Cropwell man's song in contention for national award
by Heather Baggett
Sep 14, 2013 | 3537 views |  0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Peter Boyle and Sunset Rizing performed at Pell City's Fourth Fridays Downtown event in August. Also pictured is Boyle's daughter Blair. Photo by Bob Crisp
Peter Boyle and Sunset Rizing performed at Pell City's Fourth Fridays Downtown event in August. Also pictured is Boyle's daughter Blair. Photo by Bob Crisp
CROPWELL – One local man is pursuing his dream of singing and songwriting. And he needs your help for his latest competition.

Cropwell’s Peter Boyle has entered the Texaco Country Showdown’s talent search and songwriting contest in the hope of getting his music noticed on a national level. The songwriting contest has a fan voting aspect, and Boyle will need all his friends and neighbors’ help to advance to the next round.

“The competition is seven months long, but at the end of each month, they take the top five (with the most fan votes) and the top five go in front of a judging panel, and they choose the top one for the month,” Boyle said. “Then at the end of seven months, you have the top winners from each month, and then they go in front of another panel…and they determine the best song of the seven. Then the winner gets to go to Nashville and they get an award.”

The songwriting competition comes to an end at the same time as the talent competition, both culminating in Nashville, Tenn. Boyle has already won the local portion of the talent competition, and will compete at the state level Sept. 21 at the Cullman County Fair.

“If you win that, then you go on to regionals, and then the next step would be nationals, which coincides with the award for the songwriting competition,” Boyle said.

Boyle’s song for the songwriting competition is “Tomorrow’s a Better Day.” Fans can visit his website,, for instructions on how to vote and a link to the competition’s web page. Fans can vote once per day for the remainder of September.

Boyle has taken a twisty path on the way to pursuing his musical dream. While he can remember “we used to always like get teaspoons and wrap tin foil around the top and put on these little talent shows and stuff for our parents,” he has left the music scene a time or two. Boyle first sang in front of an audience in a fifth-grade talent show and then began teaching himself the guitar as a teen.

“I played around with it for a few years, put it down, joined bands as lead singer …I probably picked up guitar again maybe five or eight years ago,” he said. “As far as writing the music, I’ve been writing music for probably about 10 or 15 years. But I got serious about that about three years ago.”

Boyle, a mental health counselor, said his family has been very supportive of his music.

“They were really the ones who encouraged me to move forward and do something with it,” Boyle said.

While he’s played with several bands over the years, the latest is one called Sunset Rizing, which has performed at various local events, including Pell City’s Fourth Fridays Downtown and Lincoln’s Music on Magnolia.

After getting serious about his songwriting, Boyle said he was challenged last spring to write a song about Autism without using the word in the song. The result was “Tomorrow’s a Better Day,” which Boyle debuted at Walter M. Kennedy Elementary School’s Spring Fling. Since its debut, Boyle has donated the proceeds of the song to charity. It’s that same song that is used in the Texaco Country Showdown songwriting competition.

Regardless of the results of the Texaco Country Showdown competitions, Boyle will still pursue his music.

“It’s like living a dream, doing what you love to do,” Boyle writes in his biography on his website. “I’ll continue to push forward, one step at a time, one day at a time. You never know when the door is going to open and I must be ready to step through.”

Fans wishing to hear Boyle’s music live can keep a check on his website, where he’ll post upcoming events. He will perform at Lulu’s BBQ on Oct. 11. Boyle also said he plans to get in the studio this month and work on an album, which he hopes will be available before the end of the year.

Contact Heather Baggett at