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Earlier this month, Connecticut folk duo The Meadows Brothers won first place in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The live competition is held annually at MerleFest, an internationally known music festival in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. This year’s festival was attended by 60,000 people and was headlined by Sturgill Simpson and Mavis Staples. The Meadows Brothers won top honors in the Country category with their song “Trouble,” from 2021’s Saybrook Road Sessions, and made a fan out of Grammy-winner Jim Lauderdale, the contest’s longtime host.

Dustin and Ian Meadows consider their win doubly lucky. Organizers have announced that this year’s contest will be the last. The Meadows Brothers now share a connection with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, their musical heroes, who won the inaugural contest in 1993.

When he’s not on the road, Ian can be found at AcousticMusic.Org in Guilford, helping others who are in search of inspiration.