Louisa Branscomb


Considered iconic among songwriters in acoustic and bluegrass music, Branscomb is a lifelong pioneer in songwriting, performing, and teaching – work that earned her the coveted Distinguished Achievement Award (IBMA, 2017). Her distinctions include an additional 3 International Bluegrass Association Awards (2 Recorded Events of the Year and Song of the Year), two Grammy cuts (Alison Krauss and John Denver), 2014 IBMA Song of the Year ("Dear Sister," with Claire Lynch), 1993 SPBGMA Song of the Year (“Steel Rails,” Krauss), and over 230 recorded songs, many reaching #1 in bluegrass, roots, and folk music. Branscomb is in the Alabama Bluegrass Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame and has a GA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her career as a psychologist focusses on how creativity can transform lives, work that guides and informs her unique original model of teaching songwriting and her non-profit work using songwriting to transform individuals and communities. She is a sought after presenter and trainer, and directs the longest continuous experiential songwriting retreat, Woodsong Farm Songwriter Retreat. She has recently explored integrated performances that use original music and poetry to unite musicians of different genres in one performance with a “meta-level” life message.

Of her work, Si Kahn has said, “Louisa is extraordinary. The raw courage of your work is stunning and moving.”
Another songwriter remarks, “Louisa simply changes lives. She does it with her teaching, her songs, and her work with others. To work with her is to be transformed.”  -Lea Kimbrough

Professional Achievements and Awards


Winner, Alabama Composition Contest, age 11; performed with B’ham Symphony
Two Grammy selections (Krauss, John Denver)
Numerous Chart Hits with artists including
Dale Ann Bradley, Claire Lynch, Janet McGarry, Karen Lynn, John Denver, and Louisa’s own solo project
11 albums of original or mostly original material
“Dear Sister” spanned bluegrass, Americana and folk charts 2013-2014
Gospel Album of the Year, Bluegrass (BU) Second place, 1977 (with Boot Hill)
2 World of Bluegrass nominations and 2 additional pre-nom’s for song of the year
2 World of Bluegrass Awards for Recorded Event of the Year
Lead play on “Dear Sister,” nominee for Album of the Year 2013
First place, Chris Austin Songwriter Contest, Merlefest, 2012
Song of the Year, SPBGMA 1992
Nominee Songwriter of the Year SPBGMA – 2011, 2012
Nominee Songwriter of the Year IBMA – 2013
Founder, Chair- Bluegrass Songwriter Committee of IBMA 2006-2012
Chair – Bluegrass at the Bluebird series 2012-2013
4 Selections, World of Bluegrass songwriter showcase
2 Finalists, GA Music Industry Assn. Songwriter Contest
Bluegrass “Classic” (25 years of heavy radio play) “Steel Rails”
Nomination, Dove Awards for Gospel Music (country)


Founder, Woodsong Farm Songwriter Retreat 1982 (N GA)
Founder, companion retreat: Seaside Songwriter Retreat (Coastal NC) 2014
Founder and Coach:”Heart to Art:”
Professional Development and Life Coaching
for Songwriters and Artists of all Disciplines
Founder, Director: Beyond Bones: Soul of the Song Workshops
Founder, KidsWrite Original program for teaching songwriting to elementary kids
Founder, LifeWrite Original Program for teaching songwriting as Life Practice
Co-Founder, “Song to Stage” with Nu-Blu, 2014
Faculty positions in Psychology, Human Development, Gifted, and Education:
Wake Forest, Peninsula College, GA Highlands, Emory Univ.
Numerous Songwriter Workshops Festivals and Arts Settings, 1980-present


Co-Founder, Bluegrass Songwriting Committee, IBMA 2005
Chair, Bluegrass Songwriting Committee, IBMA 2005-2012
Chair, Bluebird in the Bluegrass Songwriter Rounds, 2012-2013
Author and spearhead, Proposal for Bluegrass Songwriter Award IBMA (passed)
Author and spearhead, Proposal for Bluegrass Songwriter Board Seat
(postponed but partly incorporated by Board)
Co-Author and Spearhead, Bluegrass Youth Leadership Camp
(Postponed but re-visioned and partly carried forward by Board)
Department of Family and Children’s Services, GA: Pro bono as psychologist:
Use of songwriting for personal expression for foster children

Songwriter Mentor – IBMA 2006-2013
Presenter – numerous IBMA workshops 1988- present
50% courtesy discount for Kidswrite Programs in Public Schools

Louisa’s Current Vita

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Dawn Kamerling dawn@thepresshouse.com