' nights around the area, including the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Port Cape Girardeau where an open mic is available for local songwriters to show their work.
The event is like the greatest hits of songwriters' nights, Ketchum joked.
This was the first time Harvey McGowan, retired from the U.S. Navy, attended.
"It's good. [The performers] gets better as the day goes on," he said.
Ketchum said organizers are hoping the event gets bigger and bigger each year.
"Last year 400 cycled through during the two days," Ketchum said. "We had terrible weather last year, raining and cold. It rained everywhere but Morley. This year we are expecting 1,000 people to come through."
Ketchum said he expected it to be packed Saturday night.
Several vendors had booths set up around the park: The VFW of Morley was providing information and selling flowers and ice cream to help support veterans, another vendor sold shaved ice, the Shriners had a booth selling food, tie-dyed clothing was available and T-shirts commemorating the event, and one vendor was selling handmade jewelry and wind chimes made of eating utensils.
The festival continues today beginning at noon with Neal E. Boyd performing until 1 p.m. Matt Erwin of Chaffee, Mo., will perform from 1 to 2 p.m., and Bob Crump and Friends will take the stage from 2 to 5 p.m. There also will be an open mic opportunities sprinkled throughout the day.
The Citizens for a Better Community had several fundraisers during the year to help pay for this year's event, including a Valentine's Day sweetheart breakfast, Ketchum said.
101 South Kirkwood, Morley, Mo.