FEATURED SONGWRITERS

CMA Songwriters Series has featured countless songwriters in the series throughout the world.

Phil Barton

His songs have been recorded by Country music superstars Lee Brice, Sara Evans, Eli Young Band, David Nail, Dustin Lynch, Cassadee Pope, Drake White, LoCash, High Valley, Jana Kramer, Seth Ennis, Mickey Guyton, Kristian Bush, Jay Allen, Morgan Evans, The Shires, and Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots.

He was awarded “Breakthrough Songwriter” of the year in the Music Row Awards in 2012 and had his first #1 Billboard song with the Lee Brice hit “A Woman Like You”, the song went double platinum in the US, and won him a precious NSAI Award for “One of the Ten songs I Wish i’d Written” that year.

Currently has the new Locash single “Don’t Get Better Than That” going up the US Billboard top 50 charts Fifteen Top Ten singles to his credit in recent years on the Canadian Country Charts, with Gord Bamford, Chad Brownlee, Tim Hicks, The Washboard Union, Jess Moskaluke, High Valley, Meghan Patrick, Jojo Mason, Doc Walker, and Brett Kissell. His music has appeared in 2016 three times Oscar Nominated film “Sicario”, and television shows like “Nashville” and video games like ‘The Sims’

Caylee Hammack

Caylee Hammack constantly felt like a self-described “hippie in a hillbilly town” in her tiny hometown of Ellaville, Georgia. “I used to pray every night as a kid, ‘God, just please make me different. Don’t make me like everyone else,’” she remembers. Hammack is indeed refreshingly different. And at only 25, she has already packed a full life into just a few years, using fake IDs to get gigs around South Georgia, turning down a college scholarship for a love that burned out just a few months later, sleeping in her car when she arrived in Nashville and then losing her home in an electrical fire. “My dad has always said that the most beautiful and strongest things are forged in the fire,” she says. “Iron is nothing until you work it in a fire. Glass cannot be blown without intense heat. You can’t make anything beautiful or strong without a little heat.”

For additional information, visit cayleehammack.com.

Jaren Johnson (from The Cadillac Three)

Born and raised in Nashville, TN, Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer Johnston has always been surrounded by music. He got his start playing drums at a very young age, and when he was 13, his dad bought him his first guitar. Influenced by diverse artists such as Nirvana, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Tom Petty, Johnston began to explore the craft of writing songs in his teens and is now lucky enough to call it a career. Johnston celebrated his first No. 1 song with “You Gonna Fly,” recorded by Keith Urban, and has had other cuts with Urban including the No. 1 single “Raise ‘Em Up.”  His list of hit singles include: Jake Owen’s “Beachin’,” “Days of Gold” and “American Country Love Song”; Billy Currington’s “Don’t It”; Tim McGraw’s “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” and “Southern Girl”; Frankie Ballard’s “Sunshine & Whiskey” and “It All Started With A Beer”; and Drake White’s “Livin’ The Dream.”

Niko Moon

Based in Atlanta, GA, Moon was a regular co-writing collaborator with Zac Brown and is credited on five No.1 Zac Brown Band hits: “Loving You Easy,” “Homegrown,” “Beautiful Drug” and “Keep Me In Mind” plus “Heavy Is The Head,” which topped the rock charts with Chris Cornell singing lead. Brown formed Sir Roosevelt with Moon and Ben Simonetti, pushing Moon’s experimental tendencies even further, melding Country, pop and EDM. That project coincided with a move to Nashville, and Moon expanded his co-writing work, landing a Rascal Flatts single, “Back To Life,” and supporting reggae/hip-hop artist Michael Franti as a co-writer and producer. During his work on Franti’s Stay Human, Vol. II, Moon’s personal journey reached a tipping point, inspiring him to make his own artistic statement. The goal of his forthcoming genre-testing debut EP is simply to be a positive force in the world.

Tenille Townes

While Canadian-born Tenille Townes has the lyrical fortitude of Griffin or Lori McKenna, the soulful nature of Chris Stapleton or even Adele, she is paving ground all her own. Working on her debut LP with Jay Joyce, Townes started her journey to becoming one of Country’s most promising new artists back in rural Canada, in the backseat of a car. Once settled in Nashville, Townes spent her days songwriting and her nights at guitar pulls or at the Bluebird Café, studying everything she could. Eventually, she scored a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog and headed into the studio with Joyce. Together, they tapped into her organic nature and her sheer ability to tell a story and emote it through the visceral range of her vocals – tender, bluesy, wise and full of wonder but never naive.

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