NOV 17, 2022




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.
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Derek Bahr is a multi-talented musician, artist, and songwriter.  He spent the last decade as a road musician for artists such as Jon Pardi, Jordan Davis, Ryan Hurd, Cassadee Pope, Rodney Atkins, and more. Though he has been writing songs for years, when gigs shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic, Bahr took intentional time to write, record, and produce his debut EP, Collecting Dust.  On the heels of its release, Bahr signed a publishing, management, and record deal with Creative Nation in 2021.
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Jonathan Hutcherson infuses country with uplifting affirmations culled from his own real-life underdog journey. Belting right from the gut as he wears his heart on his sleeve, the Kentucky-born and Nashville-based singer and songwriter shares his truth without filter. As a child, he recognized an innate predisposition for singing and songwriting even with “moderate to severe hearing loss. Wearing hearing aids since the age of two, he nevertheless gravitated to music from the first moment he could. At 16-years-old, he auditioned for NBC’s The Voice and ended up on Team Pharrell Williams. His appearance on the show boosted his confidence. After his final high school test, he bolted straight to Nashville on February 1, 2018—a date he memorialized with a tattoo on his arm. His independent single “Strangers” racked up 1 million-plus Spotify streams as he logged countless sessions around Music City, balancing a job at Lowe’s to stay afloat. In 2019, he caught the attention of Creative Nation and signed a publishing and development deal. Co-writing with the likes of Parker Welling, Jamie Moore, Josh Jenkins, and Heather Morgan, he spent the next year cultivating his sound, drawing equally from those formative gospel influences, classic country, and homegrown bluegrass with a twist of modern pop. Now, he forges a close connection to audiences on his 2021 self-titled debut EP led by the single “Young.”
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On her latest release, The Balladeer, Lori McKenna herself is offering her most uplifting and uptempo album in a catalog that spans 20 years. Produced by GRAMMY award-winning Dave Cobb, and recorded in Nashville’s historic Studio A, The Balladeer follows an incredible stretch of career momentum, continuing a series of landmark years for McKenna following her 2018 album, The Tree. Nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 2019 Americana Music Awards, the album received widespread critical acclaim and landed on several “Best of 2018” lists including Entertainment Weekly, Paste, Slate, The A.V. Club, The Washington Post and Rolling Stone. In 2016, McKenna’s album The Bird & The Rifle was nominated for three GRAMMY awards as well as three Americana Music Awards. In addition to her career as a solo artist, McKenna continues to enjoy tremendous success as one of the music industry’s most in-demand songwriters. In 2017, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award two years in a row and also won back-to-back GRAMMY awards for Best Country Song for Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind”. Moreover, she became the first female to ever win Songwriter of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards that same year. In addition to writing songs for a multitude of award-winning artists including Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Sara Bareilles, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Hunter Hayes and Reba McEntire, McKenna also co-wrote “Always Remember Us This Way,” which was featured in the Academy Award-winning 2018 film, A Star Is Born. 
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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 GRAMMY awards, 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 recent 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.
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Originally from Springboro, Ohio, Mantia made the move to Nashville to attend Belmont University, where she recently graduated with a songwriting degree. While at Belmont, she won the 2019 GrammyU songwriter showcase, as well as the 2019 Belmont ASCAP Writers’ Night, which led her to play at the university’s annual Best of the Best showcase. Mantia quickly became an integrated part of the Music Row community, garnering the attention of artists, songwriters and publishers for her clever ideas and overall capability to hold her own in a writing room, and on a stage.
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Steve Moakler is a country music singer/songwriter with Pennsylvania roots. More than 15 years into his career, with a series of acclaimed albums, co-written hits with Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Ben Rector, Reba McIntire, and more, and cross-country tours with Old Dominion, Willie Nelson, Dan + Shay, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in the rear view, his new album Make A Little Room presents a recipe for something different. A life of unforgettable moments, savored in the spaces between. Writing or co-writing all 10 songs on Make A Little Room, what emerged was a set steeped in uncommon wisdom, and delivered with a spark of enlightened electricity. Just as spacious in approach it is in theme, it features an easy-going spirit and the rootsy rhythms front-porch pop, as tender vocals alive with gratitude join a bare minimum of bright, breezy guitars. And all throughout, Moakler wraps himself in the freedom of the here and now. His 7th studio album features the title track and lead song “Make A Little Room” as well as tracks “Let’s Go To The Lake,” “Numbered,” and “’You Being You,” all available now!
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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,” “Keep It Simple,” and “Over All Over Again” the latter of which hit #1 at Canadian Country Radio last year. After quickly writing a slew of radio hits in Canada, totaling eight #1s and over a dozen top 10s, Wood made the move to Nashville to expand his presence. Wood signed a publishing deal with Creative Nation in 2019.
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