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Homegrown songwriters return 

Nashville successes play at the Old State House on Thursday.

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If you can’t get to Nashville, the good news is that several native Arkansans bring Nashville and a version of its singer-songwriter haven, the Bluebird Cafe, here.

Back again Thursday, May 18, after a well-received show in 2004 are singer-songwriters Shawn Camp, Steve Dean, Wood Newton and Mark Alan Springer, and they’re also bringing along Donny Lowery. The show will be held at the Old State House Museum on Markham Street and starts at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 at the door.

Museum director Bill Gatewood says the concert helps point out the museum’s efforts to study, collect and preserve Arkansas’s musical heritage.

Camp, who spent his early childhood on a small farm outside of Perryville, moved to Nashville in 1987, working as a fiddle player and band member for such acts as the Osborne Brothers, Alan Jackson, Suzy Boggus, Shelby Lynne, and Trisha Yearwood. He wrote “Two Pina Coladas” (Garth Brooks); “How Long Gone” (Brooks and Dunn); “Fallin’ Never Felt So Good” (Mark Chestnut); and “My Poor Old Heart” (Kenny Chesney).

Dean, from Little Rock, spent much of his life writing songs and playing in bands. He moved to Nashville in 1980 to pursue a career in the music industry. His first single, “Don’t Your Mem’ry Ever Sleep at Night,” was recorded by Steve Wariner in 1983. He’s had hits recorded by Barbara Mandrell, Rick Trevino, Conway Twitty, Ronna Reeves, Joe Nichols, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys and Lee Greenwood.

Lowery has had more than 75 songs recorded by such names as Nichols, McEntire, Alabama, Diamond Rio, Restless Heart, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy Ray Cyrus, Exile, Mel Tillis, Charlie Pride, Johnny Paycheck, Hank Williams Jr., John Waite, Kathy Mattea, Tanya Tucker, Lorrie Morgan and Glenn Campbell. Lowery’s most recent song is “Just A Little More,” co-written with Joe Nichols and included on Nichols’ new album, “III,” which recently went gold.

Newton, a Hampton native, has been writing songs for nearly 30 years and has worked with a number of artists since moving to Nashville in 1976. Wood wrote: “Bobbie Sue” (The Oak Ridge Boys), “Twenty Years Ago” (Kenny Rogers), “What I Didn’t Do” (Steve Wariner), and “Riding with Private Malone” (David Ball). Wood is co-writing and producing an album project with Jett Williams, daughter of the legendary Hank Williams Sr.

Springer grew up in Weiner in Northeast Arkansas and many of his songs hearken to his farm roots, including “Where Corn Don’t Grow” recorded by Travis Tritt. Chesney has recorded three of Springer’s songs. Springer is also currently involved in publishing.

Call 324-9685 for tickets or more information.

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