The 26th Annual Songwriters Festival, Tin Pan South kicked off with hit songwriters taking the stage to play songs they’ve had recorded by others, or that they’ve recorded themselves.
“We are Music City and we are the home of songwriters,” Jennifer Turnbow, director of Tin Pan South with Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), said. “People don’t realize the magic behind creating these songs that they love on the radio, and I think that Tin Pan South is really a revelation into what that’s like on a huge scale.”
In it’s 26 year, Tin Pan South has continued the tradition of highlighting and celebrating songwriters. People from all around the world attend the festival every year, getting to hear their favorite songs in their original form.
“They get to hear, really, where the song originated from and what it was really about, and how it truly sounded when you first wrote it,” said Natalie Hemby, an artist with Creative Nation. She has written hits for Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, and others.
Hemby has played the festival numerous times, and she said one of her favorite parts of the festival is that she is able to play songs that haven’t been recorded yet.
“I remember I played pontoon before pontoon actually came out, and it was fun to see everyone’s laughing reaction to the song," she said.
Songwriters work all over Nashville, in writing rooms, in parks, in their basements, creating songs that mean things to them, and that strike a chord with others.
“There’s a lot of great writers in Nashville, and there’s a lot of great writers from LA that come here that are going to be playing, it’s just fun to see the different pools of talent,” Hemby said.
At Creative Nation, Hemby works with many other songwriters who have scored #1 hits, including multi-Grammy Award winning artist, Lori McKenna.
Hemby is scheduled to perform with McKenna and others on Wednesday night at The Listening Room Cafe.
“When Lori McKenna sings Humble and Kind, it’s so different than Tim McGraw, but it’s so perfect. Both are beautiful in their own form, but to hear it from the person who wrote the words herself, it’s just,
it’s moving," she said.
Hemby said beyond getting to hear great songs, the festival helps inspire songwriters to continue working hard.
“It gives a lot of people a chance to not only see someone they admire as a writer, but also, to one day fulfill their dream of getting up there and singing their own songs,” Hemby said.
Visit the Tin Pan South website for information on how to get into a show or where to catch songwriters.