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Hear The Songwriters Behind Taylor Swift And Other Country Stars

by Francesca Paris 8 Jun 2016 1:50 PM

Join four female songwriters, including Taylor Swift co-writer Liz Rose, as they share the stories behind your favorite country hits.


When Taylor Swift needs a hand writing a song, she gives Liz Rose a call. Now, at a pair of events this weekend, you can learn firsthand from Rose — and friends — what it’s like to write the songs you hear on the radio.

The Girls of Nashville, 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets and info

On Saturday, Irving-native Rose returns to Dallas to headline The Girls of Nashville, a songwriters’ showcase from Tennessee, celebrating the women behind the chart-topping hits. Alyssa Micaela, Ashley Ray and Heather Morgan will join Rose in the performance at The Kessler Theater to unpack the art of songwriting. 

Songwriting workshop, 12 p.m. Sunday. Tickets and info.

And on Sunday, at the Sons of Hermann Hall, aspiring songwriters can dig down, learn more about writing hits and pitch their own songs to Rose and the others in a songwriting workshop.

The evening will be a songwriters’ round, a format popular in Nashville. The women will take turns singing the songs they’ve written for big names in country music and shed light on the behind-the-scenes processes of writing your favorite tracks. The event will be informal, and the audience will be able to ask questions.

“They’ll tell stories about the songs,” says Katherine Wagner, CEO of Business Council for the Arts, one of the two presenters of the event. “How they got the inspiration, developed melodies and put together the wording, and then where the song goes after they write it.”

Rose has co-written many of Taylor Swift’s hits over the past decade, including “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “You Belong with Me” and “White Horse,” for which they share a Grammy. She has also written with Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Lee Ann Womack, among others. In addition to writing and singing, she now runs Liz Rose Music in Nashville and mentors young women entering the industry, which Wagner describes as “a man’s world.” 

“I’m really excited to come back to Dallas and bring my friends,” Rose says. “The show is such a great deal for these young writers, and they pack the room.”

Rose says she plans to sing a medley of her works, but she’ll definitely include some of your favorite Taylor Swift tunes.

Micaela is a native of Odessa, TX, who moved to Nashville under Rose’s wing. She writes and sings country tunes like “Getaway Car,” which has three million plays on Spotify.  She also played at this year’s CMA Fest for the first time.

Ray, raised in Kansas, released her album, “Call Me A Ray,” in 2014. It was produced by Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town, Cage the Elephant) and co-written with Joyce and Jeremy Spiller.

Also a North Texan now living in Nashville, Morgan has written with Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans and Keith Urban, among others. Her work has played on the television show “Nashville,” and she earned #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with “Beat of the Music,” which she co-wrote with Eldredge.

On Sunday, Liz Rose and the others will host a four-hour workshop for aspiring songwriters. Writers who bring their own songs to the workshop will have the chance to pitch them to Liz Rose Music, and the songwriters and attendees will listen, critique and give feedback on the pieces.

The two events are presented by Business Council for the Arts and the Dallas Songwriters Association. Learn more and buy tickets for Saturday here and for Sunday here.