Songwriting with Steve Earle, Anders Osborne & Tift Merritt

Workshops | Private Performances | Artist Collaboration



Camp Copperhead is an event for players writers and music-lovers of all levels. Immerse yourself in all things songwriting


Learn about what makes a song important, Steve's insider perspective on how to tell your story



Join the Camp Copperhead community! Find friends to make music with long after camp

A Message From Steve Earle

It’s Camp Copperhead, and it’s quickly become a tradition that I regularly look forward to. This is our sixth year, and we’ll once again be returning to Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY

Just to give you the lowdown, this is going to be a unique experience for me and you. It’s a moment where we can look at how songs are composed and constructed through the lens of my catalog, in particular. In the lectures and classes, we’re going to analyze a bunch of my songs. So, if something of mine has spoken to you, I’m honored to go deeper.

We try to do something a little different every time. Each day, I’ll be having breakfast with you first. I welcome anybody and everybody to come up to me and chat. Then, we’ll do our master classes before lunch. After lunch, you’ll break off into groups. Again, you’ll have a choice to work with either a poet, prose writer, or guitar teacher.


Tuesday, September 3rd - Friday, September 6th, 2019


Camp Copperhead is a place where you can come to learn, to co-write, to workshop, to perform for an audience of meaningful peers, and to learn from a true master of the craft.

People come from all over the world to hone their already established skills, take creative risks, and make lifelong personal and professional connections.


● 3:00 ­ 5:00 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Check ­In

● 5:00 ­ 6:00 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Meet and Greet on the Front Lawn

● 6:00 ­ 7:30 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Dinner and Open Mic Sign­ Up in the Tent

● 8:00 ­ 8:45 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Q&A with Steve in the Barn

● 9:00 ­ LATE ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Open Mic in the Roadhouse


● 8:00 ­ 9:30 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Breakfast

● 10:00 ­ 12:00 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Morning Master Class w/Steve Earle 

● 12:30 ­ 2:00 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Lunch

● 2:10 ­ 3:00 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Afternoon Master Class with Steve Earle

·  3:00-6:00: Breakout Sessions

○      3:00-3:45 - Breakout Session A

•       Groups 1,2,3,4,5: Guest Instructor Workshop in the Barn

•       Groups 6-19: Lyrics as Poetry in the Cafe OR Writing Space in the Woodchip Tent

○      3:45-4:30 - Breakout Session B

•       Groups 6,7,8,9,10: Guest Instructor Workshop 

•       Groups 1-5 & 11-19: Lyrics as Poetry in the Cafe OR Writing Space in the Woodchip Tent

○      4:30-5:15 - Breakout Session C

•       Groups 11, 12,13,14, 15: Guest Instructor Workshop in the Barn

•       Groups 1-10 & 15-19: Lyrics as Poetry in the Cafe OR Writing Space in the Woodchip Tent

○      5:15-6:00 - Breakout Session D

•       Groups 16,17,18,19: Guest Instructor Workshop in the Barn

•       Groups 1-15: Lyrics as Poetry in the Cafe OR Writing Space in the Woodchip Tent

● 6:30 ­ 8:00 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Dinner

● 8:30 ­ Late ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Open Mic In the Roadhouse /


● 8:30 ­ 9:30 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Steve Earle Concert in the Roadhouse on Wednesday Night

● 9:45 ­ LATE ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Open Mic in Roadhouse


● 8:30 ­ 10:00 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Breakfast

● 11am: Check Out & Departure


History and Craft

Not everybody writes a song like Steve Earle writes a song. There is a strong tradition behind his particular brand of songwriting. It crosses genres, from folk to blues to rock and roll. It knows who its troubadours are, from Bob Dylan to Guy Clark to Townes Van Zandt. Steve will be talking about the rich history of his craft

Co­writing is its own distinct practice, an important tool in a songwriter’s skill­set. This lecture will take a look at how Steve and Shawn Colvin came together to create the collaborative works of art on their forthcoming co­written record.

Shakespeare and Songwriting’s Literary Backbone

These days, Steve gets hard core by going to the old school. Shakespeare. Iambic pentameter. The very roots of putting words together to tell stories. Poetry. How it works, what it does, what it can do, and how it informs his writing. That heartbeat rhythm of a favorite song is the same metered thump of Henry V, or Hamlet, or any number of sonnets. In this lecture, Steve will get to the way back basics, and it will blow your mind.

 Lyric As Poetry

Not every song is a poem. But a lot of the good ones are. Steve Earle writes songs that are poems. So did Guy Clark, and Townes Van Zandt. Do you? Poet & professor Caroline Randall Williams will walk you through what it is that makes a song a poem, and invites you to bring in some of your own work to analyze and to develop.


Photograph by Ted Barron

Photograph by Ted Barron


Steve Earle is an American Icon. As a rock, country and folk singer-songwriter, record producer, author and actor. Earle began his career as a songwriter in Nashville and released his first EP in 1982. His breakthrough album was the 1986 album Guitar Town. Since then Earle has released 15 other studio albums and received three Grammy awards. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Shawn Colvin, Ian Stuart Donaldson and Emmylou Harris.[2] He has appeared in film and television, and has written a novel, a play, and a book of short stories.

Press Photos_Credit_Brandt Vicknair_008-hires.jpg


“Fiery anthems and tumultuous confessional songs punctuated with raw, inspired guitar.“ -- USA TODAY

“Rich and glorious…Osborne possesses a voice that rises out of the darkness to the light of a soulful, tremulous wail. He is a consummate showman and shaman, bending successive moments to suit his majestic purposes. Osborne seeks an epic quality to much of his music, crafting layer upon layer of hugely scaled soundscapes.…never lazily derivative…every slashing guitar figure, every cry of a lyric, seems to come from an authentic place.” -- New Orleans Times-Picayune

Between the potency of his richly detailed songwriting, his intensely emotional, soulful vocals and his piercing, expert guitar work, New Orleans’ Anders Osborne is a true musical treasure. He is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today. Guitar Player calls him “the poet laureate of Louisiana’s fertile roots music scene.” New Orleans' Gambit Weekly has honored Osborne as the Entertainer Of The Year. OffBeat named him the Crescent City’s Best Guitarist for the third year in a row, and the Best Songwriter for the second straight year. Osborne also won Song Of The Year for his composition, Louisiana Gold.

Osborne’s latest released Flower Box, his second full-length album of 2016, recorded in his hometown of New Orleans late last year, Flowerbox is a heavier, guitar-driven follow-up to the acclaimed Spacedust & Ocean Views.

"I love the way this record comes out stout and determined right out the gate, a four-piece rock & roll band making beautiful and conquering noise," says Osborne.   "The producer, Mark Howard, has a way of making you play in the moment and being confident.  His sounds and engineering style is that of classic records, with his own special sauce of 'haunting' on top of it.  The musicians on here are undoubtedly some of my absolute favorites in the world, both as players and as people. Their contributions are invaluable.  Scott Metzger, Brady Blade, Carl Dufrene, Chad Cromwell, Marc Broussard, David LaBruyere, Rob McNelley & Justin Tocket. Bad boys!  I've been wanting to make this record for several years and I am stoked it's finally here." 

A powerful live performer, the musician has won over fans through non-stop touring as well as a heralded collaboration with the North Mississippi Allstars & Southern Soul Assembly. said, "Osborne finds a striking balance of muscle and grace that allows for the smaller moments of quiet to be just as resounding as the sonic booms."  And USA Today has praised his music, saying "The relentless approach amplifies the anguished lyrics, which appear to be about the death of a loved one or a relationship torn asunder or perhaps a spiritual crisis."  In a review of Spacedust & Ocean Views, Boulder Weekly said the album "finds the guitarist in a (largely) reflective mood, an extended meditation on place and moments in time, memory, passages through and exits from paragraphs in the non-fiction docudrama of life.  Through languid, gently formed figures, Osborne coaxes odes of gratitude and compelling imagery in what seems a little like a travelogue — like watching his kid chasing seabirds on the beach..."

Osborne has earned hordes of new fans. He has toured virtually non-stop, either with his own band, as a solo artist, or as a guest with his countless musical admirers, including Toots and The Maytals, Stanton Moore, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, Jackie Greene and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. He’s produced and played on critically acclaimed albums by Tab Benoit, Johnny Sansone and Mike Zito.

Since his recording debut in 1989, Osborne has written virtually all of his own material and contributed memorable songs to a wide variety of artists. Two tunes co-written by Osborne appear on Keb Mo’s Grammy-winning 1999 release Slow Down. Country superstar Tim McGraw scored a #1 hit with Anders’ song Watch The Wind Blow By. Osborne’s compositions have been covered by artists as diverse as Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang, Edwin McCain, Sam Bush, Trombone Shorty and Aaron Neville and Kim Carnes. His songs have appeared in multiple feature films. He can also be seen performing in an episode of HBO’s New Orleans-based drama, Treme.

Official Website / Tour Dates / Facebook / YouTube / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify



The New Yorker has called Tift Merritt “the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry.” Upholding that high standard began in earnest with Bramble Rose, the 2002 solo debut that put her on the map forever. The Associated Press called it the best debut of the year in any genre. As her Grammy-nominated sophomore album, Tambourine, was followed by Another Country, See You on the Moon and Traveling Alone, Merritt found acclaim coming not just from critics and awards organizations but her own heroes, like Emmylou Harris, who marveled that Merritt “stood out like a diamond in a coal patch.” In 2015 “Bramble Rose” the song from her eponymous debut was covered by Don Henley (feat. Mick Jagger and Miranda Lambert) on his critically acclaimed solo album Cass County. BUST raved of Merritt’s latest album, “Stitch of the World resonates like a book you just cannot put down,” and NPR wrote, “Stitch of the World contains some of her best writing.”

Merritt is a North Carolina native who wanted to be a writer until her father taught her guitar chords and Percy Sledge songs. Since starting a band while a creative writing student at UNC, Merritt has released a unique, critically acclaimed body of work including seven full length albums of original material and three live records. In her nearly 20-year career, she has toured around the world and shared the stage with bands as varied as Iron & Wine, Nick Lowe, and Jason Isbell. Merritt has also recorded with classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and played harmonic foil and rhythm guitar for the singular Andrew Bird in his old-time band ‘The Hands of Glory’. Most recently, Merritt has been a regular contributor to the Oxford American, chronicling her travels with her young daughter Jean. 

Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube


Full Moon Resort, located one half hour west of Woodstock, New York is a year-round mountain resort located in the heart of the "Forever Wild" Catskill Forest Preserve. Dedicated to the celebration of nature, music and the arts, this one hundred-acre wonderland of mountains, fields, and streams is a world of its own. "Music and art in nature" is a central theme at Full Moon Resort. Music is always in the air with the Music Masters Camps offering special interactive experiences with world renowned artists.


Lovingly prepared, fresh, healthy cuisine served by a friendly, professional staff is the trademark of Full Moon CateringThe menus offer a full range of possibilities – hot buffet breakfasts and lunches, down-home country barbecues and formal gourmet dinners. Fresh, natural ingredients (often organic) are the common thread throughout.



Accommodations are charming in their simplicity, with guest rooms available in a variety of lodges – some B&B style with shared hallway baths and others with private bath options. As well as being able to bring your own tent, we now offer a Luxury Camping option which includes a pre-set "Shift Pod" tent on a wooden platform by the stream. Your shift pod includes air conditioning, a (real!) queen bed with linens, towels and power. Also available are the new, premium cottages which feature a king bed (or two twins), sitting area with couch, private deck, picture windows with dramatic panoramic views, air conditioning, mini-fridge, coffee maker, Smart TV, WiFi, cell service (AT&T and Verizon) and custom tile bathroom with over-sized, dual head shower and radiant heat.


your camp copperhead registration is all-inclusive!

Registration Terms and Conditions

All prices are per person and include three nights of lodging, all meals, instructional classes and performances. All camp activities will be held at Full Moon Resort. Full Moon features an eclectic array of comfortable, rustic country-inn accommodations including simple B&B style guest rooms with shared hallway baths and guest rooms with private baths. “Primitive” campsites and luxury, pre-set stream-side camping packages are also available. The Luxury Camping option includes pre-set "Shift Pod" tent on a wooden platform by the stream. Your shift pod includes air conditioning, a (real!) queen bed with linens, towels and power. Also available are premium cottages equipped with private deck with mountain views, air conditioning, television, radiant floor heating and dual head shower heads in the luxury and spacious bathroom.  All accommodations are just steps away from daily music camp activities. The grounds offer one hundred acres of meadows, forests and streams providing a natural backdrop for an unforgettable, enriching experience.

Standard guest rooms at Full Moon do not have telephones, TV’s, air conditioning or daily housekeeping service. Wi-Fi, cable television and complimentary phone service are all available at the Inn (please bring a phone card for international calls). Enjoy the spring-fed swimming pool, on-site access to the Esopus Creek, and explore the splendors of the Catskills on the nearby network of hiking trails.  Please Note: There is no cell phone reception at Full Moon Resort or in Big Indian.


Your decision to register constitutes your acknowledgement of and consent to all of the registration, payment and cancellation terms and conditions listed below:


  • All rates are per-person

  • Shared Room Packages require you to share your room with a roommate

  • You may request a roommate on your registration form (roommates must purchase the same package type)

  • All rates are subject to applicable Taxes and Service & Processing Fee

CANCELLATION: All registrations and payments are non-refundable

Due to the nature of our events and strict cancellation policies, Creative Environments, LLC DBA Full Moon Resort strongly suggests purchasing travel insurance.


By registering, you hereby release Full Moon Resort, its employees, and all associated entities, from all claims, liabilities, loss to property, damages, injuries, etc. arising out of or in connection with your participation in any aspect of Camp Copperhead at Full Moon Resort.


Full Moon Resort and Music Masters Camps reserves the right to take photos and/or video during Camp Copperhead and to use such photos and/or video for advertising and marketing purposes. By registering for Camp Copperhead, you agree to release your photograph to Full Moon Resort. Music Masters Camps without compensation and understand that Full Moon Resort Music Masters Camps reserves all rights in regard to reproduction of said photograph.

MINORS: Music Masters Camps at Full Moon Resort are designed for participants 18 years or older. The host facility is Full Moon Resort. Minors are not permitted at Full Moon Resort without a legal guardian or other adult designated by the participant’s legal guardian as chaperone. If you are an adult attempting to register a minor or if you are a minor attempting to register, you must call Music Masters Camp for further details and to make appropriate arrangements: (845) 254-8009