Eyes On The Prize: How Rodney Crowell Met His Co-Writer


It’s hard to break through as a non-performing songwriter in the music business. Many try. They come to Nashville with a battered guitar and a suitcase full of lyrics and toil in oblivion for years. They play songwriter rounds, honky-tonks, and doggedly pursue the reps of publishing companies, often times to no avail. Most never […]

Continue Reading

Painting Landscapes: A Q&A with Rodney Crowell


Rodney Crowell returns next week with Tarpaper Sky, his first proper solo release since 2008′s Sex And Gasoline. We chat with our former “Lyric Contest Dream Co-Writer” about how he’s grown as a songwriter, the temptation to re-write an old hit, and the influence of Cèzanne on the new album.  Stream Crowell’s New Album Tarpaper Sky […]

Continue Reading

Song Premiere: HT Heartache, “Cowboy Poetry”

HT Heartache

The Artist: HT Heartache, a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter The Song: “Cowboy Poetry,” a spooky, ethereal song of wistful longing off her new album Sundowner What’s In Her Name: I actually have a bizarre personal pact to not talk about the significance of the name HT Heartache. What I can say is that I wanted a moniker and […]

Continue Reading

May/June 2014 Lyric Contest Spotlight: Blair Bodine


“Lonely Pretty Things” 1st Place| Written by Blair Bodine When did you write “Lonely Pretty Things?” It was probably a year and a half ago. It’s a little bit nerdy, but I was at the Frist Center for Visual Arts and I was attending a teacher training session for educators. We were learning about Ekphrastic […]

Continue Reading

Parker Millsap Live: Presented by Martin Guitar

parker millsap

In his early teens, Parker Millsap took a trip to a high-end guitar shop in Oklahoma with his dad. He felt like a kid in a candy store, and picked there for hours on end, sampling as many vintage axes as he could get his hands on. Finally, his dad put a stop to the […]

Continue Reading

SXSW Music Conference: Wednesday


A look at a few of today’s SXSW panels. From Songs to Scores: Can Songwriters Score Films? Writing and composing music for film and television poses a unique set of challenges for artists and bands, often requiring the songwriter to work fully in the service of the film’s producers and directors. “You’re not writing this […]

Continue Reading

Rebel Yell: A Q&A with Black Lips

black lips

Black Lips, garage-rock’s most notorious bad boys, will release Underneath The Rainbow on March 18, their first album in nearly three years. Much of the record was produced by Black Key’s Patrick Carney, at his Nashville studio. “I was thrilled to work with the Black Lips,” Carney said of the experience. “I’ve been a fan for a […]

Continue Reading

Matthew Ryan Releases Benefit Single To Help Friend In Fight Against ALS


Folk-punk singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan has always shined a light on the underdog. His songs are often snapshots of the dark life on the edge of town, where broken hearts and malcontents manage to persevere, with hope, in the face of some pretty tough shit. One of Ryan’s friends, John Anderson, is now in the late […]

Continue Reading

March/April 2014 Digital Issue Featuring Hurray For The Riff Raff Now Available

Digital Cover

  The waiting is the hardest part. But if you have an iPad or Android tablet device, you don’t have to wait for the March/April dead-tree edition of American Songwriter, which doesn’t hit newsstands until March 10. Tablet users can dive into the digital edition today and enjoy our cover story on Hurray for the Riff […]

Continue Reading

Check Out The Lineup For The Billy Reid + Weather Up Austin Shindig


American Songwriter is proud to present The Billy Reid + Weather Up Austin Shindig, a two-day musical extravaganza deep in the heart of Texas. The event goes down March 12 and March 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Weather Up in East Austin (1808 E Cesar Chavez Street). This year’s party will feature performances […]

Continue Reading

American Songwriter Live: Robert Ellis


A polar wind blew through Nashville in January, but we found sanctuary one afternoon in the home of New West recording artist Robert Ellis. The space cowboy himself treated us to a performance of “Bottle Of Wine,” a dark-night-of-the-soul ballad off his upcoming album The Lights From The Chemical Plant. Ellis performs the song on […]

Continue Reading

Watch: Caroline Spence Claims 2013 Lyric Contest Grand Prize

lee brice co-write

Caroline Spence, winner of the 2013 American Songwriter Lyric Contest Grand Prize, chose to demo “What You Don’t Know,” one of her “catchier songs,” at a Music Row studio. “I wrote this song a really long time ago,” said the Charlottesville, Virginia native, who moved to Nashville three years ago to pursue a songwriting career. […]

Continue Reading