The 2023 Wood and Stone Songwriting Retreat
Thursday, June 22 - Monday, June 26
Better Songwriting, Better Performance, Inspired Music, Good Times, & LOTS of writing
Our 2023 location is in Middletown, MD, just under one hour from BWI airport and minutes from the town of Frederick, MD. Our target group is 14 attendees. Beds are first come, first serve, and there are B&Bs and hotels nearby.
What Our Attendees Say:
"This was a powerful experience for me. I went into the retreat with a heart full of doubt. Would I fit in? Did I have the skills needed to be accepted by the group? Within moments of arriving, I felt I belonged. I found 13 new friends and a supportive community of songwriters. I learned a lot, ate a lot, laughed a lot, and made connections with people that have lasted beyond the scope of the retreat. I am looking forward to going back next year! Thank you for everything!"
- M. Sheaffer, Virginia
“The opportunity to spend four days with a group of folks who appreciate the craft of songwriting and value the opportunity of sharing our humanity through song, particularly after the last two Covid years, was like being resurrected. The warm presence and expertise of our 4 hosts were inspirational, the food fabulous, the company exceptional, and the 42-cup coffee pot refilled as needed throughout the day. I look forward to the opportunity to do it again!”
J. Eisler - Mississippi
"I love these retreats- been doing them for almost 10 years. I get to hang out with old friends and meet new ones. I always get something out of these interactions. The music has brought us together, and then we become friends for life. You and Scott are the best—When did you say the next one was???"
- T. Breck - Delaware
"Thanks for all of it; the retreat, your music, and friendship. After last year's retreat, I decided to work on my songwriting throughout the year. This year I've decided to work on a songwriting career."
P. Kronowit - California
"I can't even explain how wonderful of a time I had, and how each and every one of you made this "newbie" feel like an old friend so quickly. I am reborn in my music. The tools that everyone shared will be put to good use."
Phil Epstein - NJ
"Wow! This year’s retreat was the best yet. So nice to see Scott and Jen back teaching. This is just a special time for me. The collaborations were great this year, food amazing, BUGS were even good. Hanging around amazing people in an amazing place how can it not feed your soul?"
C. Brooks - Escanaba, MI (WUP)
"It was wonderful to feel so welcomed in, and most definitely looking forward to getting together again. Inspiration abounds!"
C. Parsa - Maryland
"What an amazing experience with absolutely amazing people. So grateful for every single one of you."
C McDowell - Duluth, GA
I keep hoping that Webster's would invent better superlatives, because the many I know already are not up to the task of describing my delight in being with all of you again this year, and making new friends to boot. You each have blessed my songwriting journey with a special "I get it, Dude".
R Klein - Texas
"What a unique and fulfilling experience, Thanks Scott and Jen for sharing your gifts so generously."
A. Deitz - Maryland
Your 2023 Songwriter Hosts
Jen and Scott Smith (Naked Blue)
We have made our living writing songs, performing, and recording since 1991. Seven CDs and contributions to hundreds more, performances in 7 countries, and a whole bunch of songs have added up to an all-around good time for over 30 years.
We are incredibly lucky for the opportunity to work with wonderfully talented people and to have survived doing what we love the most. We are excited to bring people together for these 'songwriting parties' and are consistently amazed by the music and the continuing relationships that are created at each session. Can't wait to see old friends and meet new ones!
Over the course of five albums, indie folksinger Eliot Bronson has created his own brand of acclaimed Americana. He's an award-winning songwriter, a road warrior, and an internationally-renowned musician with a voice that swoons and sweeps, championed by everyone from The Baltimore Sun — who've hailed him as "a folk singing wunderkind"— to Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb, whose work on 2014's Eliot Bronson and 2017's James placed Bronson on the same client roster as Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and other heartfelt songwriters.
He turns a new page with 2020's Empty Spaces, a breakup album for the romantics and realists among us. Written after a split from his fiancé and a move from Atlanta to Nashville, Empty Spaces pairs sharply-written songs about loss, leaving, and redemption with quietly cinematic arrangements rooted in electric guitars, vocal harmonies, strings, and Mellotron. Co-produced by Bronson and longtime bandmate Will Robertson, Empty Spaces shines a light on Eliot Bronson at his most compelling, punctuating the woozy warmth of "Visitor," the heartland pop/rock of "With Somebody," and all points in between with the sharpest writing of his career. This isn't just a record about empty spaces, after all. It's a record about the new discoveries that can fill the void.
Pete will be joining us this year for some group discussion and one-on-one vocal coaching!
Vocal technician and producer Pete Strobl’s extensive understanding of the voice and his blue-collar approach to the development of singing technique is the result of an eclectic and wide-ranging career as a performer, musical director, and educator. From the Concentus Musicus in Vienna under Nikolaus Harnoncourt to the concert stage as musical director and bassist for Gary Puckett, Pete has taken advantage of every opportunity to observe real singers dealing with real-world situations.
Pete left the road to settle in Malibu as the resident musician, instrument repair tech, and studio manager at the legendary Shangri La Studio which he helped transform into the resonant boutique recording studio that hosted productions by Joe Walsh, Chaka Khan, Tom Jones, Keb’ Mo’ and Mark Knopfler. Here Pete had the opportunity to work with producers like Chuck Ainlay, Lou Adler, John Porter, Ethan Johns, John Hanlon, Val Garay, and Ron Hitchcock.
Originally from Salzburg, Austria, Pete returned to Europe to produce albums in Salzburg, Vienna, and Holland. Pete has worked with both Wolfgang and Eddie Van Halen since the 2007 Van Halen tour. His work with Van Halen continued in preparation for the album A Different Kind of Truth. Pete continued coaching Wolfgang through the release of his debut solo album as well as his tour in support of Guns n’ Roses.
Having given workshops to private groups, performing arts schools, and professional organizations from Los Angeles to the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg, Pete has settled in the Baltimore area where he teaches and records at The Attic Underground. www.petestrobl.com