The excitement is building for the fourth annual 30A Songwriters Festival, Jan. 18-20. The musically-charged event celebrates the unique craft of songwriting. Thought provoking lyrics, powerful vocals, acoustic melodies and raw talent take center stage during the three-day festival.



"The 30A Songwriters Festival is a forum for true songwriters to perform their self-penned songs as well as established performers to showcase their original compositions," said Russell Carter, 30A Songwriters Festival chair and producer and head of Russell Carter Artist Management. "We book artists with diverse musical styles. Our emphasis is the art of the song.”



Headliners Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Fastball and Suzanne Vega will join recent additions to the lineup including Will Kimbrough, Eliza Gilkyson, Kim Richey, Pete Sallis, Vicki Peterson, Susan Cowsill, Bill Mallonee, the Quaildogs, Jimmy Hall, The Owsley Brothers, Seth and May and many, many more. Annual favorites, Shawn Mullins and Chuck Cannon, will return for a Sunday-only performance.



Mullins, an Atlanta-based singer/songwriter, ignited festival audiences last year, performing some of his most notable songs including “Light You Up,” “Lullaby” and “Beautiful Wreck.” Mullins will be joined by the multi-award winning songwriter, Chuck Cannon, who has had his songs recorded by an array of mega-stars, ranging from Paul Carrack (Mike & The Mechanics, Squeeze and Ace) to Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Toby Keith.



"The 30A Songwriters Festival is one of the most diverse songwriter’s festivals I’ve ever been to. The wide range of songwriters performing, the great crowds, the unique venues, and the beautiful location all made for an incredible experience. I can’t wait to go back next year," shared Shawn Mullins after his 2012 performance.



In an effort to make the transition between venues seamless, five shuttles will be running up and down Hwy. 30A each night from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. Guides aboard the shuttles will advise riders on performance schedules, and make recommendations on dining, shopping, venues and more.



Each venue features a local artist-designed stage backdrop. Many of South Walton's Artists of the Year, including Andy Saczynski (2013), Allison Wickey (2011), Michael McCarty (2009) and Justin Gaffrey (2005) have created one of these musically-inspired pieces, which will also be featured on this year's commemorative t-shirts.



New for 2013, festival organizers are adding a film component, and will screen the documentary film, “Duke & the King.” Part documentary, part concert film, “Duke & The King” reveals the compelling story of Elvis Presley's former bass player, Duke Bardwell, one of the great, unheralded talents in American music.



Festival weekend passes are available for $165 and can be purchased online, at the Bayou Arts Center and at Central Square Records in Seaside. Proceeds from the 30A Songwriters Festival benefit the CAA and CAA members receive 10 percent off weekend passes. (Members must call 850-622-5970to make sure their membership is current and to reserve their seat for the special member performance,) For more information, including current list of participating artists, venues and to purchase tickets, visit www.30ASongwritersFestival.com.