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Shannon Wurst is an Ozark-folk-country singer/songwriter that "leads the way with her guitar and voice, which might be described as if an "angelic choir was outfitted with a Southern drawl." (Kevin Kinder, Fayetteville Flyer) 

Her newest record, "Sugar and Kerosene", was recorded with assistance from Mike West, one member of the husband-and-wife folk/rock/bluegrass duo Truckstop Honeymoon. The title track was inspired by the Ken Burns’ documentary “The Dust Bowl.” Sugar and kerosene were potential cures for coughing fits experienced by children living through the dust storms. The song earned her recognition as a Telluride Troubadour finalist, earning her a spot at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival alongside artists such as Sam Bush, Margo Price and Norah Jones.

A decorated songwriter, Wurst leads songwriting workshops for kids and has been a Grassy Hill New Folk Finalist, Walnut Valley New Song Showcase Winner, and a Rocky Mountain Folks Fest  Honorable MentionSongwriter. She has played the Fayetteville Roots Festival, The Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and the Telluride Bluegrss Festival Town Stage, and has opened for Robert Earl Keen, Railroad Earth and Carlene Carter. 

"Shannon Wurst is among the rare breed who can make you sit upright and wonder aloud, "who is that?" She is unquestionably arresting."
~ John Lupton, Sing Out Folk Music Magazine




Pictures, interviews and samples are available to support story.

"Shannon Wurst is among the rare breed who can make you sit upright and wonder aloud, "who is that?" She is unquestionably arresting."-Sing Out Folk Music Magazine, John Lupton

"If there's any justice in this musical world, you'll be hearing a lot more of Shannon Wurst."-Bluegrass Unlimited

"Quite honestly, I think Shannon may be the best local performer I have heard and I can only hope that someone discovers her quick." Littlerocklivemusic.com

"Stellar debut album."-Arkansas Times, Lindsey Millar

"Sharing other peoples' stories is at the heart of Wurst's songwriting."- Triad, Winston-Salem, NC

"There is no stage she won't shine on! She will, not doubt, have the crowd asking for more."- Matt Johnson, Boone Saloon, Boone, NC

"Add to the growing list of impressive Ozark-grown talent the name SHANNON WURST...there  is a new voice on the scene worth paying attention to. One that could easily emerge from our radios in the coming years." Ozark Mountaineer, Branson, MO

"Shannon can sing with the best of them. I'd walk a mile just to hear her hum."-Mark Bilyeu of Big Smith

"Shannon's voice has the simple mountain purity of Maybelle Carter and  Dolly Parton, yet her songs have a timeless and hopeful edge that shines..."-Jeff Mosier of Blueground Undergrass

"Sweetest voice this side of heaven."-Tim Willems, Mayor of Scranton, AR

Awards and Achievements

Telluride Troubador Finalist, 2017 

Songwriter Showcase Folks Fest Honorable Mention 2017

Instructor at Song School 2015

2011 Zoogobble Top Ten  Album Packaging
Arkansas Govenor's Fellowship Award in Folk Music Composition, 2011
Grassy Hill Emerging Artist at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, 2010
Selected for The Internation Folk Alliance Offical Showcase Artist, 2008 and 2011
Telluride Troubadour Honorable Mention, 2009 & 2010
Kerrville New Folk Finalist, 2009
NAMA Nominated best female singer/songwriter 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012
NAMA Winner Best Female Singer/Songwriter 2010
NAMA Winner for best new band (3 Penny Acre), 2009
Recipent of the Arkansas Heritage Grant to perform the "Arkansas Traveler" program to school children, 2009
Selected (with 3 Penny Acre) for the 21st Annual International Folk Alliance Offical Showcase Artist, 2009
Winner of New Song Contest at Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, 2008
Semi-finalist in Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion Talented Twenties Contest, 2008

Recipient of North Northwestern Carolina Regional Artist Grant, (to record Sunday Pie) 2007

Venues and Festivals

Folks Fest, Lyons, Colorado

Fayetteville Roots Fest
The Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC
Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View Arkansas, Summer 2009
George's Majestic Lounge-Fayetteville, AR
Good Folk Productions (Mike Shirkey) -Fayetteville, AR
Sticky Fingerz-Little Rock, AR
Whitewater Tavern-Little Rock,AR
The Lyric Theater-Harrison, AR
The Palace Theater-Crossville, TN
The United Center-Idaho Springs, CO
Boone Saloon-Boone, NC
Boticelli's-Austin, TX
Mulberry Mountain Harvest Festival, 2008 and 2009 Ozark, AR
Walnut Valley Festival, 2008, Winfield, KS
Kerrville Folk Festival, 2008, Kerrville, TX
Eureka Springs Folk Festival 2008, Eureka Springs, AR
Merlefest Songwriter's Showcase, 2007
4 State Homegrown Music Festival, 2007 & 2008, Neosho, MO
SXSW, 2007, Austin, TX
Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival, 2007, Eureka Springs, AR

TV/Radio Appearances
"What's More Honest Than a Song?" #7 on Folk DJ Chart in 2010
Featured Artist on Front Row Music Program on Jones Television Network
Interviewed on Mountain Television Network by the North Carolina Arts Council
Featured on Nationally Syndicated Program,
Folk Sampler, with Mike Flynn
Live Studio appearance on Mike Shirkey's
Pickin Post
Live Studio appearance on Daniel Gold's Honest Tunes Radio Show
Live Studio appearance 
Blue Plate Special with Matt Morelock's



The “Lionheart” in Folk Americana

Posted by Terrah Baker | 

Staff Report

Local artist Shannon Wurst is releasing her fifth studio album “Lionheart Love” and with it — to include her soft, poetic voice, story-telling ability, and lyrics about nature, community and survival — she’s defining what folk Americana means today.

To find out what gives “Lionheart Love” such an ear pleasing, heartfelt and much-needed-for-the-genre originality, The Free Weekly asked her a few questions.

What is your history with music?
I grew up in a musical family. My dad played a lot of rock and roll and country. My stepdad is a blue grass picker. I grew up singing within both of those genres … I started taking guitar lessons when I was 16 and then I started picking it up on my own and played throughout college. It’s been in the last six years or so I’ve been doing it full time for my living. I’m lucky enough to be a part of the Arkansas Arts Council Touring Artists Registry, so I get to go into schools and libraries and do writing workshops with kids and adults.

What inspires your music?
I really love stories. I love hearing other people’s stories. I’m also inspired a lot in nature and being out in the woods. A lot of my songs are inspired by a job I had as a dog musher. A lot of it is just from my life experiences and other people’s stories and also that of nature.
I create the music that is in my heart and I feel like I want to express to people. I’m lucky enough to have a small niche and a small fan base that supports what I do. It’s not to promote my music to this large genre that people are really use to but to provide a service to those who are interested in my type of music.

What have been your accomplishments in your music career to date?
I feel like my greatest accomplishment is all the great friends and musicians I’ve met and got to play with along the way. That’s what keeps me going and writing songs are the people who come to my shows and I have these personal connections with. I do a lot of home concerts so I get to dip into these people lives. I want to make the personal connection with all of these people that wouldn’t have been possible without the music.

“Lionheart Love”, recorded in Bozeman, Mont. was made possible by the Arkansas Fellowship Award and fans supporting the project through an online crowd sourced fundraising site, Kickstarter. During the CD release party at Greenhouse Grille, the stories from the songs will be paired with multi-media footage and actor’s interpretations, while Wurst and her band perform. The audience will be part of a fiction radio show hosted by Director Jason Suel. All this while supporting the causes mentioned above. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit Trike Theater, and a portion of the CD sale proceeds will benefit caringbridge.org. Seating is limited, so pre-purchased tickets are strongly encouraged: $10 at shannonwurst.com, and $12 at the door.
What: Multimedia, Live Theatre, Audience Participation, CD release party
Where: Greenhouse Grille
When: Jan. 27.