Songwriters hall inducts John Hiatt, Matraca Berg, Tom Shapiro
Monday, October 27, 2008
– The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation welcomed hit songwriters Matraca Berg and Tom Shapiro and singer/songwriter John Hiatt into its ranks during the 39th Annual Nashville Songwriters Hall Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony held last night.
"We take pride each year in shining a spotlight on incredible songwriters who have helped create the very foundation of the music industry. We're delighted to welcome Tom, Matraca and John into the Hall of Fame, said Roger Murrah, chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation.
Shapiro was inducted by WSIX on-air personality Gerry House, who called him a great lyricist, an amazing melody guy and a great human being. Shapiro co-writers Rivers Rutherford and Mark Nesler performed a medley of Ain't Nothin' 'Bout You and You Look Good in My Shirt, before Jo Dee Messina took the stage to perform My Give a Damn's Busted. Billy Dean capped the segment with If There Hadn't Been You, saying to Shapiro, "There's no way I would ever have made it in this town if it weren't for you." Shapiro said he was inspired to be a songwriter out of his desire to "unlock the mystery of music, and why it moved me so much."
Berg was inducted by Hall of Fame songwriter Bobby Braddock. Jessi Alexander, Jon Randall and Randy Scruggs performed a medley of Wrong Side of Memphis and You Can Feel Bad before being joined by Kim Carnes, who treated the audience to Berg's signature song, Strawberry Wine. Martina McBride closed out the set with Wild Angels. Berg said the honor was more than she had ever dreamed and added, "I wanted to be a songwriter since I was four years old." She also thanked her husband, Jeff Hanna, and quoted Marshall Chapman saying, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."
Hiatt was inducted by BMI's VP, Writer-Publisher Relations Jody Williams, who said, "I've only written one fan letter in my life, and it was to John Hiatt, after hearing his album 'Slow Turning'. His songs are everyday revelations whose brilliance lies in John's exploration of the mundane to reveal the common thread in all of us." Shawn Colvin performed This is the Way We Make a Broken Heart, before Emmylou Harris performed Icy Blue Heart, joined by Jon Randall. Michael McDonald closed out the set with Have a Little Faith in Me.
"My dream was not to be in the Songwriters Hall of Fame," said Hiatt, "but just to learn how to write songs, and this (Nashville) is the epicenter of songwriting. I still don't feel I know anything about songwriting; it's a harrowing experience, but to be honored this way makes me feel like I might know what I'm doing."
Larry Gatlin presented the first Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation Mentor Award to veteran publisher and writer Bob Beckham.
In addition to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductions, NaSHOF's sister organization, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), presented its annual Songwriter Achievement Awards. The organization's professional songwriter members voted You're Gonna Miss This, by Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller, as their Song of the Year. The Songwriter of the Year prize went to Casey Beathard, co-writer of hits such as Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy) (Rodney Atkins); Don't Blink (Kenny Chesney); How 'Bout Them Cowgirls (George Strait); and Ready, Set, Don't Go (Billy Ray Cyrus with Miley Cyrus). A tie in the Songwriter/Artist of the Year category presented honors to both Alan Jackson ("Small Town Southern Man / Good Time") and Brad Paisley ("Letter to Me / I'm Still a Guy").
The writers of NSAI's Professional Songwriters Division also singled out 10 songs and their writers for the organization's 2008 awards, informally dubbed The Songs I Wish I'd Written. Recipients were Better As A Memory (Scooter Carusoe, Lady Goodman / recorded by Kenny Chesney); Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy) (Casey Beathard, Marla Cannon-Goodman / recorded by Rodney Atkins); Don't Blink (Casey Beathard, Chris Wallin / recorded by Kenny Chesney); I Saw God Today (Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, Wade Kirby / recorded by George Strait); If You're Reading This (Tim McGraw, Brad Warren, Brett Warren / recorded by Tim McGraw); Letter To Me (Brad Paisley / recorded by Brad Paisley); Love Me If You Can (Chris Wallin, Craig Wiseman / recorded by Toby Keith); Stealing Cinderella (Rivers Rutherford, George Teren, Chuck Wicks / recorded by Chuck Wicks); Watching Airplanes (Jim Beavers, Jonathan Singleton / recorded by Gary Allan); and You're Gonna Miss This (Ashley Gorley, Lee Thomas Miller / recorded by Trace Adkins).
More news for Matraca Berg
CD reviews for Matraca Berg
Matraca Berg's new studio album is not so much a country project as it is a musically varying collection with a noticeably decided sense of place. The feeling of knowing where one belongs is expressed with the piano and strings ballad A Cold, Rainy Morning In London In June, where Berg truly feels like a homesick tourist, and also comes out during Oh Cumberland, a song about a famous Southern river that continually calls her home. These are highly personalized songs from the woman that won a »»»
Lying to the Moon And Other Stories
Though she hasn't logged a lot of air time on country radio as a singer, Matraca Berg is a familiar name to most of today's country singers. Berg is one of the most successful country songwriters of the 1990's, writing smashes like "The Wrong Side of Memphis," "Strawberry Wine" and "That Kind of Girl."
Her latest CD is a re-issue of some of her best, but lesser-known, creations from previous albums, ranging from the tender title track and "Back When We Were Beautiful" to the more raucous and »»»
Sunday Morning to Saturday Night
Deana Carter built her career on two Matraca Berg-written singles, the CMA Single and Song of the Year "Strawberry Wine" and "We Danced Anyway," and now after two brilliant but unsuccessful albums on RCA, Berg has resurfaced on Rising Tide. With Emory Gordy Jr. producing, an all-star cast of musicians and singers performing, and Berg writing and singing every song, this album deserves to be a huge hit.
"Good Ol' Girl" is a tribute to the truck-stop waitress who "serves up the biscuits and gravy »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Yes, Town Mountain is "really good"
Town Mountain exited the stage after concluding its regular set, and when the applause demanded the deserved encore, a fan yelled out "You guys are really good." That the mainly Asheville, N.C.-based bluegrass quintet demonstrated time and again.
Town Mountain merged bluegrass and country sounds with enough alterations during the 81-minute... »»»
Concert Review: Philly Folk brings big tent approach
Each year, dozens of performers are booked to play the Philadelphia Folk Festival, but probably less than a quarter of them make it onto the main stage. Several smaller stages dot the grounds at which most performers (including the main stage headliners) can be found throughout the weekend doing workshops, "theme" sets with peers whose music... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Trampled By Turtles is an indie folk group, an alt.-country band or a bluegrass act - depending on how you choose to look at them. Perhaps it's best to view the outfit as the ultimate combo platter consisting of just about everything that's good about American music. They play wonderfully, yet they also write intelligent songs that draw everyone from Townes Van Zandt to Nirvana to Ralph Stanley. It's all good, and some (or all) of these influences can be spotted in most of Trampled By Turtles' enjoyable sounds.... »»»
If you move in alt.-country/Americana circles, you simply cannot get away from the name Parker Millsap. He's certainly one of the biggest buzz artists of 2014. Better still, his self-titled album lives up to all the hype. He's a smart songwriter and a passionate singer and is essential listening for anybody looking for high quality contemporary music. Millsap also creates music appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. You can make a case that he's a country guy, but you can also hear a lot of blues and folk. And if you attempt to put a label on him, he'll quickly tear it right off.... »»»
What a difference a year can make. Last year, Sturgill Simpson was overly anxious about the arrival of his debut album, "High Top Mountain." This year, Simpson is simultaneously anticipating the birth of his debut child and his just-released sophomore album, "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," and his mood couldn't be more relaxed and joyous.... »»»
What is not expected is for a virtually unknown artist, turning 19 on the day before her album release and finishing high school during the recording of the album, to be the featured artist, with Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and the late Ray Price lending not only their vocals, but also their most-beloved standards in country music. Texas-turned-Tennessee songbird Mary Sarah Gross - Mary Sarah is her stage name - saw that dream realized on her sophomore album "Bridges."... »»»
In October 2010, The Secret Sisters released their down home country meets the Everly Brothers debut to much acclaim. Positive reviews ensued. Having T Bone Burnett executive produce your introduction to the music world didn't hurt. Laura and Lydia Rogers hit the road hard, opening dates for the likes of Ray LaMontagne. The Rogers sisters may not have enjoyed any hits from their self-titled disc, but they put their name on the map.
Levi Lowrey is best known for co-writing "Colder Weather," a number one hit, and "The Wind," both for his friends, Zac Brown Band. Lowrey also wrote "Day For The Dead," from last year's "The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1." In fact, Lowrey is often on the road opening for the group, but he also has his own career going. Lowrey just released his third disc, a self-titled effort on Brown's label, Southern Ground.... »»»
NASHVILLE OUTLAWS: A Tribute To Motley Crue
If you're expecting down home, countrified versions of metal band Motley Crue songs from "Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue," you probably don't listen to a whole lot of mainstream "country" music. Most likely, this album's original conception was a rather crass attempt to capitalize on the large contingent of classic rock fans that also listen to and enjoy older rock's continuing influence on contemporary country music. »»»
The No-Hit Wonder
After only four albums in a dozen years, there's a certain truthfulness that comes with a title like "The No-Hit Wonder." On the other hand, Cory Branan's apparent attempt at modesty belies a talent that deserves to garner notice, thanks to a wry yet infectious songwriting style that takes pains to share its strengths without ever requiring a second listen. If Branan is reticent to show he's worthy of chart placement, it's certainly not evident here. »»»
When we last heard from Sunny Sweeney in 2011 with "Concrete," her major label debut on Big Machine showed a very different side of Sweeney, whose album 5 years earlier was appropriately titled "Heartbreakers Hall of Fame." Texas honky tonk and traditional country songs blanketed her debut, but the same could not be said for "Concrete," which was the kind of disc that those bemoaning slicked up country had reason to be right. »»»
Don't Wait Up (For George)
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. This is not a tribute album. For one thing there are only five songs on it. But it's not a tribute EP either. Only three of the five were ever recorded by Jones. Whatever you call it, this is the first of two recordings celebrating two very different musical icons. The second, due in January, will fete another George - Giorgio Moroder, an influential producer who worked with Donna Summer and paved the way for electronic dance music. »»»
Do You Know Me: A Tribute to George Jones
Every male country singer worth his salt has been influenced by George Jones who died in April 2013; if not vocally, at the very least because of respect for country traditions and love of a fine song. Few, however, have the skills to sing as much like Jones as Sammy Kershaw can. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Kershaw has that whole sincerity thing down pat. »»»