On today’s Byline, I welcomed Grammy Award-winning songwriter Brett James and composer Charlie Judge, two of the members of the Music City Hit-Makers team. James has written songs for Kenny Chesney (“Out Last Night,” “When the Sun Goes Down”) and Carrie Underwood (including the Grammy Award-winner “Jesus, Take the Wheel”), as well as Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Tim McGraw and dozens of other chart-topping artists.
James, along with fellow Grammy winners Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson, perform their own chart-topping country music hits with the Louisville Orchestra, Saturday in the Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall as part of the Pops series. Judge, a sought-after studio musician and composer, arranges the radio hits for orchestral performance.
We talked about the Nashville songwriting industry, the blurring of musical genres, what the television show “Nashville” gets right and the “country insurance” an arranger can give to any well-written song.