‘Idol’s’ Cody Eagle To Perform at Blame My Roots Festival

Cody Eagle performs at a recent show.

BELMONT — Just a few weeks ago, Cody Clayton Eagle was performing in front of judges Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan on the “American Idol” stage.

This week, the young country performer and songwriter takes the acoustic stage at the Blame My Roots Festival in Belmont.

Eagle, 17, of Morgantown, was among the top 20 finalists on “American Idol” this year. Since then, he has become visible in the Ohio Valley, performing regularly at Hock’s Bar and Grill in Triadelphia and other local venues.

“I have fans who show up and drive two and three hours for a show,” he said.

His songwriting ability especially caught the attention of Ritchie, himself a revered songwriter.

“He said I write well above my years with the power I have as a songwriter,” Eagle said.

Eagle now has taken both that power and his “American Idol” recognition to another competition. He is among the semi-finalists in the online “Nashville Rising Song” contest — a singer-songwriter open mic contest open to all songwriters of any genre or level of talent. The event is a weekly series held on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. at Live Oak Music Row, where anyone who writes and performs their own original songs is eligible to compete

There are no auditions. Songwriters simply show up for the round and enter the competition. The public votes for their favorite song via an online poll at the end of the event. Industry judges also select their favorite song based on quality of the songwriting and commercial potential. At the end of each event, voting is tabulated and winners are announced.

On Tuesday, Eagle will compete in the semi-final round. The semi-final features 21 songwriters, 20 of whom are preliminary round winners, and one director’s pick, who each perform one original song. The audience picks one writer and the judges pick three writers to move onto the final round.

If victorious in the semi-finals, he will move on to the finals on July 23.

At the final round, the four finalists each perform four original songs. The final grand prize winner is selected by industry judges, plus audience vote.

The winner gets the chance to perform at a music festival in Nashville, and to meet with producers to talk about their music.

A link to the “Nashville Rising Song” live stream will be posted on Eagle’s Facebook page.

He described the “American Idol” judges as “all super nice people.”

“It was an amazing experience, and it taught me a lot,” Eagle said. “It well-rounded me.”

He said his focus there was on “making sure everything was right and perfect” for performances.

“Practice makes perfect,” he said. “What was really cool is I got to meet a lot of people doing the same thing.”

Eagle said he and eventual Idol winner Laine Hardy continue to keep in touch.

“He gave me a couple of tips,” Eagle said of Hardy. “It’s definitely helped me out a lot.”

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