Austin Moody Talks Hot Nashville Players, Production Tips, and “I’m Just Sayin’”

Nashville-based singer/songwriter/producer Austin Moody has been known around Music City for some time now. But last year when he released “I’m Just Sayin’,” his reaction to the Woke culture that he doesn’t have much in common with, people really began to sit up and take notice. The track was released around the same time as a couple other controversial tunes that were perceived as right-leaning, Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” and Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond,” and the songs fed off each other in terms of streaming numbers and downloads.

Many people just assume that Moody wrote “I’m Just Sayin’,” but it was actually written by longtime Nashville songwriters Mike Loudermilk (Tracy Lawrence, Crystal Gayle) and Wynn Varble (Brad Paisley, Jon Pardi). “I’m friends with Wynn,” Moody said, “and he knows where I stand with everything going on in the world right now. And he said, I gotta play you this new song I wrote. After I heard it I begged him to let me cut it. Nobody in Nashville was gonna cut that song because of the subject matter. That song started to make things happen for me in a big way. I expected to get a lot more flack than I did, but I got more positivity, and from the most unlikely places. People that I thought would hate it, loved it. I obviously put it out because I feel the way I do, but it really had nothing to do with politics. It doesn’t say anything about left or right or conservative or liberal or any of that.”

Another song of Moody’s getting some attention is “Grandpa’s Shed,” which was written by Moody and a couple of other Nashville songwriting legends, D. Vincent Williams (Aldean, Rascal Flatts) and Tommy Conners (Chris LeDoux, Trace Adkins). “That song, I’ve had it for a while,” Moody said. “I cut it down in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. About six months after I moved to Nashville I moved into a place I rented from Jeff Bates, and my next door neighbor was D. Vincent Williams. D. was the guy who got me signed to my first publishing deal. And it kind of ran full circle, because the guy who brought him to town and was his mentor was Tommy Conners. The folks who played on that project were Cactus Moser on drums, Viktor Krauss played bass on that, it was about half the same crew that played with me on ‘Tennessee Christmas.’”

“Tennessee Christmas” was Moody’s remake of the Amy Grant/Gary Chapman classic that appears on Old Fashioned Christmas, an EP Moody produced which also features singers Jerrod Niemann, Mark Wills, and Grammy winner Rebecca Lynn Howard. “That project was something I produced that was a collaboration with Duke Spirits,” Moody said. “Viktor, Cactus, Rebecca, I’ve worked with them on projects I’ve produced on other artists, and I never thought I’d be in the studio with (people like) them behind the console. I still work with some of those people, and I’m like, Is this real life? When I first started producing I called (megaproducer) Tony Brown, and I said, Man, do you have any advice for me? And he said, If you put together the right band with the right studio, the right engineer, the right songs – you do all that right, it’s gonna end up the way you want it. And if you don’t, then you have to start over.”

Moody, who recently played in Florida and was a judge for the Tennessee Song Contest in Maryville, is currently working on a number of projects. You can keep up with him at his Facebook page.

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