N A S H V I L L E U N D E R G R O U N D
You know their songs. You've heard them on the radio. Now meet the original songwriters behind some of the best hits ever released to radio direct from Nashville.
Nashville Underground features some of the best songwriters ever to hit Nashville and the country music scene. So many fans overlook the songwriters and the 'original' versions of hit singles are often non-existent. Hundreds and thousands of artists' try to make it in Nashville with only a handful actually succeeding. Some individuals are just destined to be the best of the best in the songwriter category, even though so many of them could actually be very successful artists, as well.
All of the artists in Nashville Underground have found great success as songwriters. One look at the track listing on all three of the Sampler Series and you can tell that the best songwriters are in this exclusive Nashville Underground group. Some of the artists in the Nashville Underground group are: Hugh Prestwood, Stephen Allen Davis, Marcus Hummon, Bob DiPiero, Gary Nicholson, Billy Dean, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Jill Colucci, Angela Kaset, Mary Ann Kennedy, Tia Sillers, Gretchen Peters, Chuck Jones, Stephony Smith, Gary Burr, Victoria Shaw, Chuck Cannon and Pam Rose.
The one great quality about hearing original versions of songs is the pure emotion shown through in their vocals. Sometimes a song is written from personal experiences and having the original songwriter perform their own songs is an incredible talent.
On the Nashville Underground Sampler Series Volume 1, there are 12 tracks. Chuck Jones, Stephony Smith, Gary Burr, Victoria Shaw, Chuck Cannon and Ram Rose each contribute 2 songs to this album. Chuck Jones does an incredible job with "Your Love Amazes Me." John Berry was the artist who made this single known, but Jones could have easily scored a hit with this single. Jones wrote this single with Amanda Hunt Taylor. Jones also sings "Inexpressible" which he wrote with Tony Martin. Stephony Smith sings "It's Your Love" and "A Thousand Years In Peace." "It's Your Love," the most notable from Smith was made into a hit single from the country couple, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Gary Burr adds "For Love" and "What Mattered Most" to Volume 1. Burr's version of "What Mattered Most" (Ty Herndon) is also really good. Victoria Shaw's most recognizable single is "The River" which she wrote with Garth Brooks. Brooks was also the one who made this single famous. Chuck Cannon is yet another great songwriter from the Nashville Underground group. Cannon does an impressive rendition of "It All Comes Down To Love." Cannon also adds dept with his version of "I Love The Way You Love Me." Pam Rose ends the album with "I'll Still Be Loving You" (Restless Heart) and "I Knew You When." I personally think that Volume 1 has been the best released to date out of all series.
The most obvious hits from the Volume 2 series is "Cowboy Take Me Away" by Marcus Hummon, "The Church On Cumberland Road" by Bob DiPiero and "Somewhere In My Broken Heart" by Billy Dean. Although all of the songwriters are extremely talented, Hummon and DiPiero contribute so much talent to the songwriting world in Nashville. Marcus Hummon wrote "Cowboy Take Me Away" with Emily Siedel of the Dixie Chicks, who also made this single into a huge hit. Hugh Prestwood, Stephen Allen Davis, and Gary Nicholson are also a huge factor on Volume 2. Prestwood sings "Pipers Don't Get Paid" and "The Song Remembers When." Davis does his versions of "Take Time To Know Her" and "Highway Highway." Finally, Nicholson performs "Choose Love" and "The Trouble With The Truth" which he both wrote alone.
Volume 3 is probably my least favorite from all of the sampler series although there are still several great versions from all of the songwriters on it. Beth Nielsen Chapman's "This Kiss" version starts off Volume 3. Faith Hill eventually released "This Kiss" and the single did very well. Chapman also does "Nothin' I Can Do About It" on this album. Jill Colucci performs "No One Else On Earth" and "Save Me A Place In Your Heart." I have to give Colucci props for "No One Else On Earth." I actually prefer her version to Wynonna's version by a long shot. Angela Kaset does her versions of both "Something In Red" and "The Kindest Thing." Lorrie Morgan was the artist who made "Something In Red" such a big hit. Many Ann Kennedy's most noticeable single is "Safe In The Arms Of Love" which was done by superstar Martina McBride. Kennedy also performs "Ride My Pony" from her album "The Trail Less Traveled." Tia Sillers wrote one of my favorite songs from the past couple years. "I Hope You Dance" was a huge hit for LeeAnn Womack and this single was just amazing. Sillers and Mark D. Sanders did an astonishing job writing this one. Rounding out Volume 3 is super-songwriter Gretchen Peters. More often than not, so many people think that her version of "Independence Day" may actually top Martina McBride's. I won't say it tops McBride's, but it can easily stand by itself. Peters has this "rock" edge to her voice (something unique) that the country music industry needs more of.
I can't stress enough the importance of the songwriters and their attributes to music. Without the songwriters, a song wouldn't be possible. Although the members of Nashville Underground don't make up all the songwriters in Nashville, it sure includes the majority of the best songwriters. - Janelle Landauer
Vol. I, II, and III
Track Listing Vol. I
1. Chuck Jones - Your Love Amazes Me
2. Chuck Jones - Inexpressible
3. Stephony Smith - It's Your Love
4. Stephony Smith - A Thousand Years In Peace
5. Gary Burr - For Love
6. Gary Burr - What Mattered Most
7. Victoria Shaw - Why Didn't You Tell Me
8. Victoria Shaw - The River
9. Chuck Cannon - It All Comes Down To Love
10. Chuck Cannon - I Love The Way You Love Me
11. Pam Rose - I'll Still Be Loving You
12. Pam Rose - I Knew You When
Track Listing Vol. II
1. Hugh Prestwood - Pipers Don't Get Paid
2. Hugh Prestwood - The Song Remembers When
3. Stephen Allen Davis - Take Time To Know Her
4. Stephen Allen Davis - Highway Highway
5. Marcus Hummon - Cowboy Take Me Away
6. Marcus Hummon - Our Lady Of the Pouring Rain
7. Bob DiPiero - The Church On The Cumberland Road
8. Bob DiPiero - Worlds Apart
9. Gary Nicholson - Choose Love
10. Gary Nicholson - The Trouble With The Truth
11. Billy Dean - Somewhere In My Broken Heart
12. Billy Dean - By My Song
Track Listing Vol. III
1. Beth Nielsen Chapman - This Kiss
2. Beth Nielsen Chapman - Nothin' I Can Do About It Now
3. Jill Colucci - No One Else On Earth
4. Jill Colucci - Save Me A Place In Your Heart
5. Angela Kaset - Something In Red
6. Angela Kaset - The Kindest Thing
7. Mary Ann Kennedy - Safe In The Arms Of Love
8. Mary Ann Kennedy - Ride My Pony
9. Tia Sillers - I Hope You Dance
10. Tia Sillers - A Long Time Now
11. Gretchen Peters - Independence Day
12. Gretchen peters - Picasso and Me