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American Songwriter

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Based in Nashville, TN, songwriter Chris Lindsey ("Every Time I Hear That Song" / Blake Shelton, "Poison and Wine" / The Civil Wars) has set out to discover what makes creative people tick. Starting with what he knows - writing - and branching out to various aspects of the music industry, Pitch List explores what it means to be a songwriter, and ultimately, a person. Join us as we talk with some of music's hit writers at the top of our Pitch List.
 
Tracing the roots of American music from its emigrated past to artists playing the songs forward. Join folk singer-songwriter Nicholas Edward Williams, where each episode uncovers unique stories and lesser-known facts behind five songs, spanning from centuries ago to those carrying tradition today. Then, as folk artists have always done, Williams re-creates them. From European immigrants, to songs of the South: Gospel, Ragtime, Blues, Country, and the Folk music derived from it all. Hear sto ...
 
James Weldon Johnson was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917. In 1920 he was the first black to be chosen as executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. Johnson established his reputation as a writer, and was know ...
 
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Welcome to part 2 of our Music Biz Series! This week, Chris chats with Kris Ahrend, the CEO of the new MLC (Mechanical Licensing Collective). A result of the Music Modernization Act that passed in 2018, this non-profit is paying out mechanical streaming royalties to songwriters and publishers that have gone unmatched for years, as well as committin…
 
In a brand new episode, Chris sits down with queer singer/songwriter Leland, who’s written some of pop music’s most influential and catchiest releases of the past few years (“Rare” / Selena Gomez, “Bloom” / Troye Sivan, “Hide Away” / Daya, + more). He’s also making waves in the TV/film industry, music producing for Rupaul’s Drag Race and Hulu serie…
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Down by The Riverside” (00:27) Mance Lipscomb (10:28) Ramblin’ Jack Elliot (23:31) Emmylou Harris (45:17) Chris Thile (57:27) Teaser: After the civil war, songs such as these were created and sung from Alabama to Ohio for a perilous journey through the Underground Railroad, where the enslaved were in pursuit…
 
Get your notebooks and thinking caps ready for Part 1 of our highly requested Music Biz Special! Today, every listener is a student of our guest Linda Edell Howard, a fantastic entertainment lawyer here in town. Buckle in for a masterclass on what YOU need to know to navigate the music business as a songwriter and/or artist. You’ll learn: what a ty…
 
Today, Chris sits down with writer/artist/musician Charlie Worsham! Since the release of his 2013 debut, “Rubberband”, Charlie has established himself as one of Nashville’s most beloved and well-respected artists. In addition to his own music, he’s a frequent collaborator, with playing and writing credits on records from Dierks Bentley, Eric Church…
 
For the final collaboration of the “Sitting In” miniseries, I’m excited to share a fantastic multi-instrumentalist, fluent in clawhammer banjo and slide blues guitar, named Cristina Vane. Born in Italy, and living many places overseas before arriving in America at 18 years old, Cristina accumulated a wealth of culture and a diverse range of songs b…
 
We’re back with a brand new episode of Pitch List, and this week, Chris got to sit down with the incredible Daniel Tashian. This genius mind has won multiple Grammys (including Album of the Year) for his writing and production work on Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour”, made magic with his songwriting idol Burt Bacharach, and has had songs recorded by …
 
Today on the program will be my sixth guest for the “Sitting In” mini-series, Jody Carroll. Jody is a performer and songwriter who effortlessly creates bold interpretations of old Blues and American Folk music, and makes them his own improvisational musical journeys. He’s a finger-style and slide guitar master, and a soulful singer blending flavors…
 
The fifth edition of the “Sitting In” miniseries features a new project by international touring Irish musician Dylan Walshe. Steeped in the traditions of folk, Irish, Blues, Singer-songwriter and roots music, Dylan has received wide acclaim from all over, including Dave King of Flogging Molly who has said that “The future of songwriting is safe in…
 
Good people! I'm so pleased to share my fourth guest to embark on this “Sitting In” mini-series, a local legend in my neck of the woods, Chattanooga’s own Lon Eldridge. Harboring a unique blend of traditional pre-war blues, ragtime, jazz and swing, Lon has spent the last two decades evoking the styles of those who laid the framework of these genres…
 
This week on Pitch List, Chris chats with Grammy-nominated, Music Row icon Ross Copperman! A truly humble, hardworking, and absolutely deserving talent, you’ll get a peek behind the curtain of this writer/producer/artist who’s penned 30 number one radio hits and produced for countless country acts. In this episode, Ross talks us through his musical…
 
Hey Folks! I’m so pleased to share the 3rd act of this “Sitting In” miniseries with you, none other than the inimitable Willi Carlisle. A multi-faceted writer, performer, and instrumentalist, Willi has spent the last several years collecting folklore, playing or calling square dances, and working in the avant-garde. He’s a folksinger with a style f…
 
Hey Folks! I’m thrilled to share the second part of the “Sitting In” mini-series, where I hand over the podcast reins to some of my folky friends, so that they can share a story that ties into music preservation and play a few songs in line with their story. My guest today is Sparrow, who along with her partner Keith, leads the Asheville, NC group …
 
Today, I’m delighted to share the first “Sitting In” mini-series episode with you, where I’ve handed the podcast reins over to a music preservationist and performer. First up, is a story of the African American spiritual turned protest song called “We Shall Not Be Moved”, written and spoken by Matthew Sabatella. Matthew’s mission is to “connect peo…
 
Today I have the pleasure of sharing a conversation I had with multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Jay Cobb Anderson, co-founder of the group Fruition, who has been making big waves in the major festival circuit during the last decade with blends of traditional sounds, contemporary folk and bluegrass, and most recently the roots of rock an…
 
This week, Chris chats with the super talented yet humble Nashville singer/songwriter Ben Rector! After gaining traction on his music in local scenes before moving to town, Ben has now written hits for the likes of Lady A + Devin Dawson, not to mention amassing millions of streams on his own seven studio records and headlining tours with Dave Barne…
 
Today, I’m delighted to share a talk I had with mandolin prodigy and Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Sierra Hull. Accomplishing more in her first 28 years of life than most could over a few lifetimes, Sierra made her Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 10, played Carnegie Hall at age 12, then landed a deal with Rounder …
 
Today, I have the pleasure of sharing a conversation I had with Oliver Wood. Since 2004, Oliver has been the frontman of The Wood Brothers, blurring the boundaries between folk, gospel, country-soul, and blues, earning an international audience and a Grammy Award-nomination along the way. Alongside his brother Chris Wood, of Medeski Martin and Wood…
 
Pitch List fans, buckle in! Chris sat down this week with the fabulous, multi-talented Fred Mollin. Fred is an award-winning Nashville songwriter/producer whose career runs the gamut - from TV/film scores for horror series like Friday the 13th, to Disney’s best-selling children’s lullaby albums and projects for Finding Nemo, Cars + more. (Not to me…
 
When I first set out with this podcast there were a few people in particular that I wanted to talk to, and today's guest is at the top of that list. David Holt is a four-time Grammy winner, multi-instrumentalist, and for 14 years performed as a duo on banjo with the legendary Doc Watson. He’s spent his life learning, performing and telling stories …
 
This week, Chris sits down for a chat with 2x Grammy Nominated, 2x ACM Song of the Year winner, Nicolle Galyon! Nicolle has not only written 6 No. 1 songs and helped craft hits like “Tequila” (Dan + Shay) and “Automatic” (Miranda Lambert), but also heads her female-focused record label / publishing company, Songs + Daughters. In classic Pitch List …
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “The Cuckoo” (:27) Willie Nelson - “Lucky Old Sun’” (13:30) Jerry Garcia - “Walkin’ Boss” (31:40) Blaze Foley - “Oval Room” (52:50) Jontavious Willis - “Pistol Slappin’ Blues” (1:12:38) Teaser: This traditional tune is based off of England’s oldest known documented song, dating back to the 13th century, cente…
 
This week, Chris talks with the incredibly cool and talented, #1 hit writer Jaren Johnston! The perfect blend of country music and rock and roll, with songwriter roots, Jaren is an absolute triple threat. He’s written chart-toppers like “Raise ‘Em Up” (Keith Urban) and “American Spirit” (Thomas Rhett), not to mention countless production credits an…
 
Today on the program, I have the distinct pleasure of sharing a wonderful conversation I had with Leah Song, one half of the world folk fusion group Rising Appalachia. Over the last decade, Rising Appalachia has reimagined a huge body of traditional songs to a massive audience over the seven records they’ve released since forging their musical path…
 
Buckle in for this week’s chat with Grammy-award winning, multi-platinum songwriter Emily Warren! This pop hitmaker has had countless cuts with artists like Shawn Mendes, Kahlid, Lennon Stella, Jessie J + more - not to mention #1 chart-toppers like “Don’t Stop Now” (Dua Lipa) and “Don’t Let Me Down” (The Chainsmokers). In this episode, she and Chri…
 
In a special minisode of Pitch List, Chris catches up with Grammy-nominated songwriter and fellow American Songwriter Podcast Network-er, Clay Mills! Clay has not only been a part of hit songs like “Beautiful Mess” / Diamond Rio and “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” / Darius Rucker, but he is also the co-creator of Songtown, a creative community…
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Barbara Allen” (:27) Lead Belly - “Goodnight, Irene’” (11:39) Joan Baez - “Silver Dagger” (37:50) Tony Rice - “New River Train” (59:35) Colter Wall- “Diamond Joe” (1:13:14) Teaser: For the last 400 years, the most widely collected ballad from the British Isles is still being recorded today, born out of a uni…
 
Today on the program, I’m delighted to share a conversation I had with the Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist and preservationist Dom Flemons. Branded The American Songster from his diverse catalogue of tunes, Dom’s not just a songwriter, he’s a multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, music scholar, historian, and record collector who is proficie…
 
This week, Chris sits down with hit songwriter and music-maker Sarah Buxton. Sarah is a Grammy award-winning writer (“Stupid Boy” / Keith Urban, “Pictures” / Lady A, “Fix” / Chris Lane), as well as an incredible artist in her own right, collaborating on projects with Daniel Tashian, Ian Fitchuk and more. In this episode, she and Chris discuss the i…
 
Buckle in, because this episode was a bucket list one for sure! Chris got to sit down for an in-depth discussion on all things songwriting with the man, the myth, the legend - Ashley Gorley. This hitmaker is currently the only writer in any genre to earn 50 No. 1 singles in the history of the Billboard charts - and in our interview, he gives us an …
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Midnight Special” (:39) Memphis Jug Band - “Stealin’, Stealin’” (13:30) Etta Baker - “Railroad Bill” (26:13) Big Bill Broonzy - “Glory of Love” (40:55) Charley Pride - “Roll on Mississippi” (1:01:32) Teaser: When the light of the train hits the cell windows of inmates at Mississippi’s infamous Parchman Farm …
 
This week, Chris sits down for a chat with Grammy award-winning songwriter and artist Emily Weisband (“Consequences” / Camila Cabello, “Thy Will” / Hillary Scott and Family, “Same Heart” / Keith Urban). This episode might as well be a masterclass on songwriting, so get ready to take notes. In true Emily Weisband fashion, we get deep about finding y…
 
To kick off Season 4 of Pitch List, we are absolutely honored to have songwriting and country music legend Bill Anderson on the show! Considered one of country music’s most significant songwriters, “Whisperin’ Bill” has released an impressive 45 studio albums and is an esteemed member of the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame and Songwriter…
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Gypsy Davy” (:20) Son House - “Grinnin’ in your Face” (9:02) Merle Travis - “Nine Pound Hammer” (24:07) Dolly Parton - “Jolene” (40:30) Sierra Ferrell - “Elk River Blues” (59:60) Teaser: Who were the original gypsies, and why are so many songs sung about them? Hear the man who inspired Robert Johnson and set…
 
The Pitch List Season 3 Finale, featuring the iconic Luke Dick, is here! From writing hit country songs like “Velvet Elvis” (Kacey Musgraves) to creating quirky, edgy indie rock tracks for his band Hey Steve, to the new soundtrack from his documentary “Red Dog” (chronicling his unique upbringing in a strip club), Luke is genuinely one of a kind. In…
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “The Ballad of John Henry” (:25) The Mississippi Sheiks - “Sittin On Top of the World” (11:09) Pete Seeger - “If I Had a Hammer” (22:05) Hank Williams - “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (44:32) Tyler Childers - “Rocks, Salt and Nails” (1:05:35) Teaser: Was the greatest African American folklore hero based on a t…
 
From dreaming of being a session guitar player (and achieving that goal), to being glam metal band Giant’s frontman, to finally transitioning to award-winning producer (including credits on Taylor Swift’s Red, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Bon Jovi, + many, many more), this week’s guest Dann Huff has had quite the iconic career. He sits down for a vir…
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Wayfaring Stranger” (:30) Burl Ives - “Streets of Laredo” (11:45) Sister Rosetta Tharpe - “Up Above My Head” (28:50) John Prine - “In Spite of Ourselves” (44:27) Charley Crockett- “That’s How I Got To Memphis” (1:06:40) Teaser: Did it come from a hymn? An old ballad? Was it born in Scotland, or America? Navi…
 
If Waylon Payne’s voice and music don’t pull you in, his incredible story of resilience will. From pulling himself up from rock bottom, to the country music in his blood and in his bones, Waylon is absolutely a force to be reckoned with. In addition to his own music, he’s also penned hits for Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack, Ashley Monroe + more. L…
 
This week on Pitch List, Chris chats with writer/artist Adam Sanders. No stranger to the music business, Adam moved to Nashville in 2009; within a few years, he’d gone from working construction to penning two #1 songs (“Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”, “Hell of a Night”). Adam has truly been a student of the music industry, and it shows - from his wiser-t…
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Tom Dooley” (:27) Blind Blake - “Diddie Wa Diddie” (12:23) Woody Guthrie - “Ramblin Around” (23:46) Doc Watson - “Blue Railroad Train” (49:00) Justin Townes Earle - “Lone Pine Hill”(1:08:23) Teaser: A North Carolina murder ballad turned folk tale withstands the tests of time, the true story is still up for d…
 
Pitch List returns this week for a conversation with Grammy-nominated songwriter Jessie Jo Dillon! Signed with Big Machine, Jessie has penned numerous hits - including the Dan and Shay / Justin Bieber smash “10,000 Hours”, “Break Up In The End” (Cole Swindell), and “Rich” (Maren Morris), just to name a few. Listen on to hear she and Chris chat abou…
 
I’m so pleased to have my first guest on the podcast, the incredibly gifted multi-instrumentalist, teacher, musicologist and songster Mr. Andy Cohen. You may remember Andy from a mention in Episode 2 of American Songcatcher, as he was the mentor of my mentor, Joan Crane. Once a lead boy soaking in the shadow of Reverend Gary Davis, Andy’s been play…
 
For our 50th episode, Pitch List welcomes Grammy-nominated hitmaker Annie Roboff! With a wide range of cuts by artists like Faith Hill, the Indigo Girls, Whitney Houston, The Chicks, Bonnie Raitt and many more, Annie is no newcomer to the music business. Listen on as she and Chris chat about the intricacies of the “Murder on Music Row” accusations …
 
Featured in this Episode: Traditional - "Rising Sun Blues" or "House of the Rising Sun" (1:37) Bessie Smith - "Tain't Nobody's Business" (16:46) The Carter Family - "Wildwood Flower" (40:30) Townes Van Zandt - "Pancho and Lefty" (1:04:17) Blind Boy Paxton - "Nobody Cares For Me" (01:22:42) Teaser: Was there ever a “house of the rising sun” in New O…
 
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