Singer/songwriter Molly Thomason sounds much wiser than most 16 year olds. But that’s not surprising for someone who’s current hit “All Down the Highway” is sitting pretty in the number 4 spot on the East Coast Countdown. And while that’s exciting for her, it’s not as exciting as the Youth Songcamp Workshop she’s attending in Ingonish. It’s her second year attending the camp which is the brainchild of Grammy award winning local songwriter Gordie Sampson.
“Last year it was the highlight of my summer,” Thomason gushes during a phone interview. “We learned so much about co-writing and I met some of the most amazing musicians out there.”
Sampson started the workshop because of his passion for music and teaching what he’s learned to talent musicians between the ages of 15–24.
“There comes a point in your life where you want to share some of the things you’ve learned along the way,” explains the Big Pond native. “Seeing how I can inspire the kids in the workshop and show them a different way of writing music is truly rewarding.”
Sampson isn’t the only one who feels this way. Helping him is Slowcoaster’s Steven MacDougall whose enthusiasm for this year’s workshop and Youth Soundcamp Songwriter’s Circle is equal to that of the participants.
The workshop, which is sponsored by 1035 The Eagle, focuses on co-writing skills, something that is essential for musicians wanting to make a career as a songwriter. It is also the thing all of the musicians who participated in it last year rave about.
Local singer Carleton Stone says it was a life-changing experience when it came to his own personal songwriting style. “I personally have written more than 100 songs since last year’s workshop,” says Stone on his way to Halifax for a gig, unable to contain his excitement. “I can’t wait to get up there and start working. I want to come back with a bunch of new material.”
Also participating in the workshop are Carleton Stone, Molly Thomason, Dylan Gouthro, Breagh MacKinnon, Mo Kennedy, Dave Sampson, Evan Meisner, Natalie Lynn, Elijah Wohlmuth, Barbara Cameron and Jenny MacDonald. The Youth Soundcamp Songwriter’s Circle happens Wednesday, August 3 at Ski Cape Smokey in Ingonish. Cost is $20 per person and show starts at 7:30p.m.