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Lennon Songwriting Contest Honors Local Duo

Westrin and Mowry photo
Courtesy photo
Brian Westrin (L) and Peter Mowry

A Lansing-area musical duo has been named the grand prize winner for folk music in the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest. Westrin and Mowry now move on, along with winners in 23 other catagories, in vying for the competition’s Song of the Year honors.

The song is called “Talk To Me Again.” Westrin and Mowry submitted the song to the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest last year, and it came out on top in the folk music category.

Brian Westrin says he felt strongly about “Talk To Me Again” right from the start, and sent the song in to the Lennon competition hoping it would find a new audience. “It’s got a lot of deep meaning for both of us," Westrin explains, "touching on relationships. Obviously, the way we interact in today’s day and age, we thought it was an important message to get out.”

Peter Mowry says recording the song felt right from beginning to end, stating that "a lot of times, during the recording process, you can kind of hit a wall or second guess a choice. I feel like with that song, everything fell into place really easily.”

Westrin says they’ve already earned some nice music gear for winning the folk music category, but winning the $20,000 Song of the Year prize in the Lennon songwriting competition boils down to an online voting popularity contest. “We’re not terribly keen on that approach," he concludes. "We’re more excited about being acknowledged by judges.”

It’s quite a list of judges they’ve impressed so far. They include Fergie, George Clinton and Sheila E among others.

The online voting runs from April 1st to May 1st, with another step where those judges weigh in again, followed by an announcement of the Song of the Year winner for this year’s John Lennon Songwriting contest.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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