Well if there was any negativity surrounding the C2C announcement, there certainly wasn’t when it came to the CMA Songwriters announcement! Yes the CMA have pulled it out the bag bringing all three of the songwriting team the love junkies to our shores! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them perform in Nashville at Tin Pan South in the past and what a treat it was. Together, the three of them have written a number of hits and album cuts released by some of the biggest names in Country music, perhaps the most notable being Girl Crush by Little Big Town, one of the songs of the decade, in my opinion! But they are only three of our five stars announced, so who are the other two? Well below I have put together a little information on each of our five writers and a recommended song or two... or three to get you started on your research for what is going to be the best CMA Songwriters Series yet!
Best known for his role in the band the Cadillac three, Jaren Johnston is a talented musician and though he’s bound to play some Cadillac three tunes he has quite a catalogue of other hits to choose from. Yes, in between his busy recording and touring schedule with the band, he has written such songs as Days of Gold and Beachin by Jake Owen, Raise Em Up and You Gonna Fly by Keith Urban and Southern Girl by Tim McGraw to name just some of the great songs he’s had a hand in writing.
Niko Moon is perhaps most notable for being a member of the band Sir Rosevelt with Zac Brown and for co-writing lots of the Zac Brown Bands songs. As a solo artist himself he released his debut track this year called Good Times. As his project, Sir Rosevelt, of which he is co-founder demonstrates, he is quite an eclectic songwriter having written in the Country, Pop and Electronic Dance genres. My personal favourite that he’s had a hand in writing is Back to Life by Rascal Flatts. There’s bound to be something for everyone when it comes to Niko’s turn.
Well I’ve heard Hillary Lindsey be referred to as a hit machine and those people are not wrong. She’s had 20 number one hits as a writer and the place to start with Hillary is probably by looking at Carrie Underwood. She’s the brains behind the likes of Jesus Take The Wheel, Last Name, Little Toy Guns and Two Black Cadillacs to Name a few. That’s the start with Hillary but certainly not the end, Blue Ain’t Your Colour by Keith Urban is one of her creations, Hide the Wine by Carly Pearce and When Someone Stops Loving You by Lady Antebellum. She is consistently in the top five on the music row songwriter charts due to the amount of songs being released that she has written, she’s also won numerous awards. She has an incredible voice but doesn’t really release any music herself although before Reba released the song Clown on her last record there was a version sung by Hillary floating around Spotify which I recommend if you manage to find it.
I speak about Lori so much on my radio show, she really is one of my favourite songwriters and it’s hard to single out her most notable hit however she did single handedly write the Grammy award winning Humble and Kind, which just about manages to touch everybody’s heart. For those new to the genre who have perhaps seen the film A Star is Born then you will know one song of hers that she wrote with Hillary and Natalie Hemby, Always Remember Us This Way. She travels once a month to Nashville but resides in Massachusetts with her family so writes both collaboratively and solo with equal success! She is highly regarded within the songwriting community, known for her detailed, storytelling lyrics. Artists such as Hunter Hayes and Keith Urban have made Lori’s lyrics come to life and rise to the top of the charts. But it’s the many albums that Lori has released herself that highlight her true talent for me, songs such as Your Next Lover and The Time I’ve Wasted show off her deep lyric writing ability, so listen to these lesser known songs and albums of hers to find some true gems!
I have loved Liz Rose since reading the lyric booklet when Taylor Swift’s first record came out. Liz was heavily involved in the writing of Taylor’s first few records, such hits as Teardrops On My Guitar, White Horse and You Belong With Me, the latter of which I had the pleasure of singing with her on stage in Nashville with a few good friends from Uni (yes it was the highlight of my life haha!) Outside of her writing sessions with Taylor Swift though, Rose has written hits such as God Made Girls by RaeLynn, Golden by Kylie Minogue and a string of album cuts by Blake Shelton, Eli Young Band and Martina McBride amongst many, many others. Last time she was over Liz was promoting her own album which she was about to release. I have a theory that to be a great songwriter, you have to be a comedian and let me tell you, Liz will have the audience in uproar!
So I think the most exciting thing here is that for the first time we’re seeing all three members of a formidable writing team in the same writers round, who knows they might even write one whilst they’re sat there! Tickets go on general sale tomorrow!