Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters

Ep. 154 - LUKE LAIRD ("American Kids")

Episode Summary

Luke Laird, the Grammy-winning ACM and BMI Country Songwriter of the Year with twenty-four #1 singles joins us to talk about some of the hits he’s written for other artists, as well as his highly personal debut solo album, Music Row.

Episode Notes

Luke Laird is one of Nashville’s most successful songwriters. He has written two dozen #1 country hits, earning him six separate CMA Trip Play awards, each of which recognizes the achievement of penning three #1 country songs within a 12 month period. The two-time Grammy winner has been named both ACM and BMI Country Songwriter of the Year. Highlights of his catalog include Kasey Musgraves’ “Space Cowboy” which earned him a Grammy for Country Song of the Year, Rodney Atkins’ “Take a Back Road” which was named BMI Country Song of the Year, Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” which earned an ACM nomination for Song of the Year, and Tim McGraw’s “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” which was nominated for a Country Song of the Year Grammy. Two of his most revered songs are Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids” and Eric Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown,” which were both nominated for CMA Song of the Year, ACM Song of the Year, and the Grammy for Country Song of the Year. 

Laird built his reputation as a country chart topper with the Carrie Underwood hits “So Small,” “Last Name,” “Temporary Home,” “Undo It,” and “Mama’s Song” before going on to write chart toppers such as “A Little Bit Stronger” for Sara Evans, “Drink in My Hand” and “Talladega” with Eric Church, “One of Those Nights” for Tim McGraw, “Downtown” for Lady Antebellum, “I See You” and “Fast” for Luke Bryan, “Gonna” for Blake Shelton, “Head Over Boots” for Jon Pardi, and “T-Shirt” for Thomas Rhett. He’s written other massive hits for Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, and Frankie Ballard, and has had his songs recorded by George Strait, Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley, Maren Morris, Midland, Rascal Flatts, Lindsay Ell, Ashley Monroe, Toby Keith, Sheryl Crow, Amy Grant, Florida Georgia Line, Jessica Simpson, and Cassandra Wilson featuring John Legend. In addition to his success as a songwriter, Laird has produced Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Jake Owen, Sam Hunt, Ingrid Michaelson, and Kasey Musgraves, earning Grammy recognition for his work producing her albums Same Trailer Different Park and Pageant Material. He recently released his first album as an artist, the deeply personal Music Row