Picture of Freedy Johnston with SongFest Logo

CDL Song Fest 2018

September 29, 2018
All Day | All Ages

CDL Song Fest is back for its second year! A day-long event for music enthusiasts to join us in celebration of the art and craft of songwriting! The day will feature family activities, a teen workshop, and opportunities to flex your songwriting muscles plus, performances by local artists and past Rolling Stone Magazine’s songwriter of the year, Freedy Johnston (see article below.) The Fest is family-friendly and open to the public.


Song Fest Day-long Schedule

Saturday, September 29, 2018
All Day | All Ages | Open to the Public


Photo of Chelsea Paddock

Song Fest Stage at The 11th Annual Harvest Art Market

Chelsea Paddock, CDL Song Fest Songwriting Mentor and opening act for Freedy Johnston LIVE @ Zou Zou’s will be appearing at the the 11th Annual Harvest Art Market at Silver Maples of Chelsea from 11-11:45am. Enjoy Chelsea’s music as you browse wares from over 25 artists and artisans. The Market runs from 10am-4pm.

Silver Maples of Chelsea | 100 Silver Maples Dr., Chelsea, MI


image of girl writing a song

Songwriting Mentor Sessions

Need some help nailing down the bridge to a song? Looking for constructive criticism on your lyrics?  Book a one-on-one mentoring session with a seasoned local songwriter and get advice on any aspect of the songs you’re working on from someone who knows the ropes.

Study Rooms | Registration Required
Register for your 25-minute slot by calling 734.475.8732 x219 

Photo of Annie CappsAnnie Capps has earned sincere praise for her songwriter with multiple award nominations, accolades from Folk Radio, and as a 2-time finalist for the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition (2012 & 2010.) Her “style” never ceases to be a moving target as she continually evolves with surprising new influences and inspirations, always striving for true musical and songwriting maturity.

“Annie’s songs range from quirky to profound. Not only is she a masterful lyricist, but also a wonderful singer with a unique voice that delivers her stories in a seemingly effortless way…” – Elaine Mahon, Sandhill Stage (Gainesville, FL).

Dave Siglin of The Ark says “[She] writes complex winding melodies … sliding you into the middle of lives and situations that are always interesting and dotted with real insight.”

image of Facebook icon   image link for iTunes

Photo of John LatiniJohn Latini may have grown up in Queens, New York, but he’s as truly a son of Michigan as if he’d been issued a passport.

It’s not just that this singing, songwriting, guitar-slinging, uber-performing bluesman seems to be a perennial nominee for every Southeast Michigan music award; that he has won several awards including the Metro Detroit Songwriting Grand Prize (2004), and the Detroit Blues Challenge winner (2008 & 2009); or that he has received songwriting honors in North Carolina and Texas. It’s more that, whether he’s fronting his band the Flying Latini Brothers, working in duos with longtime sidekicks Whit Hill or Jamie-Sue Seal, or, most often, commanding the stage alone, John Latini personifies the best that the heartland, and especially Michigan’s righteous rock history, have to offer: an honest, straight-ahead, no-nonsense commitment to real songs about real people.

To read John’s full bio, click here.

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Photo of Chelsea PaddockChelsea Paddock is a  singer/songwriter living in Chelsea, MI. She has been playing guitar since she was 8 and studies with Scott Christopher at Buzztop Studios in Pinckney. Scott Christopher gave Chelsea her first experience performing in a band when she was 9. Over time she has grown to love crafting her own songs and sharing them with those around her. Chelsea enjoys playing at local open mics and played at the Chelsea Sounds and Sights Festival this past summer . Chelsea will also be the opening act for this year’s Live Concert at Zou Zou’s Cafe featuring Freedy Johnston.


image of little girl enjoying a A2SO Kinderconcert

A2SO KinderConcert

A special concert just for little ones who love to dance and move to music! Join movement specialist Gari Stein, pianist Kathryn Goodson, and musicians from the A2SO for a guided introduction to the instruments of the orchestra.

McKune Room | Drop-in


On the Fly Kazoo Orchestra

Join our band! We’ll have materials for you to make a kazoo. Once all of our instruments are tuned up, we’ll join together to play a couple of classic songs! For a brief history of the kazoo, click the image on the left.

Reading Garden | Drop-in


Teen Songwriting Workshop with John E. Lawrence

Collaborate with other teens to create a song in an afternoon under the guidance of John E. Lawrence, one of Michigan’s finest and most respected guitarists and band leaders. Teens will collectively create a song in a supportive and nurturing environment.  No musical experience required.

McKune Room | Registration Required


image of bands musical gear

Gear Talk

Share experiences and opinions on your gear: guitars, keyboards, amplifier heads, saddles, wah wah pedals, pickups, tuners, amps – the list goes on and on. Talk shop with very special guest Dave Budzinski of Budz Pickups who has created pickups for many of music’s luminaries, including Paul McCartney.

McKune Room A | Drop-in


image of a man playing guitar in band

“So, you want to start a band?”

Learn from members of local bands about all things related to bands.  Get the inside scoop on forming a band, scheduling practice, buying equipment, booking gigs, performing, and what it’s like to be a band member. Solo performers are also welcome to attend.

McKune Room B | Drop-in


image for Song Fest Variety Showcase

Variety Showcase

Grab your 10 minutes of fame! All amateur musical performers from the Chelsea area are invited. Slots are limited, so sign up early!

Reading Garden | 10 min. slots | Registration Required
Register by calling 734.475.8732 x219


Freedy Johnston Live at Zou Zou’s Café

Local songwriter Chelsea Paddock kicks off the evening at 7:30pm. A participant in last year’s Song Fest Variety Show, Paddock’s back to warm up the crowd for this year’s Song Fest headliner Freedy Johnston. Learn more about Chelsea in this MLive.com article “A Young Star Shines Bright In Chelsea”.

Join us for an intimate acoustic concert with past Rolling Stone Magazine’s Songwriter of the Year Freedy Johnston. Prior to his concert, Martin Bandyke, annarbor 107one’s morning host, will interview Freedy in an up-close and personal conversation about his career, influences, and craft. Event includes a Q&A with audience.

Like most of the general public, you probably first heard Freedy when his chiming, catchy single, “Bad Reputation,” full of his trademark tunefulness and street-level lyrics hit the airwaves. The song was the opening salvo of Johnston’s masterpiece, This Perfect World, superbly-produced by the legendary Butch Vig, of Nirvana fame. He has shared the staged with everyone from The Indigo Girls to Jackson Browne, was briefly part of two alternative supergroups: The Know-It-All-Boyfriends and The Hobart Brothers and Lil Sis, and most recently released his newest album Neon Repairman, considered one of his best. Click here to read Freedy’s entire bio.

Zou Zou’s Cafe | 101 N. Main St., Chelsea | Drop-in

Click here to read about Freedy’s journey in the music industry, written by Chris Berggren, CDL Administrative Assistant.

Download the Article

Special Thanks to the following organizations for their support of this program.