Feb. 12 Songwriters’ Night
The Warren Brothers
Brett and Brad Warren arrived in Nashville in 1995 from their hometown of Tampa, Florida. Their progressive sound piqued the interest of Faith Hill in 1999 and The Warren Brothers were selected for the coveted opening slot on Hill and Tim McGraw’s “Soul2Soul” tour in 2000. They’ve since appeared on the award winning 2005 Brooks & Dunn “Deuces Wild” tour, Martina McBride’s 2006 “Timeless” tour, McGraw & Hill’s “Soul2Soul” tour 2007 and on the “Live Your Voice” tour in 2008 with Tim McGraw and The Dancehall Doctors.
On the television front, their quick wit, sharp tongues and wild-card unpredictability made them a hit as judges on the USA Network TV series “Nashville Star,” which led to more television pursuits with CMT. “Barely Famous: The Warren Brothers,” was a reality show cult-classic among music and industry fans alike.
Their songwriting earned a buzz in 2003 with a string of cuts starting with McGraw’s “Who Are They” off the multi-platinum Dancehall Doctors album and quickly followed Lynyrd Skynrd (“Red, White & Blue”), more McGraw (“Blank Sheet Of Paper” from “Live Like You Were Dying”) and Van Zant (“I Can’t Help Myself”).
Their careers skyrocketed with Martina’s “Anyway,” nominated for 2007 Song of the Year by the CMA’s. And Americans fell quiet when Tim McGraw performed “If You’re Reading This,” at the 2007 ACM’s – a tribute to fallen troops and their families, co-written by McGraw and The Warrens. Faith Hill also recorded “Red Umbrella” that was on “Faith Hill-The Hits” released in 2007. In 2009, The Warren Brothers received their first #1 with Dierks Bentley’s hit “Feel That Fire”. Writing outside the country format, the brothers had a hit with the pop duo Evan and Jaron and have nine songs on the rock band Hinder`s latest record, “The All American Nightmare”. They have been writing with artists like Chris Daughtry and Neyo, and are working extensively with Lady Antebellum and other new cross-over acts. Tim McGraw calls them “the two best songwriters you’ll ever be in a room with.” In 2011, The Warren Brothers signed with EMI Music Publishing and Martina released their song “Teenage Daughters” as a single. Nickelback cut a song that The Warren Brothers wrote with the band called “Tryin’ Not To Love You” on their 2011 album “Here and Now”. Their tongue-in-cheek song “Red Solo Cup” became a hit for Toby Keith and was even featured on the popular TV show Glee. They also have cuts on multiple upcoming albums from Tim McGraw, Love & Theft, Kenny Chesney and Lit.
For years, Josh Kear has been one of Nashville’s most versatile songwriters, equally adept at unearthing the pain and passion that drives any great music. He notched a Song of the Year Grammy Award win for Lady Antebellum’s Number One smash take on his co-write “Need You Now.” (That makes three. Carrie Underwood’s fiery take on Kear’s “Before He Cheats” won the celebrated songwriter his first Grammy for Best Country Song in 2007; Lady A’s “Need You Now,” which UK sensation Adele recently covered as well, won the same award).
In 2012, Kear has had six singles climbing the charts: Gloriana’s “(Kissed You) Good Night”, Lady Antebellum’s “Dancing Away With My Heart”, Luke Bryan’s two week Number One “Drunk On You”, and Carrie Underwood’s Number One “Blown Away”. Darius Rucker’s “True Believers” and Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs” are still rising on the charts.
“Need You Now” soared to Number One on Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay as well as Number One on Billboard’s Hot A/C chart, where the song spent an impressive 35 weeks in the Top 3. The single went five times Platinum, and the album sold over three million units. Plus, “Need You Now” spent five weeks at Number One on Billboard’s Country chart and won the 2010 ASCAP Country Song of the Year award.
In addition to its Grammy win, Carrie Underwood’s scathing take on “Before He Cheats” (a co-write with friend Chris Tompkins) became the fourth longest charting single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart (an astounding 64 weeks). The most downloaded country song in history until 2009, it was also nominated for the 2008 Grammy Song of the Year. Like “Need You Now,” the song topped Billboard’s Country chart for five weeks and crossed over onto MTV and VH1, scoring the People’s Choice Award for Best Country Song of the Year. Kear has had four number one songs in his career, with two in 2012 alone.
Internationally known singer-songwriter Dave Barnes is known for his warmth and vulnerability as a lyricist and storyteller. The words to his songs feel familiar long before the final chord is heard. Over the past decade and with five well-loved studio albums, the Nashville-based Barnes has effortlessly melded the sound of pop, country, rock, and soul. Barnes’ “God Gave Me You” hit No. 13 on the US Christian chart, while Blake Shelton’s version of the song hit No. 1 on the country and adult contemporary chart.
After several years of touring the United States in his family’s band, Sellers joined the road band of Ricky Skaggs. By 1997, he was signed to a recording contract with BNA Records, for whom he recorded two studio albums: 1997′s I’m Your Man and 1999′s A Matter of Time. These two albums produced five singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts; each album’s title track reached Top 40 on that chart. Although he has not recorded any albums since A Matter of Time, Jason has had continued success as a songwriter, with acts such as Lonstar, Kenny Chesney and Montgomery Gentry having recorded his songs. In addition, he holds several credits as a session background vocalist.
Ashley Brandenburg is an up-and-coming Cincinnati-based singer/songwriter who began her Nashville music career in 2010. After making her way up and down Music Row, she caught the attention of Michael Blanton, President of BE Music and Entertainment, and signed with the company in early 2012. Ashley immediately went to work in the studio recording her first album of original songs. She is currently wrapping up in the studio and looking forward to a 2013 release.
Nathan Clark George
Award winning singer/songwriter Nathan Clark George has been touring with his music for more than a decade, including almost 5 years full-time in an RV with his family. His discography delivers compelling musical presentations of Scripture along with transparent snapshots of life. Franklin Springs Family Media produces a DVD featuring a full-length concert, as well as a documentary of Nathan and his family and their lives on the road. He was also one of the featured artists on the release from Ligionier Ministries, My Cry Ascends, by Greg Wilbur.
More recently, Nathan has been writing and working for corporate worship at Parish Presbyterian Church in Franklin. It is Nathan’s desire to encourage a thoughtful and meaningful approach to worship and the Scriptures in song. He continues to write and record many folk tunes based on theology, poetry and everyday life.
Lance Miller is an Illinois native who got his start as a Nashville Star season 2 finalist in 2004. He was a Warner Brothers recording artist from 2006-2008 and currently writes for StyleSonic, Tim McGraw’s publishing company. Lance toured with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their wildly successful 2007 “Soul2Soul” tour and again with McGraw on his 2008 “Live your Voice” tour. Lance’s songs have been recorded by Tim McGraw, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, Thomas Rhett, Craig Campbell, Randy Travis, Clay Walker, Tracy Lawrence, Randy Houser and others.
Kentucky-born David Tolliver has been a Music City fixture for nearly a decade. As one-half of the chart-topping duo Halfway to Hazard, David and Chad Warrix released their debut single “Daisy” in 2007. The song was a Top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and featured as iTunes’ single of the week on Aug. 6, 2007. They toured as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s opening act on their 2007 “Soul2Soul” tour.
In May 2008, Halfway to Hazard was nominated by the Academy of Country Music for their “Duo of the Year” award. Halfway to Hazard toured again on the “Live Your Voice” tour with Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean. A single from their second album, “I Know Where Heaven Is,” was released on July 20, 2009.
David currently writes for Tim McGraw’s publishing company, Stylesonic, and penned songs for two of McGraw’s latest records, “Emotional Traffic” and “Two Lanes of Freedom.” George Strait also recorded a Tolliver original for his latest album, to be released spring 2013.