Open Book, the Cold Spring, New York-based husband-and-wife contemporary folk duo of Rick and Michele Gedney, was named the winner of the 2017 Grassy Hill Songwriting Competition following a final round featuring four artists/acts during the Connecticut Folk Festival and Green Expo at New Haven’s Edgerton Park on Sept. 9.

Open Book performs during the 2017 Connecticut Folk Festival. (iPhone Photo: Michael Kornfeld)

Open Book performs during the 2017 Connecticut Folk Festival. (iPhone Photo: Michael Kornfeld)

Rick and Michele Gedney have written, recorded and performed together as Open Book since 2000 and have released three recordings during that time. The duo’s latest CD, Grateful, was released in 2015. The Gedneys also have served as facilitators at noted singer-songwriter Dar Williams’ “Writing a Song That Matters” songwriting retreats.

Open Book’s sound features inventive melodies and pleasing vocal harmonies, backed by interweaving acoustic guitars. The Gedneys were grateful for the opportunity to share their original songs during the Connecticut Folk Festival. “We’re really thrilled to have been part of the day,” they told “It was beautiful in every way, and we enjoyed listening as much as playing! It was a pleasure to play for such an attentive audience with wonderful sound, and we got some really nice feedback from audience members.”

As the songwriting competition winner, Open Book performed a short set on the festival’s main stage during the afternoon. The duo also received a cash prize and is guaranteed a performance slot in next year’s festival produced by the nonprofit organization CT Folk.

More information on Open Book may be found on its website,

Editor’s Note: It was my pleasure to again serve as one of the five judges in the Connecticut Folk Festival’s Grassy Hill Songwriting Competition and also to hear last year’s competition winner Amy Soucy and other artists showcase their talents during the day.