Above, Thomas Rhett performs
The Nashville Songwriters Association International has a motto: “It All Begins With A Song.” That bond between writer and song was celebrated Wednesday afternoon at the Country Radio Seminar with the annual WCRS Live! Sponsored in part by BMI, the hour-long panel featured Valory Music Group recording artist Thomas Rhett as well as former BNA recording duo the Warren Brothers, who have become two of Nashville’s top songwriters in the past few years.
It was a back-and-forth guitar pull in terms of music and jokes for the entire hour between the two; Rhett started the music with “1994,” which is the latest single for Broken Bow recording artist Jason Aldean. Rhett persuaded the audience to sing along with the chorus, which name checks 1990s’ hit maker Joe Diffie several times. The song also features the titles of many Diffie standards as well. Other Rhett performances included the romantic “Star Of My Show,” which could very well be a future single, his radio hits “Beer With Jesus” and “Something To Do With My Hands,” and the infectious “Parking Lot Party,” which he announced would be the next single from Lee Brice.
Though the Warren Brothers’ biggest hit as an artist, 2000’s “Move On,” only reached #17 on the Billboard Country Singles chart, they have definitely enjoyed undeniable success as songwriters. They started off with “Felt Good On My Lips,” a 2010 number one from Tim McGraw, and also played quite a few other songs that the radio programmers had made hits, including the Toby Keith monster hit “Red Solo Cup.” They also performed another song they had written for McGraw, his latest single “Highway Don’t Care,” a duet with Taylor Swift. All along the highway, their humor was very much apparent. The two mimicked the “Joe Diffie” line from 1994, saying it was really “Joe Galante,” referring to their label head at BNA.
The WCRS hour was over way two fast, with the final song being “Front Porch Junkies,” a song that all three writers penned together. It was a fascinating and inspirational reminder that in Nashville, the song always comes first.