On Wednesday night at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, country singer Dierks Bentley hosted a songwriters show. Similar to the "round" style of The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, over the course of two hours, a handful of artists, including Bentley, took turns to showcase songs they wrote. The thing was, the songs they chose to perform were some of the most popular in country music today -- their voices just aren't the ones you hear on the radio.
Meet Jessi Alexander, Ross Copperman, Luke Dick and Ashley Gorley, some of the most sought-after songwriters in Nashville. Combined, they have penned hits including Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," Keith Urban's "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16," Kip Moore's "Magic" and Luke Bryan's "Play It Again." Yup, they're pretty talented.
Learn a little more about them below:
To start off, Alexander's voice is deep, moody and, well, fabulous, as are her songwriting skills. She has not only recorded her own music, but she's written tunes for Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Lee Brice, Eric Paslay and Trisha Yearwood.
Alexander and Bentley have known each other for years and worked together in the past, most recently teaming up on Alexander's version of her song "Mine Would Be You," which was recorded by Shelton in 2013.
At 33, Copperman -- a star in his own right (we're not sure how this guy isn't a country music sensation yet) -- has already written songs like Brett Eldredge's "Drunk on Your Love," A Thousand Horses' "Smoke" and Luke Bryan's "Strip It Down." In a profile last year, Rolling Stone said the producer "has emerged as one of country music's new guard of elite hitmakers, helping to expand the genre's reach into broader, boundary-defying territory."
Copperman produced Bentley's new album "Black" and co-wrote a few songs on the record. When he performed on Wednesday, Bentley was taken aback by his onstage persona and incredible voice.
"The world might find Ross Copperman ... a little country record deal," he told the audience. (We'd be OK with that.)
Dick definitely beats to his own drum, and he's better off for it. The Oklahoma native, who lived in New York City's East Village for a bit before heading to Nashville, makes sure his songs have a fun feel to them, which is probably why country artists like Eric Church flock to him.
His song "Connected" was most recently featured on the ABC Family (now Freeform) series “Switched at Birth" and, as he says, can be heard in the back of cabs around NYC.
Dick co-wrote "Roses and a Time Machine" on Bentley's new album "Black."
Gorley is an award-winning producer, publisher and songwriter from Danville, Kentucky, who now works out of Nashville. He has written 19 No. 1 singles and has over 200 songs recorded by well-known artists, including Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, Jana Kramer, Rascal Flatts and Darius Rucker, just to name a few.
Gorley, whose biggest hits include Thomas Rhett's "T-Shirt," Billy Currington's "Don't It" and Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party," co-wrote two songs on Bentley's "Black."
Keep an eye, and ear, out for these talented individuals. Lucky we have them to constantly crank out some of our favorite country tunes.