The Rivershed Songwriters Festival returns to Scituate and Braintree

SCITUATE — Country music songwriters who have penned lyrics for some of Nashville’s biggest stars will showcase their talents at the annual Rivershed Songwriters Festival, which will return to Scituate and Braintree after a two-year hiatus over the weekend -end of September 23.

Restaurateur Kara Tondorf, who lived in Nashville before she opened her four restaurants, reached out to songwriting connections to organize the event and bring artists to her restaurants.

Rivershed’s locations in Scituate and Braintree will host the festival, which will feature seven Nashville songwriters who have written songs for such acclaimed artists as Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Keith Urban, among others.

Tondorf launched the Rivershed Songwriters Festival after the shutdown of Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival.

“It’s a truly magical event,” Tondorf said.

She hosted a one-day event in 2018 which she said was very popular.

“It took off; people were blown away,” Tondorf said. “It spread like wildfire.”

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All songs will be performed in a Nashville-style “in-the-round” style. Tondorf explained that each singer will perform a song and then move on to the next singer on stage.

“It keeps you on your toes a lot,” Tondorf said.

Tondorf is a writer herself and talked about the work that goes on behind the scenes to release big hits. In 2007, Tondorf made the decision to move to Nashville to pursue music and work on songwriting before returning to the South Shore to open restaurants.

“I was at a turning point in my life,” she said.

The artists who have been selected for the Songwriters Festival are world-class writers, Tondorf said. The seven Nashville songwriters are Johnny Bulford, Heidi Raye, Kylie Sackley, Roxie Dean, Lance Carpenter and Chris Loocke. Rising stars are April Cushman, Haley Chic and Willie Shaw.

Songwriter Heidi Raye shares some background on one of her songs as she performs at the Ninth Annual Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival in downtown Henderson on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

The three-day series will begin Friday, September 23 at a private beach house in Scituate. The event starts at 7 p.m. and includes appetizers, a raw bar, and a chance to meet the songwriters. Tickets are $125.

The second event will take place at the Rivershed in Scituate, 17 New Driftway. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $55. The final event will be a Songwriter’s Brunch at The Rivershed in Braintree, 35 Commercial St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and tickets are $55.

For tickets and more information, visit

The Rivershed Songwriters Festival returns to Scituate and Braintree the weekend of September 23.

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