Provo Gets a Taste of Nashville

The Provo Writer’s Round is providing a different kind of concert experience.


By Zach Collier

Amy Kurland opened The Bluebird Café in Nashville way back in 1982. Located south of Music Row and away from most of Nashville’s tourist locations, it has become known in the decades since for a particular style of show. Instead of the usual bill format that most concertgoers are familiar with (where an opener plays a set before one or more headliners take the stage for their respective sets), The Bluebird Café pioneered the “In The Round” format. Writers sit in the center of of The Bluebird taking turns playing original songs and telling accompanying stories.


This format has served The Bluebird Café well. 40 years later and The Bluebird Café’s 90-person room is a crucial part of the Nashville music industry – even propelling a young Garth Brooks to stardom.

For the last two years, a group of dedicated songwriters has brought a taste of Nashville to downtown Provo. Founded by Jordan Conover in 2020, the Provo Writer’s Round organizes concerts In The Round that feature local musicians. In the years since, additional concert organizers have run the Provo Writer’s Round, like Nephi Henry and (most recently) Joey Brandin and Alice Judd.

Jordan Conover explains the Writer’s Round format.

“No gathering in Provo is exactly like the Writer’s Round,” says Judd. “In an area full of incredible talent for music, it invites everyone to pause specifically on the artistry of songwriting. What is it like to struggle finding the right melody for a beloved lyric? What does a song that ‘wrote itself’ look like behind the scenes? How did your favorite local songwriter overcome their writer’s block? Writer’s Round opens the floor for these questions and more.”

Java Junkie on Center Street has been the home of the Provo Writer’s Round since 2021. Tonight, September 29, songwriters Elysse Ostlund, Hailey Flandro, and Alli Barker will perform. The show begins at 7 PM. The show is free.

Make sure to follow Provo Writer’s Round on Instagram. Before the show starts, you can listen to “How Do I Say It?” by Provo songwriter Alli Barker below.


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