Over the weekend on October 7th I got the chance to meet some of today’s hit country song writers as well as see them perform some of their hit songs. Performing on Friday was JT Harding (“Sangria”- Blake Shelton), James Slater (“Unstoppable”- Rascal Flatts) , Dylan Altman (” Take A Little Ride With You”- Jason Aldean), and Phil Barton (A Woman Like You”- Lee Brice). It’s crazy to think that these guys don’t get near the amount of credit that the artists do. If you think about it most artists wouldn’t have number one songs with out these song writers.
A little background about each artist:
JT Harding was born as an orphan in Nashville but soon was adopted and raised in Detroit. While other kids were on the baseball field, JT spent his high school years in the basement jumping around to MTV, trying to write his own songs. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream and made his first demo with the prize money he earned by winning the TV game show VH1 Rock N Roll Jeopardy. He has written several hits including “Smile” with Uncle Kracker, and the number one chart-topping songs “Somewhere In My Car” with Keith Urban, “Alone With You” for Jake Owen and the Blake Shelton single “Sangria”
James Slater is a two-time, Grammy-nominated, piano-playing, bilingual singer-songwriter. Slater was born in Durham, North Carolina and raised in the tropics of the Panama Canal. Tim McGraw’s recent first single “Looking For That Girl”, and Rascal Flatt’s “Life Is A Song” are just a few songs that James has composed. His songs have also been recorded y Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Chris Brown and so many more.
Dylan Altman is a New Jersey native and a Berklee-trained musician. Altman has called Nashville home since 1993. During that time, he has secured cuts and singles on artists including Tim McGraw, The Eli Young Band, Trace Adkins, Eric Paslay among others.
Phil Barton is a native to Sydney Australia and has lived there most of his adult life. But at the age of 34 he decided to move to Nashville. Barton quickly became an example to many of how to achieve the American dream and be successful at something you love. Phil has written songs like “I Can’t Stop Loving You” for Lee Brice, “Yeah Yeah Yeah” for Dustin Lynch and many more. He even had songs recorded by Cassadee Pope, Thompson Square Rodney Atkins and more.
Overall the night was awesome! It was great to listen to the stories on how they came up with the song, experiences with an artist and even how music has changed their life. So the next time you hear a song make sure you are thinking of the song writer who does a lot of work as well as the artist.