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Words & Music: Most people remember when they first heard a song that touched their lives. Now, learn about how the songs were written and the stories behind them in Words & Music: The Showcase for Nashville's Songwriters.  Veteran entertainment reporter Harry Chapman sits down with successful songwriters who share their music and their stories, as well as important information and insights for aspiring writers. Words & Music is produced in partnership with the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

This Month on Words & Music:

Show 1

Gary Nicholson and Colin Linden

Colin Linden

Colin Kendall Linden (born 16 April 1960) is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer. He has worked with a wide variety of artists including Bruce Cockburn, Lucinda Williams, T-Bone Burnett, Colin James, Leon Redbone, Rita Chiarelli, Chris Thomas King, The Band, and Bob Dylan.

Linden is a very versatile guitarist, both on acoustic and electric guitars, specializing in slide guitar and country blues and Ragtime fingerpicking. He frequently collaborates with country and folk performers. He is also a member, with Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson, of the group Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

In August 1980, Linden recorded his album Colin Linden Live!. As well, he played as a sideman for Joe Mendelson, Willie P. Bennett, Gwen Swick and Amos Garrett. Linden's second album, Colin Linden and the Immortals was released by the Stony Plain Records label in 1986. Linden has acknowledged the influence of The Band. In the early 1980s, Linden met three of the original members, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm. Members of The Band contributed to Linden's recordings, and songs like "When the Spirit Comes" got radio airplay and "Miles Away from You" made the rock charts. When the Spirit Comes was released by A & M in 1987. Linden signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell and did producing for Mendelson Joe, Morgan Davis, Jackson Delta and Hans Thessink.

In 1991, Bruce Cockburn recruited Linden as a sideman, and for three-and-a-half years, Linden playing guitar. Subsequently, Linden became Cockburn's co-producer. Linden's blues album of 1993 titled South at Eight, North at Nine was distributed by Sony Music in Canada, won a Juno Award in the Blues and Gospel category.[citation needed] Guests on the album included Bruce Cockburn as well as Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm of the Band.

As Linden got more interested in gospel records, he began taking vocal lessons from Bourbon Tabernacle Choir singer Dave Wall, such as breathing and warm-up exercises.

In 1996, Linden won a Juno in the Blues/Gospel category for his producing Lennie Gallant's The Open Window. Linden co-wrote Colin James' hit song "Real Stuff".As well, and, Linden joined with Tom Wilson of Junkhouse and Stephen Fearing to form Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. This band was a tribute to Canadian singer songwriter Willie P. Bennett. After the album High or Hurtin' on True North Records, the second album Kings of Love won a Juno.

In February 1998 Linden shared the Maple Blues Producer of the Year award with Colin James. A Tribute to Howlin' Wolf was released by Telarc Records in 1998. In 1999, A Tribute to Howlin' Wolf was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Traditional Blues Album. In 1999, Linden received the Toronto Arts Award.

In 2000 Linden won three Juno awards, of which the "Blues" category award was as the producer of Ray Bonneville's Gust of Wind. In the Roots and Traditional: Solo Artist category, Linden won as the producer of Bruce Cockburn's Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu. Finally, in the Roots and Traditional: Group category, Linden won as a member of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. In 2000, Linden produced Sue Foley's Love Comin' Down and Paul Reddick and the Sidemen's Rattle Bag.

For the album Big Mouth, a more acoustic recording, Linden recruited Keb' Mo', Bruce Cockburn, and other musicians. In 2002 Big Mouth won a Juno for Best Blues Album. In 2002, an album Linden worked on, Timeless, won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year. In 2002, he co-produced Stephen Fearing's That's How I Walk and Bruce Cockburn's You've Never Seen Everything. In 2003, a third Blackie and the Rodeo Kings album, BARK, was released, and in 2006 they released Let's Frolic and Let's Frolic Again. Recently, he played 30 shows as Bob Dylan's guitarist. He also works on the Nashville TV show regularly.

Gary Nicholson

Gary Nicholson is a #1 hit songwriter, two time Grammy winning producer, recording artist, world traveling performer, and session guitarist. In 2006 he was nominated to the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame, in 2011 he was inducted into the Texas Songwriter's Hall of Fame. There are over five hundred recordings of his songs in various genres including country, rock, blues, folk, bluegrass, and pop by such diverse artists as BB King, Garth Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, George Strait, Fleetwood Mac, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Etta James, John Prine, Dixie Chicks,Don Williams, Stevie Nicks, Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Keb Mo, Ringo Starr, George Jones, The Neville Brothers, Reba McEntire, Robert Plant, Waylon Jennings, Patty Loveless, Kenny Chesney, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, and the list goes on.

In addition to his Grammy winning records with Delbert McClinton, who has recorded over fifty of his songs, he has produced records for The Judds, Wynonna, Pam Tillis, Billy Joe Shaver, T Graham Brown, Chris Knight, Taylor Hicks, Marcia Ball, and others. His work has been included in many major motion pictures and television, the song "Falling and Flying " is featured in the Oscar winning film "Crazy Heart" performed by Jeff Bridges. "Peace Dream" recorded by Ringo Starr was co-written by Gary, Ringo, and Gary Wright and features Paul McCartney on bass. Current songwriting credits include a song on the recent Grammy winning release by Bonnie Raitt, another co-written song with Ringo Starr for his new cd, and new recordings by George Strait, Dierks Bentley, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson, and a BB King/Buddy Guy duet.

Show 2

Jenn Schott and Blake Chaffin

Jenn Schott

Born and raised in Pittsburg, Kansas, Jenn Schott was destined to have a career in music. It's in her genes. Her grandfather was the concert master violinist for the CBS orchestra including the Ed Sullivan show, her father was a university professor of woodwinds, and her mother is a flutist. So it isn't a surprise that from a very young age, Jenn took an interest in all things musical. She studied piano for over ten years and performed in over 15 musical theater productions while she was growing up.

After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Jenn moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a songwriter. Since then, her songs have been recorded by artists including Tim McGraw, The Eli Young Band, Billy Ray Cyrus, Gloriana, Jana Kramer, Lucy Hale, Pam Tillis, Lonestar, Eden's Edge, Restless Heart, Jennette McCurdy, & pop band A Rocket To The Moon. Jenn has had singles released by Restless Heart, with "Feel My Way To You", Katie Armiger's "Unseen," Billy Ray Cyrus' "A Good Day," and pop artist Lucy Walsh's "1882." Her song "Two Lanes of Freedom" is the title track to Tim McGraw's latest album and was the namesake of McGraw's 2013 summer tour. In addition to her success in the U.S. country market, Jenn has also had songs released by top-selling artists in Canada and Australia.

Jenn is a skilled acoustic guitar player and has played on the road with recording artists Lila McCann & Mallary Hope. She is an alumna of Leadership Music and sits on the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run Nashville and the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Blake Chaffin

Blake Chaffin writes songs on his Santa Cruz guitar for other people to sing with his friends nearly every day in Nashville, TN in some cool old house by music row where he can look out the windows and ponder feelings, life, and how to tell an old story in a new way. Sometimes he uses run on sentences, too. (But, only when he has to write his own bio). He grew up in one of the flattest spots on earth... Hays, Kansas. Chaffin was the first writer in Nashville signed to Parallel Entertainment and it's no wonder with songs like: Perfect Girl, Let's Go, You'd Think, and Only One, all co-written with songwriter/artist Randy Montana. His songs have been recorded by good pals Logan Mize and Randy Montana. You can listen to his songs on Sound Cloud.

The Show Airs at the Following Times:


5:30am, 9:30am, 11:30pm



3:00am, 9:00am, 7:00pm


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