Joyce Woodson was recently awarded Songwriter of the Year for 2014 by the Western Music Association. She is a Grammy nominated recording artist and her songs have been recorded by over 20 different recording artists including: Belinda Gail (“He Sang for Me”, and “Palomino Pal”), Jean Prescott (“Smack Dab in the Middle of Texas” and “He’s Courtin’ Annie”), Judy Coder (“She’s in Love with Her Horse”), Liz Masterson (“The Cowboy Way of Life”), Tumbleweed Rob Wolfskill (“I Don’t Want to Be a Cowboy Anymore”) and Journey West (“If I Hadn’t Seen the West” and “Cheyenne”). Previously, in 2008 Joyce won both Best Song of the Year from the Western Music Association for “If I Hadn’t Seen the West” and Best Female Performer from the Will Rogers Academy of Western Artists.
Joyce Woodson’s crystal clear voice and solid guitar work are equally adept in the folk music world or wending her way through the west with her powerful songs about the land. She’s welcome on festival stages, at coffee house concerts and among the late-night circles of practicing songwriters. Her strength is in storytelling, bringing characters to life as if they’re hunkered down at the campfire next to you.
Winner of the 22nd Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, she’s played throughout southern California, worked for many years at the legendary McCabe’s Guitar Shop, performed at the Napa Valley Music Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, Pigeon Forge’s Saddle Up!, and is a founding member of the Western Music Association. She is a regular performer at the Gene Autry Museum in Burbank, California. She enjoys touring the United States from coast-to-coast, played by invitation from the BBC to perform at the Queens Festival in Belfast, Ireland. She’s toured Wales and Great Britain as well. She’s an instructor at the bi-annual music camps SummerSongs and resides in her home town of San Juan Capistrano, California.
Writing about the disappearing California landscape and her love for the land is Woodson’s strength. Her first two albums present her original tunes in the California folk music style (think Kate Wolf). Her recent album If I Hadn’t Seen The West is pure western music. Inspired by The Sons of the Pioneers (think cowboy) who wrote and made famous the songs, Tumbling Tumbleweeds and Cool Water, she says, “Those harmonizing voices brought the cowboy life and landscape clearly into focus for me - so much so that I felt like I was in the saddle with them and I never wanted the trail or the song to end.”
Joyce grew up on the family farm in the Capistrano Valley, riding the tractor with her Dad. Watching the fields turn from dark loam to green created a strong bond for her with the hills and valleys where she lives and gives her a strong sense of place. She’s a graduate of UC Irvine, with a degree in Education and a teaching credential. After a few months as a school teacher, Joyce knew her true calling was in music. After 12 years playing folk clubs and coffeehouses in LA and New England, she chose to move to Nashville. Soon she was nominated for a Grammy for her album Capistrano Girl. There she spent almost a decade writing songs, running her own publishing company, and performing her own tunes in clubs such as The Bluebird and Douglas Corner. Returning to California to care for her aging father, Joyce Woodson is now settled back in her childhood neighborhood, where she continues teaching at songwriting workshops, touring the US, and crafting her own brand of songs.