By Fred Woods
Opelika native country music songwriter and singer, Sylvia Rose Novak, has been selected to perform at the prestigious Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival Oct. 14-16. This is the third year of the now-annual event held in Dripping Springs, Texas, a suburb of Austin, which bills itself as the heart of the Texas hill country. This year’s event is headlined by country music stars Rodney Crowell and Drew Womack.
Sylvia, a 2008 OHS grad, is one of 44 songwriters from the U.S. and Canada, as well as internationally, selected to attend the festival, billed as a showcase of finely crafted songs and the talented people who have written them. She says she’s not real sure how she ended up being selected. She submitted her material for consideration, just as, Sylvia says, did “thousands of others from all over the world.” Editor’s note: Maybe it’s talent, Sylvia Rose.
Well, what do you get out of the festival? Novak responds, “Exposure. And networking opportunities. Nobody “wins.” But it places you in a position to pickup new fans and new opportunities to play with different artists. You just never know who you’ll meet or who’ll like you.”
Sylvia Rose Novak spent half her childhood in San Antonio, Texas, and the other half in or near Opelika. So she pulls her musical influence from the general landscape of the southeast and the southwest. Images of dark pine forests and west Texas deserts can be found throughout her songs, which are delivered by a resonating vibratto and accompanied by her casual swing-style fiddle.
Growing up, music was just a hobby for this multi-talented young lady. Into her early twenties she was a horsewoman, competing in equestrian sports and training horses professionally. Then, at age 22, she decided to go into music seriously.
She says, “My first album (Chasing Ghosts) came out two years ago. (It really did well, by the way.-ed.) My second came out this month (The Last Three Years). It still floors me to think of everything I do surrounding that sudden decision to make an album. It was late 2012. And I decided to write a song. A few months later, in 2013, I wrote my first batch of songs ever, and ten of them became my first album.”
“ Any time I talk about my career, I feel I want to laugh. I decided to write some songs a few years ago, and I’ve been offered unfathomable opportunities. It almost doesn’t seem real.”
Novak has opened for acts such as American Aquarium, Chris Knight, If Birds Could Fly,The Mulligan Brothers and Belle Adair. She has also toured the Southeast extensively as a fiddle player in multiple outlaw country bands.
If you haven’t heard Sylvia Rose Novak perform live, she’ll be at Eighth & Rail in Opelika Nov. 4.