Troubeliever Fest bringing unique musical event to Snowbasin
By TOM HARALDSEN
SNOWBASIN—Anna Wilson and Monty Powell shared a dream—creating a musical festival where the songs themselves are the stars. As two of Nashville’s most successful songwriters as well as performers, this wife-husband team envisioned bringing fellow singer-songwriters together at a venue close to their hearts, the Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville, where they live about half of the year.
The fruition of that dream is this weekend, when the first Troubeliever Fest takes place Friday evening and all day Saturday at Snowbasin.
“Monty and I formed a band called Troubadour 77 with several local musicians here in Utah,” Wilson said in an interview with Iron County Today. “We started playing together, made a record, and were giving shows in small venues where we could talk to the crowd and tell stories along with our music. People told us they loved hearing both our songs and our stories, and that was the genesis for Troubeliever.”
Wilson said that while most concerts deliver the music, they seldom tell you the backstories behind those songs. “We wanted to almost deconstruct that process, tell the story that inspired us, and share experiences with our audience. It’s similar to the Blue Bird Café experience in Nashville, where everyone from superstars to those just starting out perform, where you can actually feel like the artists are having a conversation with you.”
Two American music legends will headline the Fest—Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. They will perform on Saturday night as the Fest draws to a close. There will be a lot of star power on stage prior to that, along with workshops, master classes, and songwriting classes from some of Nashville’s biggest stars. In addition to Wilson and Powell, both of whom are Grammy-winning songwriters, the couple has brought in stars such as Billy Dean, Shawn Colvin, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr (who also have performed with Kenny Loggins as part of Blue Sky Riders), Sammy Brue, the Tim Daniels Band and Viviena & Leisina. On Saturday evening, David Pack’s Legends Live performance will include Pack (former lead singer of Ambrosia and writer of “Biggest Part of Me” and “You’re the Only Woman”), Richard Page of Mr. Mister/Ringo’s All Star Band and writer of “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings,” Jim Peterik of Ides of March and Survivor best known for co-writing “Eye of the Tiger,” and former lead singer for Kansas John Elefante.
“We’ve created a live musical festival on the lawn, where headliners are going to do material they composed but don’t regularly perform themselves. I feel like my whole musical family is coming together,” Wilson said.
Thanks to some local sponsors, and a major sponsor in Zions Bank, Wilson and Powell see this Fest becoming an annual event, and perhaps staging similar Fests in other parts of the country in the future.
“We want to create a culture that brings everyone back each year, something they can look forward to—both for the audience and the songwriters.”
There’s a philanthropic element to the Fest as well. Wilson has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for over 10 years, and even wrote the song that HFH International uses as its theme song. She is working with the Weber-Davis Habitat organization to help build three front porch facades for homes currently under construction. An example will be brought to the concert to help bring awareness to the program.
There’s lots more information on the Fest website at troubelieverfest.com. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday at Snowbasin Resort.
Monty Powell and Anna Wilson are creators of the Troubeliever Fest that takes place this weekend at Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville. Photo courtesy of Ash Newell Photography