Inside Track on Music Row: Sept 2021


Pickers Original Vodka, Tennessee’s first craft vodka, has unveiled two murals honoring Moon Taxi, Chris Scruggs and Guthrie Trapp.   The Moon Taxi mural is located on wall of Exit In at 2208 Elliston Place. Chris Scruggs and Guthrie Trapp are teamed up and featured at the Bootleggers Inn building on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Broadway.  Pickers Vodka commissioned Nashville mural artist, Bryan Deese and launched the mural series in 2020.   Deese’s previous murals featured Sam Bush & Kendell Marvel, Alyanna Royale and Jerry Pentecost. Additional murals will be commissioned in the fall of 2021.  The mural series highlights Pennington Distilling Company’s pledge that $1 for every bottle of Pickers Original Vodka sold at Middle Tennessee bars, restaurants and venues that support live music will be donated to Music Health Alliance.  For every $1 donation, MHA is able to provide $30 in life-saving healthcare resources. More about the Music Health Alliance at


The board of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame has decided to combine the 2020 Gala and 2021 Gala. We honor the Class of 2020 alongside the Class of 2021 in a special double-sized event next fall as we celebrate ‘Nashville Songwriting’s Most Legendary Night.’” There will be more information in the weeks to come. As of now it is scheduled for November 1st at the Music City Center.


Justin Moore scored his tenth No. 1 as “We Didn’t Have Much” (The Valory Music Co.) peaked at the top of both the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart in August with a song that epitomizes his humble roots and grateful spirit. Produced by Jeremy Stover and Scott Borchetta, the reflective track follows in the successful footsteps of his previous chart-topper “Why We Drink” and is featured on Moore’s Straight Outta The Country collection, which dropped in April. Written by Stover, Randy Montana (George Strait, Luke Combs, Jon Pardi) and Paul DiGiovanni (Boys Like Girls), “We Didn’t Have Much” highlights the country traditionalism, vivid storytelling and signature Arkansas-bred twang that has helped stamp Moore as staple in the genre for over a decade. Moore was recently honored with a Pandora Billionaire Plaque to commemorate his massive 3 billion streams on the platform.  He is busy on the road with a packed touring schedule through the fall, headlining shows at arenas, fairs and festivals across the nation. Tour updates and more at


Neal McCoy, the Platinum country artist and songwriter, is one of the latest stars to join Grammy-winning John Berry and his wife Robin as a guest on their podcast, Faith, Family and Friends. The twice monthly subscription-based podcast is an interview series where John and Robin provide a warm atmosphere of conversation in their ‘sitting around the kitchen table’ approach to talking with their guests. “My friendship with John and Robin goes way back to the 90s when we were both getting played a lot on the radio, which led us to doing shows together,” shared Neal McCoy. “Always admired John and Robin’s relationship with each other and their faith. My wife Melinda and I have our 41st Anniversary coming up, and we always know that as long as we keep our faith also, nothing can stand in our way.” More details at


Endurance Music Group has teamed with hit writer and producer Ash Bowers to announce the signing of breakthrough country and pop songwriter/artist Jeffrey East to a joint publishing agreement. The Texas-born emerging songwriter spent 15 years in Nashville writer rooms before packing up his life and decamping to Los Angeles for a fresh perspective in July of 2020, smack in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. His time in Nashville garnered cuts with notable artists like Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Chuck Wicks, Home Free and more, and as an artist himself, East boasts over 20 million streams across all platforms, with five songs in constant rotation on Spotify’s Country Coffeehouse playlist.  East said, “I’m so grateful to Ash and to the team at EMG for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work alongside them in this next chapter of my career.”  Endurance Music Group President Michael Martin commented, “I’ve been a fan of Jeffrey’s since the first time I heard his music. It didn’t take long to recognize his creative talents as both a songwriter and an artist. We’re thrilled to welcome Jeffrey to the EMG family!” More details at


One of Nashville’s prominent producers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists, Alex Kline, is the first female producer/writer to sign with the creative joint venture between Sheltered Music Publishing and legendary producer Dann Huff. The focus of the partnership is to develop producer talent, as well as artists and songwriters. Sheltered Music’s SVP, Darrell Franklin and Huff have a long, rich history with the development of talent which includes busbee, John Paul White, Jonathan Singleton and Blackberry Smoke.  “I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Alex Kline over the past few months,” said Dann Huff.  “If she’s any indication of the future of country music, then the future looks extremely bright! What a talent both in production and songwriting.” Kline’s production credits include collections by Terri Clark, Tara Thompson, Adam Brand, Erin Enderlin, John King, Logan Murrell, Jordan Rager, Maggie Rose and Jillian Cardarelli among others. Kline’s 2021 projects include producing Tenille Arts’ new album Girl to Girl and Stephanie Quayle’s forthcoming album featuring her latest single, “Lone Ranger.” More at


Pop-country powerhouse Erin Grand grieves the loss of love in her new single “Lonely Does,” available now. The ballad, co-written by Grand with Lance Carpenter and Allie Dunn, and produced by Alex Kiel, finds the Minnesota native doing things only heartbreak would inspire, musing “love would never let me do the things that lonely does.” The message, further sold to listeners by Grand’s signature soulful vocals, wasn’t one she originally struck out to share – but ultimately found its way into her co-write.  Listen to “Lonely Does”.  Drawing inspiration from the stylings of favorites Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars, Grand’s sound – which she calls “pop country with a LOT of soul” – perfectly complements her lyrical voice. “I like to write about what could be… made up things. Imagining things in a way that most men or women would dream of wanting.” “Lonely Does” is a sharp departure from Grand’s last release – the carefree, quirky “Better With Wine,” which dropped last month. The official video is now available to view. More at


Singer/songwriter Danielle Bradbery shares a coming-of-age declaration with new track “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” (Big Machine Records).  Leaning into the sassy post-modern tone, Danielle shows a side of herself we’ve never seen before as she puts a casual guy on notice: get real or go home. Though playful in its twin fiddle execution, Danielle’s amber-tinted voice flexes in the Nathan Chapman-produced song without ever needing to shove the notes around. Listen at

“This song is a fiery anthem for every girl that’s ever felt strung along by a guy. The bold lyrics and sassy beat really pulled me in and reminded me of that fun, Shania Twain, 90’s country pop vibe that I’m pumped to channel that into my music” Danielle shares. “It made me feel for the times my friends and I have been in the middle of these situation-ships.”  Penned by Josh Kear, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson, “Stop Draggin’ Your Boots” perfectly captures the sweet side of Danielle as well as her strength and smarts. Videos, music and info at


Hit songwriter Natalie Hemby has announced that her debut album, Pins and Needles (Fantasy Records) will be released October 8. The title track is now available everywhere.  In addition to her solo career, Hemby is a member The Highwomen with Maren Morris, Amanda Shires and Brandi Carlile that got together in 2019 and released a self-titled album. “‘Pins and Needles’ was the first song I ever wrote with Brothers Osborne,” says Hemby. “I have always loved this song, and I have always loved them. They almost put it on their record. Years after, I asked them if I could have it. They said yes, so I decided to record it and make it the title track. It’s one of my favorites.” The upcoming album includes songs cowritten by Hemby with Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Barry Dean and Daniel Tashian in addition to the Brothers Osborne and others.  “Pins and Needles is the record I never got the chance to make and I always wanted to,” adds Hemby. “It’s the late 90’s sound, which is the sound of my young adult life.” Listen to “Pins and Needles” at