There is a huge opportunity for people to enjoy music and to hear the stories behind the songs. North Of Nashville is a free event at the DECC in the Harbor Side Ballroom and will feature established writers from the area and a songwriting contest.

North Of Nashville is a free event at the DECC. You can listen to great music and there is a songwriting contest too for local songwriters to be a part of the show and move forward in their careers.

Here are some of the artists you can look forward to seeing at the event:

Chris Allen

Chris Allen, on-air personality, writer, and producer from B105, and Bo Allen from Bo Pro Productions will be hosting a night of country music with the stories behind the songs and a chance to learn how a good country song is written.

Chris Allen
Chris Allen

Bo Allen

Bo Allen, who has experience with writing music cut by artists in Nashville, writing with people from Music Row, and collaborating with Dolly Parton, Ned Betty, Brooke Hogan. He will talk about what it's like in the thick of the music business and how he makes music.


Buffy Lawson

You can go behind the scenes, with Buffy Lawson, who has dueted with Neil Diamond on the Tonight Show and had songs recorded by Bo Bice, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton. She will talk about how her songs were written, the story that inspired them, and how the business works to get it to those artists.

Heidi Pack

The night will also feature Heidi Pack, founder, leader, singer for the band Whiskey Trail, which has opened for some big artists. She will play some of her music and talk about the stories that inspired them.

Heids Pack Facebook
Heids Pack Facebook

Shane Nelson

Shane Nelson, an established area writer, winner of the Northland Idol contest, and holder of an American Idol “silver ticket”. He has been playing in area bands and recording and producing his own music for years. He will also talk about crafting music.

shane Nelson
shane Nelson

There will also be authentic southern food to enjoy and hear some of the music other local songwriters are playing. There is a songwriting contest and some of the finalists will be featured to play their songs and share their stories of how that song was written.

Did I mention the night is free, you don't have to pay a dime to enjoy homegrown songs and music!! After this intimate night of music, you can come and join the afterparty at Spurs On First with Whiskey Trail.

There isn't much time left for local songwriters to submit their music. You must have it turned in by January 21st. Go to the DECC website.

Here's how it works:

The grand prize winner will receive:

-1 professionally produced music video of artist and song

-1-year membership to Midwest Country Music Organization (MCMO)

-A coveted performance slot in front of the big crowd at Duluth’s Fourth Fest on July 4, 2022, at Bayfront Festival Park

– A night at the beautiful Merryweather Inn with a chef’s choice dinner

Here are the quick and fast rules:

-Must submit a sample of an original song of no more than 1.5 minutes long in MP3 or MP4 format via email ( or via the hashtag #nonDECC. (Please email us to ensure we see your tag and can contact you.)

– This contest is aimed toward the very broad genre of country/folk style music

-Submissions due: Friday, January 21 at midnight CST.
– Selected finalists must perform at the Feb 5, North of Nashville concert in order be to eligible to win the prize package. The grand prize winner must also have a studio-produced sound file of their song by the time of the video production.

The contest and night are being put on by the DECC, B105, Bopro Productions, Radisson Duluth Harborview, Merryweather Inn, and SPURS on FIRST.

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