Spending all day, working on a song––that’s Luke Laird. Quiet but full of music, hard-working but playful, quick-witted but kind: He has long-since joined the country music ranks he idolized as a kid growing up in tiny Hartstown, Pennsylvania. Over the last decade, the Nashville-based Laird has penned 24 No. 1 country songs, earned two Grammys, clinched Songwriter of the Year titles from BMI and the Academy of Country Music, and taken home too much more industry hardware to gracefully list here. But while music’s top-tier and liner-notes lovers know his name, Laird has typically shirked spotlights––until now. With his new album Music Row, Laird offers an intimate look into his journey from Hartstown to Nashville. The first-ever record from one of music’s most trusted creators and collaborators, Music Row is a songwriter’s story, traversing childhood, grief, addiction, family, and the community he loves. The songs are deeply personal and sometimes raw, all delivered by the songwriter himself.
Barry Dean takes nothing for granted. Even after earning a Grammy nomination for Tim McGraw's "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools" and topping charts with four No. 1 singles, he remains awestruck each time he hears a song he wrote on the radio. Dean still can’t help but think of how he seemed destined to work a 9-to-5 in Kansas––a fate that now seems preposterous, given his track record: two No. 1 singles for Little Big Town, "Pontoon" and "Day Drinkin'"; "Think a Little Less," which topped the charts for Michael Ray; "Heartache Medication" which most recently hit #1 for Jon Pardi; Ingrid Michaelson's Top 40 smash "Girls Chase Boys"; and an ever-growing list of country and pop successes prove Dean is doing exactly what he was made to do.
Home and the people who make it have captivated Lori McKenna for years. Over the last three decades, as she became a wife and mother of five, she has also emerged as one of the most respected, prolific singer-songwriters in popular music. Her 2016 release, The Bird and the Rifle, netted three Grammy nominations, along with Americana Music Association nods––all firsts for McKenna as an artist. Then, she made history. In 2016, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year two years in a row thanks to co-writing Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and penning Tim McGraw’s no. 1 “Humble and Kind” solo. Both songs also clinched back-to-back Grammy wins for Best Country Song. In 2017, she became the Academy of Country Music’s first female Songwriter of the Year. In 2018, McKenna released her much-anticipated eleventh studio album, The Tree, which was nominated for the 2019 Americana Awards Album of the Year. And most recently in 2020, McKenna released The Balladeer, her most uplifting and uptempo album in a catalog that spans 20 years, produced again by GRAMMY award winning Dave Cobb and recorded in Nashville’s historic Studio A.
Chances are you’ve listened to one of Tyler Johnson’s songs and didn’t realize it. The multi-talented artist, songwriter and producer has worked on releases for some of music’s top artists like: Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Cam, John Legend, Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus, OneRepublic, Ed Sheeran and more. Johnson helped develop and launch country music artist Cam, co-writing 8 tracks and producing (with Jeff Bhasker) her 2015 debut album, Untamed. The album includes Cam’s chart-topping single, “Burning House.” The No. 1 song, co-penned and produced by Johnson, garnered him his first ACM Awards nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Single of the Year” and a CMA nod for “Song of the Year.” He also produced Cam’s sophomore album along with long-time mentor Jeff Bhasker, to be released in 2020 with the first single, “’Til There’s Nothing Left,” out now! Johnson teamed up with world-renowned artist Sam Smith to write and produce the tracks “One Last Song” and “Palace” off The Thrill Of It All. The past year, Johnson produced The Head And The Heart's highy-anticipated Living Mirage as well as co-wrote and produced three songs on Meghan Trainor's latest record, TREAT MYSELF. Most recently, Johnson worked with Harry Styles on his second record, Fine Line, writing 7 of the 12 tracks. He worked with Styles on his self-titled debut album as well, writing 9 of the 10 tracks, with both production and co-production credits on both records. Johnson wrote and produced Styles’ first single, “Lights Up,” from Fine Line, as well as follow up single “Watermelon Sugar” and current single, “Adore You.”
Casey Brown is young, but his old-soul perspective has already yielded big successes. Along with friends and frequent collaborators Parker Welling and Russell Dickerson, Brown co-wrote Dickerson’s three no. 1 hits, "Blue Tacoma," "Every Little Thing," and his debut no. 1, “Yours,” a moving portrait of the personal growth that comes with finding a true partner. “Yours” became the title track of Dickerson’s debut album, for which Brown co-wrote several additional tracks. Then, Brown flexed different muscles, and produced the entire record. His wins aren’t limited to his career-launching work with Dickerson: Megan+Liz, Building 429, Sidewalk Prophets, Francesca Battistelli, Finding Favour, Tauren Wells, and many more artists spanning multiple genres have recorded Brown’s thoughtfully crafted songs.
Steve Moakler is a country music singer/songwriter with Pennsylvania roots. Over a decade after relocating to Nashville from the Pittsburgh home he memorably captured on his album Steel Town (released March 2017), he has toured alongside such acts as Old Dominion, Willie Nelson, Dan + Shay and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Moakler — whose songwriting credits include cuts by Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Ben Rector, Reba McIntire and more — was inspired by new life changes to craft his sixth studio album, Blue Jeans, produced by Luke Laird and Nick Lobel which was released on CN Records in January 2020. The album features the title track and lead song “Blue Jeans,” as well as tracks “Push,” “How Have We Never,” and "'72 Winnebago," all available now!
Kassi Ashton brought a whole new attitude of her own to country music upon arrival in 2017. The California, Missouri singer and songwriter initially touched down with a string of critically acclaimed tracks. Released by UMG Nashville in conjunction with Interscope, her introductory release “California, Missouri” stirred up widespread critical acclaim from Taste of Country, CMT, The Boot, and many more. As her profile grew, she lent her voice to the standout “Drop Top” on Keith Urban’s chart-topping 2018 album, Graffiti U. He went on to describe her as “such a unique, original creature.” Expanding on her confessional and catchy storytelling, she maintained momentum on the summer solo song “Taxidermy.” Named “Who to Watch” by Huffington Post and The Tennessean, radio personality Bobby Bones included her among his Class of 2018. Rolling Stone lauded her as “a devilish songwriter who isn’t afraid to flip convention on its head,” and Refinery29 also claimed, “she blends pop aesthetics with a presence doused in no-fucks-left-to-give authenticity.” She continues to defy convention and define a signature style on the 2019 singles “Violins,” “Pretty Shiny Things,” “Field Party,” her 2020 release of “Hopeless” - and a whole lot more to come.
Alec Bailey began writing and playing local venues in North Carolina when he was in middle school. He grew up listening and learning traditional country songs. At the end of high school, he continued music and decided to move out to LA to continue his career. While he was in California, he discovered a passion for R&B soul music. Two years later, he moved to Nashville blending his roots and his passions and currently released his debut project, available on all digital platforms now.
Bear Rinehart is the GRAMMY-nominated frontman of the South Carolina rock band NEEDTOBREATHE. As a founding member of the Atlantic Records act, Rinehart has been a part of multiple chart topping releases including H A R D L O V E which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Albums, Top Current Albums, Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts and #2 on the Billboard 200, as well as performing and writing credits on the RIAA-Certified Gold single “Brother (feat. Gavin DeGraw).” Outside of NEEDTOBREATHE, Bear Rinehart has multiple cuts across a variety of genres and resides in Franklin, Tenn. with his family.
Travis Wood is an award-winning songwriter and musician, best known for penning consecutive hit singles for the James Barker Band, including "Good Together," "There's A Drink For That," and "Keep It Simple," the latter of which hit #1 at Canadian Country Radio this year. After quickly writing a slew of radio hits in Canada, totaling four #1s, 18 top 10s and 10 Certified Gold singles, Wood made the move to Nashville to expand his presence. Wood signed a publishing deal with Creative Nation in 2019.
Jonathan Hutcherson is 20 years old and recently moved from Wilmore, KY to Nashville. He grew up singing in church and school talent shows, and eventually began singing at local fairs and hometown venues. In 2016, Hutcherson auditioned for Season 10 of NBC's hit show, The Voice. He made it onto the show and was selected by Pharrell Williams to join his team - an experience that led him chase his dreams and pursue music full time. Hutcherson signed a publishing and record deal with Creative Nation in 2019.