Songwriting Workshop with Craig Bickhardt

NSAI Charlotte Presents – Craig Bickhardt


Songs In The Spotlight: How To Write Songs That Artists Want To Record

Saturday, February 28 – 9:30am – 4:00pm at The Well
220 Main Street, Pineville, NC 28134
Tickets $40.00 NSAI Members, $50.00 Non-Members
For Information and reservations:
or call Steve Simpson at 704-609-3579

We’ve got another great songwriting workshop coming up in February! Craig Bickhardt is coming to Charlotte! His workshop will be held on Saturday, February 28th from 9:30 am til 4:00 pm, at our regular NSAI meeting place, The Well, in Pineville (directions at

Craig’s songs have been recorded by BB King, Martina McBride, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, The Judds (two #1’s), Tony Rice, Kathy Mattea (Top 10), Pam Tillis (#1), Ty Herndon (#1), Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Louvin and about 100 others. For a full list of Craig’s cuts, go to his website Craig’s song, Sugarcane Street, won First Prize in this past year’s 4th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards).

Craig’s new CD, Brother To The Wind, features guest appearances by Tim O’Brien, Kenny Vaughn, Janis Ian, Beth Nielson Chapman, Terri Hendrix, Lloyd Maines, Darrell Scott, Maura O’Connell, Rusty Young & Jack Sundrud from POCO and Andy Leftwich (Ricky Scaggs).

Craig’s primary topic will be Songs in the Spotlight: How to Write Songs that Artists Want to Record. Here is a description of what Craig will discuss:

A successful artist learns who his or her fans are by performing in front of them on the concert stage, not by making records in the recording studio. The “song in the spotlight” is where the artist and the fan interact and connect. This seminar explores the psychology behind the artist-fan relationship, especially in a concert setting. There are sometimes very subtle reasons why artists choose to record a certain song over another song because they are thinking about those 90 minutes in the spotlight. Craig will discuss ways in which you can shift your thinking so that you see things more from the artist’s perspective. He will show you how changing your approach to your subject matter can make all the difference between a cut and a pass.”

Craig will also speak on a variety of subjects related to the art and mechanics of songwriting. Then, toward the end of the day, Craig will pull several songs at random out of a hat to critique. So, if you want to have a chance to get a song critiqued, bring one on tape or CD, along with a copy of the lyric sheet for Craig to use. Or, if you prefer, you can just put the lyric sheet in the hat and perform it live if you are selected.

The cost for the workshop is $40 for NSAI members, or $50 for non-members, and includes a copy of Craig’s CD No Road Back, a limited edition promotional “retrospective” CD that spans the past 24 years of Craig’s recording career. It includes songs from Easy Fires, Idlewheel, a side project Craig has with Jack Sundrud of POCO, various unreleased masters (two duets with Wendy Waldman!) and the theme song from the Academy Award winning Robert Duval film, Tender Mercies. And, we’ll provide pizza and soft drinks for lunch at no additional cost.

To sign up, either send an email to Steve Simpson ( and let him know you are going to mail him a check at:

Steve Simpson
1147 Thornsby Lane
Matthews, NC 28105

Please make checks out to “NSAI Charlotte“… or you can sign up using PayPal, just click the link below. If you choose the PayPal option, a PayPal fee of $2 will be added to the cost.

Click here to use PayPal

Also (yes, there’s more), Craig will be performing at 8:00 pm on February 27th, the Friday night before the workshop, at The Evening Muse. He’s a great performer, so let’s all go out and see his show on Friday, too!

The Evening Muse
3227 North Davidson Street
NoDa Arts District
Tickets $8.00 in advance, $10.00 Day of Show

So, sign up now. The workshop may sell out, and you don’t want to be left out!

NEWSFLASH:  Sign-Up (and pay) for the workshop then join NSAI Charlotte for Craig’s show at the Muse for FREE — your first drink is on us, too!


Craig, you are truly blessed with a gift – Thanks for sharing it …” – Martina McBride

Being part of Craig’s project, and in particular being asked to sing on This Old House, was a rare privilege.” – Janis Ian

Dear Craig, Tonight was magic. This was by far the very best mentoring session on the craft of songwriting we’ve ever had! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us- it was a marvelous experience!” – Dena H. Marchiony, Executive Director, The Philadelphia Songwriters Project

The workshop was absolutely wonderful and informative and it was great to have Craig Bickhardt with us. I’ve been to a number of song clinics and symposiums and Craig did a better job of getting across what songs need to say and how to approach writing them than any of the other workshops I’ve been to.” – Donny Grace, NSAI Regional Workshop Coordinator in North Alabama

Craig Bickhardt stands among the giants of songwriting. His main stage performance at this year’s Philly Folk Festival was absolutely outstanding, he helped curate and moderate some of our best panels.” – Jesse Lundy, Creative Director, Point Entertainment / Philadelphia Folk Festival

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