Song of Arkansas finalists include two Fayetteville songwriters

Back in November, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism announced a songwriting competition called Song of Arkansas that asked musicians from around the country to submit original songs about The Natural State.

Well the submissions are in, the entries have been narrowed to seven finalists, and two of those are from right here in Fayetteville.

Out of 230 entries, local songwriters Barrett Baber and Candy Lee are among the contenders to win the competition, which will be settled by an online vote between now and Feb. 24.

Also among the finalists are Matt Knoble (Bentonville), Chana Caylor (Mount Ida), Blane Howard (Hot Springs), Jeremy Huddleston (Russellville), and Pamela K. Ward (McCrae).

The winner of the competition will be announced on Monday, March 3. The winning musician will perform at the 40th annual Governor’ Conference on Tourism in March, and will receive a recording session and a professional video for their winning song, plus a $2,000 cash prize.

All seven songs are embedded below, and you can vote for your favorite at

Who should win?

Song of Arkansas finalists

Candy Lee – Here in Arkansas

Barrett Baber – A.R.K.A.N.S.A.S. (Get there from here)

Blane Howard – Arkansas, Y’all

Jeremy Huddleston – Here in Arkansas

Chana Caylor – Come Home to Arkansas

Matt Knoble – Right Here In Arkansas

Pamela K. Ward – Natural State of Mind